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Goldfields leads Schools Virtual Power Plant trial17951Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 6:54:42 AM2020-08-04T06:45:00Z Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School to lead innovative solar project Investments in battery storage will cut school's electricity bills $4 million towards transforming schools into Virtual Power Plants Unlocks broader community value and energy system stability Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School is the first school to be confirmed in the McGowan Government's Schools Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot project. The first Schools Virtual Power Plant, located at the Goldfields school, is the direct result of the McGowan Government's investment in Kalgoorlie's new energy future. The solar panels and battery are expected to be installed over the coming months. As part of the WA Recovery Plan, the McGowan Government will invest $4 million towards transforming up to 10 schools into smart VPPs - installed by Synergy. A VPP is a network of distributed energy resources such as solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles that are integrated and shared with an energy retailer. Schools will be provided with commercial batteries to store their excess energy for later use, which will also assist with grid stability. This is a step towards a more sustainable future. The trial will run for 24 months and it is expected at the end of the pilot, schools will save on their electricity bills and learn more about the benefits of solar power. Participating schools, determined in conjunction with the Department of Education, have been chosen based on grid suitability and are all from within the South West Interconnected System. More schools will be announced over the coming weeks. The announcement forms part of the McGowan Government's $66.3 million renewable energy technologies package, recently launched, which will boost innovative, clean energy projects throughout Western Australia. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "I'm pleased to kick off this trial today at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, which teaches students about the benefits of renewable energy and new technologies, and will help improve the Goldfields region's renewable energy footprint. "This pilot is another example of how my Government continues to invest in renewable energy technologies and develop a pathway for more job and training opportunities. "It builds on investments we're making in new industries and sectors to help the State rebound stronger than ever in our recovery journey to establish a pipeline of jobs for Western Australians." Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston "This is an exciting milestone for the McGowan Government, the Schools Virtual Power Plant pilot will pave the way for a more energy efficient system in Western Australia. "Regional Western Australians will be able to enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar and improved power quality in their local communities. "This initiative supports the McGowan Government's Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap, which will help transition WA towards a cleaner, greener energy future." Comments attributed to Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn "This is a great project for Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School, particularly for students studying STEM subjects. "The Virtual Power Plant will be installed by the end of the year, with the project lasting 24 months. "Our local residents will also be able to enjoy the benefits of rooftop solar and improved power quality in their community." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Energy Minister's office - 6552 6700
Joint media statement - Preferred proponent chosen for $852 million Bunbury Outer Ring Road project17950Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 6:25:04 AM2020-08-04T06:20:00Z The Southwest Connex consortium has been named the preferred proponent to design and construct the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, the biggest regional infrastructure project ever undertaken in Western Australia. The consortium, comprising Acciona, local WA company NRW Contracting, MACA Civil, AECOM and Aurecon will now enter into negotiations with Main Roads prior to the contract award anticipated in September. Construction on the $852 million project will begin early next year, subject to environmental and heritage approvals and is estimated to create thousands of local jobs. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said this was just one of the major infrastructure projects planned for the South West region. "The Bunbury Outer Ring Road project has been planned for a number of years, recognising the significance of delivering vital infrastructure to provide a safer and more efficient road system for the South West of Western Australia," Mr McCormack said. "Bunbury Outer Ring Road will provide relief for local residents by removing freight and regional traffic from local roads while maintaining easy access to Bunbury and other regional destinations. "Investing in well-planned transport projects will keep the Bunbury region moving and boost its status as a major economic regional centre." Western Australian Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said this is the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken in regional WA. "During construction, Bunbury Outer Ring Road will provide thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities, benefiting the State and local community," she said. "This project will deliver huge benefits for the economy, both during its construction and once in operation and I'm pleased to see a local WA company play such a big role in its construction. "Maximising local business procurement and Aboriginal participation are key objectives for the project and we have set a target of approximately $300 million to be allocated to local businesses to subcontract on the project." Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino MP, who worked on securing Federal funding for this project for years, said the Bunbury Outer Ring Road is a well-planned infrastructure project supporting the growth and development of the region. "I'm determined to see as much local South West procurement involved in the construction of this project as possible," Ms Marino said. "Given that local businesses and contractors are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the prioritisation of this road project and local procurement are critical to the South West." State Member for Bunbury Don Punch said the project will help ease congestion and improve safety as well as creating local job opportunities. "I am pleased to see that local businesses will have so much opportunity to work on this project," he said. "This project will create local jobs while also complementing other major projects underway in the South-West region including the Bussell Highway duplication." WA Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
Historic agreement paves way for Ningaloo joint management17949Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 6:06:20 AM2020-08-04T06:00:00Z Indigenous Land Use Agreement signed for proposed Ningaloo (Nyinggulu) Coastal Reserves Reserves to be jointly managed and jointly vested with traditional owners and State GovernmentThe Ningaloo Coast will be jointly managed between traditional owners and the State Government, following the historic signing of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA). Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today joined the traditional owners from Nganhurra Thanardi Garrbu Aboriginal Corporation (NTGAC) and native title representative body Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC) on the Ningaloo Coast to celebrate the signing. The agreement provides for the joint management and joint vesting of the existing Ningaloo Marine Park (260,000 hectares) and Cape Range National Park (50,000 hectares), as well as the creation of about 78,000 hectares of new conservation areas extending over approximately 215 kilometres of the Ningaloo Coast. The new reserves will be jointly managed by NTGAC and the Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA). The Ningaloo ILUA is the first ILUA delivered under the McGowan Government's Plan for Our Parks initiative, which aims to increase the conservation estate in Western Australia by five million hectares over five years through new jointly managed parks and reserves. The formal creation of the Nyinggulu Coastal Reserves and release of the joint management plan is expected in coming weeks. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "The Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area is one of WA's premier tourism destinations, and the McGowan Government has been working hard with traditional owners to protect the extraordinary natural and cultural values of this place while ensuring ongoing visitor access to camping and other recreational opportunities in the region. "This native title agreement paves the way for this iconic part of the world to be showcased, protected and formally jointly vested and managed with traditional owners and DBCA's Parks and Wildlife Service, protecting the area for future generations of Western Australians. "This achievement is the culmination of many years of work to conserve and protect the Ningaloo Coast, and this Government is proud to have worked collaboratively with NTGAC and YMAC to deliver this important outcome." Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt "We are working with traditional owners to manage country and 'close the gap' by providing social, cultural and economic development opportunities for communities through the negotiation of native title agreements and initiatives such as the Aboriginal Ranger Program. "This native title agreement demonstrates the McGowan Government's commitment to enhanced engagement, partnerships and agreement-making with traditional owners. "This agreement will enhance the management and tourism attraction for this spectacularly beautiful region of our State. "The McGowan Government is currently in negotiations with other native title groups across Western Australia to deliver similar outcomes that will provide meaningful opportunities for traditional owners, create jobs and support new tourism opportunities." Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800 Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office 6552 5900
Major upgrades at Hands Oval as part of WA Recovery Plan17878Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 5:56:01 AM2020-08-04T05:30:00Z $130 million package to upgrade sport facilities across WA Package includes $5 million for Hands Oval This major investment part of the McGowan Government's $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan Full list of upgrades available at Regional Western Australia is set to benefit after the McGowan Government announced one of the most significant investments in sport and recreation in our State's history, with a $130 million package as part of the WA Recovery Plan. A total of $5 million is being invested towards significant upgrades at Hands Oval in Bunbury to replace infrastructure that is over 50 years old with contemporary facilities. It will enhance Hands Oval's reputation as the premier Australian football facility in the South-West by providing better male and female player change rooms, club facilities and enhanced spectator experiences. The project is expected to create local jobs that will benefit small businesses and contractors. For the full list of projects, visit http// Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "Sport and recreation is part of who we are as Western Australians, and Hands Oval certainly plays a big role in the South-West sporting landscape. "This investment is part of a State-wide package that will see WA sporting facilities in need of attention being updated and upgraded, whilst contributing towards the economy's recovery. "Hands Oval has been centrestage for footy in the South-West for a very long time, but I don't think much has changed here since my playing days - it's time to bring the ground up to modern standards which will allow it to continue its role well into the future." Comments attributed to Bunbury MLA Don Punch "Seeing Hands Oval reach its potential as an AFL and outdoors sports venue has been a long-held aspiration for our community; and I am really proud to be part of the Government that has delivered this outcome. "This investment delivers on two key issues it raises the standard of the facilities at Hands Oval to a level befitting a peak regional facility and it ensures there are appropriate facilities available for the women's league. "This project is a great example of how the McGowan Government is continuing to deliver important community facilities that meet the needs of our community while creating a pipeline of local jobs." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Kalgoorlie training revitalised with $10 million TAFE investment17877Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 4:55:12 AM2020-08-04T04:45:00Z $9 million for new Kalgoorlie Heavy Plant and Engineering Trades workshop $1 million to upgrade workshop to expand automotive electrical and light automotive training New facilities will upskill and train locals to meet the needs of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder workforce Half price courses and free skill sets in relevant trade areas Huge investment in TAFE upgrades as part of $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan As part of the Rebuilding our TAFEs plan, Premier Mark McGowan was in Kalgoorlie-Boulder today to announce a $10 million funding injection to bolster trades training at Central Regional TAFE (CR TAFE). A new $9 million Heavy Plant and Engineering Trade Workshop will provide students with a state-of-the-art training environment and support the delivery of job-ready employees to the local resources industry. An additional $1 million will be spent on upgrades to an existing workshop at the CR TAFE Kalgoorlie campus. The combined $10 million capital works project will see approximately 400 apprentices trained at the campus each year in high-demand engineering, fabrication, electrical and automotive programs. The Kalgoorlie TAFE campus spend is part of a $167.4 million investment in capital works projects, announced by the Premier last week, which will see five Western Australian TAFE colleges significantly upgraded. As part of the McGowan Government's commitment to regional WA, more than half of the total spend has been allocated to projects at regional TAFE colleges. The capital works projects, key to the State Government's $229.2 million Rebuilding our TAFEs plan, will deliver state-of-the-art learning opportunities for students and boost the Western Australian economy by generating jobs. The new state-of-the-art training facilities will meet demand for more skilled workers in the region by expanding training options and increasing the number of half price courses available, as part of the State Government's Lower fees, local skills initiative. Initially launched in January, the initiative halved the cost of training for 34 high priority qualifications. In July, the program was expanded to include an additional 39 courses slashed by up to 72 per cent to align with the State's immediate economic needs following COVID-19. The courses with reduced fees are also targeted at job opportunities that relate to capital works initiatives such as the Rebuilding our TAFEs plan. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The people of Kalgoorlie-Boulder can look forward to contemporary, state-of-the-art training facilities where they can train for the jobs of today and into the future. "This is all part of our plan to drive WA's economic and social recovery, by creating a pipeline of local jobs through investment in infrastructure projects and support of vital industries. "Keeping our resources sector strong is a priority. It will ensure we are well-positioned to bounce-back as the WA economy recovers." Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "It is clear vocational education and training will play a major role in WA's economic recovery, and world class facilities will ensure a strong future for the resources sector in the Goldfields. "As the economy recovers, we will continue to focus on upskilling and training Western Australians to get them back to work in areas that will drive economic activity across the State." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700 ​
$8.2 million in COVID-19 recovery funding for resources exploration17832Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 2:53:40 AM2020-08-04T02:50:00Z An extra $5 million in funding for the Exploration and Incentive Scheme $3.2 million towards purchasing Australia's first CAMECA-1300 Ion Microprobe Investment part of the comprehensive WA Recovery Plan to create a pipeline of jobsPremier Mark McGowan and Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston today announced an additional $5 million for the Exploration and Incentive Scheme (EIS) and the provision of $3.2 million for a new ion microprobe for Curtin University. The investment, which forms part of the WA Recovery Plan, will boost exploration opportunities and provide next generation geoscience information for Western Australia's resources sector. The EIS supports five high-level programs, including the successful co-funded drilling program, which offers up to a 50 per cent refund for innovative drilling in under-explored areas in WA. The additional $5 million will increase funding for the EIS to $15 million in 2020-21, resulting in an extra $3 million being available across the next two co-funded drilling rounds. Since 2017-18, the McGowan Government has invested $45 million to continue the EIS which supports industry and creates jobs. Additionally, the funding will accelerate the acquisition of airborne electromagnetic data from the southern half of the State, which is testing for the presence of critical battery minerals (such as nickel) and water. Curtin University, in Bentley, has a 27-year-old ion microprobe that previously provided valuable data about the timing of mineralising events, but it is no longer fully operational. State funding of $3.2 million will enable Curtin to secure $5 million in Commonwealth funding to purchase a new CAMECA-1300 Ion Microprobe, which will be an Australian first. In addition to its geoscience applications, the instrument will be used to support the Australian Space Agency's interest in increasing Australian participation in international deep space sample return missions. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "My Government is committed to supporting Western Australia's resources industry, and ensuring our State rebounds stronger than ever from the effects of COVID-19. "The additional $5 million funding will invigorate the industry and allow more exploration companies to participate in the co-funded drilling program, creating jobs for Western Australians. "The flow-on effect from this additional investment in exploration and technology will result in drilling companies deploying more rigs and workers, and lead to new resource discoveries." Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston "The new ion microprobe instrument is next-generation, it will be an Australian-first and one of only five in the world. "It will revolutionise our understanding of how and when Western Australia's key mineral deposits formed. "Our resources industry are already world-leaders in technology and research; having access to the Ion Microprobe will provide the State with a unique technological advantage to discover the next generation of resources. "Interestingly, the Ion Microprobe has potential applications well beyond the resources sector, such as understanding the formation of our solar system." Comments attributed to Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn "This is another great announcement for the local Goldfields community and Western Australia's mining industry. "It follows on from the much-needed $7 million expansion of the Joe Lord Core Library that the Premier announced in Kalgoorlie-Boulder last month. "We are the Government that ensured the funding for EIS is ongoing and secure for the long term. We will continue to support projects and activities that bring great local outcomes." Premier's office - 6552 5000Mines and Petroleum Minister's office - 6552 6700
Plan for Goldfields-Esperance unveiled as part of WA Recovery Plan17830Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 2:49:27 AM2020-08-04T02:45:00Z Premier Mark McGowan releases $46 million Goldfields-Esperance Recovery Plan Part of $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan to guide WA through COVID-19 recovery Plan will create a pipeline of jobs in the region and support the local economy Unprecedented investment in local infrastructure, schools and TAFE, community facilities Support for tourism, local manufacturing, and renewable and new technologies The McGowan Government has unveiled a $46 million package for the Goldfields-Esperance region, as part of the WA Recovery Plan to drive economic and social recovery and create a pipeline of local jobs. The Goldfields-Esperance Recovery Plan is focused on getting locals back to work and includes a significant investment in sectors including construction, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, renewable energy, education and training, and agriculture. It will deliver a pipeline of short and long term jobs supporting and strengthening our existing industries, as well as laying the foundation for jobs of the future. As part of the McGowan Government's $229 million TAFE package, the plan includes upgrades to TAFE infrastructure in the region, including $10 million to Central Regional TAFE's Kalgoorlie campus for a new Heavy Plant and Engineering Trades Workshop to expand training for mechanic and engineering trades, tailored to support resource sector needs; $25 million for free TAFE short courses to upskill thousands of Western Australians, with a variety of free courses available at Central Regional TAFE's Kalgoorlie campus; and $32 million to expand the Lower Fees, Local Skills program and significantly reduce TAFE fees across 39 high priority courses. The plan also includes $500,000 for major refurbishments to the Performing Arts Centre at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School as part of the Major School Upgrade package. The Goldfields-Esperance Recovery Plan includes investment in infrastructure and industry to create opportunities for local businesses and jobs for local workers. The McGowan Government's revamped Buy Local policy will ensure local businesses are in the box seat to carry out this work. The plan includes $16.6 million towards the delivery of a new power station for Esperance; $5 million through the Regional Road Safety Program to upgrade 275 kilometres of Goldfields-Esperance roads with shoulder sealing and installation of audible lines, creating around 25 local jobs; $700,000 for upgrades to visitor facilities in national parks across the Goldfields-Esperance region including buildings, trails, camp sites and roads; $150,000 to upgrade the access road to Dunn Rocks beach/camp ground in Cape Le Grand National Park near Esperance; $400,000 to upgrade visitor facilities at Credo Station, Rowles Lagoon, Goongarrie National Park, Stokes National Park, Cape Le Grand National Park, Cape Arid National Park and Esperance Lakes Nature Reserves; $7 million to expand the capacity of the Joe Lord Core Library in Kalgoorlie that stores core samples that contain valuable geoscientific information for exploration companies and others seeking mineral discoveries; An additional $5 million to the Exploration Incentive Scheme in 2020-21 to help accelerate exploration investment in the Goldfields; and $10.2 million towards projects at Esperance Port to help expand the port and increase safety. As well as supporting existing industries, the Goldfields-Esperance Recovery Plan includes a focus on driving investment in renewable energy and new technologies, to create sustainable jobs. It includes $4 million of funding to transform 10 WA schools into virtual power plants, including Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School; $600,000 to install a Battery Energy System in Menzies to allow more customers to install rooftop solar systems and reduce their power bills; and $9.92 million for Horizon Power to deploy standalone power systems that use solar and battery technology to generate and store electricity, making power safer and more reliable for regional customers - including approximately 39 systems across the Goldfields-Esperance region. Strengthening Western Australia's health and community services is a vital component of the WA Recovery Plan. In the Goldfields-Esperance region, the McGowan Government will invest $18.8 million for regional renal hostels including a new hostel in Kalgoorlie. The full list of projects can be viewed at http// Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "I thank each and every member of the Goldfields-Esperance community for their efforts and sacrifices during the pandemic. "We must remain vigilant, but our work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 means we are in a strong position to continue the process of recovery. "The Goldfields-Esperance Recovery Plan will drive economic and social recovery in the region to ensure it can recover stronger than ever. "It will create a pipeline of short and long term jobs for locals and deliver huge improvements to local infrastructure and services." Premier's office - 6552 5000
State-of-the-art Northam Health Service officially opened following $42 million redevelopment17806Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 2:31:46 AM2020-08-04T02:30:00Z $42 million Northam Health Service redevelopment officially opened The final stage of works included modern operating theatres, a refurbished recovery suite and a dedicated chemotherapy department Northam Health Service has been officially opened, marking the completion of the facility's $42 million redevelopment. New, state-of-the-art features include modern operating theatres at double the previous capacity, a refurbished recovery suite and a central sterile services department. A new dedicated chemotherapy department space has also been established, including a waiting room, reception, consulting room with telehealth capability, and large treatment areas equipped with recliner chairs. The overall Northam Health Service redevelopment saw the inclusion of an expanded emergency department, purpose-built consultation rooms and indoor and outdoor rehabilitation treatment areas, as well as a new ambulatory care building that provides access to community health services. A new satellite renal service has also been established and when operational will allow residents of the Wheatbelt requiring dialysis to avoid travel to the metropolitan area for care. The Northam Health Service redevelopment is part of a $1.5 billion modernisation program overseen by the WA Country Health Service. The Commonwealth Government contributed $3.5 million towards the chemotherapy unit. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "More than $42 million worth of improvements to Northam Health Service are enabling residents of the Wheatbelt to receive first-class care closer to home. "We know people can recover faster when they are close to their personal support networks. "The McGowan Government has remained steadfast in its commitment to providing quality healthcare services to the people of country WA closer to where they live, and the opening of the refurbished Northam Health Service builds upon that." Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Darren West "This is a significant investment into the Avon region by the McGowan Government. "The new Northam hospital will allow more patients to be treated locally, reducing the need to travel to Perth for treatment. "I have advocated for these upgrades for many years and thank Minister Cook and Premier McGowan for getting the job done." Minister's office - 6552 6500
COVID-19 recovery grant to support vulnerable WA youth17805Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 2:24:13 AM2020-08-04T02:20:00Z $61,758 grant from the COVID-19 Relief Fund for WA youth services Funding to support vulnerable and disadvantaged young people aged 15 to 25 McGowan Government investing in the recovery of WA young peopleYouth Minister Dave Kelly today presented Perth Inner City Youth Services with a Lotterywest COVID-19 Relief Fund grant of $61,758 to support the important work it does with young people. Perth Inner City Youth Services works with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people aged between 15 and 25. They provide a range of important services including medium to long term supported accommodation for at-risk young people aged between 16 and 25, as well as delivering support programs for young people aged between 15 and 20 who have a diagnosed mental health condition. Perth Inner City Youth Services also operates 'drop-in' spaces for young people and support programs specifically for trans and gender diverse young people who are experiencing homelessness and disconnection from family. The grant from the Lotterywest COVID-19 Relief Fund will assist Perth Inner City Youth Services with the operational expenses of providing these important services, such as information and communications technology, office rental and vehicles. As part of the McGowan Government's youth-focused COVID-19 recovery package, the Mental Health Commission has also provided $395,000 of funding for Perth Inner City Youth Services to expand its existing PILLAR youth mental health service from a capacity of 15 to 40 young people. Comments attributed to Youth Minister Dave Kelly "Young people in Western Australia have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the McGowan Government has invested in their recovery through a range of youth-focused measures. "Organisations like Perth Inner City Youth Services are a vital part of the community services sector, and play a crucial role in helping build safe and inclusive communities for young people during the pandemic. "Grants from the Lotterywest COVID-19 Relief Fund are helping ensure important support services are available to young people who are experiencing mental health challenges as well as homelessness and disconnection from families at a time when social isolating and distancing is having an enormous impact on their lives. "Many young people are experiencing higher needs than others and I thank Perth Inner City Youth Services for its commitment and dedication to helping some of the most vulnerable members of the community for over thirty years." Minister's office - 6552 6100
$115,000 funding available for schools to encourage active travel17804Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 2:09:35 AM2020-08-04T02:00:00Z ​Connecting Schools grant applications now open to encourage walking, cycling and scooting Grants of up to $15,000 available to improve bicycle infrastructure and develop students' road safety skills Record high funding of $115,000 gives more schools the opportunity to get involved $146 million invested over four years to increase cycling infrastructure by 150 kilometres The State Government's popular Connecting Schools grants are now open, with $115,000 available to Western Australian schools in 2020-21 to encourage families to get out of the car and get active on their way to and from school. Schools across Western Australia participating in the Department of Transport's Your Move program can apply for grants of up to $15,000 to upgrade bike and scooter parking, install bike repair stations, wayfinding signage and bike tracks, and run bike skills and road safety education workshops. The Your Move Schools program offers schools practical support to create an active school community with more people walking and riding - increasing physical activity, and reducing car trips and parking pressure around schools. Participating schools are eligible for a variety of different grant packages depending on their Your Move accreditation level. Almost $130,000 has been invested in WA schools through the grants program over the last two years, with the program's success and popularity seeing the grant pool increase from an initial $25,000 in 2018 to $100,000 in 2019. Recognising the importance and benefits of more active trips to school, a contribution from the Department of Education boosted this year's grant funding to a record high of $115,000, giving more schools than ever the opportunity to get involved. Schools can apply for a Connecting Schools grant until December 31, 2020 with more information available on the Your Move website. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "Cycling, walking and scooting have many benefits including healthier, happier kids who arrive at school more alert and ready to learn. "Through the Connecting Schools grants, almost $130,000 has been invested in WA schools over the last two years to improve bicycle infrastructure and develop important road safety skills in students. "With family bike riding, scooting and walking having increased markedly this year, it is a great time for schools to improve bicycle access and facilities to encourage families to use the trip to school as another opportunity to get active. "I strongly encourage schools not already signed up to the Your Move program to do so now to enjoy the benefits of this funding opportunity and everything else the program has to offer." Comments attributed to Mount Lawley MLA Simon Millman "It was fantastic to visit Mount Lawley Primary School today to launch the Your Move Program with the Transport Minister. "Mount Lawley Primary has already completed a number of activities this year including bike education and events on National Ride to School day, World Bike day and World Environment day. "Mount Lawley Primary's Your Move program is co-ordinated by a parent-led Traffic Management Group, providing a great example of how parents can get involved in achieving great outcomes for the whole school community." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Facelift for Mount Pleasant foreshore17803Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 12:33:46 AM2020-08-04T00:00:00Z Foreshore restoration works completed at Apex Reserve in Mount Pleasant Apex Reserve is next to the Swan River Rowing Club and Rowing WA The McGowan Government has today announced the completion of vital construction works to combat erosion at Apex Reserve, on the Canning River Foreshore in Mount Pleasant. In recent years, the shoreline at Apex Reserve has experienced erosion and the existing wall structures that are protecting the Rowing WA and Swan River Rowing Club buildings have severely deteriorated. As part of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions' (DBCA) Riverbank Program, the existing deteriorated timber wall has been removed and replaced by a new limestone block river wall to stabilise the area and prevent further erosion. The 200-metre new river wall protects the adjoining recreation reserve and Rowing WA headquarters, and ensures the area remains available for the community to use and enjoy into the future. Additional works included the construction of a rock headland to assist in retaining the adjacent beach, additional beach sand, landscaping and planting of native species, such as the one-sided bottlebrush (Calothamnus quadrifidus), dwarf sheoak (Allocasuarina humilis) and the spider net grevillea (Grevillea preissii). The $619,000 project was managed by DBCA and supported by the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage; Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries; Burswood Park Board; and Rowing WA. Construction took just over a month and was completed by local contractor Advanteering Civil Engineers. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "The McGowan Government recognises the significant environmental, recreational and cultural values of the Swan and Canning rivers, and is committed to their protection. "Since the Riverbank Program's inception in 2002, a combined $45 million has been invested across 294 Riverbank project sites by State and local government foreshore managers. "The recent works undertaken at Apex Reserve will ensure the future of the site for rowing clubs and the wider community." Comments attributed to Lands Minister Ben Wyatt "These works will safeguard the use of the adjoining recreation precinct for the community and mitigate the impact of erosion on Crown land. "Congratulations to all parties on the completion of this project; this is a great outcome for the local community of Mount Pleasant as well as rowers accessing the site." Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800 Lands Minister's office - 6552 5900
2020 Premier’s Science Awards finalists announced17716Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml4/08/2020 12:24:40 AM2020-08-03T23:00:00Z 19 inspiring WA scientists named as finalists in Premier's Science Awards McGowan Government prioritising Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to encourage a globally competitive workforce Winners to be announced on September 29, 2020 A total of 19 ground-breaking Western Australian scientists have been named as finalists in this year's Premier's Science Awards. The list of finalists in the awards, which recognise and celebrate the outstanding scientific research and engagement taking place across the State, was released on the eve of National Science Week (August 15-23). The awards cover all fields of science including medical, natural, applied and technological science, engineering and mathematics. This year's finalists include a scientist who has driven major advances in understanding the epigenome; a scientist who was a driving force behind the $50 million Murchison Widefield Array; and a scientist who has significantly advanced the understanding of fluid properties and its application to energy production, transport and storage. Premier's Science Award categories include 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); Shell Aboriginal STEM Student of the Year ($10,000 prize); and Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year ($10,000 prize). The winners of the Premier's Science Awards and the Western Australian Science Hall of Fame inductee will be announced on September 29, 2020. The awards are sponsored by Woodside Energy, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Telethon Kids Institute, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University, University of Notre Dame, Curtin University and The University of Western Australia. For more information on the Premier's Science Awards, including the list of finalists, visit http// National Science Week, Australia's biggest annual STEM celebration, has gone online this year with physically distanced activities including interactive webinars and educational videos. Details about WA events are at https// Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all aware of the role science plays in our day-to-day lives and, now more than ever, we must recognise and celebrate the research and technological achievements of Western Australia's science community. "Strengthening participation in STEM has been prioritised by this Government to encourage a globally competitive workforce, with the skills to drive WA's technological future and create more jobs. "I would like to congratulate this year's finalists on their outstanding scientific achievements and the contributions they're making to foster an innovative STEM culture in Western Australia." Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly "The ongoing prosperity of the State is heavily reliant on science, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's hoped these awards will inspire the next generation of Western Australian scientists. "This builds on the McGowan Government's recently announced 'Take 2 STEM' campaign to encourage more WA high school students to participate in a STEM future. "The finalists announced today represent our diverse scientific community, and all serve as role models for those who wish to make a positive contribution to society through STEM studies and careers." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Science Minister's office - 6552 6100
New homeless services portal to remove barriers to getting help17715Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9410html3/08/2020 6:03:57 AM2020-08-03T06:00:00Z New Online Homelessness Services Portal to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to access accommodation and support New 24/7 integrated 'No Wrong Door' system to show availability of beds and supports in real time, and open up referral pathways Homelessness Week raising awareness of people experiencing homelessness and the issues they face WA campaign focusing on homelessness outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people The State Government is developing a $2.3 million online data and case management system to make it easier for people experiencing homelessness to access appropriate accommodation and other frontline services when they need them. Community Services Minister Simone McGurk today spoke about the Government's investment in the new Online Homelessness Services Portal today at an event hosted by peak body Shelter WA for the Western Australian launch of Homelessness Week. The portal, which is being developed in partnership with the community services sector, will implement a No Wrong Door approach across the sector for the first time in WA, making it easier for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to find appropriate long-term housing and support regardless of which service or agency they initially connect with. The Department of Communities has been working with the community sector, service providers and people with lived experience of homelessness to map the existing referral pathways, gaps in the network of supports and opportunities to strengthen the system. This led to a blueprint for a centralised digital database of homelessness services across the State that agencies and providers can use to check - in real time - which service is available and best placed to support and meet a person's specific needs at any time. The portal will have the dual function of holding accommodation and support service information and availability, as well as the information and data of people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This data will only be shared with homelessness service sector staff when consent is provided. Following the co-design of the No Wrong Door blueprint, which has been led by the community services sector and will guide the development of the portal, the Government will soon seek expressions of interest for a suitable IT consultant to design and develop the portal. The announcement comes as Homelessness Week 2020, which runs from August 2 to 8, aims to raise awareness of the experiences of people sleeping rough and the actions required to address homelessness. The 2020 national Homelessness Week theme of 'Everybody needs a home' will be supported locally with a specific focus on homelessness outcomes for First Nations people. The McGowan Government has achieved several milestones in its push to address homelessness since the launch of 'All Paths Lead to a Home Western Australia's 10-Year Strategy on Homelessness 2020-2030' in December last year. The central Perth site for the first of two Common Ground facilities that will house and support chronic rough sleepers was announced last month. The facility, to be built near Royal Perth Hospital, was made possible by a record $71.7 million new investment in services to support evidence-based homelessness outcomes. This package includes $34.5 million for the Housing First Homelessness Initiative, which will provide stable housing for 170 families a year across Perth, Rockingham, Mandurah, Bunbury and Geraldton through rental subsidies. As part of the WA Recovery Plan, the Government has also invested an additional $6.8 million in a range of specialist homelessness services, to ensure immediate delivery of homelessness services to those in need. Comments attributed to Community Services Minister Simone McGurk "The McGowan Government understands the complexity of this issue and is committed to supporting people experiencing homelessness. "The Online Homelessness Services Portal represents a significant shift in the way that Western Australians access homelessness services - from a system that vulnerable people have to work through, to one that works for them. "It will make it easier for people seeking help to navigate the system and change the way that support is offered. "People experiencing homelessness will be able to walk in to any organisation or agency, get the number for an appropriate service and know that they will be taken care of. "During Homelessness Week, it is important that we do our best to understand the challenges faced by rough sleepers and people experiencing homelessness every day." Minister's office - 6552 6600
Medicinal cannabis manufacturing boost for the South-West17599Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10090html3/08/2020 5:02:23 AM2020-08-03T05:00:00Z $300,000 grant towards new medicinal cannabis manufacturing facilities in the State's South-West Among 25 food and beverage manufacturers and value-add processors supported under the McGowan Government's Value Add Agribusiness Investment Attraction Fund The McGowan Government has awarded $300,000 towards new medicinal cannabis manufacturing facilities in the State's South-West region. Local medicinal cannabis producer Little Green Pharma is among 25 businesses which have shared in $4.2 million under the Value Add Agribusiness Investment Attraction Fund's latest funding round. The grant will support an advanced new manufacturing facility containing clean rooms, and processing and packaging areas to produce medical-grade cannabis products for Australian and European patients. It will allow Little Green Pharma to become the first Australian producer to establish a fully vertically integrated, 'seed-to-sale' value chain for medicinal cannabis. The project, which involves significant co-investment from Little Green Pharma, will significantly increase processing capacity and boost potential to supply Australian patients as well as international markets including Europe. There are strict regulatory requirements for the cultivation and manufacturing of medicinal cannabis in Australia. A full list of grant recipients is available at the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's website http// Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Medicinal cannabis processing provides a real job-creation opportunity for the South-West. "These new medicinal cannabis processing facilities will be a first for the South-West and will help establish the region as a leader in medicinal cannabis production and processing in Australia. "The project is supporting up to 40 jobs during construction and is estimated to create eight direct positions to support growing and processing of medicinal cannabis products. "It can also provide opportunities to leverage the regional processing capability of the facility, either by local hemp growers already operating in the region or potential medicinal cannabis crop cultivators." Minister's office - 6552 6200
$6 million restoration of Ascot kilns secures historic Perth landmark17597Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8860html3/08/2020 2:34:50 AM2020-08-03T02:30:00Z McGowan Government approves $6 million restoration project for Ascot Kilns Funding commitment part of WA Recovery Plan to fast-track local jobs and get Western Australians back to work Restoration of heritage structures will support future redevelopment of the siteAn historic industrial structure in Belmont will be one of the first shovel-ready projects to benefit from the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan. The McGowan Government has confirmed a $6 million funding investment for the restoration and conservation of Ascot Kilns which was recently added to the State Register of Heritage Places. The site has remained unused since the closure of the Bristile Kilns factory in 1982 and requires essential work to stabilise the cluster of circular kilns and brick chimneys which are in danger of collapsing. This project will provide a welcome boost for skilled workers, and local construction and maintenance companies, supporting our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The works will assist to finalise the last stage of the Ascot Waters urban regeneration project started in the mid 1990s. Stabilising the kilns will also provide for future planning and reuse of the site, ensuring that the cultural and historical significance is captured and celebrated in any future redevelopment. Comments attributed to Heritage Minister David Templeman "Restoration of this rare industrial structure will ensure we secure and capture an important part of our State's manufacturing history, which could help inform design and create a sense of place in future uses of this site. "Investing in the protection and conservation of our heritage places is essential for retelling stories of Western Australia's history and we have seen some excellent examples of adaptive reuse in this year's Heritage Awards winners. "This is a great example of the types of small-medium, maintenance and works contracts that Government can invest in to fast-track local jobs while also delivering important social outcomes such as the conservation of our heritage." Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti "Ascot Kilns is another significant project that will provide opportunities for local workers and businesses, not only now, but with the future redevelopment of this site. "We will continue to work with the local community to identify appropriate development opportunities in the area. "This has been a long standing issue for the local community and I am happy that we have been able to secure the much-needed funds for this site as part of our recovery plan. "Cassie has worked tirelessly with the community on this issue and I thank her for her continued representation." Comments attributed to Belmont MLA Cassie Rowe "I am so pleased to see that the community's extraordinary efforts for advocating about the importance of restoring this treasured part of Belmont's heritage have been successful. "This restoration cements the kilns as a part of our history for which I have been fighting hard to secure funding for, for a long time." Heritage Minister's office - 6552 5400Planning Minister's office - 6552 5500
New high support accommodation centre for Shenton Park17596Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements14850html3/08/2020 2:00:26 AM2020-08-03T02:00:00Z $9 million contribution towards a 20-unit high care supported accommodation facility, delivering on a McGowan Government election commitment Ongoing care and support through MSWA The McGowan Government is investing in much needed new accommodation for residents of the Quadriplegic Centre in Shenton Park. The residents will be accommodated in a new 20-unit high care supported accommodation facility to be built and managed by MSWA, with a $9 million McGowan Government grant for the construction. MSWA provides vital support and services to people living with neurological conditions, including spinal cord injury. The new supported accommodation facility will provide long-term supported accommodation options, in a homely environment, for adults with neurological conditions, with 24-hour care provided onsite by MSWA care support workers. The facility will accommodate long-term residents on land within DevelopmentWA's Montario Quarter estate, which will then be transferred under a conditional freehold to MSWA from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. This outcome is the result of comprehensive consultation with each resident to develop a 'Personal Plan' for their future support and accommodation needs. Residents were given the opportunity to exercise informed choice and control over their future living arrangements, with consideration given to where and who the residents wanted to live with and what personal care, therapy, equipment and other supports they require. Detailed planning will commence soon, and it is expected that the new accommodation will be completed in 2023. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "The residents of the Quadriplegic Centre now have certainty over their accommodation and care. "This new fit-for-purpose centre will help ensure residents will have their needs met now and into the future. "I look forward to seeing this project develop over the next few years." Comments attributed to Lands Minister Ben Wyatt "As the site of the former Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital, the design of Montario Quarter places a strong value on health and wellness. "Residents of this new supported accommodation facility will be able to enjoy the landscaped parklands, future retail and hospitality precinct and transport connectivity of this six-star Green Star urban village." Comment attributed to MSWA CEO Marcus Stafford "MSWA is delighted to be building another high support accommodation facility of this calibre. We are proud to be able to support more people living with disability in our State." Health Minister's office - 6552 6500 Lands Minister's office - 6552 5900
Record investment in WA school upgrades to help with recovery17595Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements44650html3/08/2020 1:45:19 AM2020-08-03T01:45:00Z Major School Upgrade package to deliver first-class learning experiences for WA students Package to upgrade and modernise 63 public schools as part of WA Recovery Plan $492.2 million package for new schools and school improvements across the State Projects will help boost the construction industry, and create hundreds of local jobs Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery have unveiled an unprecedented package to modernise Western Australian schools as part of the WA Recovery Plan. The Major School Upgrade package - totalling $492.2 million - includes $319.2 million of new funding for upgrades and refurbishments at 63 public schools around the State, stimulating economic growth and supporting around 1,850 jobs. Works will be carried out over the next four years, and will include major additions to burgeoning secondary schools, new sports halls, classrooms, specialist facilities and refurbishments. Forty-six metropolitan schools will receive upgrades totalling $201.2 million, while 17 regional schools will share in a total of $118 million. Major projects include Carine Senior High School - $32 million major upgrade to provide classrooms and facilities for up to 600 students; Albany Senior High School - $6.3 million for a new performing arts centre; Kalamunda Senior High School - $18.3 million rebuild of education support facilities and new classrooms; Lynwood Senior High School - $18.3 million for a new performing arts centre, sports hall and classroom building; Melville Senior High School - $925,000 for refurbishment of technical classrooms; Ocean Reef Senior High School - $5 million for a sports hall; Margaret River Senior High School - $6.27 million for a new full-sized sports oval; Bunbury Senior High School - $3.1 million for a major refurbishment of the sports hall and specialist areas; Karratha Senior High School - $22 million upgrade to provide new facilities to accommodate increasing enrolments; Joseph Banks Secondary College - $16 million new classroom building; Lesmurdie Primary School - $15.2 million to complete school rebuild; Australind Senior High School - $15 million upgrade to provide new double-storey classroom building, science and design and technology facilities; Eastern Hills Senior High School - $2 million for a major refurbishment to the cafeteria and specialist classrooms; Wanneroo Secondary College - $5 million for a new performing arts centre and cafeteria; Willetton Senior High School - $12.5 million for a Stage 3 - classroom block; Wickham Primary School - $3.5 million for a new early childhood education centre; Dianella Secondary College - $5.3 million for a new performing arts centre; Pinjarra Senior High School - $10.4 million for a new performing arts centre and sports hall; and Westminster Primary School - $10 million for school rebuild. The $319.2 million investment is in addition to $173 million of infrastructure funding for public schools recently announced, including Bob Hawke College Stage 2 and a new secondary school in Piara Waters. For the full list of schools, visit http// Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "My Government is committed to delivering high-quality education facilities across Western Australia, for the benefit of Western Australian students. "This ambitious capital works undertaking has dual aims - to create an injection of local jobs for WA workers and deliver exceptional learning facilities for WA children and teenagers. "The school upgrades form part of my Government's unprecedented $5.5 billion investment in our State as we move into the recovery phase of COVID-19. "Our comprehensive WA Recovery Plan will help drive economic and social recovery across the State, and create a pipeline of jobs for Western Australians." Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "This significant package of work will see ageing infrastructure at our public schools upgraded, to create top rate learning spaces for WA students. "These works come on top of major school infrastructure already announced, such as stage two of the flagship Bob Hawke College, additions to Ridge View Secondary College and a new school for Piara Waters." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700
Waste reduction grants for WA businesses, NFPs, local governments and community groups17594Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9460html3/08/2020 1:02:01 AM2020-08-03T01:00:00Z $1.54 million of grants available to assist waste reduction and education programs Funding builds on $4.5 million invested in WA since 2017 on reducing waste and increasing recycling More than $1.5 million in community and business based grants is being made available by the McGowan Government as part of its commitment to reducing waste in Western Australia. Announcing the $1.54 million fund today, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has called for applications from infrastructure based projects that can deliver better waste management practices and education projects which can improve awareness of the need to reduce waste. Grants of up to $250,000 are available to support investment in local recycling infrastructure, and of up to $50,000 for educational programs. The grants are available to businesses, charitable recycling organisations, local governments, regional councils, peak industry bodies, not-for-profit organisations and research and educational institutions. The WasteSorted Grants - Infrastructure and Community Education 2020-21 replaces the Community and Industry Engagement program, which since 2017 has invested $4.5 million in Western Australian programs which improved the recovery and reuse of focus materials including plastics, construction and demolition waste, textiles, and food organics and garden organics. For more information on the WasteSorted Grants or to apply for funding, visit the Waste Authority's website. Applications close at 12pm on September 14, 2020. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "Getting our waste sorted is important for the McGowan Government, and we have already made progress with initiatives such as the ban on lightweight single-use plastic bags and the container deposit scheme. "The WasteSorted Grants provide an opportunity to support projects that address the State Government's waste management priorities to help Western Australia become a more sustainable low waste community, create local jobs and help get the economy back on track. "I encourage organisations to apply for funding for projects that tackle issues such as reducing waste generation, diverting waste from landfill and improving community and industry education." Minister's office - 6552 5800
$116m affordable land package driving growth in the Great Southern17593Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6850html3/08/2020 12:19:04 AM2020-08-03T00:00:00Z Regional Land Booster to gear up the Great Southern economy and support local jobs Discounted residential and industrial land now available through DevelopmentWA Land sales will drive activity for regional businesses with an expected increase in building and construction activities Builds on the McGowan Government's $20,000 Building Bonus grant The McGowan Government's $116 million Regional Land Booster is set to boost the economy and jobs in the Great Southern, with 51 development-ready lots receiving a reduction in price. The reduced DevelopmentWA lots include industrial, commercial and residential lots throughout the Great Southern region. Lot prices in Borden and Cranbrook are all priced at $25,000, saving land buyers from $9,000 up to $30,000. Other areas included in the Regional Land Booster within the Great Southern region include Denmark Light Industrial, with prices from $297,000 with savings up to $43,000; Katanning, with prices for residential land from $24,000; and Rocky Gully, with prices for residential land from $15,000. At Albany's Middleton Beach, the Regional Land Booster will enable DevelopmentWA to re-engage with the development industry and consider a broader range of offers for the hotel site. Land price adjustments will also be made to the six innovative terrace homes at Middleton Beach, being constructed by DevelopmentWA. Delivering more affordable land in the Great Southern region is expected to stimulate the local building and construction sector, driving business investment and creating local jobs. The Regional Land Booster comes in addition to the State Government's $20,000 Building Bonus grant and the Commonwealth Government's HomeBuilder grant. Eligible land buyers will be able to take advantage of up to $69,000 in State and Commonwealth building and home ownership grants. For more information, visit http// Comments attributed to Lands Minister Ben Wyatt "The affordable land package will provide a major boost to the Great Southern's COVID-19 economic recovery and support regional jobs through new residential and industrial developments. "Increased land sales will secure a pipeline of work for the region's building and construction sector, supporting regional jobs and suppliers in this difficult time. "Eligible land buyers could save themselves an additional $69,000 on top of this package through the various government building grants on offer, making it much more affordable than before to build a house in WA." Comments attributed to Albany MLA Peter Watson "The Regional Land Booster will deliver significant short and long term benefits for the City of Albany. "It will greatly increase the potential of securing a hotel development at Middleton Beach. "In addition, the six innovative live/work terrace homes will also benefit from land price adjustments. "The booster will support local jobs, drive population growth and provide long-term benefits for the region." Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Darren West "Katanning is a great place to live, work and invest. "High property development costs have long been an inhibitor to housing construction and business opportunities. "More affordable land will support local jobs, drive population growth and provide long-term benefits for businesses in the region. "I thank Minister Wyatt for this investment in Katanning." Minister's office - 6552 5900
Discounted Kimberley flights sell out in first week17585Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10210html2/08/2020 11:59:49 PM2020-08-02T23:00:00Z Tickets for McGowan Government and Virgin Australia's Broome and Kununurra flights partnership sell out within seven days Partnership one of WA's most successful-ever intrastate airfare deals Flights to provide important boost to Kimberley tourism industry and wider economy Sales success leads Virgin Australia to schedule additional flights for October school holidays State Government continuing to negotiate with airlines on additional deals to a number of regional destinations The McGowan Government and Virgin Australia's Kimberley partnership is now one of the State's most successful-ever intrastate flight deals, with all of the nearly 8,000 discounted tickets selling out in the first week of the promotion. The partnership, launched on July 21, offered airfares between Perth and Broome and Perth and Kununurra for $199 one way and $229 one way respectively, with the discounts available both ways. The partnership sees the Perth-Broome route return to a daily service (up from three per week) and Perth-Kununurra flights running three times per week (up from two per week). The increased services are adding 22,000 extra seats to the Kimberley from August 3, 2020 and October 31, 2020, providing an important boost to the region's tourism industry and wider economy as it manages the impacts of COVID-19. Virgin Australia has reported that the partnership is one of its best ever sales which demonstrates the State Government's Wander Out Yonder campaign is working to encourage Western Australians to travel the State and support the regional tourism industry. Following the success of the sales, Virgin Australia has itself scheduled additional flights between Perth and Broome over the peak October school holiday period. These additional flights will operate on Monday, Friday and Sunday from September 25, 2020 until October 11, 2020. Anecdotal reports from industry indicate the State's regional tourism sector has enjoyed very strong visitation in recent weeks, in particular over the school holidays. Most regions are reporting very strong numbers as Western Australians take advantage of opportunities to holiday at home this year. The State Government is continuing to negotiate with a number of airlines to secure discounted airfares for visitors and residents for a range of regional destinations. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "This partnership is one of the most successful of its kind the State has ever seen. It is wonderful to see Western Australians are embracing the call to discover parts of the State the rest of the world has been enjoying in record numbers in recent years. "The Kimberley tourism sector was one of the hardest hit by the unavoidable impacts of COVID-19 but this partnership will make sure thousands of visitors flow into the region over the coming months. "The discounted airfares will provide a welcome boost for tourism operators, and we encourage people to book experiences and tours as part of their trips. "Importantly, the success of the partnership has demonstrated to airlines that the demand to visit the region is strong - with Virgin itself putting on additional flights following the popularity of the sale. "We are continuing to have discussions with a number of airlines to secure good value deals for Western Australians to boost visitation and the benefits for regional economies around the State." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "During the COVID-19 period, the McGowan Government has worked closely with airlines and the Commonwealth to ensure that regional towns remained connected by maintaining a minimum network of flights throughout the State. "As Western Australia continues to emerge from the crisis, ensuring that both regional residents and tourists have access to increased availability and affordability of flights is a key priority. "The success of this partnership is not only a great outcome for tourists; residents of Broome and Kununurra have been able to secure discounted flights to Perth in order to visit family and friends or to attend appointments. "The McGowan Government has also worked in partnership with Regional Express and Skippers Aviation to secure more access to flights to destinations including Albany, Esperance, Carnarvon, Monkey Mia and the Eastern Goldfields." Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500