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Turning the wheels to focus on Western Australia’s youth34650Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml20/03/2018 2:19:01 AM2018-03-20T02:15:00Z Riders will cover 700km over five days of the Western Australian coast to raise awareness of youth mental health and wellbeing More than 180 cyclists set the wheels in motion this morning as they set off on the start of 700 kilometre journeys from Geraldton and Albany to Perth. Mental Health Minister Roger Cook is aiming to be the first State Minister to complete the ride. The Minister will cycle 700km along the Great Southern and South-West coast over the next five days. He will visit high schools along the way and meet young people to raise awareness about youth mental health, and help reduce the stigma which surrounds the issue. Mr Cook is also participating in The Hawaiian Ride for Youth to help illustrate firsthand the important connection between physical exercise and strong mental health. One in four Australians aged 16 to 24 experience a mental illness. 75 per cent of mental health issues start before the age of 25. The journey will take the Minister's team, the WA Primary Health Alliance team, from Albany through Walpole and Pemberton and up to Busselton and Mandurah before they cycle into Kings Park on Saturday morning (March 24). Since its inception in 2013, the annual Hawaiian Ride for Youth has raised more than $17 million to support Youth Focus in assisting young Western Australians. This year, the ride hopes to raise more than $1.2 million. For support, call beyondblue on 1300 224 636 for 24/7 free counselling, Lifeline in a crisis situation on 13 11 14, or join the discussion with other young people in one of's online forums. Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "Mental health issues affect many Western Australians. In 2016, 8.1 per cent of Western Australian children aged up to 15 years old had been treated for an emotional or mental health problem. This was the highest recorded number in Western Australia and a significant increase from 2002, when it was just three per cent. "It's extremely important we support our young people so they can thrive and go on to live mentally healthy lives. "The State Government is continuing to work with services on the ground, like Youth Focus, and all levels of government to help prevent young people from falling through the cracks." Schedule of school visits for the Minister Tuesday, March 20 North Albany Senior High School Denmark Senior High School Wednesday, March 21 Pemberton District High School Georgiana Molloy Anglican School, Busselton Thursday, March 22 St Mary MacKillop College, Busselton Friday, March 23 Bunbury Senior High School Australind Senior High School Minister's office - 6552 6500
Ground-breaking of Northam Solar Farm project34649Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml20/03/2018 2:03:00 AM2018-03-20T02:00:00Z Work gets underway on the Northam Solar Farm project 30 local jobs to be created during construction Project expected to be operational by October 2018 Energy Minister Ben Wyatt has today attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the State's newest solar farm at Northam. The Northam Solar Farm project will be developed by Carnegie Clean Energy in partnership with Indigenous Business Australia and Bookitja Ptd Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Perth Noongar Foundation. This partnership will provide important contracting opportunities to a number of Aboriginal businesses, as well as the opportunity for ongoing Noongar employment during both the construction and operation phases of this project. The 10-megawatt project is expected to generate enough power for 3,000 households over the next 25 years. Comments attributed to Energy Minister Ben Wyatt "Projects such as the Northam Solar Farm illustrate the great potential we have in Western Australia to take advantage of the technological advances in the energy sector. We can create regional opportunities built around cleaner, cheaper renewable power. "This project is particularly exciting because of the opportunities it will provide to local Aboriginal people and businesses as a result of the joint venture." Minister's office - 6552 5900
Early literacy program to include vision impaired children34647Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml20/03/2018 1:00:22 AM2018-03-20T01:00:00Z Better Beginnings resources for infants with vision impairment Benefits of reading to children aged 0-3 years Rio Tinto acknowledged for investing in early childhood literacy At Manning Library today, the Minister for Culture and the Arts celebrated World Story Telling Day with the launch of reading materials designed to develop literacy skills of infants with vision impairments. The State Library of Western Australia's award-winning Better Beginnings family literacy program has added new resource packs that include Braille-embossed editions of the Baby Ways publication and an audio CD with Baby Ways sung and narrated. Also available for loan for free from local public libraries will be a 'touch and feel' version of the resources pack that provides parents and carers with highly tactile 3D objects that relate to the Baby Ways book. Through its 14-year partnership with Rio Tinto, State Government funding and the support of public libraries, the State Library produces and distributes reading materials and literacy messages to 96 per cent of newborn babies and 99.8 per cent of kindergarten pupils across the State. Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman "The release of Better Beginnings resources for vision impaired infants is a milestone in the achievements of this award-winning early childhood literacy program. "Parents play an important role as their child's first teacher and should take the opportunity to enjoy this special bonding time. "Since 2004, Rio Tinto has contributed to the literacy of a generation of Western Australian children. This is a remarkable contribution to the people of this State." Minister's office - 6552 5400
Construction starts on Inner City College in Subiaco34645Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml20/03/2018 12:15:49 AM2018-03-20T00:15:00Z Construction of Inner City College will start this week School construction and Subi East renewal to help support WA jobs PACT Construction awarded the forward and earthworks contract Subiaco Redevelopment Scheme now approved by McGowan Government Construction of the new secondary school at Kitchener Park in Subiaco will start this week. PACT Construction has been awarded the forward and earthworks contract for the $68 million stage one of the build. Works will start today to realign the underground water pipes and services infrastructure ahead of the main building works starting in the middle of the year. Students at Inner City College will enjoy modern specialist facilities equipped with innovative new technology, including a sports hall and gymnasium, lecture theatres and library as well as science, digital technology, food and textiles labs. Meanwhile, the Minister for Planning has now approved the Subiaco Redevelopment Scheme, which transfers planning authority to the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority. Scheme 2 sets out a high level vision for the future of Subiaco, laying the groundwork for master planning for the future of Subiaco Oval, the Princess Margaret Hospital site and wider Subi East precinct to get underway. Approval of the scheme is another milestone as the McGowan Government works to create more connected communities across Perth. The iconic Subiaco Oval will be retained as a shared open space and the local community will also have access to the college's playing courts and gymnasium. The school will open to Year 7 students in 2020, expanding to cater for Year 7 to 12 students in 2025. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "Our multimillion dollar investment in this new school will help meet the needs of families in the rapidly growing inner city and western suburbs, while supporting jobs for Western Australians. "The college has been designed with both its unique location and community in mind - adding to the culture and character of Subiaco." Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "Today is an important milestone as the school starts to take shape. "The new college will provide high-quality education in modern facilities that will help educate students for the jobs of the future. "The foundation principal is expected to be appointed in coming months, and will be responsible for setting the direction and values for the school and its students." Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti "The location of the new school presents new opportunities and has been designed specifically to enhance the character of its local community. "The exciting new Subi East renewal project will transform Subiaco Oval's surrounds and the Princess Margaret Hospital site into a vibrant place for living, learning and leisure. "It is also connected to existing public transport connections, making it a prime location for new homes and businesses." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700 Planning Minister's office - 6552 5500
Albany community welcomes launch of new after-hours health service34617Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html19/03/2018 9:00:10 AM2018-03-19T09:00:00Z Health Minister Roger Cook officially launches the Albany after-hours GP and nurse practitioner service, based at the Albany Health Campus Service is a collaboration between a number of Albany-based general practices to improve care in their community Testament to what can be achieved through innovative health partnerships Health Minister Roger Cook today launched the new Albany after-hours GP and nurse practitioner service at the Albany Health Campus with Albany MLA Peter Watson and Federal Member for O'Connor Rick Wilson. The new service has been created by a number of Albany-based general practices who saw an opportunity to improve care in their community. They have worked closely with the health sector, including the WA Primary Health Alliance and the WA Country Health Service, to develop an innovative after-hours model. The service will have a phased opening, starting from April with after-hours services for patients in aged care facilities or those requiring palliative care support. From June, the local community will be able to access GP services after-hours at a facility co-located next to the emergency department at Albany Health Campus. There was a 49 per cent increase in emergency department presentations in Western Australia between 2005 and 2015, so approaches such as this one are helping to build a sustainable future for WA's health system. The new service will run as a trial until June 2019, improving access to GPs and nurse practitioners after-hours in the Albany area. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "The release of the Sustainable Health Review Interim Report last month highlighted a need to improve care in our communities - to reduce costs and waste and to reduce the pressure on our emergency departments. "This new service is about better access to GP and nurse practitioner services for patients and carers, which means a better quality of care for non-emergency patients and not having to wait in busy emergency departments." Comments attributed to Albany MLA Peter Watson "If we can avoid just a small number of people presenting to Albany Health Campus' emergency department, it means that the emergency department can function more effectively. "If this new service proves to be a success, it will be a great model for other like-sized country services in WA." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Economic windfall as cruise line commits to record 141 days in WA34613Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html19/03/2018 5:06:48 AM2018-03-19T05:00:00Z Sun Princess to homeport in Fremantle in the 2019-20 cruising season, after McGowan Government intervention Will include 28 cruise ship visits, 18 in regional areas, doubling the number of guests cruising through WA Biggest investment in WA by a cruise brand injecting $32 million into State's economy Increase in visitors to WA represents more job opportunities for on ground businesses The McGowan Labor Government today welcomed an announcement from Princess Cruises that it would homeport the Sun Princess superliner in Fremantle for a record 141 days in 2019-20. The announcement follows the Government's commitments to improvements and upgrades at Fremantle, Broome and Geraldton ports. The Sun Princess, which carries 2,000 guests, will also visit regional port destinations including Albany, Busselton, Geraldton and Broome. The move represents the biggest investment any cruise brand has made in cruising in Western Australia and a significant boost for local jobs. This historic investment will inject $32 million into the State's economy and will generate a 100 per cent increase in cruise ship guests sailing from WA compared with the 2018-19 season. The Sun Princess' homeported season will include 28 cruise ship visits, including 18 to regional port destinations in Western Australia. Each cruise ship visit will be bringing thousands of visitors to each port, as passengers disembark and explore the on-shore attractions. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The State Government is thrilled with Princess Cruises' decision to homeport the Sun Princess in Fremantle next year and what it means for local jobs. "When Carnival stopped homeporting in Western Australia because of some regional port issues, we acted swiftly to rectify the problems and committed to improvements at Geraldton, Broome and Fremantle ports. "Princess Cruises has responded with the biggest investment a cruise brand has ever made in this State, which is a huge win for our State, will create a great boost for the WA economy and help create jobs." Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "The cruise sector is a vital part of the tourism industry and helps an increasing number of visitors enjoy our extraordinary State. "Sun Princess will make 18 visits to regional ports over the 2019-2020 season, with each visit estimated to inject up to $500,000 into the economy as the visitors explore the local area. "The cruise industry currently creates 1,400 full-time jobs, and this latest investment by Princess Cruises will help grow that number." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The McGowan Government is forming a positive working relationship with the growing cruise industry to ensure WA is well placed to reap the benefits of cruise tourism. "We have committed upgrades at Broome and Fremantle while delivering new shore tensioning units in Geraldton. "These infrastructure commitments go a long way towards attracting and retaining cruise ships to WA ports." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
Visitors from across Greater China say ‘Ni Hao’ to WA34609Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html19/03/2018 1:23:05 AM2018-03-19T01:00:00Z Trade event attracts record number of delegates from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan Chinese visitors highest source of international visitor spending Key tourism trade partners from China, Hong Kong, and, for the first time, Taiwan, have gathered in Perth for Ni Hao WA 2018. The event is hosted by the State Government, through Tourism Western Australia, and includes workshops, business meetings and familiarisation tours of WA's regions to ensure visiting agents get a first-hand experience of what the State has to offer. The fifth annual Ni Hao (Chinese for 'hello') WA is the biggest to date with a record number of buyers including 25 from China, nine from Hong Kong and four from Taiwan, as well as Chinese trade media. A total of 50 delegates from 41 WA tourism businesses are also attending Ni Hao WA 2018. In a few short years, China has emerged as a key priority market for WA with the number of Chinese visiting the State, rising to 58,600 in the year ending December 2017, a 14.2 per cent increase on the previous year. China has become Western Australia's highest source of international visitor spending, contributing $291 million to the economy in the year ending December 2017, a 15.5 per cent increase on the previous year. Leisure visitors, in particular, spent $102 million while in WA, representing an increase of 25.1 per cent from 2016. Hong Kong remains an important source market for WA with more than 24,000 visitors contributing $83 million to the economy, a rise of 9.2 per cent from the previous year. Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "Ni Hao WA 2018 will not only showcase the State, but will also help grow business relationships with key tourism trade partners in China, Hong Kong, and, for the first time, Taiwan. "Welcoming visitors from across Greater China is one of Tourism WA's top priorities - as these visitors make a significant contribution to the State's economy through visitor spending. "Ni Hao delegates have had some extraordinary experiences in WA this year, including a wild seafood experience in Mandurah; wine, chocolate and honey tastings in the Swan Valley; a trip to the beautiful Hutt Lagoon - or Pink Lake - in Geraldton; and a look through Nature's Window in Kalbarri National Park." Minister's office - 6552 5600
New Scarborough foreshore set to attract more visitors and jobs34608Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html19/03/2018 1:18:12 AM2018-03-18T02:45:00Z $100 million transformation of Scarborough foreshore opens to the public Key WA attraction to boost the local economy and help create more local jobs New destination ready to welcome national surf lifesaving championships Growing investment and development interest in Scarborough The brand new Scarborough Beach foreshore opened today, boasting international skate facilities, play space, public amenities and new job opportunities along the foreshore. The $100 million development features the new Transit Hub, Scarborough Beach Pool, the popular Sunset Hill and changes to parking and roads to make the area more pedestrian friendly, and improve connections between foreshore businesses and the ocean. In a nod to Scarborough's cultural heritage, the famous Snake Pit returns and will be a popular attraction providing recreation facilities for all ages and abilities, including a 12-foot, competition-grade skate bowl for local use, events and global competitions. A new playground and play space for families visiting the Scarborough Beach foreshore also forms part of the redevelopment. The State Government, through Lotterywest, contributed $1.47 million to the play space which is inspired by the connection to the Noongar culture and the beach environment, and incorporates climbing structures, swings, slides and other unique play components. The new beachfront will be on show to thousands of interstate and regional visitors next month when the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships return to Scarborough. Final construction and fit-out of the new $5 million Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club facility will continue after the championships and will be completed later this year. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "Scarborough Beach has always been popular with Western Australians and tourists, and this transformation is sure to rival other beaches around Australia as one of the country's top tourism destinations. "Tourism is an important economic driver for our State and providing quality tourist experiences is important in attracting world-class events to Perth and facilitate ongoing investment and development. "Living in Rockingham, I know firsthand what wonderful benefits beachfront and coastal developments provide. The newly refreshed Scarborough foreshore will help attract more residents and visitors to the area." Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti "These latest improvements have made one of WA's most iconic beaches even better. "The changes to the precinct have created an attractive, family-friendly atmosphere and I hope the many thousands of visitors through this area over the coming weeks enjoy these great new facilities. "The $100 million investment by the State Government and City of Stirling has transitioned Scarborough into a more contemporary beach destination, creating a strong foundation for future investment and development by the private sector." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Planning Minister's office - 6552 5500
An eye in the sky adds value to Mandurah crabbing survey34607Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html19/03/2018 1:08:05 AM2018-03-17T05:30:00Z Drone technology deployed to help better estimate recreational crabbing activity Mandurah's crab fishery is the world's first MSC certified commercial and recreational fishery Recreational fishing supports thousands of WA jobs and the economy Mandurah Crab Fest celebrates 20 years this weekend For the first time in Western Australia, drone technology will be rolled out to monitor how recreational fishers go about getting their catch. Fisheries and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly today launched the first drone being used in a 12-month survey run by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development to monitor the recreational catch of the Mandurah crab fishery. In June 2016, professional and recreational fishers who share the blue swimmer crab resource from the estuary, joined forces to become the world's first commercial and recreational fishery to ever be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This survey will provide a comprehensive estimate of the distribution and effort of recreational fishers that go crabbing in the estuary, a condition of the MSC certification. The range of cameras that will be used in the survey will provide 24-7 data on people wading within the field of view, and provide invaluable information on how fishers use these sites during the day and night. Comments attributed to Fisheries and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly "The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring the Mandurah crab fishery maintains its world-first status by continuing to improve how assessments of the fishery are done. "For the next 12 months, departmental staff will be surveying shore-based recreational fishers during the day and night using a range of cameras, including a drone. "By deploying innovative tools such as drones, departmental staff will be able to more easily assess the proportion of activity that occurs across more than 130 square kilometres of the Peel-Harvey Estuary. "WA has been a world-leader in sustainable fisheries for 20 years and we have achieved this through the great work undertaken by our Fisheries scientists and researchers." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Russian community celebrates Harmony Week with the language of music and dance34602Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html19/03/2018 12:54:10 AM2018-03-17T03:00:00Z 12 cultural performances in Forrest Place for Harmony Week event Event supported by McGowan Government with $5,000 Groups from Western Australia's culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities will be displaying their culture through dance and music at the Harmony Week International Festival taking place at Forrest Place tomorrow (March 18). Hosted by the Russian Ethnic Community and Youth Development Association, the festival will bring together 12 community groups who will entertain with traditional and contemporary performances. The festival seeks to bridge cultural barriers through the language of dance and music,\ as well as supporting the local performers and community groups involved. The McGowan Government is proud to support the Harmony Week International Festival with $5,000 through the Office of Multicultural Interests' Community Grants Program. The Harmony Week International Festival is one of the many events happening around the State to mark Harmony Week, an initiative of the State Government. Harmony Week gives everyone an opportunity to explore and appreciate Western Australia's wealth of cultural, faith, linguistic and ethnic diversity. Harmony Week runs from March 15 to 21 every year. For more information about Harmony Week, visit http// Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "The preparation of these performances is an opportunity for young Western Australians to learn more about their heritage and nurture a sense of pride when sharing their culture with the wider community. "In bringing together a number of community groups to be a part of this festival, the Russian Ethnic Community and Youth Development Association are displaying the true spirit of Harmony Week." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Tea ceremonies have starring role in Harmony Week celebration34591Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html19/03/2018 12:47:02 AM2018-03-17T02:00:00Z Tea ceremonies reveal the wealth of cultures in Western Australia Harmony Week event supported by the McGowan Government for $3,500 Tea is a key feature of many cultures and is the theme of the Buddha's Light International Association of Western Australia (BLIAWA) Harmony Week celebration, Tea and Harmony, tomorrow (March 18), at the spectacular Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple of WA in Maylands. Groups from WA's Japanese, Turkish, Russian, English and Chinese communities will demonstrate the tea ceremony unique to their culture, including preparation style, food accompaniments, history and rituals. Following the demonstration, guests will be invited to participate in A Taste of Harmony Tea Meditation and enjoy the calmness and tranquillity that comes with meditation and tea appreciation. BLIAWA is an organisation of lay people, Buddhism followers and practitioners committed to benefiting society through charitable practice and sharing Buddhist teachings. Tea and Harmony is proudly supported by the McGowan Government with $3,500 from the Office of Multicultural Interests' Community Grants Program. Tea and Harmony is one of the many events happening around the State to mark Harmony Week, an initiative of the State Government. Harmony Week gives everyone an opportunity to explore and appreciate Western Australia's wealth of cultural, faith, linguistic and ethnic diversity. Harmony Week runs from March 15 to 21 every year. For more information about Harmony Week, visit http// Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "Tea is a common thread that joins many cultures and is a creative way of showcasing the rich cultural diversity we enjoy in Western Australia. "The Tea and Harmony event brings together different community groups to explore the many things we have in common, and to enjoy how these things bring us together." Comments attributed to Maylands MLA Lisa Baker "The heart of Maylands beats to the drums of many different cultures and faiths. "By working and playing together we are the essence of Harmony Week." Minister's office - 6552 5600
New project provides space for creativity and collaboration34590Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html19/03/2018 12:40:15 AM2018-03-17T00:35:00Z Girrawheen Hub to provide dedicated office space for multicultural groups $100,000 Local Projects, Local Jobs funding meets an election commitment The City of Wanneroo's new Girrawheen Hub will give community associations and members of local culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities, a dedicated space to operate and collaborate with other groups. There are a number of CaLD community associations that operate in the Girrawheen, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights and Koondoola areas. These associations have limited access to office space to serve the needs of their communities, with many working from home offices. The Girrawheen Hub, which received funding of $100,000 through the McGowan Government's Local Projects, Local Jobs initiative, will give these community associations a consistent, reliable and functional space, enabling them to grow and prosper. In addition to offering office space and facilities, the Girrawheen Hub will provide community members with space to develop their own projects and initiatives, undertake capacity building programs and develop new networks. The hub, located at the site of the former Girrawheen Scout Hall, will also provide a focus point for organisations to seek partnerships and opportunities to engage with culturally diverse communities in Perth's northern corridor. The Girrawheen Hub is being launched as a part of Harmony Week, a State Government initiative, which is a time for Western Australians to explore and celebrate this State's wealth of cultural, faith, linguistic and ethnic diversity. Harmony Week runs from March 15 to 21 every year. Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "Western Australia's cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths - it generates creativity, energy and jobs. Previous waves of migrants have helped make WA what it is today, and it's important that we provide an opportunity, through initiatives like the Girrawheen Hub, for newer arrivals to also contribute. "It's fitting that the Girrawheen Hub is being launched during Harmony Week, which is a time when we reflect on the many advantages multiculturalism brings to WA - including increasing our global competitiveness through entrepreneurship, new ideas and innovation." Comments attributed to Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk "The areas around Girrawheen are home to a significant number of culturally diverse community associations and groups who work tirelessly on behalf of their communities to build capacity. "It is imperative that these groups are supported with initiatives like the Girrawheen Hub, to provide the best opportunities and outcomes for the communities they represent. "This facility will not only benefit those groups, it will strengthen the broader community by providing an opportunity for many local groups and emerging businesses to network and grow." Minister's office - 6552 5600
On-demand transport reforms refined after industry consultation34589Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html19/03/2018 12:29:03 AM2018-03-17T00:30:00Z Regional operators will be exempt from paying the temporary levy The maximum levy on metropolitan taxi or charter fares will be $10 Booking service fees will be waived during the first 12 months of the reform Removal of cap on the number of authorised taxis Reforms will remove regulatory burdens and promote greater competition The McGowan Government has refined its proposed on-demand transport reform package to reflect concerns raised during further community consultation. Regional taxi operators will not be required to pay the temporary levy on fares for trips booked outside the Perth/Peel area, and will benefit from more flexible operating arrangements. A proposed assistance package will support taxi-car licence holders in the Mandurah and Murray areas to make the transition to being a metropolitan-based booking service and subject to the temporary levy. In response to feedback from industry, the maximum levy payable on fares will be $10 to ensure that high value charter trips such as in limousines and buses, and long taxi trips will not be over-burdened by the temporary levy. Importantly, the levy will not apply to regular timetabled bus routes and scheduled tourism trips. The fees for authorisation as a booking service State-wide will be waived for 12 months following the commencement of the reforms to minimise potential increases in fares. A further proposed change is the removal of the cap on the number of taxi vehicles authorised to operate. This will give all on-demand transport providers the freedom to expand and diversify the services offered to customers. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The McGowan Government continues to consult widely to make sure that the proposed reforms will create a sustainable and innovative WA on-demand transport industry for operators and customers. "Waiving the fees for booking services for 12 months after the reforms come into effect, will assist service providers to pay the levy without passing on the cost to their customers. "After listening to the concerns of the regional taxi operators and their representatives, we have made a decision to exempt regional taxi and charter operators from paying the temporary levy. "By not imposing the cap on metropolitan and regional taxi vehicle authorisations, we are creating a more level playing field with charter vehicle operators for which numbers are currently uncapped. "The Government has worked with representatives of the WA Country Taxi Operators' Association to get the best outcomes for the on-demand transport industry in regional areas." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Pilbara gets a break as respite house opens20301Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3880html16/03/2018 5:10:59 AM2018-03-16T05:10:00Z Facility to support people with disability, their families and carers with respite Variety of support models providing families and carers choice in respite experience Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson has today officially opened the Pilbara Retreat (the Retreat) in Port Hedland. The Retreat will provide an opportunity for the families and carers of people with disability to take a break from their caring role, confident that their loved ones can access the necessary supports in an appropriate setting. Taking a break at the Retreat will empower people with disability to develop new skills and participate in new experiences, as well as strengthening families and carers to continue in their important support roles. The Department of Communities developed the Retreat in collaboration with local stakeholders, including members of a Local Community Liaison Group who had significant input into the final design of the facility. Following a public tender process, the Department of Communities awarded the contract to Empowering People In Communities (EPIC) to deliver services at the Retreat commencing from March 19, 2018. EPIC has offices in Hedland, Newman, Karratha and Roebourne and also provides outreach services across the Pilbara region including in Onslow, Jigalong, Tom Price and Paraburdoo. Comments attributed to Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson "This new facility will give people with disability, their families and carers the chance to relax and refresh, which has long-term benefits including strengthening family relationships. "Access to the facilities will be available to all eligible people in the region, giving people across the Pilbara more choice of respite supports. "I would like to acknowledge and thank the Local Community Liaison Group and local stakeholders for their involvement in the design process." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Katanning Harmony Festival showcases multicultural gem20300Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements1400html16/03/2018 5:04:14 AM2018-03-16T05:00:00Z Katanning celebrates cultural diversity for Harmony Week Festival supported by the McGowan Government with $40,000 The Katanning community will come together tomorrow (March 17) for the annual Katanning Harmony Festival, which celebrates a town widely regarded as 'the multicultural gem of the Great Southern region'. The festival, which includes live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, market stalls and an international food village, is a highlight in the town's social calendar with about 5,000 people expected to attend. Katanning is one of the most culturally diverse regional areas in Australia with more than 50 languages spoken in the town, and more than 37 per cent of residents having one or both parents born overseas. This incredible diversity is reflected in the harmony festival, which features a number of diverse cultural groups including the Afghan, Chinese, Karen, Filipino, Malay, Burundi, Twa and Indian communities. The McGowan Government is proud to support this Harmony Week event via the Office of Multicultural Interests, the Great Southern Development Commission, Lotterywest, and Healthway. The Katanning Harmony Festival is one of the many events happening around the State to mark Harmony Week, an initiative of the State Government. Harmony Week gives everyone an opportunity to explore and appreciate Western Australia's wealth of cultural, faith, linguistic and ethnic diversity. For more information about Harmony Week, visit http// Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "Katanning is often referred to as a multicultural success story and with good reason. The town has shown how multiculturalism can benefit a whole community culturally, socially and economically. "The Katanning Harmony Festival is an opportunity to showcase the cultural diversity that the town is famous for and for everyone to connect with their neighbours, and celebrate and explore their multicultural society." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Joint media statement - Disaster assistance following Tropical Cyclone Kelvin20296Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2190html16/03/2018 4:42:58 AM2018-03-16T04:40:00Z Disaster assistance has been made available for the local government areas of Broome, Derby-West Kimberley, Laverton and Wyndham-East Kimberley, which were affected by Tropical Cyclone Kelvin in February 2018. Assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said that funding is being made available through the NDRRA to support affected individuals and communities and repair flood-damaged assets. "Tropical Cyclone Kelvin hit as a Category 2 Tropical Cyclone, 250 kilometres south of Broome near Anna Plains Station," Mr Taylor said. "There were severe winds in excess of 100 km per hour, with heavy rainfall exceeding 500mm in Broome, 237mm at Anna Plains Station and 229mm in Derby." "Floodwaters continue to affect this region, where many communities are still recovering from Tropical Cyclone Hilda, Tropical Cyclone Joyce and the most recent tropical low." Western Australian Emergency Services Minister Fran Logan said that several sections of the Great Northern Highway and all major roads into Broome were temporarily closed. "The funding available through the NDRRA will help these communities recover and ensure damaged public infrastructure can be repaired," Mr Logan said. "The Commonwealth and Western Australian governments recognise the importance of acting quickly to help these communities, particularly those that were affected by flooding in late January." Assistance available under the NDRRA may include personal hardship and distress assistance for affected individuals and families financial support for affected local governments and state agencies to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets interest rate subsidies for small businesses and primary producers, and freight subsidies for primary producers. The assistance available for this event is divided into categories. For further information, visit http// Primary Contacts for assistance and advice are Individuals and Families - Department of Communities, Emergency Services (Child Protection and Family Support) Phone 1800 032 965 Primary Producers - Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Agriculture and Food) Rural Business Development Unit Phone 1800 198 231 Other Enquiries - Office of Emergency Management Phone 6551 4034 or 6551 4041; Email to Information on assistance available for natural disasters can be found on the Australian Government's website at http// Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6300
New approach in the Wheatbelt to secure childcare future20295Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3820html16/03/2018 4:29:46 AM2018-03-16T04:15:00Z Sustainable childcare services in the Wheatbelt region to improve childhood development, employment opportunities and economic prosperity Childcare services in the Wheatbelt region will now be stronger and more sustainable with an investment of $1.4 million, benefiting families and regional businesses. The State Government, through the Regional Community Child Care Development Fund, and Lotterywest today announced joint funding to support the implementation of the Regional Early Education and Development Inc (REED) organisation, which will enable community-based centres to merge under a single banner. Good quality childcare services are important for children's development, their families, and for the economic and social fabric of communities in the Wheatbelt region. For a decade, the sustainability of services in the Wheatbelt region has been a challenge, despite Commonwealth, State and local government financial support. The investment will ensure childcare services Continue to be provided across the Wheatbelt region for the benefit of children and their families, and local businesses; and Are sustainable and can continue to deliver high-quality programs which contribute to children's development in their critical early years. Supporting the mergers will be REED's nine-member board, which brings high-level expertise to its governance role. A central management structure based in Narrogin will free individual management committees from complex governance and legal responsibilities while retaining quality services for children and families in their communities. The Regional Community Child Care Development Fund is funded by Royalties for Regions. Comments attributed to Community Services Minister Simone McGurk "In regional WA, the provision of childcare is a challenge, in part, due to the difficulty of keeping small, sometimes isolated, community-based services viable. "If we didn't change the way childcare services were being managed in the regions, we faced serious risk of childcare centres closing, a lack of skilled workers and negative impacts on child development with long-term consequences. "Childcare services generate and support local jobs. They facilitate economic development and jobs growth by supporting parents to re-enter the workforce while raising their children. "Childcare services can often be a factor in a family's decision to either relocate or stay in a rural community, and that's also why we're pleased to support the development of services that are both sustainable and meet local needs." Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Regional communities have made it clear that access to childcare is critically important to retaining young families in the regions and increasing the participation of women in regional economies. "This is a good investment of Royalties for Regions funding, helping to strengthen workforce participation in the Wheatbelt." Community Services Minister's office - 6552 6600 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
Families at the heart of Harmony Week in Three Springs20294Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements1300html16/03/2018 4:20:46 AM2018-03-16T04:00:00Z Town celebrates Harmony Week with 'Welcome to Three Springs' Event supported by the McGowan Government The Three Springs community will tomorrow (March 17) celebrate Harmony Week with 'Welcome to Three Springs' - a family-friendly multicultural community event. Welcome to Three Springs will feature live cultural performances, local business stalls, interactive activities and a long-table dinner with authentic Malaysian and New Zealand cuisine. The event will provide an opportunity for community members to meet each other and learn about the cultures that make up the town. Many local families from the Mid-West town will be involved in the activities, which include a traditional New Zealand Hungi and Indian henna painting. Locals will be invited to write their names on coloured paper hands, which will then be displayed as a giant heart to represent the Three Springs community. The McGowan Government is proud to support Welcome to Three Springs with $2,300 through the Office of Multicultural Interests' Community Grants Program. Welcome to Three Springs is one of the many events happening around the State to mark Harmony Week, an initiative of the State Government. Harmony Week gives everyone an opportunity to explore and appreciate Western Australia's wealth of cultural, faith, linguistic and ethnic diversity. Harmony Week runs from March 15 to 21 every year. For more information about Harmony Week, visit http// Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "It's great to see Three Springs celebrate Harmony Week in a way that reflects the unique multiculturalism of their community. "Welcome to Three Springs is a truly community-driven event with local families sharing their culture and traditions, and creating a place where diversity is a cherished and important part of the town." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Bridge over Collie River now open to road users20292Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3340html16/03/2018 3:20:46 AM2018-03-16T03:20:00Z Connection between Australind, Millbridge and Eaton communities now completed Construction engaged many local businesses and generated 100 jobs Bridge to reduce the pressure on Forrest Highway and Old Coast Road The new $16.7 million bridge linking Treendale with Eaton is now open, reducing travel time and increasing safety for the fast-growing communities. The bridge is located about three kilometres north-east of the Eaton Fair Shopping Centre and approximately 1.5 kilometres south of the Treendale Shopping Centre. Spanning 224 metres long, the new bridge will halve the journey time between the two communities from 20 minutes to about 10 minutes. Along with providing an important social connection, the bridge will provide essential access for emergency services vehicles and will connect the Treendale and Kingston subdivisions in Australind with Millbridge Private Estate and the Parkridge Estate in Eaton. The project was jointly funded, with the State Government contributing $9.5 million and the shires of Dardanup and Harvey committing $7.2 million collected from developer contributions. An innovative and successful bridge launch method has delivered cost and time savings to this project. Features of the 14.4 metre-wide bridge include a steel/concrete composite superstructure that accommodates two traffic lanes, a pedestrian walkway on the western side and bridge lighting. Possum ropes will also be installed on both sides of the Collie River channel to facilitate possum movements along the watercourse. Work on the structure started in early 2017 and generated up to 100 jobs during its peak construction period, including various local sub-contractors and businesses. The steel components of the beams for the bridge were also fabricated in Western Australia. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "It has been just over a year since construction on this bridge commenced, and it is great to see community excitement and anticipation build for this greatly needed project. "Not only will road users experience the benefits of shorter travel times, the completion of this structure will provide opportunities for improved bus services and a direct pedestrian and cycling link." Comments attributed to Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke "The travel distance between the Millbridge and Treendale communities will drop by approximately 10 kilometres, which will make an enormous difference to those travelling through the area. "Millbridge and Treendale are two of the fastest growing areas in WA and connecting the two areas is critical to the local road network." Minister's office - 6552 5500
New era in job creation: WA Industry Link portal and advisory service launched20289Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10450html16/03/2018 2:30:12 AM2018-03-16T02:30:00Z The new WA Industry Link online portal will help WA businesses to tender for government contracts New era in job creation in Western Australia The Industry Link Advisory Service will assist WA businesses in the regions and metropolitan area McGowan Government's Jobs Law ensures government spending creates opportunities for WA businesses and workers New local industry participation plans will ensure suppliers of government contracts deliver WA jobs Pilot projects underway, with new system to be rolled out in full in September Premier Mark McGowan will today launch WA Industry Link - a key component of the McGowan Labor Government's Jobs Law that will help local businesses to secure work on government contracts. The Jobs Law, passed earlier this year, set out the Government's expectation that opportunities for Western Australian businesses and workers must be maximised when it comes to delivering government goods and services. Each year, the State Government spends about $27 billion on goods, services and works for the community, representing a significant opportunity and stable market for local industry. There are opportunities for Western Australian businesses to get a bigger share of this work, and the WA Industry Link portal will help them to do so. The portal will act as a central online information source on how opportunities for local businesses to supply to the State Government can be maximised. It will also provide an avenue for local industry to share feedback and seek advice, helping to ensure the State Government tender and contracting processes remain open, accountable and transparent. Over time, information and resources will be added to the portal, which will help to streamline the tender, contracting and reporting processes, and make it easier for local businesses and agencies to fulfil the requirements placed upon them. As part of the Jobs Law, prospective suppliers of government contracts will be required to submit local participation plans as part of their tender. These will require suppliers to provide information on levels of local business engagement as well as the jobs, apprenticeships and traineeships that will be created and retained. These plans will then be incorporated into the contracts of successful suppliers to ensure the promised local jobs are delivered. Successful bidders will also be required to report on the fulfilment of their plans. An Industry Link Advisory Service has been established to provide a range of services to help local businesses and State Government agencies to understand the new strategy. As part of the advisory service, Local Content Advisors are available to provide advisory services to businesses in regional areas. Their focus is on helping support regional businesses compete for State Government supply opportunities. Pilot projects are being rolled out under the new system, with the new laws to be applied across the board in September 2018. To find out more, visit http// Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "Creating jobs for Western Australians is my number one priority. WA Industry Link represents a new, innovative era in the way government contracts are awarded. "WA Industry Link will ensure more opportunities are created for WA businesses, meaning more jobs for local workers. "The portal will link local businesses to government contracts, and provide them with all the information and support they need to give them the best chance of securing contracts. "The State Government spends billions of dollars each year on goods, services and infrastructure. Through the local industry participation plans, the State Government will ensure that WA jobs are maximised on this spending. "Small to medium-sized businesses represent the lion's share of business activity in Western Australia and around the nation. "They are key, job-creating drivers of the local economy, and the State Government is determined to provide them with the support they need to continue to flourish, long into the future." WA Industry Link pilot projects METRONET rolling stock; Stage 1 of the design and construction of the York Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade; Design and construction of Berth 3 Deck Replacement at the Port of Port Hedland; Bunbury Regional Prison Expansion; Casuarina Prison; New Museum Stage 2; Reid Highway (Altone Road to West Swan Road) Project; Southern River College upgrade; and Melville Senior High School Performing Arts Upgrade. Premier's office - 6552 5000