Search Results



Celebrating 50 years of botanic cultural history735994Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/10/2015 2:00:07 AM2015-10-04T02:00:00Z​Garden party in Kings Park to unveil new Botanic Terraces and Botanic Pavilion Environment Minister Albert Jacob today opened a new addition to Kings Park to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Western Australian Botanic Garden. The $1.8 million Botanic Terraces and Botanic Pavilion features a cascading walkway incorporating artwork to celebrate the exploration of WA's unique flora. The design is inspired by Western Australian flora and its impact on people across history - from botanists and horticulturists to artists and Aboriginal people. Local artists Richard Walley, Anne Neil and Steve Tepper worked with landscape architects Plan E on the design. Mr Jacob said the new structure and the gardens surrounding it were a fitting way to celebrate the 50th anniversary. "This is a wonderful celebration of our precious and unique native flora, and also a magnificent new space for the whole community to share and enjoy," he said. "I congratulate the Friends of Kings Park for leading this project on behalf of the community and achieving such an outstanding design result. "This pavilion and the terraces enhance what is already one of the most exceptional botanic gardens in the world - in standards of presentation, number of visitors and contribution to scientific knowledge. "The Botanic Garden is a leader in environmental conservation, horticulture and scientific research. Its plant collection displays are among the best in the world." The garden also encompasses elements of the State's cultural heritage and is a venue for live music, theatre, education programs and the annual Kings Park Festival. This project is an initiative of the Friends of Kings Park in partnership with the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, supported by Lotterywest. Fact FileThe WA Botanic Garden in Kings Park is the world's largest display of WA floraThe garden has its own nursery, seed collector, botanist, horticulturists, arborists, plant development and turf experts, and a team of scientistsOne-quarter of all WA plant species are growing in the Botanic Garden, many of which are found nowhere else in the worldKings Park welcomes about six million visitors annually Minister's office - 6552 5800
First time campers can give it a go at Yanchep735993Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/10/2015 12:01:08 AM2015-10-04T00:00:00Z​Chance for beginners to try stress-free camping in national parkNew free app lets you create and share camping checklists If you have always wanted to try camping but never had the opportunity, beginners can register for the Yanchep National Park Great Aussie Camp Out to be held this month. A Department of Parks and Wildlife family event, the Great Aussie Camp Out from October 10-11 will give first-time campers an overnight experience in a supportive and encouraging environment. Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the beautiful bushland surrounds and extensive grassed areas of the award-winning park were ideal for new campers. "The Great Aussie Camp Out is a fun and stress-free way to experience camping, with plenty of friendly faces to help get you started and answer questions," Mr Jacob said. "Once your tent is set up there is plenty of time to meander along the walk trails and koala boardwalk, enjoy the wildflowers and abundant birdlife, let the kids muck around and get grubby and at night, share stories around the campfire." The Minister said a new CampingMate app for mobile devices, created by Parks and Wildlife, would simplify camping preparation by providing checklists which could be customised and shared with others. "CampingMate is packed with information about camping in Western Australia, such as where to camp, when to camp and staying safe," he said. "It lets you add new items to detailed checklists for different types of camping and for different locations. "Give camping a go and you might find a relaxing and enjoyable way to appreciate our great outdoors and the beauty of our natural environment." CampingMate is one of a range of online and mobile resources being rolled out as part of the State Government's $21.05 million, four-year Parks for People initiative. Parks for People is improving camping sites and facilities in national parks and reserves throughout WA. Fact FileBookings are essential for the Yanchep National Park Great Aussie Camp OutFor bookings, email or phone 9303 7759The CampingMate app is free can be downloaded from iTunes or Google PlayThe release of the app coincides with Outdoors October, a State Government initiative celebrating outdoor activities and recreation during spring Minister's office - 6552 5800
New northern beef centre open for business735946Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements1760html2/10/2015 7:06:55 AM2015-10-02T07:00:00Z​Northern Beef Development Centre now open in BroomePart of $15 million Royalties for Regions investment in northern beef industry Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston today opened the new Northern Beef Development Centre in Broome, confirming the State Government's commitment to supporting cattle industry growth in the north. "The centre will bring together expertise dedicated towards building Western Australia's northern beef industry," he said. The centre includes the Department of Agriculture and Food's Northern Beef Futures Broome operations staff. "A team of specialists will work closely with indigenous enterprises and members of the beef supply chain across the Pilbara and Kimberley to support pastoralists," Mr Baston said. "This work will help pastoralists to implement on-station production improvements and conduct forage trials to grow mosaic agriculture opportunities in the north." The Kimberley Cattlemen's Association Inc will also be based at the centre. "The association and the department are working together across the Northern Beef Futures project to enable the northern beef industry to respond to market signals and meet growing demand," Mr Baston said. Mr Baston said there was also scope for other like-minded businesses to become involved in the centre. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Northern Beef Futures was a four-year $15 million project, made possible by the Government's Royalties for Regions program, to transform WA's northern beef industry by improving markets, businesses and productivity. "Water for Food and Northern Beef Futures are two of 15 programs under the $300 million Seizing the Opportunity in Agriculture initiative aiming to strengthen regional communities where agriculture is a major economic activity," Mr Redman said. Fact FileThe Northern Beef Development Centre is located at the corner of Pembroke and Gregory Streets, BroomeThe centre will also include the Department of Water's $15.5 million Royalties for Regions-funded Water for Food West Kimberley projects teamFor more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Plans fire up for Ascot kilns735943Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4600html2/10/2015 3:05:53 AM2015-10-02T03:05:00Z​WA's industrial heritage to be reflected in future Ascot visionPlanning underway for former Bristile Kilns land and Golden Gateway precinctMinor MRS amendment for area released for public comment A minor amendment to the Metropolitan Region Scheme for the former Bristile Kilns site in Ascot has been released for public comment today. Planning Minister John Day said this was one of the next steps in planning for the future of the site. "The proposed amendment will change small zoning anomalies in the area to align them with present day land uses and future development," Mr Day said. "A local development plan is also being prepared which will provide guidance on the management and interpretation of the site's distinctive heritage elements. It will also look at how the kilns can be integrated with future developments." The Minister said the site's remaining kilns and the chimney stacks were an important reminder of the State's industrial past. "The kilns and stacks represent an important part of the State's manufacturing history, with many of our houses and public buildings being constructed from products made there," he said. The Western Australian Planning Commission and the City of Belmont are preparing a local structure plan to guide land use and development outcomes for the broader Golden Gateway precinct bound by Great Eastern Highway, Resolution Drive, Grandstand Road and Stoneham Street, Ascot. The local development and structure plans are expected to be finalised in 2016. Submissions on the proposed amendment close on December 4, 2015. Fact FileThe Bristile Kilns site is listed on the State Register of Heritage PlacesFor nearly 80 years, the kilns contributed to the construction of Perth before the kilns closure in 1982The beehive kilns are the largest assemblage of its kind in AustraliaFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6200
Mental Health Week has something for everyone735939Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3470html2/10/2015 1:16:06 AM2015-10-02T01:10:00Z​Comedy night at His Majesty's Theatre to open 2015 Mental Health WeekOpportunity to enjoy the lighter side of life, with laughter for wellbeing Mental Health Minister Helen Morton will tonight open an all-ages comedy night at His Majesty's Theatre, starring well-known Australian stand-up comedian Joel Creasey, to launch Mental Health Week in Western Australia. A sell-out audience of more than 1,000 people is expected to attend a night of laughs and light entertainment, while also increasing community awareness about mental health and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. Mental Health Week runs from October 2-10, with more than 50 events and activities which promote the Act-Belong-Commit message and are open to all members of the public. "Everyone has the ability to adopt the Act-Belong-Commit approach to suit their lifestyle and to build and maintain better mental health," Mrs Morton said. "Being active, having a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose in life all contribute to happiness and good mental health. "Some ways to Act can include keeping mentally, physically, socially and spiritually active, taking a walk, reading a book and getting creative. To Belong can include joining a club, volunteering, connecting with friends and family and getting involved in your community. While ways to Commit can include taking up a cause, helping a neighbour, finding your passion or learning something new. "I encourage people to get along to as many events as possible during Mental Health Week. There are many public and community-based services out there ready to provide support." To view events, visit http// Fact FileMental Health Week runs October 2-10, 2015For more events and information, visit http// In WA, Mental Health Week is co-ordinated by the Mental Health Commission in partnership with the Western Australian Association for Mental Health Minister's office - 6552 6900
Scholarships available to expand career options735938Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4760html2/10/2015 12:01:53 AM2015-10-02T00:15:00Z​New career opportunities for women in non-traditional industries and tradesOne-off training scholarships of $3,000 are available Applications are now open for training scholarships for women to pursue non-traditional trade and skills areas. Acting Training and Workforce Development Minister John Day launched the latest round of the Expanding Career Options for Women scholarship program, targeting occupations in which women make up less than 25 per cent of the total workforce. "The program will enable women to develop skills and gain qualifications in highly sought-after trade and industry areas, such as construction, agriculture, aviation and engineering, giving them opportunities to build a rewarding career," Mr Day said. He said the State Government election commitment provided $1.2 million over four years to provide 400 scholarships to the value of $3,000 each, for women starting studies in trades and industries with low female participation. Scholarships will be available to women over 18 who have left school and undertake training at Certificate III level or above in more than 170 specified qualifications. Employers offering an apprenticeship or traineeship to eligible women can also take advantage of the program. Mr Day said the funds could be used to cover costs associated with training, including learning resources, mentoring and fees, as well as for transport costs and childcare. "The program has been well received by students and industry since it was launched earlier this year," he said. The inaugural round of the program attracted more than 150 applications from women aged 18 to 59, from metropolitan and regional areas. "This is a tremendous opportunity for women to gain the best skills to get a job or advance their career in industries driving the Western Australian economy." Fact FileApplications close on October 31, 2015The scholarship program is supported by the Construction Training FundFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5900
First WA orange exports off to China735936Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3930html1/10/2015 11:54:43 PM2015-10-02T00:10:00Z​WA citrus producers gain access to export markets of China, Thailand and South KoreaExport markets provide a new source of income and market diversity for growers For the first time, Western Australian citrus producers have started exporting their fruit to the valuable market of China, marking an exciting development for the State's $15 million industry. Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the export milestone resulted from market work undertaken by the State Government, Horticulture WA and the local citrus industry. As well as China, Western Australian producers have also successfully gained market access to Thailand and South Korea, by meeting the stringent protocol that requires specific orchard management practices and cold treatment of fruit transported by sea to the markets. "Western Australian citrus fruit is well known for its delicious taste and widely recognised as a clean and green product," Mr Baston said. "So far this year, citrus growers Moora Citrus and AGRIFresh have exported more than 30,000 boxes of navel oranges and a small quantity of mandarins to China and South-East Asia. "Having established these export markets, the producers expect to increase the volume of fruit exported over the next few years as significant new plantings come into full production. "Export markets are vital in ensuring the continued viability and profitability of the State's citrus orchards. "Building on the success of these trailblazing growers, the Government is working with other Western Australian citrus growers interested in exporting their fruit. "The work included a recent delegation of producers on visits to markets in China to meet buyers, identify any issues in the current supply of citrus, discuss market opportunities and learn more about export protocols." Fact FileWA produces more than 15,000 tonnes of citrus each year, worth $15 millionMost of the State's oranges, mandarins and lemons are produced within a 250km radius of Perth, while most red-fleshed grapefruit and limes come from the Gascoyne and Ord River irrigation areasCitrus is one of Australia's largest horticultural exports, at 130,000 tonnes annuallyThe Government has helped WA citrus producers to identify market opportunities and provided support in meeting market access protocols Minister's office - 6552 5400
Brother Olly's a champion senior735935Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2860html1/10/2015 11:47:17 PM2015-10-01T22:45:00Z​Seniors and Volunteering Minister names 2015 Juniper Champion for Seniors A tireless charity worker, whose seven-day-a-week volunteering efforts have enriched lives across the globe, has been named as the 2015 Juniper Champion for Seniors at the WA Seniors Awards. Brother Olly Pickett, 74, has run the Wangara workshop 'Wheelchairs for Kids' since 1998, managing about 170 retirees who manufacture wheelchairs that are shipped to children in developing countries. Speaking at the Awards ceremony which has been supported by the State Government for 30 years, Seniors and Volunteering Minister Tony Simpson said Brother Olly was a genuine advocate for older people, giving hundreds of Perth seniors a sense of purpose. "Brother Olly's determination and zest for helping others is tangible," Mr Simpson said. "He ensures every senior who volunteers with him is made to feel they are making a difference for children with disability. He is an outstanding individual who has continuously contributed at an exceptional level to the Western Australian community. "Social isolation is a risk as people get older, but Brother Olly has instilled a sense of worth and commitment in the seniors working with him. I congratulate Brother Olly and all winners in this year's WA Seniors Awards." The other category winners areBrother Olly - 2015 Intergenerational AwardDonald Watson - Community Senior Volunteer Award for his dedication to volunteering projects, including the establishment of Cockburn Seniors CentreAssociate Professor Christopher Etherton-Beer - Seniors Advocate Award Associate Professor Etherton-Beer, honoured for his leadership in the advancement of the teaching of geriatric medicine and advocacy for seniors' health. The WA Seniors Awards celebrate outstanding older people in WA and the individuals and organisations which work with and for them. The awards also honour members of the media who promote positive images of ageing. Fact FileThe WA Seniors Awards are presented by the Council on the Ageing (WA) in partnership with the Department of Local Government and Communities and sponsored by Juniper, Lotterywest, Have a Go News, 6PR and Crown PerthFor a full list of winners, visit http// Seniors Week takes place from November 8-15, 2015. Almost 80 events will take place across WA thanks to State Government and Lotterywest grants of more than $80,000 to community organisations and local governmentsFor more information on Wheelchairs for Kids, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6600
New head of Challenger Institute appointed735930Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5400html2/10/2015 1:19:48 AM2015-10-01T08:30:00ZTerry Durant appointed as managing director for five-year term The State Government has appointed Ms Terry Durant as managing director of the Challenger Institute of Technology, which has 23,000 students at 10 sites. Welcoming her to the role, Acting Training and Workforce Development Minister John Day said Ms Durant had a wealth of experience in the training, tax and banking sectors. "Ms Durant has been acting in the managing director role at Challenger and I am pleased she can continue her good work in a permanent capacity," Mr Day said. Ms Durant began her career in the training sector at Swan TAFE - now known as Polytechnic West - and held senior positions at the Australian Taxation Office and the banking sector. Mr Day said Ms Durant would be at the helm of a distinguished organisation at Challenger. "Challenger Institute of Technology equips about 23,000 students a year with the best skills to get them a job in the industries driving our economy," he said. Mr Day said the institute had been recognised with multiple awards and had four major campuses across the wider metropolitan area. Fact FileChallenger Institute has 10 training delivery sites spanning a catchment area of 6,000sqkm, including four major campuses in Fremantle, Murdoch, Rockingham and MandurahChallenger Institute works with more than 400 community and business partnersChallenger provides commercial training and research services to nine countries Chile, East Timor, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and United Arab Emirates, and has a partnering agreements with training institutes in China Minister's office - 6552 5900
New Insurance Commission board appointments735927Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7630html1/10/2015 4:18:03 AM2015-10-01T04:00:00Z​Four new members appointed to the Insurance Commission board Gender balance achieved on the board and enhanced diversity of skills and experience Four new commissioners have been appointed to the board of the Insurance Commission of Western Australia, Treasurer Mike Nahan announced today. Mr Rob Bransby, Ms Yasmin Broughton, Ms Carol Dolan and Ms Andrea Hall take up their roles on October 19, 2015. The Insurance Commission provides motor vehicle injury insurance for 2.8 million vehicles and 1.7 million drivers, and provides self-insurance to the State Government. Dr Nahan said the new appointments brought extensive experience in the public and private sectors across the fields of insurance, actuarial analysis, finance and governance to the Insurance Commission. "Mr Bransby brings considerable experience in insurance and financial services as the current managing director of HBF in Western Australia and as the previous chief executive officer of a subsidiary bank of National Australia Bank," he said. "Ms Broughton is a qualified solicitor and barrister and the current general counsel and company secretary for Atlas Iron. Her expertise in those areas will be of great benefit. "Ms Dolan offers the Insurance Commission industry relevant experience as a senior consultant with PwC, where she provides actuarial analysis and advice to general insurance clients. "Ms Hall is a former partner of KPMG Australia and current board member of Lotterywest. Her background in audit, risk and governance for public and private institutions will be of benefit to the Insurance Commission. "These new appointments achieve gender balance on the board of the Insurance Commission, with an equal ratio of women and men." The board appointment terms for Frank Cooper AO and John Scott have been extended. Mr Cooper will continue as chairman and Mr Scott will take up the role of deputy chairman in addition to his current role as chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee. The Treasurer also expressed his appreciation to outgoing board members Ainslie van Onselen, Terry Agnew, Stephen Boyle and Dr Christopher Kendall. Fact FileFor further information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5700
Daily Surf Life Saving aerial patrols start today735924Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2230html1/10/2015 1:34:10 AM2015-10-01T01:30:00Z​Metropolitan helicopter patrols move to seven days a week from todayPart of State Government's $28 million beach safety and Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategy The State Government has welcomed the return of daily aerial patrols to the Perth metropolitan coastline for the 2015-16 season. The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter is now in the sky every day over the school holiday period, patrolling from Yanchep to Mandurah and Rottnest from its North Fremantle base at Rous Head. The South West Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter will also carry out daily patrols over the school holiday period. It will then move to weekend patrols until the end of November, when daily patrols run until February 1 next year. Premier Colin Barnett said last year's patrols along the metropolitan area and the South-West coast covered an incredible 93,000 kilometres and spotted 349 sharks. "Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA) has long played a crucial role in protecting people on Western Australian beaches and it is timely that the patrols move to seven days a week with so many children enjoying the warmer weather during these school holidays," Mr Barnett said. The helicopter is equipped to respond to emergency situations, including rescues, and can also provide support to other emergency services such as WA Police. The State Government provides $2.6 million a year to SLSWA for beach and aerial patrols. Today also sees the return of two State Government-funded life guard stations to Cottesloe Beach. The Premier said the stations provided lifesavers with the capacity to look out for sharks and swimmers in distress and other hazards such as rips and dumping swells. The return of daily beach patrols is a timely reminder that the Beachsafe app, launched 12 months ago, is an important source of information about the Western Australian coastline. The Beachsafe app and website provide details of 3,494 Western Australian beaches, including shark sighting information and hazards. Fact FileIn 2014-15, SLSWA's services combined to perform 1,229 lifesaving rescues, 5,717 first-aid treatments and 43,567 preventative actionsFor more information on SLSWA, visit http// For more information on the Beachsafe App, visit http// Premier's office - 6552 5000
$3m to combat family violence in the Kimberley735923Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2660html1/10/2015 1:22:04 AM2015-10-01T01:00:00Z​Strong focus on addressing family violence and abuse in Aboriginal communities$3 million committed over three years to support Kimberley families Child Protection Minister Helen Morton today launched the $3 million Safer Families, Safer Communities Kimberley Family Violence Regional Plan to protect some of the State's most vulnerable women and children. Launching the plan and the Kimberley Joint Response, Mrs Morton said the State Government was determined to address the appalling rates of domestic violence and abuse in Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley. "The Kimberley plan includes a combination of initiatives to strengthen current services and new strategies that are specific to Aboriginal people, families and communities," she said. "An integral part of the plan will be using Aboriginal law and culture and supporting elders to realign values and attitudes. "The rate of reported family violence in the Kimberley is up to eight times higher than any other location in the State. "The appalling overrepresentation of Aboriginal women and children as victims is unacceptable and the Kimberley plan and Kimberley Joint Response have been specifically developed to address this issue." The Minister said $3 million of additional funding had been committed over three years to deliver a range of strategies and services. "As part of the Kimberley Joint Response, additional police officers and child protection workers will work closely with Aboriginal families and communities to increase the safety and wellbeing of women and children," she said. The joint response model will proactively target systemic issues associated with the under-reporting of child sexual abuse in targeted remote communities and provide an ongoing localised response to child abuse in the Kimberley. Professional training courses and ongoing support will be provided on how to report child sexual abuse; a legal requirement of teachers, nurses, doctors, midwives and police officers. "We all have an important role to play to help keep families safe and improve outcomes for Aboriginal women and children, and by working together we can help build safer communities," Mrs Morton said. Fact FileIn 2012-13, the rate of reported family and domestic violence in the Kimberley was up to 8.8 times higher than any other region in WAFamily and domestic violence is one of the key drivers for children coming into care About 52% of children in care are AboriginalOver a five-year period from 2008 to 2013, the rate of reported family and domestic violence incidents in the Kimberley increased by about 79%, which is significantly greater than the overall State-wide increase of 42.8%Aboriginal women are three times more likely to be physically assaulted by an intimate partner or family member and five times more likely to be sexually assaultedFor more information visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6900
Resource rating policy to continue735922Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6850html1/10/2015 12:00:09 AM2015-09-30T22:15:00Z​Permanent policy adopted for rating of resource-related landFollows three-year policy trial and agreement from stakeholder groups A successful State Government trial of an agreed State-wide policy for local government rating of land affected by mining, petroleum and resource interests will now become permanent. Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett and Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said the review of the three-year trial had proved the policy ensured fairness and certainty for both local governments and resource companies. Mr Simpson said local governments would continue to be able to apply gross rental value (GRV) to improvements such as administration, recreation and accommodation facilities, and maintenance workshops within 100 metres of these facilities, on all land within tenements under the State's mining and petroleum laws. The policy, which was developed and reviewed in conjunction with the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia, WA Local Government Association, and the Association for Mining and Exploration Companies, was initiated in 2012. "All three stakeholder groups were closely consulted again during the review and have agreed to support the amended, ongoing policy," Mr Barnett said. Key changes following the review process includeagreement that the policy will apply to State Agreement projects either through mutual agreement between proponents, local government and the Minister for State Development, or through variation of State Agreementsa new clause which requires the policy to be considered in conjunction with other policies and guidelines about rating, rateable land and valuation of land. The policy also applies to improvements on land that is not within a tenement, but is primarily used for resource-related activities such as processing or refining. "Over the past three years, this review has assisted local governments in accessing a more stable and predictable source of rating income, and the permanent adoption of this policy will allow that to continue," Mr Simpson said. Fact FileThe trial policy ran from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015 and was then extended to September 30, 2015 in order to allow time for further consultation with interested partiesThe GRV policy was originally developed in 2011 in recognition of the changing nature of mining in regional WA, with the phasing out of 'company towns' meaning local governments assumed greater responsibility for the provision of servicesFor more information, visit http// Premier's office - 6552 5000 Local Government Minister's office - 6552 6600
Clear your head outdoors this October735920Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4240html30/09/2015 11:52:46 PM2015-09-30T22:00:00Z​Busy calendar of events launched for Outdoors October Month-long celebration encouraging people to 'go on, get outside'State Government contributes $100,000 to the initiative Heading outdoors and getting active this October will not only be good for your physical health, but it could also have important benefits for your mental health. That's the message from Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies, who today launched a busy calendar of events for the start of Outdoors October. "Getting active during Outdoors October is easy - we have an abundance of trails in Western Australia for walking, mountain biking, horse riding and even snorkelling," Ms Davies said. "Nothing clears the head and calms the mind more than going to the beach, jumping in a canoe, flying a kite or camping in a national park." The Minister said heading outdoors with family, friends or a like-minded group offered added benefits such as helping people feel connected to nature and to a community. "The value of being connected to nature cannot be understated," she said. "Not only is getting outdoors good for your fitness, but it's also great for your mental health." Outdoors October is an initiative between Outdoors WA and the State Government, through the Department of Sport and Recreation, and encourages active recreation in nature. Outdoor and active recreation groups across the State are planning activities to encourage others to get outside. Ms Davies said the Government was pleased to contribute $100,000 towards the initiative. "One of the highlights is the Great Aussie Camp Out (GACO) on October 10, which encourages people to spend the night camping under the stars - whether it's on a riverbank, in a national park, local campsite or even in the backyard," she said. The Department of Sport and Recreation is one of the co-hosts of the annual WA Trails and Outdoor Conference on October 9. Speakers this year include English outdoor expert Martin Chester and Tasmania's Dr Anita Pryor, an authority on bush therapy. Fact FileFor Outdoors October activities, visit http// For information and to book a ticket to the WA State Trails and Outdoor Conference For GACO information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5500
Mounts Bay Road traffic works complete735919Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3800html30/09/2015 11:46:08 PM2015-09-30T21:00:00Z​Two recently completed projects will alleviate congestion and improve travel times for motorists and public transport users$3 million project for a new bus-only lane near UWA$800,000 project to extend a merging lane near the Point Lewis roundabout Two road projects are set to improve traffic flow along Mounts Bay Road, a crucial link between the city and Perth's western suburbs. Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the $3 million project to create a west-bound, bus-only lane along Mounts Bay Road from Hackett Drive to Broadway near The University of Western Australia had now been completed. "This new bus-only lane will help Transperth buses bypass traffic queues and provide a more reliable service to Transperth passengers," Mr Nalder said. The State Government had also recently completed an $800,000 project to extend a westbound merging lane near the Point Lewis roundabout, near the Narrows Bridge. "The extension gives motorists more time to merge safely and will, I hope, reduce the number of accidents in the area," the Minister said. "This is a good example of how the Government is investing in smart transport solutions that deliver tangible benefits to both motorists and public transport users. "I have been saying for a long time now that we need to look at clever solutions to managing traffic in our city - both of these projects improve road safety and efficiency." The improvements would benefit passengers on the 950 Superbus, Perth's busiest and most frequent bus route. Mr Nalder said the Mounts Bay Road project built on the success of the Beaufort Street bus lanes and other bus lanes throughout the metropolitan area. "The peak-hour bus lanes have already cut three to four minutes from journey times between Morley and Perth," he said. Fact FileThe Mounts Bay Road bus lane will be a 24 hour, 7 day a week bus-only laneGeneral traffic is allowed to enter the lane for up to 100 metres before turning or merging Minister's office - 6552 6400
Aged care facility a step closer in Ballajura735895Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements650html30/09/2015 8:34:15 AM2015-09-30T08:30:00Z​Proposed land rezoning to enable development of aged care facilityState and local government project through the Water Corporation and City of Swan Plans to develop an aged care facility in Ballajura can now progress thanks to the proposed rezoning of land next to the local groundwater treatment plant. Water Minister Mia Davies said the State Government, through the Water Corporation, and the City of Swan had worked together over a number of years to achieve the outcome. "There is limited land available for development in Ballajura and the area is in need of an aged care facility," Ms Davies said. "The local government identified a suitable location for a development yet it was located within the groundwater treatment plant's chlorine buffer zone and therefore not feasible. In order to make the land suitable for development, the chlorine facility at the treatment plant needed to be moved. "Following a number of negotiations, the city and the corporation have committed funds to relocate the chlorine facility to the western side of the groundwater treatment plant site. This will move the buffer zone and release the land for development of the aged care facility." The Minister said the relocation would begin next month and was expected to be completed in January 2017. "I am pleased this agreement has been reached and the city's plans for an aged care facility at the proposed site is one step closer," she said. Minister's office - 6552 5500
Firefighters return from tough US deployment735894Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2320html30/09/2015 5:08:29 AM2015-09-30T05:00:00Z​Contingent included experts in forest fire management, fire behaviour and aerial firefighting Nine Western Australian firefighters returned home today after five weeks helping crews battle bushfires burning across the north-west of the United States. The contingent fulfilled specialist field-based and leadership roles, including taskforce leaders, divisional supervisors, airbase managers, safety officers and strike force leaders. Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Department of Parks and Wildlife firefighters did a commendable job helping with the enormous task of battling the raging fires across California, Oregon and Washington State. "The enhanced skills and knowledge the firefighters have gained from their deployment to the US will prove invaluable as we head into what is expected to be a tough bushfire season here," Mr Francis said. Environment Minister Albert Jacob said Western Australian firefighters had a wealth of experience in fire management and suppression and had made a significant contribution. "I am extremely proud of the role firefighters played in helping American crews tackle bushfires sweeping the country," Mr Jacob said. The bushfires in the US have burnt 3.5 million hectares nationwide, and in the north-west region more than 3,700 fires have burnt more than 400,000ha this year. After a well-earned rest, the firefighters will begin preparations for the Western Australian bushfire season. The community is reminded to prepare themselves, their families and their homes for bushfires. For information on how to prepare for a bushfire, visit http// Fact FileFour Department of Parks and Wildlife and five Department of Fire and Emergency Services firefighters were part of a 72-strong contingent from Australia and New ZealandIn July, 12 officers assisted Canadian fire crews to battle dozens of bushfires threatening communities across western Canada Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6500 Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Upgraded campsites offer sky full of stars735892Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6720html30/09/2015 4:11:41 AM2015-09-30T03:55:00Z​$1 million to improve caravan and camping infrastructure in WA's southPart of the State Government's $40.7 million Western Australian Caravan and Camping Action Plan 2013-2018 and Parks for People Visitors to Western Australia's south coast can look forward to new and upgraded amenities at popular camping grounds over coming months, as part of the State Government's $40.7 million Western Australian Caravan and Camping Action Plan 2013-2018 and Parks for People initiative. Made possible by the Government's Royalties for Regions program, the $1 million investment will fund upgrades to nature-based campgrounds in the City of Albany and the shires of Denmark, Esperance, Jerramungup, Plantagenet and Ravensthorpe. Tourism Minister Kim Hames said the growing popularity of camping and caravan holidays was a sign that more people wanted to experience WA's stunning outdoors. "In 2014, the State attracted more than 1.27 million caravan and camping visitors who spent more than $860 million, mostly in regional WA," Dr Hames said. "Investing in new and upgraded facilities will ensure visitors have access to better amenities. That means people can enjoy their break and we can better manage the impacts of increased visitation on the environment. "This project has required a collaborative approach between the Government and the six local government authorities involved but all parties understand the importance of providing cost-effective, high-quality facilities." The camping grounds are earmarked for improvements such as toilets and waste management facilities, layout, access tracks, landscaping and signage. Work at the sites is expected to be completed by the end of the 2015-16 financial year. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said he was pleased to see Royalties for Regions investing in essential infrastructure for caravan and camping visitors. "Caravans and campers are an absolutely vital component of regional tourism and make a huge contribution to the regional economy," Mr Redman said. "These upgraded facilities will help to give visitors a better experience and encourage more people to get out and explore the wonders of regional WA." Fact FileIn 2014, more than 1.27 million caravan and camping visitors stayed 6.8 million nights in WA and spent an estimated $868 million. Almost 90% of the visitor spend was in the regionsFor more information, visit http// For more information on Royalties for Regions projects visit Bigger Picture - Regions Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5300 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Electricity reform gains momentum735890Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements23880html30/09/2015 2:53:49 AM2015-09-30T02:45:00Z​Operational and market functions in the WA electricity industry to be transferred to the Australian Energy Market OperatorReform is focused on reducing the high prices for electricity in WA Energy Minister Mike Nahan today announced the transfer of the system management and operation of the wholesale electricity market in the South-West of Western Australia to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). AEMO will be responsible for the administration of the Gas Bulletin Board and Gas Statement of Opportunities. It will also assume the function of the retail market operator when the State Government introduces competition in electricity services for small businesses and households within the next few years. To date these functions have been undertaken by Western Power and the Independent Market Operator (IMO). "It no longer makes sense to have these functions spread across separate entities. An integrated approach will bring financial and operational efficiencies to our energy sector over the coming years," Dr Nahan said. The Minister said the transfer was part of the Liberal National Government's efforts to drive efficiencies in the energy sector and limit future electricity price increases for households and businesses, and marked an important milestone in the Government's electricity reform program. "The appointment of a single system and market operator will establish a strong foundation for the delivery of the remainder of the Government's electricity reform program and the development of a more efficient energy sector in the State," Dr Nahan said. WA will maintain its own wholesale electricity market arrangements, rather than adopting the arrangements of the National Electricity Market, which operates in the Eastern States. The IMO will temporarily maintain the function of administering and determining changes to the regulatory framework governing the operation of the State's wholesale electricity market. This function will be transferred to a Western Australian government entity, which is yet to be determined. Dr Nahan said he was pleased with AEMO's commitment to having a physical presence in WA and maintaining both a corporate office and an electricity system control room in the State. "I would like to thank the IMO board and chief executive officer, Allan Dawson, for his seven years of service and contribution to the energy sector in WA," he said. Fact FileElectricity system management is the real-time operation of the electricity power system, matching the output of power stations to electricity demandElectricity market operations involve ensuring there is sufficient power station capacity in the power system, providing a platform for wholesale trade, facilitating the transfer of customers between retailers and ensuring usage is correctly metered and accounted forAEMO was formed in 2009 to operate gas and electricity systems and markets. It is majority owned by the Australian, State and Territory governments with energy industry participants also having an ownership interestFor information on the Electricity Market Review, visit https// Minister's office - 6552 5700
New hospitality riches from treasury of heritage735889Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5020html30/09/2015 2:27:52 AM2015-09-30T02:10:00Z​Blessing of State buildings salutes historic WA landmarkTreasury Hotel Perth's latest visitor destination Today's blessing of the State buildings - formerly the Old Treasury Buildings - heralds a new era for the historic precinct where the Swan River Colony was founded, and paves the way for the imminent opening of Perth's latest hospitality destination. Noongar elder Dr Richard Walley OAM joined Anglican Bishop of Perth The Most Reverend Roger Herft AM and The Dean of Perth The Very Reverend Richard Pengelley to bless the 140-year-old buildings in the Aboriginal and Christian traditions. Finance Minister Bill Marmion, Heritage Minister Albert Jacob and Tourism Minister Kim Hames paid tribute to the vision that has seen the Old Treasury Buildings transformed into the 48-room COMO The Treasury hotel, as part of the $700 million Cathedral Square redevelopment. "I am proud to have been personally involved, as the Liberal National Government laid the groundwork for the stunning transformation of these buildings and isurroundings, after this area had stagnated for decades," Mr Marmion said. "The rejuvenation has also been great for the economy, with more than 1,500 people employed on the overall Cathedral Square project." Mr Jacob said it was important for present and future generations to appreciate its significance. "What we have now here is living heritage," he said. "This was the place where Helen Dance chopped the first tree, as Governor James Stirling founded the Swan River Colony in 1829. "More than a century ago, the Old Treasury Buildings was home to the Premier's office. It was also the State's central post office, the yardstick to measure distances to regional Western Australian towns." Dr Hames said the Treasury project was a sign of Perth maturing and embracing heritage and innovation to maximise the tourism and hospitality potential. "This precinct is destined to become a vibrant social and cultural centre that provides something uniquely Perth and further broadens our national and international visitor appeal," he said. "This project complements strategies like the Taste 2020 Food and Wine Strategy launched last week, and our goal to increase accommodation choices for business and leisure visitors." Fact FileCOMO The Treasury hotel has 48 rooms, two restaurants, a bar, lounge and libraryCathedral Square partners are the State Government, City of Perth, Anglican Diocese of Perth, Public Trustee, Mirvac Group and FJM PropertyFor more information, visit http// Finance Minister's office - 6552 6800 Heritage Minister's office - 6552 5800 Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5300