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Mock plane crash to test skills at Langley Park117364Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml28/11/2015 2:00:13 AM2015-11-28T02:00:00Z​Plane crash response part of fifth annual emergency competitionPublic invited to learn first aid skills$168,000 already raised for trauma charities Saving people from a flaming replica of a passenger jet will be one of the real-life scenarios confronting some of Western Australia's top rescue teams in the fifth annual Mining Emergency Response Competition (MERC) this weekend. Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion encouraged the people of Perth to converge on Langley Park to see the highly trained teams in action. "The importance of the skills showcased in this competition has been highlighted by this week's mining industry tragedy," Mr Marmion said. "Holding the event in Perth allows FIFO workers, mining families and the local community to see mines emergency response in action. "There will also be a series of skills and training sessions available to the general public including wound dressing, CPR and road crash rescue." The fifth annual competition will see nine teams compete in seven events including first aid, firefighting and vertical, road crash, confined space and hazardous material rescue. The Minister said the Department of Mines and Petroleum was sponsoring the Emergency Response Team Readiness event and would provide adjudication and administrative support, as well as coverage of the event in the next edition of the Resources Safety Matters magazine. This year's competition will see the inaugural memorial trophy for the Emergency Teams Safety Award, named in honour of a Goldfields mine worker who lost his life in 2013. A delegation from Laos will also be observing the MERC, as they work towards improving safety and reducing fatalities in their nation's mining industry. "WA's expertise in this area is in international demand," Mr Marmion said. "Events like these are critical in assessing emergency response and, while this is a hard-fought team competition, the overall winner will be mine safety." Fact FileThe MERC is a non-profit organisation promoting mine rescue excellenceTeams from Aditya Birla Minerals, Fortescue Metals Group, Newcrest Mining Limited, Newmont Asia Pacific, Rio Tinto Iron Ore, Argyle Diamonds, Synergy and Western Areas will competeEight charities and support organisation including Camp Quality, Cancer Council Australia, Miners' Promise, Starlight Children's Foundation, Royal Flying Doctor Service, beyondblue, Ronald McDonald House and St John Ambulance Kununurra Sub Centre will benefit from MERC fundraising in 2015The MERC is a public event, attracting thousands of spectatorsFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6800
WA Young Person of the Year announced117362Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml27/11/2015 11:18:15 PM2015-11-27T23:00:00Z​Youth Minister presents 2015 WA Youth Awards An Aboriginal man who overcame a disadvantaged childhood to become a mentor and human rights advocate has been named 2015 WA Young Person of the Year. Preston Colbung, a Curtin University student, is a case worker with young repeat offenders in Armadale. Speaking at the awards ceremony in Perth last night, Youth Minister Tony Simpson said Preston had faced challenges including homelessness, mental health issues and family problems. "Preston has proven a bad start doesn't need to continue into adulthood. He is now a young leader and a fantastic role model for all young people in Western Australia," Mr Simpson said. "I commend Preston for his tremendous hard work and passion for helping others. He is a young man making a real difference in his community." The Minister said Preston was one of five category winners, all of whom were outstanding and inspiring people doing great things in their community. "The WA Youth Awards showcase many great young West Australians. They show many young people in our community have maturity beyond their years and are making a significant and positive contribution to the lives of others," he said. "When you look at the finalists and winners of the different categories of the WA Youth Awards and what they have achieved, as well as the great things being done by many other young people throughout the State, West Australians can have great confidence in our future." Preston, also winner of the ECU Community Leadership Award, is WA's Aboriginal representative for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and has worked with Amnesty International Australia. Fact FileThe awards are presented by the Youth Affairs Council of WA, in partnership with the Department of Local Government and Communities, and supported by LotterywestFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6600   Other WA Youth Awards winners are Cultural Endeavours Award Zal Kanga-Parabia. Zal volunteers his time as an artist to support local projects and other young artistsCommissioner for Children and Young People Participate Award Emily Hardbottle. A young carer and founder of a local basketball program for young people with physical disabilityActive Participation Award Jay McLean. A Year 12 student from Kiara College, Jay is a young Aboriginal leader dedicated to reconciliationMinister for Youth's Most Outstanding Youth Worker Award Lorraine Drew, a youth worker at Rise Network with Outreach Support ServicesOrganisational Achievement Award Dismantle Inc, West Leederville. Delivers bike-based programs for at-risk young people.
Wheatbelt contractors to deliver water upgrades117356Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html27/11/2015 6:38:57 AM2015-11-27T06:30:00Z​Local businesses awarded contracts for Water Corporation farmlands pipe replacement projects in WheatbeltFour kilometres of pipe replaced as part of $32 million improvement program Water Minister Mia Davies today announced the start of work on four pipe replacement projects in the Wheatbelt, with the majority of these to be delivered by local contractors. Ms Davies said the pipe replacement projects were the first stage of the State Government's three-year $32 million farmlands project, to improve the performance of the farmlands water supply system in the Wheatbelt. "I am very encouraged this work will maximise the investment in the region by employing mainly local contractors," she said. The Minister said the Water Corporation worked with the Wheatbelt Business Network, Northam Chamber of Commerce, Directions and Supply Nation to maximise opportunities for local businesses. Ms Davies said a pipeline replacement in the Shire of Northam would be carried out by Underground Services Australia in a joint venture with AACT, a 100 per cent Aboriginal-owned and operated company. Merredin contractor Rob Lazenby was awarded the pipe replacements in the shires of Dalwallinu and Kellerberrin and Northam's Blackwell Plumbing was awarded the fourth project in the Shire of Trayning. The Minister said further invitations to tender would be advertised by the Water Corporation in December, with more projects to come in 2016 to complete the first year of the farmlands program. "This is a great opportunity for Wheatbelt contractors to continue to bid on the upcoming projects to improve the farmlands water supply system," she said. Fact FileCommunities in the agricultural east and west districts of the Wheatbelt are served by more than 7,800 kilometres of farmlands water supply pipelinesWater Corporation is investing $32 million over the next three years to significantly improve the performance of the farmlands water networkFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5500
Community groups support road safety117355Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html27/11/2015 6:07:19 AM2015-11-27T06:00:00Z More than $15,000 for community road safety projects and events The State Government has allocated a further $15,000 to community groups as part of the latest round of the Road Safety Community Grants Program. Road Safety Minister Liza Harvey said 13 organisations were awarded grants to help fund events and projects which included road safety elements. "The road safety initiatives from each organisation has a focus on the Safe System approach aligning with Western Australia's road safety strategy Towards Zero," Mrs Harvey said. "These projects and events foster widespread community support and participation in road safety throughout our State to help reduce the burden of road trauma in our communities." The latest successful projects were Brookton Old Time Motor Show - $1,300 Muchea Youth Festival - $1,300 York's Community Spirit Picnic in the Park - $1,300 City of Nedlands' Summer Concerts in the Park series - $1,000 2015 Broome Sports Awards - $500 Mount Barker's Healthy Eating and Budgeting for everybody - $1,300 Northampton's Australia Day Breakfast 2016 - $400 Shire of Chittering's Wear Ya Wellies - $1,300 Kununurra's Teddy Bears Picnic - $420 Road to Bethlehem - $1,000 Toodyay Christmas Street Party - $1,000 Wheatbelt Touring Circuit Program - November Tour - $1,000 Northam Christmas campaign bumper sticker - $3,220 The Minister said total funding of $360,000 had been allocated to the Road Safety Community Grants Program for this financial year from the Road Trauma Trust Account. Fact FileTo apply for grants, visit http// rate of fatalities in WA has dropped 23% since 2008 Minister's office - 6552 5900
Strengthening WA’s response to family violence117353Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html27/11/2015 3:17:33 AM2015-11-27T03:00:00Z​25th Annual Silent Domestic Violence Memorial March2nd edition of the Family and Domestic Violence Common Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework to strengthen government and non-government collaboration Responses to family and domestic violence in Western Australia will be more vigorous following the launch of a revised risk assessment and management framework at the 25th Annual Silent and Domestic Violence Memorial March today. Child Protection Minister Helen Morton said a key feature of the second edition of the Family and Domestic Violence Common Risk Assessment and Risk Management Framework was how agencies engaged and responded to perpetrators. "This framework has been developed for use by government and community service providers to promote a more consistent and collaborative approach to family and domestic violence," Mrs Morton said. "The new framework has a greater focus on information sharing, the referral process, new risk assessment tools and stronger practice guidance. "It identifies how to recognise emotional, physical, social, sexual, financial and spiritual violence, and when women and children are at extreme risk and require safe and supported accommodation. "It clearly sets out how agencies can work together to reduce and manage unacceptable risk to women and children from perpetrators of violence." The new framework is one of 20 actions from the State Government's recently launched Freedom from Fear Action Plan. The 2015 Annual Silent and Domestic Violence Memorial commemorates the 14 people who have died in WA in the past year as a result of domestic violence. "It is critical we all have a shared understanding of the risks perpetrators pose and that we take an active stand to stop these preventable deaths," the Minister said. Fact FileThe first edition of the risk management framework, which sets the minimum standards for screening and assessing clients for family and domestic violence, was implemented in 2011The 2nd edition of the common risk assessment framework and further advice is available at http// last year's event, nine women, two men and three babies lost their lives to domestic homicide with more than 70% of domestic homicide perpetrated by an intimate male partner or family memberThe silent memorial march is organised by the Women's Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services with support from the Department for Child Protection and Family SupportWomen's Domestic Violence Helpline 1800 007 339Men's Domestic Violence Helpline 1800 000 599 Minister's office - 6552 6900
Legislation passed to finalise Bell Group case117349Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html27/11/2015 2:45:32 AM2015-11-27T02:40:00Z​Legislation helps bring long-running Bell Group Companies liquidation to an end Treasurer Mike Nahan has welcomed the passage of legislation through State Parliament to help finalise the long-running Bell Group Companies liquidation. Dr Nahan said the Bell Group Companies (Finalisation of Matters and Distribution of Proceeds) Act 2015 aims to wind up companies that went into liquidation decades ago. The Bell Group Companies collapsed in the early 1990s, leaving creditors to recover money from 20 Australian and international banks. After almost 20 years of litigation, principally financed by the Insurance Commission of Western Australia, settlement between the liquidators of Bell companies and banks was reached in June 2013 and finalised in June 2014 for a sum of $1.7 billion. The legislation aims to avoid further protracted litigation between the remaining creditors of the Bell Group to carve up the $1.7 billion. "The State Government welcomes the passage of legislation to stop the decades-long consumption of public resources through associated court actions, and to conclude these matters for the benefit of creditors," Dr Nahan said. The Act transfers property of the Bell companies to an authority established under the Act. The authority will receive claims from creditors, assess claims and recommend how much should be paid to creditors. "I look forward to the creditors receiving funds a lot earlier than would otherwise have been the case," the Treasurer said. Dr Nahan said Michael Stiassny, currently a partner at KordaMentha in New Zealand, had been appointed as the Administrator of the WA Bell Companies to run the WA Bell Companies Administrator Authority. "Mr Stiassny's strong background in dealing with companies in insolvency and his dual qualifications in accounting and law make him an eminently suitable choice for this position," he said. Fact FileThe Bell Group Companies (Finalisation of Matters and Distribution of Proceeds) Act 2015 transfers the property of the WA Bell Companies to an authority that will assess creditor claims and recommend the distribution of funds to creditors Minister's office - 6552 5700 Michael Stiassny's biography Senior partner at KordaMentha in New Zealand, Michael Stiassny, has more than 30 years' professional experience in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Mr Stiassny has extensive connections throughout the New Zealand business community and has worked with all major banks and financial institutions. As a result, he has been engaged on many high-profile and complex restructuring assignments. Throughout his career, Mr Stiassny has provided advice to both public and private companies on a wide range of financial and operational matters, including due diligence, investigating accounting work, mergers and acquisitions, organisational and financial restructuring, and business valuation. He also has considerable experience in dispute resolution, acting as a professional expert witness in many legal actions. Mr Stiassny has a distinguished governance record in both private and public companies and is a leading proponent for improving diversity on New Zealand boards. He is currently chairman of Vector Ltd, TOWER Ltd and Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa Ltd; and director of NZ Windfarms Ltd and DNZ Property Trust Ltd.
Joint media statement - Beams lift for new bridge over Malaga Drive117348Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html27/11/2015 2:33:00 AM2015-11-27T02:15:00Z ​ Bridge beams for the new Reid Highway Bridge over Malaga Drive will be installed this weekend, heralding a major milestone in a month in this joint Federal/State funded project. The Australian Government is contributing $67.2 million to this project. It is one of nine projects, receiving a total of $499.1 million in Australian Government funding, under the National Partnership on Infrastructure Projects in Western Australia. Federal Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher said eight concrete bridge beams would be lifted into place over the weekend in one of the largest operations of its kind in Perth, forming the major works on the Reid Highway-Malaga Drive interchange. "Once completed the new bridge will provide two lanes in each direction, resulting in immediate safety and efficiency gains, along with greater capacity as traffic increases in the future," Mr Fletcher said. "Nearly 75,000 vehicles pass through the Reid Highway, Malaga Drive intersection on a typical weekday and current forecasts show traffic volumes increasing to approximately 110,000 vehicles each day by 2031. "To provide enough long-term capacity on Reid Highway and to save costs on future expansions, the bridges are being built to cater for three lanes in each direction in the future and a double right-turn facility has been included for heavy westbound-northbound traffic movement." Western Australian Minister for Transport Dean Nalder said the bridge beams are larger than the ones installed in early November at the Reid Highway-Mitchell Freeway intersection. "The beams each weigh 175 tonnes and are 46.8 metres long. They will be lifted into place this weekend by the same 600 tonne crawler crane that is set up on Malaga Drive," Mr Nalder said. "Setting up this crane alone requires 31 semi-trailers to transport the components, and three oversize haulage vehicles. "This bridge is critically important to the road network in the eastern suburbs as it will eliminate a road black spot at the Malaga Drive intersection." Malaga Drive will be closed in both directions near Reid Highway all weekend to allow construction of the new bridge. Malaga Drive closes from 9pm Friday, November 27 to 5am Monday, November 30. Reid Highway will be closed near Malaga Drive for west-bound traffic only on Friday, November 27 from 11pm to 7am and Saturday, November 28 from 10pm to midnight. Motorists are encouraged to visit the Main Roads website for further details and to help plan their journey. Transport Minister's office - 6552 6400
Mining research will drive WA innovation117347Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html27/11/2015 2:07:31 AM2015-11-27T02:00:00Z​Continuing focus on world-leading resources researchRenewed emphasis on commercialisation and business development Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the appointment of three new members to the board of the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) will help drive exciting scientific discoveries and the development of new resource businesses. "An important mandate for this institute is to enable research and its commercialisation," Mr Marmion said. "The new appointments will build on the great work already under way, linking MRIWA even more closely with the resources, innovation and finance sectors." The Minister has appointed Larry Lopez, Emeritus Professor Mark Bush and Denise Goldsworthy to join the board. A former Silicon Valley Bank executive responsible for investment in early stage start-up companies, Mr Lopez has broad experience in commercialising intellectual property. Professor Bush is a respected senior researcher with long service at The University of Western Australia, Engineers Australia and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. Ms Goldsworthy brings immense corporate know-how to the board, from her experience on the development of autonomous haul trucks in the Pilbara, to her current business focus on change management and challenging the status quo. Mr Marmion thanked retiring board members Stedman Ellis, Phil Lockyer and James McClements for their dedication and service to resources industry research. The new appointments will join Michelle Andrews, Helen Cook and Dr Andrew Shook on the board, effective from February 1, 2016. Dr Peter Lilly, who has spent 40 years in academic, mining, technology and industrial research organisations, has been re-appointed board chairman. MRIWA is a statutory WA Government body tasked to stimulate minerals research supporting investment in, and the operation of, a globally competitive minerals industry. "I am confident this board renewal will help ensure MRIWA-sponsored projects further multiply research benefits for the WA economy and job creation," the Minister said. Fact FileMRIWA has a $12 million budget, including almost $1.1 million in scholarship fundingResearch includes mapping of deep mineralisation, and ore processing innovationBoard members voluntarily donate their sitting fees to free up more funds for researchFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6800
200th captive-bred numbat released to the wild117344Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html27/11/2015 12:13:37 AM2015-11-27T00:00:00ZBreeding success at Perth Zoo for endangered mammalNumbats will be released to Dryandra Woodland near Narrogin Fifteen numbats born at Perth Zoo have been fitted with radio collars in preparation for their release into the wild as part of State Government efforts to arrest the decline of this endangered species. Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the release of the 10 juveniles and five adults meant that more than 200 numbats bred at Perth Zoo had been released into the wild as part of a collaboration between Perth Zoo and the Department of Parks and Wildlife. "The captive-bred animals will be released into the Dryandra Woodland near Narrogin, which is home to one of the last original wild numbat populations," Mr Jacob said. "With wild numbers estimated to be as low as 1,000, the animals being released will help maintain genetic diversity and boost the Dryandra population." Conservation of numbats at Dryandra is also supported by extensive baiting for foxes and feral cats under the State Government's successful wildlife recovery program Western Shield, operated by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. The State Government is implementing feral cat baiting using the newly approved Eradicat® bait. Thanks to the conservation breeding and reintroduction programs, four more populations of these unique animals have been re-established in the wild at Boyagin Nature Reserve and Batalling State Forest in Western Australia, and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy's fenced and baited sanctuaries at Yookamurra in South Australia and Scotia in New South Wales. The small radio collars, funded by the community group Project Numbat, enable Parks and Wildlife scientists to follow the numbats' progress. They can monitor female numbats after the breeding season to determine if they have reproduced. Fact FileThe numbat is Western Australia's animal emblemIt is believed as few as 1,000 numbats remain in the wildPerth Zoo has the world's only breeding program for numbatsFor more information about Project Numbat, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5800
Release of Skuthorpe horticultural precinct117343Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements30html27/11/2015 12:01:57 AM2015-11-26T22:30:00Z680ha parcel of land offers horticultural and agricultural opportunitiesBuilds on State Government's Seizing the Opportunity in Agriculture initiative Lands Minister Terry Redman today announced the release of a 680 hectare parcel of land in Broome for potential horticultural and agricultural opportunities. Mr Redman has released the Skuthorpe Horticulture Area, about 23 kilometres east of Broome, to an expression of interest process and said the land was in response to the community's interest in the area. It builds on the State Government's unprecedented investment in the agricultural sector under the $300 million Seizing the Opportunity in Agriculture initiative, made possible by Royalties for Regions, which aims to strengthen regional communities where agriculture is a major economic activity. "The release of the remaining land in the Skuthorpe Horticulture Area responds to the ongoing interest for land for horticulture and provides an opportunity to expand the local horticulture industry," Mr Redman said. "Increasing the agriculture opportunities in Broome creates more business and in turn more jobs for the Kimberley region." Water Minister Mia Davies said the Skuthorpe Horticulture Area would provide a significant opportunity to develop irrigated agriculture in the region and bolster Broome's economic base. "Initial investigations carried out through the Water for Food program, indicate there is sufficient groundwater available in the Skuthorpe area to support a significant expansion of existing horticultural activity and I'm looking forward to seeing what proposals are presented through the expressions of interest process," Ms Davies said. Native title has been addressed for Skuthorpe, and a cultural corridor has been preserved as part of the subdivision design. Further consultation with Yawuru people will occur as part of development requirements. Fact FileThe Seizing the Opportunity in Agriculture initiative and Water for Food program are a commitment by the State Government to develop opportunities to increase and diversify productivity in agriculture through water and land availability, encouraging investment and responding to new market opportunitiesThe Skuthorpe land is situated on Broome Road and is described as lots 501-509, 511 and 512 on Deposited Plan 56733 and Lot 454 on Deposited Plan 40702Anyone interested in this land can register by emailing Expressions of interest will open in coming weeks Lands Minister's office - 6552 6700 Water Minister's office - 6552 5500
New board for Perth Market Authority117341Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements190html26/11/2015 11:48:08 PM2015-11-26T22:00:00ZInterim board to oversee running of markets until sale is completeMarket City trades more than 200,000 tonnes of fresh produce valued at more than $500 million each year A new seven-member board has been appointed to the Perth Market Authority at a time when Market City in Canning Vale transitions to new owners in early 2016. They areChairman Brian Easton, who also chairs the Perth Zoo board and the Conservation Commission of Western AustraliaPeter Cooper, Royal Agricultural Society CEO and former Perth Markets CEOBasil Lenzo, Potato Marketing Corporation board memberChris Wilkins, member of several grain growing industry groupsJulian Krieg, chair of Rural Financial Counselling Service WARob Delane, director general, Department of Agriculture and FoodBruno Mezzatesta, executive director, Department of Fisheries. Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston thank the new board members them for taking on the oversight of Western Australia's central fruit and vegetable trading hub for a one-year term until November 2016. Mr Baston also thanked the outgoing chair David Thomas and board for their valuable contribution. "Each board member brought considerable knowledge and expertise to deliver an efficient wholesale market and support our fruit and vegetable industry," he said. "I sincerely thank them for their dedication and professionalism, which will provide a solid foundation for the new owners to take the markets forward into the future." Tenants at the markets include 24 primary wholesalers and more than 80 secondary wholesalers, providores, distributors and food processing facilities, plus a seafood auction, tavern, service station, waste transfer station, a meat processing facility, transport and storage companies, food precincts and public markets. Fact FileThe board members will serve until November 28, 2016The outgoing board members are David Thomas (chairman), Grant Etherington, Diane Fry, Basil Gotsis, Glenn Mews, the late Michael O'Neill and Ermie RobinsonFor more information, visit http// The Perth Market Authority is a State Government agency and is governed by the Perth Market Act 1926 and the Perth Market By-laws 1990 Minister's office - 6552 5400
Carnival encourages a connected community778270Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2270html26/11/2015 7:58:55 AM2015-11-26T07:45:00Z​Sports carnival encourages young people to get sportyCommunicare delivers Active Schools Project to connect youth with their local sporting community Western Australia's culturally diverse community will kick goals today when Islamic and non-Islamic youth come together to play sport at an interschool carnival. Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said almost 200 high school students from the Australian Islamic Colleges in Thornlie and Kewdale and the Cannington Community College will compete in the Communicare Get Active Interschool Carnival 2015. The students will play cricket, AFL, basketball, volleyball and football at Coker Park in Cannington. "Sport and active recreation clubs play a vital role in cultural inclusion and increasing the feeling of connectedness between young people, their families and the local community," Ms Davies said. "Communicare received an $85,000 grant from the State Government to co-ordinate the carnival as part of their Active Schools Project, which targets schools in the south-east metropolitan corridor, initially in the Islamic colleges in Kewdale and Thornlie. "The project is using sport to deliver a range of activities to develop personal wellbeing, healthy living and social skills, and facilitate a greater sense of social inclusion and community belonging for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse youth and their families." Aside from an interschool sports carnival, the project has also helped deliver swimming lessons for 100 students and an after-school sports program, which included AFL and basketball as well as visits to the WA Basketball Centre and a West Coast Eagles training session. The project also includes mentoring opportunities for students to gain coaching and officiating accreditation, and students being supported into Communicare's youth leadership program. Fact FileActive Schools is part of Communicare's Get Active Project, which has been funded with $285,000 over three yearsFor information on the Department of Sport and Recreation's inclusion and community programs, visit http// are donating two pieces of fruit per child to carnival participantsCity of Canning is providing Coker Park for the carnival Minister's office - 6552 5500
New chairman for Forest Products Commission778268Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3580html26/11/2015 6:17:13 AM2015-11-26T06:10:00Z​New chairman Ross Holt appointed to FPC board Forestry Minister Mia Davies has announced the appointment of a new chairman to the Forest Products Commission (FPC) board. Ross Holt, who was a previous chief executive officer of LandCorp, started in the new position last week. "Ross brings strategic leadership and significant commercial and government experience to the commission," Ms Davies said. "Ross has a vast array of experience and skills in public sector management including financial and economic policy and exposure to major land and infrastructure projects. "His awareness of the commercial requirements of both government and private stakeholders will be an asset for the commission." The Minister also expressed her appreciation to outgoing chairman Robert Fisher and commissioner Stuart Morgan who finished in their positions this month. "Robert and Stuart have both been on the FPC board since 2012, and on behalf of the State Government and the forest industry I'd like to recognise and thank them for the valuable contribution they have made," Ms Davies said. Fact FileThe Forest Products Commission is responsible for maintaining an environmentally sustainable and commercially viable forest products industryFor more information, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 5500
Guacamole galore at avocado festival778264Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5160html26/11/2015 5:36:06 AM2015-11-26T05:05:00Z​50 to 80 per cent of locally grown avocados sent interstateFirst avocado festival this weekend celebrates success of industryGoods range from guacamole to ciders to beauty products With Western Australia's avocado industry experiencing significant growth, growers are preparing for the first festival this weekend at Araluen Botanic Park in Roleystone. Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the avocado industry produced almost 18,575 tonnes in 2012-13, rising to 24,000 tonnes in 2014-15, injecting more than $150 million into the State's economy. "We have significant growing areas in Pickering Brook, Gingin, Carabooda, Busselton, Manjimup and Pemberton, with smaller plantings scattered along the coast from Carnarvon to Albany," Mr Baston said. While the main commercial season runs from August to February, differences in the State's climate mean that avocados can be available all year round. WA predominantly grows the Hass variety (more than 95 per cent of total commercial production), with smaller production of Reed, Fuerte, Sharwil, Lamb Hass, Llanos Hass and Bacon. "Traditionally, our avocado production has alternated year on, year off with one heavy growing season followed by one light season. The industry is working to reduce this variation," the Minister said. While the local market is important, 50 to 80 per cent of production is sold interstate and a modest but growing percentage is exported to destinations including Malaysia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. Fact FileAraluen's West Australian Avocado Festival will be held at Araluen Botanic Park, Roleystone from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, November 28 and Sunday, November 29For more information, visit http// consumers buy 3,774 tonnes of avocado, with 5,648 sent to NSW, 4,895 to Victoria, 2,768 to Queensland, 891 to South Australia and the Northern Territory, and 598 sent overseas Minister's office - 6552 5400
Lead adviser sought to work with Keystart778262Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6790html26/11/2015 5:18:35 AM2015-11-26T05:00:00Z​The State Government is seeking a lead financial adviser to work with Keystart as the first step in a process to implement a partial divestment of the loan bookBusiness as usual for Keystart's clients The State Government is seeking a lead financial adviser to work with Keystart in securing private sector investment to further improve the State's highly successful affordable home loan program, Treasurer Mike Nahan and Housing Minister Colin Holt announced today. As part of the 2015-16 State Budget, the Government announced it was investigating options for a partial divestment of Keystart's loan book. "This represents the first step in enabling Keystart to partner with the private sector to continue to meet its affordable housing objectives and reduce its reliance on State Government borrowings," Dr Nahan said. "It is important to note there will be no change for Keystart's clients because it will be business as usual from a service delivery point of view." Once appointed, the lead financial adviser will work with Keystart and the Department of Treasury to develop a solution thatwill reduce record government borrowings to Keystartensures there is no change to service levels or the terms and conditions for existing Keystart customersdoes not impact upon Keystart's existing interest rate setting policy, lending eligibility criteria or rigorous loan assessment process. The lead financial adviser will then assist Keystart in conducting a competitive process to identify a private financing partner. Mr Holt said eventual private investment would allow Keystart to be more flexible in meeting the key targets of the State Government's Affordable Housing Strategy 2010-2020 Opening Doors to Affordable Housing. "Keystart lending has reached record levels under the Liberal National Government, enabling the delivery of the Australian-first affordable housing strategy," he said. "Keystart will continue to play an important part in the strategy, which has achieved more than 20,000 affordable homes for West Australians on low-to-medium incomes since 2010." Fact FileKeystart provides low deposit and shared equity residential home loans to eligible West Australians on low-to-medium incomes who are unable to obtain finance from private lendersThe Request for Tender document can be accessed by calling Keystart's procurement officer on 9338 3126. Visit http// for more information Treasurer's office - 6552 5700 Housing Minister's office- 6552 6100
Fire bugs warned of police blitz778260Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2820html26/11/2015 3:24:37 AM2015-11-26T03:15:00Z​WA Police launch the 2015-16 arson operation VulcanPublic play crucial role in catching and preventing arsonists The State Government has launched an operation to target fire bugs and is calling on members of the public to contribute by being the 'eyes and ears' in high-risk arson areas. Police Minister Liza Harvey said the WA Police-led Operation Vulcan involved arson squad officers proactively working to prevent deliberate bushfires. "Western Australia has the highest incidence of bushfires in the country so the last thing authorities need is people deliberately lighting fires," Mrs Harvey said. "Police would be conducting a lot of work targeting arson but we also want members of the community to be vigilant and immediately report suspicious behaviour." The Minister said Operation Vulcan would fight arsonists by using covert cameras to conduct surveillance on identified bushfire arson hot spotstargeted patrolling of identified hot spotsa community awareness campaigntargeting known arsonists using overt and covert means in collaboration with local policing teams. Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said it was hard to comprehend that firefighters put their lives on the line to protect the community from deliberately lit fires. "These men and women pledge to protect the community from bushfires that ravage this State and that job is challenging enough without throwing arson into the mix," he said. Mr Francis said parents with children fascinated by fire should consider the Government's extremely successful Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness Program. Strike Force Vulcan, established in 2010, has resulted in numerous arrests and charges as well as identifying hot spots for arson and preventing fires through intelligence, education and rapid response. Fact FileIn the last two bushfire seasons 90% of WA arsonists were boys aged between 9-17WA records about 6,500 bushfires each yearThere are rewards for information which leads to an arson convictionFor more information about the Juvenile and Family Fire Awareness Program, visit http// Police Minister's office - 6552 5900 Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6500
Hey there - Georgie is our youth ambassador778257Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4900html26/11/2015 1:22:35 AM2015-11-26T01:05:00Z​Georgie Carey is 2016 WA National Youth Week Ambassador Western Australia's National Youth Week Ambassador has been named as 19-year-old Georgie Carey from Mosman Park. The National Youth Week is Australia's largest annual celebration of young people aged 12-25, with WA events kicking off in Broome next April. As the week's ambassador, Ms Carey will take a seat on WA's National Youth Week planning committee. She will also represent the State's young people during the week's activities. Youth Minister Tony Simpson said Ms Carey, who is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at The University of Western Australia, had a track record representing the views of young people at a national level. "This is an exciting appointment, and Georgie brings a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and experience to the role of WA National Youth Week Ambassador," Mr Simpson said. "As chairperson of the Mosman Park Youth Advisory Council, she has been involved in running National Youth Week events for five years, holding two terms as the group's chairperson. "She also represented WA at the National Youth Conference in Canberra for the National Youth Council of Australia. "Georgie is an outstanding young person, and I wish her the very best of luck in her tenure as National Youth Week Ambassador." More than 100 events are expected to take place in WA during National Youth Week next year, taking place from April 8-17, 2016. Many of these events will receive a National Youth Week grant, funded by the WA Government through the Department of Local Government and Communities and the Australian Government's Department of Education and Training. Fact FileNational Youth Week WA is presented by Propel Youth Arts WA in partnership with the Department of Local Government and CommunitiesFor more information on how to get involved, visit http// Minister's office - 6552 6600
Signed, sealed, soon delivered on Rottnest778256Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5620html26/11/2015 1:11:07 AM2015-11-26T01:00:00Z​State Government seals deal on long-awaited upgrade to Rottnest LodgeAward-winning international travel and lifestyle brand Karma to breathe new life into WA's premier holiday islandQuod to be returned to Rottnest Island Authority custodianship The State Government and Karma Group have concluded final lease negotiations that pave the way for redevelopment within the Lodge precinct on Rottnest Island, with the agreement effective from June 1, 2018. Tourism Minister Kim Hames said he was delighted negotiations had been completed and that plans for the environmentally sensitive leisure and business concept on the island had been cemented. "It has taken a few months to ensure all parties are satisfied with the way forward but it was important to get the detail right and I'm pleased that agreement has been reached in accordance with the approved concept plan," Dr Hames said. "The whole design promises to be an exciting and innovative addition to Rottnest Island. Visitors can now look forward to a resort-style hotel of the same high standard that Karma has become famous for around the world. "The redevelopment of the Lodge precinct has been a while in coming so I think people will appreciate what the revitalisation of the area will bring more choice for leisure and business accommodation, more choice of amenities, and more choice for places to eat and relax." The Minister said the Karma Group development captured new and revamped facilities designed with the island's unique environment in mind and would include 80 contemporary self-contained units, short stay accommodation, cafe, restaurant and beverage venues, kids' club, swimming pool, day spa and conference and meeting rooms. "The Government is committed to ensuring visitors have a wide variety of quality accommodation options on Rottnest Island which cater for a range of budgets," he said. "From camping to glamping to four or five star accommodation and everything in between, the idea is you will have a choice to suit you, and that hasn't really existed on Rottnest before." The modified lease with Karma Group will also see the return of the 'Quod' or Aboriginal prison site to the Rottnest Island Authority in May 2018 as part of a larger project to recognise the island's varied heritage and historic significance. The Quod is located adjacent to the Wadjemup Aboriginal Burial Ground and will become the entry point for the interpretive centre or display. Fact FileKarma Group is also a major sponsor of the annual Rottnest Channel Swim$650,000 State Government funding for completion of Stage one perimeter works on Wadjemup Aboriginal Burial GroundWadjemup Aboriginal Burial Ground is Australia's largest unmarked Aboriginal burial site Minister's office - 6552 5300
Milestone reached with Gnowangerup Hospital778252Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2300html25/11/2015 11:42:56 PM2015-11-25T23:00:00Z The completion of improvement works at Gnowangerup Hospital marks another important milestone for the Southern Inland Health Initiative (SIHI), a $500 million transformation project investing in country health across much of Western Australia's southern inland region, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program. Health Minister Kim Hames said the refurbishment of the Gnowangerup Hospital would provide enhanced health facilities including a new emergency treatment room, upgraded ambulance bay, a new nurse call system to enhance patient comfort and communication, and a new multipurpose consultation room. "The Small Hospital and Nursing Post Refurbishment Program is all about improving primary health care services and ambulatory care, catering for projected future demand and reducing the need for patient transfers to Perth," Dr Hames said. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said SIHI aimed to enhance service provision and improve health outcomes for Wheatbelt and Great Southern communities. "Residents in the Gnowangerup area now have access to a greater range of co-ordinated health services targeted to meet their local health care demands," Mr Redman said. "The Royalties for Regions investment in health infrastructure and services is critical in supporting the development of a strong and sustainable regional Western Australia." The SIHI capital works program is more extensive and complex than any project previously undertaken by the WA Country Health Service, with new builds and upgrades to 37 hospitals and health services in the Great Southern, Wheatbelt, South-West and Mid-West. Katanning, Gnowangerup and Kojonup hospitals as well as the Tambellup Health Clinic are all part of the SIHI capital upgrade program in the Great Southern. Upgrades to Wagin and Lake Grace hospitals are expected to be completed by December. To find out more, go to http// Health Minister's office - 6552 5300 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Albany sporting complex upgrade to continue778250Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2880html25/11/2015 11:31:02 PM2015-11-25T22:00:00ZState Government commits a further $3 million to redevelopment of Albany sporting complex Liberal National Government contribution now stands at $11 million The State Government will provide a further $3 million, part of a 2013 election commitment, for the continued redevelopment of Albany's recreational playing fields. The Liberal National Government has previously contributed $8 million to the first stage of the redevelopment of Centennial Park, which was a 2008 election commitment. The first stage delivered an extension of the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre, the construction of new playing fields and upgrade of clubrooms and floodlights. Centennial Park comprises grounds for soccer, cricket, hockey and rugby and is a central focus for the Albany sporting community. Premier Colin Barnett said that once completed, the $29 million redevelopment would provide the region with a high-quality sporting and events facility which it has previously been lacking. "This will be a precinct which can be used by the whole community in Albany and surrounds and the transformation of the existing facilities will meet the needs of a wide range of sporting groups," the Premier said. Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said the City of Albany was successful in receiving $8.25 million through the Federal Government's Regional Development Australia Fund in 2013-14 for the Centennial Park redevelopment. "This, in conjunction with the State Government's contribution, will fund the next stage of works including the development of a major sporting oval for the city, club rooms, secondary oval and supporting infrastructure," Ms Davies said. "There will also be an upgrade to the western precinct club rooms. "Community sporting facilities are places for people to improve their health and fitness while building connections. Active communities are more engaged communities and that in turn creates more livable regions which are stronger, healthier, happier and safer." The City of Albany has committed $4 million to the project. Fact FileIn 2008, the Liberal National Government allocated $8 million to a number of components of the Centennial Park redevelopmentThe upgrades, including a three-court extension to the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre, development of a new playing field in the central precinct and upgrade of Railways Oval have been completed Premier's office - 6552 5000 Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 5500