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Community invited to comment on the impacts of methamphetamine use in WA27809Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html16/01/2018 4:00:24 AM2018-01-16T04:00:00Z The first-hand experiences of Western Australians directly affected by methamphetamine use are being sought by the McGowan Government's Methamphetamine Action Plan Taskforce Reducing harm, supply and demand of methamphetamine is a key priority for the McGowan Labor Government, with $131.7 million committed to implementing the Methamphetamine Action Plan The McGowan Labor Government's Methamphetamine Action Plan (MAP) Taskforce is undertaking public consultation and is seeking comments from those affected by methamphetamine in Western Australia. Members of the community, including individuals and families directly affected, as well as health service providers, community workers and business owners, are invited to contribute their views through the Methamphetamine Action Plan Taskforce website. Community views and insights are vital in helping the MAP Taskforce formulate its advice to the State Government on practical ways to reduce harm, supply and demand of methamphetamine in WA. The online comment period is open until March 16, 2018. As part of the McGowan Government's State-wide plan, the taskforce will provide advice to the State Government on gaps in services and how programs can best meet the needs of the community, in particular targeting areas of greatest need. Chaired by Ron Alexander, and including members of the community and experts in the field, the taskforce will also provide advice on opportunities for better collaboration between government agencies, communities and businesses. The taskforce will also investigate the potential for successful interstate or overseas programs to be adapted to WA circumstances. Comments attributed to Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "Understanding the views, insights and challenges faced by those directly affected by methamphetamine use is vital to the work of the Methamphetamine Action Plan Taskforce. "I encourage anyone affected to take the opportunity to comment, as their insight will help shape the taskforce's advice to Government on how to respond to the complexities and challenges of WA's meth issue and how best to meet the needs of those most vulnerable in our community." Minister's office - 6552 6500
One-stop shop launched to streamline water and environmental assessments27807Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html16/01/2018 1:00:08 AM2018-01-16T01:00:00Z New online gateway to modernise water and environmental assessments and approvals process Part of the McGowan Government's public sector reforms to improve public access to government departments and agencies The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has developed a new one-stop shop service for water and environmental assessments and approvals. Water Minister Dave Kelly and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today launched the new service which is available through the department's website. Project applicants that require environmental and water approvals can now engage with the department through a single contact point supported by a new internal co-ordination framework that will save time and improve the service for applicants. The creation of this new one-stop shop service is consistent with the McGowan Government's Public Sector Reform which is designed to improve customer access to government services and overall response times. The department's improvements to online service delivery demonstrate how agencies can contribute to and support the Government's drive for digital transformation across the public sector. In July 2017, the departments of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority amalgamated to become the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly "To drive economic growth in WA, we need to make it easier for the public and industry to do business with government departments. "That is why we amalgamated the various departments in July 2017 and are now improving the approvals process to deliver a better customer experience. "Previously industry would have had to approach potentially three different agencies (Department of Water, Department of Environmental Regulation and the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority) to ascertain what environmental approvals they would require for their project. "But now with this new online one-stop shop, all the information they require is at their fingertips." Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "As a Government, we are committed to simplifying what can often be complex government processes without compromising on our environmental rigour. "Many project assessments previously required proponents to bounce from one door to another, causing frustration with the process. "Today's go live on the new webpage will be welcomed by industry and our stakeholders as a better way to do business." Water Minister's office - 6552 6100 Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
Funding to build stronger regional communities27803Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html16/01/2018 12:07:03 AM2018-01-16T00:05:00Z More than $700,000 awarded to 39 regional local governments Youth development grants and scholarships to provide job opportunities for young people Community development grants and scholarships to help build community partnerships Ensures regional communities are sustainable into the future More than $700,000 has been injected into regional communities for local governments to provide job opportunities for young people and build stronger partnerships with the community sector. A total of 70 grants have been awarded to 39 country local governments across four programs through the Country Local Government Fund (CLGF). Under the Community Development Grants Program, a total of $224,486 was awarded to 14 local governments to undertake programs involving best practice in community development and working in partnership with the not-for-profit sector and community. A further $450,000 has been awarded through the Youth Development Scholarship and Youth Development Traineeship programs to 30 local governments. The funding will enable young people in the regions to develop long-term employment skills and expose them to future employment opportunities within local government. An additional six grants were awarded through the Community Development Scholarship Program to offer accredited training to country local government employees to build their capacity to deliver community development initiatives within their community. The CLGF has provided more than $5 million in funding over two years to improve the capacity of country local government. Comments attributed to Local Government Minister David Templeman "This is an example of the State Government's commitment to investing in the future of local government in WA. "By giving young people opportunities to start or further careers in the local government sector while living in their local area, we are contributing to the attraction and retention of young people in the regions. "A partnership approach to community development can also assist to manage these challenges to ensure that local governments are sustainable into the future." Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Local governments in the regions experience unique challenges such as remoteness, limited economic opportunities and an ageing population. "These grants will give our regional local governments more opportunity to develop the capacity to deliver the services, regional communities need." Local Government Minister's office - 6552 5400 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
First public feedback for Morley-Ellenbrook METRONET sought27802Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements30html16/01/2018 12:01:52 AM2018-01-16T00:00:00Z Communities along future Morley-Ellenbrook METRONET alignment to assist planning process Options analysis for Morley-Ellenbrook rail line underway Survey to gauge community vision for planning and transport The McGowan Government and METRONET team have launched the first public consultation process for the future Morley-Ellenbrook Line. A survey available to residents along the future rail corridor will feed into the McGowan Government's planning for the METRONET rail project. Communities in the area have been invited to complete the online survey about their current travel habits and future needs as part of the planning process for the METRONET rail line to Ellenbrook via Morley. The rail line will provide Perth's growing north-east suburbs with improved transport connections, and create new communities around integrated station precincts. The online survey results will gauge what the community values, their vision for the area and provide a better understanding of current travel habits. Work is already underway on assessing the technical feasibility of the preferred alignment, preliminary site investigations, land use planning and high level concept design including potential grade separations and stations. The work will be supported by planning specialists when the major consultancy tender is awarded in coming weeks. Meanwhile, the METRONET team has also started discussions with relevant local governments and other key stakeholders. Residents and businesses in the communities around Ellenbrook, Aveley, Henley Brook, Dayton, Brabham, Bennett Springs, Morley, Malaga, Ballajura and surrounding suburbs are asked to complete the online survey. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "Building a rail line to Ellenbrook is a major priority for the McGowan Government, and since starting the project from scratch last year, we have made significant planning progress. "I have worked closely with the METRONET team, local governments and stakeholders - it's now time to hear from the local residents. "To ensure the rail line represents the best outcome for the local community, we want to understand and hear from residents on what your community means to you, and what you'd like to see it look like in the future. "In the interim, I think it's important that we as a Government hear from the people of these communities about the METRONET plan, and how we will be creating vibrant, connected transport precincts through our integrated plan." Comments attributed to Morley MLA Amber-Jade Sanderson "The METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook line will serve residents of Morley and Noranda extremely well. "The new train line will reduce congestion on our local roads and make it easier and safer for residents to commute to school and work. "To make sure we see the best outcome for our suburbs, it is important that the Government hears from local residents. "I will be encouraging local residents in Morley and Noranda to have their say in this survey and I look forward to hearing their ideas." Comments attributed to Swan Hills MLA Jessica Shaw "The Ellenbrook rail line was the number one local commitment during the election and people continue to tell me how important it is to them. I am just so pleased that the McGowan Government is listening to our community and getting on with the job. "Ellenbrook rail will transform the area; it will activate our town centre and make it the satellite city that was envisaged 20 years ago. "The Ellenbrook Station Precinct will create new jobs and business opportunities for locals. Getting the design right will help make sure we have a vibrant and energetic town centre. "Combined with our Lord Street upgrades, East-West Bus Link and the NorthLink WA Project, residents in Ellenbrook, Aveley and The Vines will finally have the infrastructure they need and deserve. "We have a great opportunity to tell the Government what we want from our rail service. Please make sure that you complete this survey to make sure that our voices are heard." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Joint media statement - Disaster assistance following December’s Tropical Cyclone Hilda27801Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements70html15/01/2018 11:57:08 PM2018-01-15T21:00:00Z Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Angus Taylor and the Western Australian Minister for Emergency Services Francis Logan today announced the activation of disaster assistance for Broome in response to the impacts from Tropical Cyclone Hilda on 27 December 2017. Minister Taylor said assistance was being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). "The Australian and Western Australian governments are committed to working together to help the recovery of disaster affected communities like the local government area of Broome," Mr Taylor said. "The north of Western Australia has again faced heavy rains and winds this week from Cyclone Joyce. This assistance announced today will help recovery efforts from the earlier Cyclone Hilda event just after Christmas, including restoration and replacement of road infrastructure and removal of debris from residential properties." Minister Logan said that a range of assistance was now available to support eligible residents, small businesses and primary producers within the disaster affected local government area of Broome. "We are also providing assistance to councils and state agencies to cover the cost of cleaning up and restoring damaged public infrastructure," Mr Logan said. Assistance available under the NDRRA may include personal hardship and distress assistance for affected individuals and families financial support for affected local governments and state agencies to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets interest rate subsidies for small businesses and primary producers, and freight subsidies for primary producers. The Department of Communities administers this assistance. To enquire about this assistance, people should contact or call 1800 032 965. Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at and the Western Australian Office of Emergency Management website at Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6300
Grants to help reduce waste27799Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3380html15/01/2018 8:35:11 AM2018-01-15T08:30:00Z $1 million for organisations that target waste management priorities The McGowan Labor Government has confirmed its commitment to waste reduction - offering $1 million to support projects that divert waste from landfill. Announcing the funding today, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has called for projects that champion better waste management practices and improve awareness of the need to reduce waste. The Community and Industry Engagement program is an opportunity to gain financial backing for projects that address the State Government's waste management priority areas, including minimising food and plastic waste and improving the use of recycled construction and demolition products. Previous funding recipients include the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder's bin tagging program - highlighting what can be recycled through the city's kerbside collection service - and Curtin University's research into the use of recycled aggregate concrete. The funding - from the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account - is available for community groups, industry, local governments, regional councils, State Government agencies, peak bodies, and research and educational institutes. For more information on the Community and Industry Engagement program or to apply for funding, go to the Waste Authority's website. Applications close at 12pm on Monday February 12, 2018. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "Reducing waste is an important issue for the McGowan Labor Government and we have already made progress with initiatives such as the proposed ban on lightweight single-use plastic bags and the introduction of a container deposit scheme. "The Community and Industry Engagement program provides an opportunity to get financial backing for projects that address the State Government's waste management priorities to help Western Australia become a more sustainable low waste community. "I encourage funding applications to tackle issues such as reducing waste generation, diverting waste from landfill and community and industry education." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Optus Stadium on track for record-breaking AFL Women's crowd27787Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4720html14/01/2018 11:24:26 PM2018-01-14T23:20:00Z Fremantle Dockers to play Collingwood on Saturday, February 10, 2018 Tickets on sale to the general public at 9am (AWST) tomorrow (January 16) Match a chance to attract Australia's biggest-ever crowd for a standalone women's sporting match Western Australians are encouraged to support Optus Stadium's push to attract the country's biggest-ever crowd for a standalone women's sporting match when the Fremantle Dockers play Collingwood on Saturday, February 10. More than 30,000 fans are expected at the match, which would break the AFLW attendance record, and put into play the possibility of eclipsing the Australian-record women's sport attendance of 41,000 - which has stood since 1929. The match is expected to smash the current Fremantle Dockers Women's record home crowd of 10,000. With tickets only $2, including free public transport, the match is an ideal opportunity for those who did not get a Community Open Day ticket to be among the first to visit Optus Stadium. Tickets to the match will be available for purchase via the Ticketmaster website from 9am tomorrow (January 16). All proceeds will be donated to the Starlight Foundation and the Fremantle Dockers Foundation. Ahead of the match, fans will be able to watch the Fremantle Dockers men's team train for the first time on the Optus Stadium playing surface, followed by a signing and photo session. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "This match gives all Western Australians the opportunity to be part of sporting history. Not only will it be the first football match played at Optus Stadium, it is on track to break the attendance record for the AFLW. "There is even a chance of breaking the Australian record crowd for a standalone women's match, which would beat Adelaide Oval's 89-year-old record. "For anyone who didn't get a ticket to the Community Open Day, this is a great opportunity to be one of the first to visit Optus Stadium - at a cost of only $2." Comments attributed to Women's Interests Minister Simone McGurk "The fact the AFLW secured the first football match at Optus Stadium shows just how far women's sport has come in this State. "The current AFLW record crowd is 24,568, held by Carlton and Collingwood, and we want everyone's help to surpass that and bring the record home to Western Australia. If we could even top the all-time Australian record that would be sensational. "We have seen huge increases in participation and interest in recent years in a whole range of women's sports - and AFL Women's has been instrumental to that success." Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 6400 Women's Interests Minister's office - 6552 6600
State Government funding to help Western Australians stay sun safe769818Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5900html13/01/2018 2:53:00 AM2018-01-13T00:00:00Z Almost $900,000 in Healthway grants for sun safety education and awareness programs Cancer Council receives $825,000 for its SunSmart awareness campaign Telethon Kids Institute benefits from $74,956 research funding grant for new online sun safety tool Health Minister Roger Cook today announced Healthway grants totalling $899,956 towards the education and promotion of sun safety to reduce the incidence of skin cancer. Two in three Australians will develop skin cancer before the age of 70, and every year more than 2,300 people die from the disease. In Western Australia in 2014, more than 230 people died from skin cancer (melanoma and non-melanoma). A grant of $825,000 has been allocated to the Cancer Council of Western Australia to continue its SunSmart awareness campaign until the end of 2020. The funding, provided by the State Government through Healthway, will go towards sun protection awareness raising initiatives such as the continuation of the digital outdoor worker ultraviolet (UV) daily campaign and SunSmart fashion project in partnership with Curtin University. In addition, more than $74,000 has also been granted to the Telethon Kids Institute to develop and test an online tool, targeted at teenagers - in particular those aged 12-13, to improve awareness of good sun protection and Vitamin D. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "The State Government is committed to supporting initiatives which educate the community about skin cancer and prevention. "By remembering to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide when the UV is 3 or higher, people can minimise their exposure to UV radiation, and reduce their risk of developing skin cancers. "During the height of summer, while many of us are holidaying and spending time outdoors, it is timely to remember the importance of sun safe behaviour to help prevent skin cancer." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Independent review of assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy legislation769817Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5070html13/01/2018 2:39:22 AM2018-01-12T23:00:00Z Independent review of the Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 and Surrogacy Act 2008 Provides an opportunity for public consultation and a strong foundation for updating the regulation of assisted reproductive technology and surrogacy The McGowan Government today announced an independent review of the Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 (HRT) and the Surrogacy Act 2008. There is considerable public interest in assisted reproductive technology (ART) and surrogacy as about one in six couples have difficulty in conceiving a baby; about four per cent of births in Australia occur through assisted reproductive technology. There have been significant developments in technology and changes in community attitudes to ART and surrogacy. The relevant Western Australian laws are out of step with other Australian States and Territories. The review will provide a strong foundation for updating the regulation of ART and surrogacy. The terms of reference provide an opportunity for a wide range of complex scientific, ethical and legal issues to be considered in today's society. The review will be undertaken by Associate Professor Sonia Allan, a highly regarded legal academic, who recently completed a review of similar legislation in South Australia. Details of the review can be accessed at http// The closing date for written submissions is 5pm, Friday March 16, 2018. This will be followed by a period of consultation and forums. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "These laws are outdated in parts and are arguably not meeting current needs and developments in practice occurring in other Australian States. "This review is long overdue and I encourage all interested parties to take the time to make a submission, and have their say." Minister's office - 6552 6500 Background The Human Reproductive Technology Act 1991 (HRT Act) provides for the functions of the Reproductive Technology Council (Council), regulation relating to the practice of, the procedures used in, and the ethics governing human reproductive technology; to make provision with respect to the use of this technology in relation to artificially assisted human conception and for the regulation of certain research; and related purposes. The Surrogacy Act 2008 provides for the regulation of surrogacy arrangements in Western Australia and for the parentage of children born as a result of those arrangements. The legislation also specifically prohibits surrogacy for financial gain.
Grants awarded to community groups to protect river769812Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8770html12/01/2018 5:00:14 AM2018-01-12T05:00:00Z 17 community groups receive funding in first round of Community Rivercare Grants The not-for-profit volunteer groups will share $300,000 in 2018-19 The McGowan Labor Government has today announced the first round of grant recipients for its Community Rivercare Program, which will see $900,000 allocated to community groups over three years via the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. The funding will help deliver projects including foreshore restoration and riverbank erosion, reduction of nutrient inflows, native waterbird conservation, native fish habitat protection and restocking of native recreational fish species. Grant projects which received funding in round one include Ellen Brook endangered native fish habitat enhancement; Bannister Creek and Canning River Regional Park boundary enhancement; Bardon Park environmental restoration works; Astley River Park foreshore restoration; Helena River restoration at north bank; Helena Valley restoration west of Scott Street; Attadale foreshore conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation; and Piesse Gully weed control and revegetation. The full list of recipients is available at https// Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "By investing in this new program, the McGowan Labor Government is delivering on its election commitment to further recognise and support the important work undertaken by volunteers along river foreshores. "Community groups are instrumental in protecting and enhancing the natural values of our rivers, and in turn increasing public enjoyment of vibrant recreational areas. "Congratulations to the 17 groups that have received grants in this first round. I encourage groups to apply for further grants under round two of this program later this year, so we can continue to support these important projects." Minister's office - 6552 5800
New commissioners appointed to Lotterywest Board769810Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements14550html12/01/2018 4:04:25 AM2018-01-12T04:00:00Z Professor Kingsley Dixon and Elisabeth McLellan appointed to Lotterywest Board of Commissioners New appointments reaffirm State Government's commitment to strengthening environmental protection and biodiversity conservation Outgoing commissioners Dr Maria Harries and Garry Trinder thanked by Premier Premier Mark McGowan has today announced the appointments of Professor Kingsley Dixon and Elisabeth McLellan to the Lotterywest Board of Commissioners. Professor Dixon - a renowned botanist and Western Australia's 2016 Scientist of the Year - officially took up his appointment from December 1, 2017 and has played a leading role in conserving threatened species and transforming ecological restoration practice in Australia. Professor Dixon has also provided high-level scientific advice at both a State and Federal level and is chairperson of The Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia. Ms McLellan - a leading Geraldton-based conservationist - brings with her 25 years at the forefront of conservation, including almost 10 years with WWF International and eight as co-lead of the organisation's global Wildlife Crime Campaign. Ms McLellan holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Masters Applied Science and Graduate Diploma of Education while Professor Dixon holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and PhD from The University of Western Australia. The Premier acknowledged outgoing commissioners Dr Maria Harries and Garry Trinder and thanked them for their contribution to Lotterywest. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "I'm delighted to announce the appointments of both Professor Dixon and Ms McLellan to the Lotterywest Board of Commissioners. "I trust Professor Dixon and Ms McLellan will bring with them a commitment to strengthening environmental protection and biodiversity conservation here in Western Australia. "Last financial year, Lotterywest returned $265 million to the State by way of its grants program overseen by the organisation's CEO and Board of Commissioners. "I thank outgoing Board members Dr Maria Harries and Mr Garry Trinder for their six-year contribution to Lotterywest." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Dennis Cometti honoured at Optus Stadium769809Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements13410html12/01/2018 2:50:39 AM2018-01-12T02:50:00Z WA icon celebrated with naming of Dennis Cometti Media Centre at Optus Stadium Premier Mark McGowan delivered the election commitment today alongside WA sporting media icons State-of-the-art facility to provide the ultimate coverage for Optus Stadium Premier Mark McGowan today announced Optus Stadium's media facility will be known as the Dennis Cometti Media Centre in honour of the Western Australian commentary legend. Delivering on an election commitment to honour Dennis Cometti's almost half-century media career, Mr McGowan made the announcement at Optus Stadium alongside some of the State's sporting media icons. Starting on radio as a Top-40 disc jockey in 1968, Cometti has had a distinguished career both in television and radio, covering AFL, including 16 Grand Finals, several Olympic Games and more than 100 matches of Test cricket on radio. Cometti continues to call AFL and WAFL football in Western Australia. The Dennis Cometti Media Centre will be used by a large contingent of local, national and international media personnel across a range of events. The facility includes Two television studios; A studio box for presenting, producing and broadcasting live television; Eight radio commentary boxes; A written press box catering for 30 people; A photographer's work room; and A dedicated lounge for media personnel. The media facility is supported by media interview rooms that can accommodate up to 180 journalists and two 1,000 square metre external broadcast areas, located on the northern side of the stadium. The design of the Dennis Cometti Media Centre was developed in consultation with the Media User Group, which was established in 2012 and comprised journalists and technical staff from Channel 7, The West Australian, Sunday Times, ABC, 96FM, Fox Sports and Fox Footy. The user group focused on the needs of modern media, including match-day viewing arrangements for all of the different sporting configurations, requirements for broadcast and written press facilities, the design of media lounges, TV and radio studios, camera locations, and technical, data and wiring requirements. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "Dennis Cometti is a Western Australian commentary and media icon. I can think of no-one more deserving of this great honour. "For most Western Australian sports lovers, Dennis Cometti is the voice of football. His career across radio and TV - including calling events at several Olympic Games - has been simply outstanding. "Western Australian footy fans were sad to see Dennis retire from AFL television commentary, but it is terrific to know his presence will live on in WA's new sporting era at Optus Stadium. "The Dennis Cometti Media Centre at Optus Stadium is state-of-the-art and gives the stadium another advantage in securing more national and international events. "I would like to thank the Media User Group for their work and involvement in developing this media centre and the decision to honour Dennis Cometti." Comments attributed to Dennis Cometti "Nobody sets out on any career thinking about having a day like today. But a day like today certainly makes you think about your career. "There is no doubt WA bats well above its weight when it comes to producing sports broadcasters and journalists. The people acknowledged in this wonderful media centre prove that. "I never felt the need to live anywhere other than Perth. And in fairness, no-one ever suggested I should. I think I have always been blessed with good management. "My career is really testimony to my wife Velia and our two children Ricki and Mark. They seemed to cope with all my time away so well, in hindsight, perhaps a little too well." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Yalgorup National Park to be expanded769808Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8330html12/01/2018 2:00:27 AM2018-01-12T02:00:00Z 1,001 hectares to be added to internationally recognised Yalgorup National Park The McGowan Labor Government has today announced it will add 1,001 hectares of Class A conservation reserve within world-renowned Yalgorup National Park. Located just over 100 kilometres south of Perth, Yalgorup National Park contains the internationally recognised Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar wetlands which provide habitat for migratory shorebird species as well as resident species such as the hooded plover. Yalgorup National Park also supports critical habitat for the endangered Carnaby's cockatoo and the vulnerable listed western ringtail possum. This reservation in the heart of Yalgorup National Park will ensure the long-term management and protection of critically important banksia and tuart woodlands. The move is part of the State Government's plan to increase the protection of threatened species and ecological communities through the expansion of the formal reserve system. Yalgorup National Park is the first in a number of conservation reserve expansions planned by the McGowan Labor Government in the Perth and Peel regions, and will include new Class A conservation reserves across the metropolitan region within Beeliar, Yellagonga, Rockingham Lakes and Jandakot regional parks among others. The 1,001 hectares were purchased in 2016 as an offset for the Roe 8 project. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "The inclusion of this conservation significant land will provide further protection for Yalgorup National Park and avoid fragmentation of its landscapes from development. "It will improve management of the park's outstanding environmental, cultural and recreational values and provide a buffer for the internationally recognised Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar wetland. "The newly created Class A conservation reserve will provide the highest level of protection to western ringtail possum and Carnaby's cockatoo habitat." Minister's office - 6552 5800
New Mental Health Tribunal President appointed769653Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10460html11/01/2018 10:20:25 AM2018-01-11T10:05:00Z Karen Whitney appointed as President of the independent Mental Health Tribunal Mental Health Minister Roger Cook is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Whitney for a five-year term as President of the Mental Health Tribunal of Western Australia. In the role of President, Ms Whitney will lead the Tribunal whose role is to safeguard the rights of people who are subject to involuntary treatment orders under the Mental Health Act 2014. Ms Whitney has most recently been a full-time Ordinary Member of the WA State Administrative Tribunal, whose duties include conducting hearings, mediations and conferences in disputes across all aspects of the State Administrative Tribunal's jurisdiction. Previously, Ms Whitney was Principal Assistant Ombudsman, Investigations and Legal Services for the Western Australian Ombudsman, and also served for eight years with the Western Australian Legal Profession Complaints Committee. She has postgraduate qualifications in Law, Business Leadership, and an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Social Policy. She is a certificated legal practitioner and a nationally accredited mediation practitioner. For more information about the Mental Health Tribunal, visit http// Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "I am pleased to announce this appointment of Ms Whitney for a five-year term. "Ms Whitney has a strong commitment to positioning the Tribunal to improve the wellbeing of people with mental illness, as well as sound legal, tribunal and senior level general management experience. "She is well placed to lead the Tribunal over the next five years, as it plays a critical, independent role in the mental health system. "I also thank outgoing Tribunal President Michael Hawkins for his years of service as President and wish him well for the future." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Liberals now support McGowan Government's shark mitigation strategy769651Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12500html11/01/2018 6:55:17 AM2018-01-11T06:55:00Z Liberals' fisheries spokesperson supports McGowan Government's world-first personal shark deterrent subsidy Ian Blayney also rejects his colleagues call for a cull Mr Blayney contradicts his Liberal colleagues' claims that shark numbers off WA coast have increased following a CSIRO interim report The Western Australian Liberal Party now supports key elements of the McGowan Government's multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy. In an ABC radio interview yesterday, Liberal fisheries spokesperson Ian Blayney gave his support for the McGowan Government's successful world-first shark deterrent subsidy, of which more than 1,200 Western Australians have taken part. His support contradicts previous criticisms made by Liberal members Mike Nahan, Liza Harvey and Libby Mettam. Last year, Ms Mettam called for the program to be scrapped and likened the approved subsidy device to 'waving a burglar off with a toothpick'. Ms Mettam's claim contradicts university research funded under the previous Liberal National Government that found the device deterred white sharks in nine out of 10 occasions. Mr Blayney also rejected calls for a shark cull in WA from his Federal Liberal colleagues, such as Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Andrew Hastie. Yesterday, Mr Blayney said on 6PR and ABC radio that he did not think a cull was the answer. The previous government attempted a cull and not one white shark was caught, a policy that the former Premier Colin Barnett recently reflected on as a failure. Mr Blayney also poured cold water on claims by Liberal colleagues that a recent CSIRO report proved white shark numbers had increased in WA. Western Australian Liberals Libby Mettam and Senator Linda Reynolds claimed the report showed there was an increase in WA shark numbers, a claim unsubstantiated by scientific evidence and rejected by Mr Blayney. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "I'm pleased that Mr Blayney has given his support to key elements of the McGowan Government's multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy. "In particular, Mr Blayney's support for our subsidy scheme for independently tested personal shark deterrents. "I'm also pleased he has finally rejected calls for a shark cull. "For months the Liberals both locally and federally have been rubbishing Labor's strategy and misleading the public with incorrect information. "Shark mitigation is a serious issue that requires policies driven by science and research. "The Western Australian community expects politicians to work constructively together on such a challenging matter." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Getting the balance right: Education savings measures reversed769649Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements116770html11/01/2018 4:15:07 AM2018-01-11T04:15:00Z Schools of the Air will remain open in regional Western Australia Funding for the Gifted and Talented Program in schools will be maintained Intake into the Level 3 classroom teacher program will not be put on hold Accommodation at Northam Residential College will remain open After serious consideration, the McGowan Government has decided to reverse a number of education savings measures in an effort to strike the right balance between responsible financial management and quality education services. Last month, in order to deliver Budget savings quickly and fix the mess left behind by the Liberals and Nationals, a range of measures were announced to be implemented by the Department of Education from 2019. All measures were estimated to provide a total of $64 million in savings across the forward estimates. With the decision to reverse some of those measures, the total saving to the Budget is now estimated to be about $41 million. The 'Follow the Dream' program will also continue to receive Department of Education funding. The McGowan Government is committed to delivering responsible financial management to get the State's finances back on track and will continue to find savings across government. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The former Liberal National Government wrecked the finances with their out of control spending and irresponsible budget management. "Since taking office, we have announced a number of saving and revenue measures to ensure the burden of budget repair is shared across the community. "Education is pulling its weight, but upon reflection we realise we took it too far when it comes to education services and we now need to get the balance right. "As Premier, I will always lead a Government that governs in the interests of all Western Australians. "We won't take our eye off the ball when it comes to the finances, but we won't compromise the quality of education in the process." Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "Finding savings in education is extremely difficult and in an effort to help fix the finances, we made a rushed decision that left many people feeling anxious and distressed. "We've listened to the concerns raised and took time to further analyse the impact of the savings measures announced both from a financial and education perspective. "These changes announced today strike the right balance and ensure that every child receives a high-quality education, no matter where they live. "I won't shy away from finding savings and helping contribute to budget repair." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700
Grants to support WA’s vibrant multicultural celebrations769648Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6550html11/01/2018 4:00:11 AM2018-01-11T04:00:00Z $129,000 in grants provided for multicultural events and celebrations Harmony Week is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate WA's cultural diversity Western Australia's cultural calendar will be as vibrant as ever in 2018 with $129,000 in grants being awarded by the McGowan Government for multicultural events across the State. Distributed via the Office of Multicultural Interests' (OMI) Community Grants Program, the funding will support some of our community's most popular celebrations including the South West Multicultural Festival, the Swan Festival of Lights and the Hellenic Community's Glendi festival. Smaller grants will support community events during Harmony Week, which runs from March 15 to 21, 2018 and is a time for Western Australians to celebrate and reflect on the benefits of multiculturalism. OMI's Community Grants Program gives culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities, and the organisations that support them, the opportunity to access funding for events, projects and programs that support social cohesion and community development. A full list of grant recipients is available at http// Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "Our cultural diversity is one of WA's greatest strengths. Through events supported by these grants, the wider community has an opportunity to experience and learn about the different cultures that are a part of our social fabric. "These events not only bring communities together, they preserve the cultural heritage and traditions that are so vital to our vibrant multicultural State." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Bunbury contractor to deliver major tourist attraction769644Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements14200html11/01/2018 2:00:10 AM2018-01-11T02:00:00Z Bunbury-based company wins contract to deliver $8.3 million upgrade and expansion of Dolphin Discovery Centre Job-creating project to start in February and due for completion in late 2018 The $8.3 million contract for the redevelopment of the iconic Dolphin Discovery Centre has been won by a Bunbury-based contractor, further evidence of the McGowan Government's commitment to local content and local jobs. Bunbury-based Perkins Builders will deliver the upgrade and expansion of the tourist attraction, with partial site possession to take place next month prior to works on the main building getting underway from May. The interpretative centre and café will remain open until the end of April before closing to enable construction to take place. The centre will continue to operate eco cruises. The project will be completed late this year, with the opening of an iconic new building designed by Bunbury practice MCG Architects. It will boast state-of-the art facilities including a new interpretative centre and exhibits, café and souvenir shop designed to lure both domestic and international visitors to Bunbury and the wider South-West. The Dolphin Discovery Centre redevelopment, along with the revitalisation of the Koombana Bay foreshore, forms stage one of the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront project. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This is a fantastic outcome for the Dolphin Discovery Centre project and for local Bunbury workers, showing our Government's commitment to local content. "Even before the new and improved tourist attraction opens its doors, the project is already delivering economic benefits through creation of local job and subcontract opportunities. "The new centre will attract even more visitors to Bunbury, with tourists expected to visit not only the centre but also stay on to check out what else the city has to offer." Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch "This project will deliver to Bunbury a new iconic building that will support jobs and tourism opportunities well into the future. "Buy local is not just a slogan, it's an absolute commitment from the McGowan Government that is delivering real outcomes for our community. "The fact that the redeveloped Dolphin Discovery Centre will be built by a local company to locally prepared designs is an outstanding result for Bunbury." Minister's office - 6552 6200
ICC praises Perth's new home of international cricket769643Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6590html11/01/2018 1:31:33 AM2018-01-11T01:30:00Z ICC accreditation to host international Test, Limited Overs and Twenty20 matches granted to Optus Stadium Cricket great Richie Richardson says the venue is the most impressive he has visited Remaining tickets to the Gillette One-Day International will be released at 10am Friday, January 12, 2018 (AWST) The International Cricket Council (ICC), the global governing body for cricket, has granted approval for Optus Stadium to stage international Test, Limited Overs and Twenty20 matches. The ICC gave a glowing endorsement of the stadium, with West Indian cricket great Richie Richardson calling it 'by far the most impressive and well laid out stadium that I have ever visited'. Mr Richardson, a member of the Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, and the head of the ICC anti-corruption and securities unit, John Rhodes, inspected the stadium in December 2017 and recently submitted their final report to Cricket Australia. In the report Mr Richardson said "The comprehensive amenities, along with the quality and functionality of the facility, surpasses the required standard to host any international cricket match." "The layout of the stadium provides convenient easement within and around the facility and it is conveniently located within close proximity of the city centre. "The new Perth Stadium is a wonderful, refreshing world-class stadium, and I have no hesitation in recommending that the venue is approved for staging all three formats of international cricket." A range of state-of-the-art cricket features are featured at the stadium including five drop-in cricket wickets, four indoor warm up wickets, 16 outdoor turf practice wickets and two dedicated player viewing rooms with direct access to both the change rooms and the playing surface. In 2016, a prototype drop-in cricket wicket was constructed with the same soil profile as the WACA wicket and tested under match conditions. Following a successful testing phase an additional four wickets were developed, which aim to replicate the character of the WACA wicket. The Gillette One-Day International between Australia and England on Sunday, January 28, 2018 will be the first sporting event to be held at Perth's newest venue. The final release of tickets to the match will go on sale at 10am Friday, January 12 (AWST). Pricing and event information can be found at http// Comments attributed to Acting Sport and Recreation Minister Peter Tinley "Richie Richardson is a cricketing legend who has toured stadiums around the world so this is high praise indeed. "Perth will now be able to lay claim to having the best cricket stadium in the world, boosting the city's ability to attract big-ticket events and more tourists. "We are about to embark on a new era for cricket in Western Australia - and this endorsement will travel far and wide throughout the international cricket community, putting Perth on show to the world." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Federer quokka shot smashes WA tourism into global advantage769640Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements11870html11/01/2018 12:00:21 AM2018-01-11T00:00:00Z More than half-a-billion people in 45 countries see Hopman Cup winner's quokka selfie Tennis ace lobs Rottnest Island firmly into global tourism market, helping boost our local economy World number two men's singles tennis player, and 2018 Mastercard Hopman Cup winner, Roger Federer's lovable quokka selfie has reached 581 million people in 45 countries through global online news. On the request of Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, the Swiss tennis star flew to Rottnest Island by helicopter on December 28, 2017, exploring Parakeet Bay, before heading inland to find a quokka to achieve his 'bucket list' goal of mingling with the marsupial. He posted a shot on his Instagram account with the message 'nice to meet you', and referenced his furry friend with the hashtags #newpal, #westernaustralia, #rottnestisland, and #happyquokka. The Instagram post has attracted 525,000 likes, 5,000 comments and was shared 2,500 times, reaching 5.3 million people across Facebook and Twitter. A personal Instagram record for the sporting superstar. It also made headlines in newspapers and on news websites around the world, appearing in 239 publications in the United Kingdom, 53 in Switzerland, 45 in Colombia, 30 in the United States and 41 across Australia, with the post reported on in 13 different languages. The State Government, through Tourism Western Australia, has been a proud sponsor of the Hopman Cup since its inception in 1989. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "The 2018 Hopman Cup proved to be another huge success for Perth and Western Australia attracting a record attendance of 106,424 at Perth Arena and providing extraordinary exposure for Perth and Western Australia. "Having champion Roger Federer in town, and taking him to see some of the best tourism hotspots we have to offer, has paid off by showcasing our wonderful State to more than half a billion people around the world. "Judging the reaction to Roger's quokka selfie, we can expect a lot more visitors to WA and Rottnest in coming months and years, providing a much needed boost to local jobs and our local economy." Minister's office - 6552 5600