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Bayswater election commitment delivered212251Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html24/04/2017 9:25:27 AM2017-04-24T09:20:00Z Priority pre-election commitment honoured $1.5 million towards the cost of purchase of Carter's land Planning Minister Rita Saffioti today announced that the McGowan Labor Government had met its pre-election pledge to provide $1.5 million to buy land in Bayswater. In March this year, WA Labor promised to match the City of Bayswater's $1.5 million commitment to buy Lot 14, Skipper's Row, known locally as Carter's land. The privately owned site is close to the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary, an urban wetland that is home to important fauna and flora in the Bayswater area. A section of the 1.5-hectare lot was earmarked for works associated with an adjacent residential development. The $1.5 million contribution will be paid to the City of Bayswater to enable the local government to purchase the land. Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti "I saw first-hand the value, the local community places on this area and I am committed to ensuring that it continues to be a community asset for everyone to enjoy. "I acknowledge the passionate commitment of the local community, tirelessly supported by Maylands MLA Lisa Baker, in their fight for Carter's land. "This has resulted in a positive outcome that balances the needs of the community, the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary and the landowners. "This is another election commitment delivered by the McGowan Labor Government." Minister's office - 6552 5500
35 years of friendship between Western Australia and Hyogo212249Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html24/04/2017 3:30:55 AM2017-04-24T03:30:00Z ​Western Australia and Japan's Hyogo Prefecture celebrate 35th anniversary of Sister State relationship Relationship to be re-affirmed at a ceremony tonight (April 24) Premier and State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Mark McGowan will meet the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture today to celebrate the 35th anniversary of our Sister State relationship. Together, Mr McGowan and Governor Toshizo Ido will sign a fresh agreement re-affirming the two parties' ongoing commitment to the relationship at a ceremony tonight. Established in 1981, WA's friendship with Hyogo is the State's oldest Sister State relationship, with 2016-17 marking its 35th anniversary. Governor Ido is joined in Western Australia by a delegation of more than 60 people, including representatives from the political, environmental, aquaculture and tourism sectors. During their visit, members of the delegation will travel to Albany and Margaret River, meet representatives of the Western Australian Parliament, tour the Australian Marine Complex, take part in a tourism seminar and visit Curtin University. A number of events have already taken place to celebrate the 35th anniversary, including the Western Australian Youth Orchestra's successful tour of the Hyogo Prefecture in December 2016. The Western Australian Government has maintained a trade and investment office in Kobe, Hyogo, since 1989. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "Western Australia's friendship with the Hyogo Prefecture is built on mutual respect and understanding, and has been deepened through 35 years of social and economic exchanges. "On behalf of the people of Western Australia, I am honoured to re-affirm this commitment and look forward to taking this relationship into its fourth decade and beyond. "The relationship was borne out of collaboration in the iron ore industry, but it now stretches into many aspects of the economy and community including tourism, trade, culture, education and sport. "As the member for Rockingham, I am also delighted to note that the City of Rockingham and Hyogo's Ako City will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Sister City relationship this year." Premier's office - 6552 5000
25-year milestone for Western Australia’s Indonesian trade office613919Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements1740html23/04/2017 4:32:27 AM2017-04-23T04:30:00Z Western Australian Trade and Investment office in Indonesia celebrates 25th anniversary Trade office focused on opportunities in agriculture, tourism, education, oil and gas Western Australia is celebrating a quarter of a century of trade ties with Indonesia this weekend, with the 25th anniversary of its Trade and Investment office in Jakarta. The trade office was officially opened by the then Prime Minister of Australia Paul Keating in 1992. It was originally located in Surabaya and was responsible for managing WA's Sister State relationship with East Java. In 2003, the office moved to the Indonesian capital and now manages the State's broader relationship with Indonesia. The office expanded to include dedicated agriculture and tourism officers in 2015. WA's exports to Indonesia rose 14.9 per cent in 2015-16, to $1.9 billion. The Western Australian Government maintains a network of other trade and investment offices in South Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, India, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. Comments attributed to Asian Engagement Minister Bill Johnston "Indonesia is Western Australia's closest neighbour and we were one of the first Australian States to open an office there to further our cultural and economic relationship. "Indonesia is the State's largest wheat export market, accounting for 28 per cent of our total wheat exports, with petroleum another key export commodity. "There is plenty of scope for growth in our trade relationship, particularly in areas like international education, tourism, mining and petroleum technology and services, and agriculture. "The Western Australian Trade and Investment office in Jakarta will continue to play a vital role in the ongoing development of our relationship with Indonesia." Minister's office - 6552 6700
Aubin Grove Station open to the public613917Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5090html23/04/2017 3:00:19 AM2017-04-23T03:00:00Z New station on the Mandurah Line complete Significant boost to Perth's southern corridor, creating new jobs for Western Australians The station delivers on Labor's vision for the Mandurah Line and METRONET Aubin Grove Station is a 22-23 minute journey from Perth The first train stopped at the $72 million Aubin Grove Station at 10.56am today (April 23). There are expected to be about 3,900 boardings each day at the new station, located between the Cockburn Central and Kwinana stations on the Mandurah Line. The station, made from locally fabricated steel, also features 2,000 parking bays, bike facilities, six bus feeder services for local residents, a kiosk, toilets, lifts, stairs and escalators. The combined cost of the Aubin Grove road and rail project is $125 million, including $20 million in Federal funding for the Russell Road upgrade. Two three-car train sets have been delivered as part of the project and are already operating on the Transperth network. The road and rail works were delivered by Georgiou, with the road component of the project completed in December 2016. The opening of the station has created 17 full-time equivalent jobs - four passenger ticketing assistants, nine transit officers and four railcar drivers. About 100 local jobs were created during the construction phase. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The Aubin Grove Station was part of Labor's long-term vision for the Mandurah Line. "At the time the Labor Government built the Mandurah Line we made an allowance for this station to be built as population growth increased demand. "Living in Rockingham I know personally how badly this station is needed to service the growing southern suburbs and that's why we first committed to the construction of this station in 2012. "I like to acknowledge the previous government and former Premier Colin Barnett's commitment to this project and for following through with its delivery." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The new station was built while the Mandurah Line was largely still operational. "This project represents a feat of engineering, with the station largely constructed off-site and then sections craned into place over the last 18 months. "Several off-peak weeknight and night closures were required so that overhead power could be switched off to make it safe for workers in the rail zone. "I would like to thank Mandurah Line passengers for their patience." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
Guildford Road process to be fast-tracked613902Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6050html22/04/2017 12:07:35 AM2017-04-22T00:00:00Z Labor commitment made during the election remains strong Current process to assess the potential Metropolitan Region Scheme (MRS) amendment must continue but final decision remains with the Minister for Planning The McGowan Labor Government remains committed to an election pledge not to proceed with the widening of Guildford Road. A process to consider the proposed MRS amendment, which includes provisions for Guildford Road to be widened, started in December 2016 and is required by law to be completed. The Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) is obliged under the Planning and Development Act 2005 to undertake all steps necessary to provide a formal recommendation to the Minister for Planning. However, the final decision on the matter still lies with the Minister for Planning. Planning Minister Rita Saffioti has moved to assure residents concerned about a proposal to widen Guildford Road that the process is being progressed as quickly as possible. Ms Saffioti has asked the WAPC to carry out this process as quickly as possible so that she can make a swift decision on the future of the amendment. The public comment period has now closed and submitters will be invited shortly to make deputations to the WAPC, before a recommendation is made to the Minister for a final decision. Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti "We have made a clear election commitment on this and I intend to deliver on that. "I have received legal advice that states we must allow the current process to run its course, but I have asked that this be done as quickly as possible. "I would like to end the uncertainty for landowners as soon as possible." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Investor briefings to support borrowing program613835Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10800html21/04/2017 5:45:19 AM2017-04-21T05:45:00Z ​Briefings between the State and numerous investors commence April 24 The offshore market has become increasingly important for the State's borrowingsTreasurer Ben Wyatt will visit Sydney and north Asia next week to meet a number of potential and current investors to discuss the State's prospective borrowing program. Mr Wyatt said proactively engaging with investors was essential to support the State's Budget. Under Treasurer Michael Barnes revealed earlier this month that Western Australia would need to undertake a borrowing program in excess of $10 billion in 2017-18. The scale of this borrowing program would require a more diversified investor base. The briefings will focus on the Government's commitment to Budget repair and the longer term economic outlook for WA. Australian banks have traditionally supported the majority of WA's borrowing activities, but the size of the State's debt means overseas investors are increasingly important. The Treasurer will brief 80-90 current and potential investors in Sydney, Tokyo and Hong Kong from April 24 to 29. Mr Wyatt will be accompanied by Mr Barnes, Western Australian Treasury Corporation Chief Executive Officer John Collins and the Treasurer's Chief of Staff Roger Martin. The State has traditionally had 20 to 25 per cent of its debt held by offshore investors compared to an estimated 40 per cent by some other States. The Australian Office of Financial Management, responsible for the Commonwealth's debt management activities, has more than a 60 per cent share abroad. Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "While I would prefer not to have to borrow any money on behalf of taxpayers, the previous government has sadly left behind a series of large forecast deficits that can only be met by continuing to increase the size of the debt. "The scale of the former government's debt mountain means we will be increasingly seeking the support of foreign lenders." Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Premier presents $60,000 donation to Red Cross613833Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6820html21/04/2017 3:30:37 AM2017-04-21T03:30:00Z ​Premier presents Red Cross with a $60,000 donation to the annual Red Cross Calling Appeal The Red Cross Calling Appeal is a fundraising event that has been running for more than 69 years Premier Mark McGowan today presented a cheque for $60,000 to the Red Cross as part of the State Government's annual contribution to the Red Cross Calling Appeal. Mr McGowan met with Red Cross CEO Judy Slatyer and Acting State Director Linda Crumlin to discuss the work of the Red Cross in the Western Australian community. The Red Cross Calling Appeal has been held for almost 70 years. In 2016 the annual appeal raised more than $4.9 million with the help of more than 2,450 volunteers across Australia. The Red Cross has been operating in Australia since 1914 and delivers emergency services and humanitarian assistance both domestically and internationally. In Western Australia, the Red Cross provides a range of community services including mental health support, assistance in finding safe and secure housing and support services for vulnerable people in the community. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The Red Cross is an important organisation that provides assistance and support for many Western Australians. "Today I met with the CEO of the Red Cross, Judy Slatyer, and the Western Australian Acting Director, Linda Crumlin, to hear about the important work the Red Cross does in the community. "I was pleased to present a donation of $60,000 for the annual Red Cross Calling Appeal to assist the Red Cross in continuing their work." Premier's office - 6552 5000
State Government takes control of Perth Children's Hospital613815Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements21040html20/04/2017 6:01:43 AM2017-04-20T06:00:00Z Practical Completion enables the State Government to address remnant building and contractual issues Commissioning work continues at building site to resolve issues Elevated lead levels in water to be chemically treatedThe State Government has granted Practical Completion of the Perth Children's Hospital (PCH) project enabling it to take control of the site and address remaining building and contractual issues. Elevated levels of lead in the water on the site and other remnant building issues have been identified as defects with the builder remaining responsible for their rectification. Under the PCH contract, the State Government has the power to rectify defects itself at the builder's cost if the builder does not do so within a nominated timeframe. Lead levels at the PCH site have already reduced significantly as a result of remedial measures already implemented including filters on the incoming water supply, extensive flushing of the plumbing system, in-line filters to trap debris within the system, and replacement of corroded sections of stainless steel pipe. However, lead levels in water samples at PCH have not fallen to acceptable levels. Granting Practical Completion means hospital commissioning work can continue at the site however no health or patient services can be provided at the site until the Chief Health Officer is satisfied water is safe to drink. The State Government has sought expert advice and understands the most likely cause of current elevated lead levels is leaching from brass fittings, which may be chemically treated to inhibit this process. The treatment has been used internationally with a high success rate. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "We have repeatedly stated there are remnant contractual and building issues including defects such as the lead issue that we have inherited from the Barnett Government. "These have contributed to significant delays by the builder, however with control of the site, we're now acting fast and we are going to resolve the issues as soon as practically possible. "We want to resolve the issues, get the hospital ready, and have patients receiving world-class treatment there as soon as possible. "This is the circuit-breaker that will make sure we get this hospital ready for patients. "Our focus remains on ensuring we have a safe hospital for patients and staff and we will open Perth Children's Hospital only when it is safe to do so." Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "Practical Completion will allow the State Government to take control and address the remaining issues at the PCH site. "The builder can still be held accountable for all defects - including elevated lead levels in the water - and we intend to pursue the builder to manage the defects by set deadlines or we will manage the issues and pursue the builder for costs." Health Minister's office - 6552 6500 Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Western Australia to delay NAPLAN Online to 2018613808Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements41120html18/04/2017 11:43:15 PM2017-04-18T23:05:00Z NAPLAN Online to be delayed by one year 99 schools participating in the online trial will now be undertaking paper tests NAPLAN is a national assessment of all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 NAPLAN testing starts in May Western Australia will not participate in an online trial of the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) this year. Testing of the NAPLAN Online platform during the school holidays identified several issues that could impact on students' ability to complete the tests. All Western Australian students will sit pen and paper tests this year. This decision will allow the additional time required for the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training to make improvements to the NAPLAN Online platform, so the project can continue in 2018. Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory also withdrew today. South Australia and Queensland had previously withdrawn from NAPLAN Online. The three-year transition period to NAPLAN Online started this year. Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "The advice I have received means I am no longer prepared to commit Western Australian students to participate in NAPLAN Online in 2017. "My primary concern is to ensure students are able to demonstrate their literacy and numeracy skills without experiencing IT issues. "Contingencies for this decision have been put in place by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority and all schools affected have been contacted. "We will work closely with our partners across Australia to ensure a successful rollout in 2018 and 2019." Minister's office - 6552 5700
Students pay their respects to ANZACs during Singapore tour211419Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7060html16/04/2017 2:03:55 AM2017-04-16T02:00:00Z ​10 students selected for the 2017 Premier's ANZAC Student Tour leave for Singapore today The group will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery wished students well today as they flew to Singapore to take part in a historic tour. In its 14th year, the Premier's ANZAC Student Tour will commemorate the 1942 surrender of the Allied forces in Singapore, one of the worst defeats in World War II history. The tour enables students to take their learning out of the classroom. They will visit important historic sites and gain an insight into Australia's involvement in the region during the war. Students will attend the dawn ANZAC service at Kranji War Memorial. The tour participants are Bryce TaylorAlbany Senior High SchoolPatrick ReillyBoyup Brook District High SchoolBrandon RoweGirrawheen Senior High SchoolCaitlyn McKenzieHoly Cross CollegeCoby MenzieKelmscott Senior High SchoolMya KordicManjimup Senior High SchoolCale WilcoxMount Lawley Senior High SchoolJanka ReyndersNarrogin Senior High SchoolMing Hui GaoRossmoyne Senior High SchoolMitchell MurrayWesley College Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The Premier's ANZAC Student Tour helps keep the ANZAC spirit alive among our younger generations. "These students are continuing a proud tradition with a very special responsibility to represent our State at the ANZAC Day service in Singapore." Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "The tour will be a life-changing experience for these students. "They will visit Changi Museum, Johore Battery, Fort Canning, Alexandra Hospital and other memorial sites. "The students will return with great memories and will share with others what they've learnt about Australia's history." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700
Calling all agrifood innovators154521Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements16940html12/04/2017 3:00:30 AM2017-04-12T03:00:00Z ​Scholarships of up to $30,000 available to farmers and innovators in the agriculture and aquaculture sector Program to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the agrifood sector Science Minister Dave Kelly today announced the opening of applications for round two of the State Government's Agriculture and Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Program. The program forms part of the Science and Agribusiness Connect initiative's suite of programs designed to build the capability of the Western Australian agrifood sector. Three scholarships of up to $30,000 are available this round to enable farmers and individuals engaged in the agriculture or aquaculture sectors to develop and pursue their idea or invention through exposure to international best practice and leaders in their field. Successful applicants will have an innovative concept or idea within the fields of agriculture or aquaculture that has the potential to broaden the economy and to modernise the agrifood sector. The program awarded $55,202 in scholarships in its first round to four WA farmers and innovators from across the sector. These individuals are now travelling interstate and overseas to learn from the world's best on a range of innovations including lime application for the management of sub-soil acidity, boosting productivity in marron farming, using drone technology in agriculture and investigating ways to establish a log-grown shiitake industry in the South-West. They will be returning to Western Australia and sharing their knowledge within their industries and regional WA later this year. Applications for round two of the program close at 12pm AWST on May 31, 2017. Comment attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly "The McGowan Labor Government is committed to building the capability of the agrifood sector to further improve its long-term competitiveness and diversification in Western Australia." Comment attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "We already have some of the brightest thinkers in agriculture here in WA and these scholarships will provide an opportunity for our innovators to learn from the very best." Science Minister's office - 6552 6100 Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200
Extra traffic resources deployed this Easter154519Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9040html12/04/2017 1:46:25 AM2017-04-12T01:45:00Z ​Extra traffic resources deployed across WA this Easter to encourage holiday makers to drive safely Booze buses, marked and unmarked patrol cars, motorcycles with radars and mobile speed cameras will be deployed to high-risk roads Double demerit points will apply from 12.01am Thursday until 11.59pm on Easter Monday Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts has reminded Western Australians, particularly those travelling to regional WA to catch up with family and friends, to take extra care on the roads this Easter. Mrs Roberts said Easter was traditionally a dangerous time on our State's roads. There had been 15 fatal and six critical road crashes over the past four Easter long weekends, with up to four people losing their lives at this time each year. Speed, drink and drug driving, inattention and failing to wear seatbelts continued to be the major causal factors in fatal and serious crashes. Police resources including booze buses, marked and unmarked patrol cars, motorcycles with radars and mobile speed cameras will be deployed further into regional WA than previous campaigns to maximise enforcement. Every police district in the State has an action plan for Easter and officers have been instructed to maximise the number of random breath and drug tests conducted during this campaign. Double demerit points will apply tomorrow (April 13) from 12.01am until 11.59pm on Easter Monday (April 17). Comments attributed to Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts "This weekend should be all about family and friends and not remembered for years to come with tragedy. "There will be a huge police traffic presence on the roads this Easter to help curb road trauma by targeting dangerous and illegal driving behaviour. "My message to motorists is please drive to the rules and keep our roads, and your passengers, safe this Easter." Minister's office - 6552 6900
Western Australians fly in to support cyclone-ravaged Queensland154011Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements11970html10/04/2017 6:20:09 AM2017-04-10T06:20:00Z Specialist team deployed to assist in Queensland flood recovery Co-ordinating emergency accommodation and financial assistance A team of eight specialist personnel from the Department for Child Protection and Family Support were deployed to Queensland yesterday to assist in the important recovery effort in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie. The team will work with local authorities in Queensland to assist in the recovery, including the provision of food, clothing, emergency accommodation and financial assistance. They will also assist people affected by the cyclone in their applications for disaster relief grants and conduct home visits to help assess the damage to people's homes. The highly trained team has been sent for an initial two-week period, with extension and further deployments to follow as required. Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk "I am proud of the department's staff that have put themselves forward to assist in the recovery from this disaster. "The people of Queensland have demonstrated tremendous resilience on previous occasions, and will no doubt rise to meet the challenges this recovery presents. "The specialist skills and experience we are providing will be an important asset for the recovery efforts of the communities affected. "The McGowan Labor Government recognises that it is critically important in times of crisis to provide assistance and support to other Australian communities, wherever they may be." Minister's office - 6552 6600
Celebrating the best in WA science153997Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12370html10/04/2017 2:00:16 AM2017-04-10T02:00:00Z This year marks the 16th year for the awards which celebrate the State's best and brightest scientific minds 2017 awards sponsored by Chevron, ExxonMobil and Woodside Applications open today for the 2017 Premier's Science Awards, along with nominations for the 2017 Western Australian Science Hall of Fame. The Premier's Science Awards, which are now in their 16th year, celebrate the State's best in scientific research and engagement. The awards cover all fields of science including natural, medical, applied and technological science, engineering and mathematics. Past recipients have made some of the most notable and innovative scientific advances in WA. The 2017 Premier's Science Awards feature four award categories Scientist of the Year ($50,000 prize) Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year ($10,000 prize) ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year ($10,000 prize) Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year ($10,000 prize). The WA Science Hall of Fame was established in 2007 to recognise exceptional lifelong contributions from Western Australians to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Recipients are internationally renowned scientists who have been extensively engaged in outreach and the development of graduate students. Applications for the Premier's Science Awards and nominations for the WA Science Hall of Fame close at 10am on May 22, 2017. The Premier's Science Award winners and the Hall of Fame inductee will be announced at an awards ceremony on August 17, 2017 during National Science Week, Australia's biggest annual celebration of science. For more information and to apply, visit https// Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly "These awards recognise outstanding work in scientific research and engaging the community with science. "Engaging young people in science is a key priority of the McGowan Labor Government as we look towards creating future employment opportunities and diversifying our economy through science. "Advances in science are also important to improve the lives of Western Australians through improved health and wellbeing, enhanced infrastructure and more efficient industries." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Research roundtable to chart course forward153995Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements16480html10/04/2017 1:00:07 AM2017-04-10T01:00:00Z Agriculture and Food Minister has convened an urgent roundtable on agricultural research with the Department of Agriculture and Food, WA's Chief Scientist and universities In refocusing the department in the research and development space, the State Government will ensure the best return on its investment Leading research organisations will meet this afternoon to assess future models of agricultural research and development in Western Australia. Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan convened the urgent roundtable to discuss the optimal model for research and development, particularly in the grains industry, to create jobs and put WA at the forefront of scientific research. The Barnett Liberal National Government severely cut the Department of Agriculture and Food, losing key research and development staff and impacting on the department's future capabilities. Ensuring industry stakeholders are working in collaboration will avoid repetition in research across the sector and ensure the best return on State Government investment. Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "In the current environment, it is more important than ever that we ensure we are maximising our return on investment in research and development; we need to be very clear on who does what and how best we can leverage our research and development dollars. "WA has a proud history of groundbreaking, world-leading research in agriculture, particularly related to grains, and the Department of Agriculture and Food has historically had an important role in this. "But brutal cuts to the department have left the sector's research and development capabilities hanging in the balance. "By bringing together key stakeholders in this space - the Department of Agriculture and Food, the four research universities and the Chief Scientist - the State Government is charting a course for rebuilding our capabilities in research and development. "If we can get the science right, our agricultural sector will take its rightful place as one of the biggest new job creators in WA." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Next wave of liquor reforms underway to create jobs153945Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements17080html9/04/2017 2:46:12 AM2017-04-09T02:45:00Z ​Next round of liquor reform to be introduced this year McGowan Government to make sure tourism, community and cultural benefits are strongly considered in liquor licence applications Common sense prevails to allow award-winning Perth distillery to serve whiskey with a non-alcoholic mixer drink The McGowan Government has commenced plans for the next stage of reform of WA's liquor licensing laws to support innovative local businesses and create jobs for Western Australians. Premier Mark McGowan and Tourism and Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia today welcomed the Director of Liquor Licensing's decision to allow the award-winning Whipper Snapper Distillery to sell their whiskey with a non-alcoholic mixer drink, such as soda water or ginger ale. Whipper Snapper's application to amend their liquor licence had been held up, due to lack of clarity over the rules around applications to serve mixer drinks. On March 31, they were informed that their licence had been amended to allow customers the option of ordering a non-alcoholic mixer drink, reflecting the McGowan Government's fresh approach to liquor licensing. The McGowan Government will press ahead with further reforms of WA's liquor laws to create a more vibrant city and new tourism and employment opportunities. Mr Papalia will introduce new laws that will make it easier for vibrant, sophisticated venues to obtain liquor licences. The Government will add a new category to the public interest assessment to allow venues' tourism, community and cultural benefits to be strongly considered during the liquor licence application or amendment process. The McGowan Government will also give equal weight to representations of tourism and cultural bodies as those of the Police Commissioner and Executive Director of Public Health. Mr Papalia will introduce the amendments to the Liquor Control Act 1988 into State Parliament before the end of the year. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The liquor reforms that I introduced as Minister transformed Perth's nightlife and created the vibrant small bar scene we enjoy today. "More importantly, it created new jobs in the tourism and hospitality industries. "The State Government is getting on with the job of taking the next steps in liquor reform in WA to cut red tape, support exciting local businesses and create jobs. "Under our plans, venues that deliver cultural and tourism value to the community within a safe environment will have a better chance of obtaining a liquor licence or amending a liquor licence." Comments attributed to Tourism and Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia "The decision to allow Whipper Snapper Distillery to amend their licence represents a shift towards a more common sense approach to liquor licensing in WA. "Whipper Snapper is an award-winning local establishment that has potential to be a tourist hotspot and create jobs for Western Australians. "The team at Whipper Snapper have recently been recognised internationally, taking out the gold medal for Australian corn whiskey at the World Whiskey Awards London and the best in category for international corn whiskey at the American Distilling Institute awards. "This is the type of venue we should be supporting - they are providing an exciting and innovative product. By supporting these venues, we create a more sophisticated and vibrant drinking culture and more job opportunities for Western Australians." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Tourism and Racing and Gaming Minister's office - 6552 5600
Western Australia, Let's Talk153912Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements16680html7/04/2017 3:10:07 AM2017-04-07T03:10:00Z ​ Western Australians are encouraged to join the conversation today with Depression Let's Talk, an initiative representing this year's theme of the World Health Organisation's World Health Day. In Australia, one in five women and one in eight men will experience depression in their lifetimes. In the past 12 months, about one in 13 Western Australians reported that their family GP had diagnosed them with depression, with more cases reported among women. To coincide with the Depression Let's Talk day, the Mental Health Commission has released a video to explain the importance of asking for help from your GP. Learn more about depression at http// Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "It is vital as a community that we continue to talk about depression, and to encourage sufferers to feel supported in asking for help. "Depression can affect anyone at any time, lasting for weeks or even years, and can have serious consequences for a person's mental and physical wellbeing. "It is important to know there is help available for people struggling with depression and by sending a message that it is OK to talk about the illness, we hope to encourage people to reach out and get in touch with the many support services available. "With the right help, depression can be prevented and treated but it is still a subject that many people struggle to talk about, even with close family and friends, which is why Depression Let's Talk is a great way to kick off this important conversation. "The State Government is committed to supporting mental health services and it will be our priority to ensure more Western Australians are able to access the help they need." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Iron ore noise is hosed down with financial facts153910Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements18660html7/04/2017 2:07:23 AM2017-04-07T01:55:00Z ​Treasurer Ben Wyatt dismisses false claims that iron ore price assumptions had not been updated Updated iron ore price assumptions were included in the latest economic and fiscal overview delivered by WA Treasury this week. In the current financial year (2016-17) for example, the iron ore price assumption has been revised up by more than $US3 per tonne, which is why the forecast operating deficit of $2.9 billion is now marginally better than the pre-election forecast of a $3 billion deficit. Full details of updated iron ore assumptions are below. Pre-election iron ore price assumptions ($US/tonne)​​2016-1770.30 2017-1866.00​2018-1963.60​2019-2063.70​ ​​Updated iron ore price assumptions ($US/tonne)​​2016-1773.70 (up 3.40)2017-1868.90 (up 2.90)2018-1964.90 (up 1.30)2019-2064.70 (up 1.00) A copy of the Economic and Fiscal Outlook presentation is available at http// Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Appointment of Director of Public Prosecutions153879Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements25780html6/04/2017 7:21:21 AM2017-04-06T07:10:00Z ​Amanda Forrester SC has been appointed WA's Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Ms Forrester is WA's first female DPP Ms Forrester has acted in the position from November 2016, filling the vacancy left by Joseph McGrath SC who was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia The McGowan Government has appointed Amanda Forrester SC as Western Australia's Director of Public Prosecutions. Ms Forrester studied at The University of Western Australia where she completed her law degree in 1994 and was admitted into practice in 1996 after completing her articles of clerkship at Jackson McDonald in 1996. Before her appointment as Acting DPP, Ms Forrester held the positions of Consultant State Prosecutor and Senior State Prosecutor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in WA. Ms Forrester also had several years' experience as Crown Prosecutor at both the Office of Public Prosecutions in Victoria and the ODPP in WA. Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley "I'm proud to have appointed Ms Forrester as the first female DPP in our State's history. "Ms Forrester has 20 years' experience in complex criminal prosecutions in the Supreme and District Courts. "She brings to the role outstanding qualifications, extensive experience and comprehensive knowledge in criminal law. "Ms Forrester is a highly respected lawyer and I have every confidence in her ability to continue to provide the highest quality prosecution services to the WA community. "Her role as DPP is central to the administration of the criminal justice system in our State. "I congratulate Ms Forrester on her appointment." Minister's office - 6552 6800
Treasurer lays State’s economic and financial position bare153877Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements34700html6/04/2017 4:30:07 AM2017-04-06T04:30:00Z Economic and fiscal overview indicates $1.2 billion downward revision to revenue from pre-election estimates Net debt now forecast to reach $42.3 billion by June 30, 2020 Government requests Federal Treasurer for a $226 million GST 'top-up' grant Treasurer Ben Wyatt and Under Treasurer Michael Barnes today provided an overview of the economic and fiscal outlook for Western Australia and reinforced the need for urgent Budget repair. The overview reveals that in two months, general government revenue has been revised down by $1.2 billion since pre-election forecasts, which is primarily a result of the lower than expected GST relativity ($735 million); a further $199 million revision to forecast GST grants for the impact of lower population growth in WA; and the impact of declining land valuations on forecast land tax and Metropolitan Region Improvement Tax collections ($239 million). Despite early and tentative signs the State's economy could be stabilising, the deficit in 2019-20 was now forecast to reach $1.1 billion, compared to the $535 million pre-election forecast. Key challenges for the State include higher net debt levels, now forecast to reach $42.3 billion by June 30, 2020, a record high underemployment rate and unprecedented low wage and population growth. The 2017-18 Budget is scheduled for September 7, 2017 to allow the State Government to fully consider Budget repair measures. The Treasurer has also written to the Federal Treasurer requesting a $226 million GST top-up grant to effectively maintain Western Australia's GST relativity at the 0.376 level that applied in 2014-15, consistent with arrangements over the past two years. A copy of the Economic and Fiscal Outlook presentation is available at http// Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "This overview is about being transparent with our financial position to allow all Western Australians to understand the challenges we face. "Western Australia's finances are not in good shape due to years of budget mismanagement from the previous government. "Years of poor financial management has left the State Government vulnerable to this sort of deterioration. "The diabolical state of the books, coupled with further deterioration in revenue, have further exacerbated the significant fiscal challenges we now face. "Returning the budget to surplus is going to be difficult, however we are taking immediate action to limit unnecessary expenditure. "The McGowan Labor Government is committed to progressing the Service Priority Review, a budget management initiative, which has been designed to deliver significant savings to the budget and assist in getting it back on a sustainable footing in the long term. "The scale of the challenge confronting the Government means the 2017-18 State Budget will be later than usual this year, with Cabinet approving a September 7 Budget." Treasurer's office - 6552 5900