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New centre the active heart of Narembeen118721Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html29/04/2016 9:00:19 AM2016-04-29T09:00:00Z​$5.2 million regional sport and recreation hub opens in Narembeen Premier Colin Barnett and Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies have officially opened the $5.2 million upgraded Narembeen Recreation Centre. "The total cost of this development project was about $5.2 million, and for a small shire like Narembeen to raise almost $3.8 million of that cost is an outstanding achievement and shows their understanding of the need for sport and recreation in their district," the Premier said. "This is a fantastic facility and I'm sure it will be heavily used by the Narembeen community." The State Government provided more than $1.4 million towards the project - $550,000 through the Department of Sport and Recreation, $571,766 through Lotterywest and a further $291,503 from Royalties for Regions. Funding has gone towards new change rooms, storage areas, toilets and community spaces, plus the construction of two new seven-rink synthetic bowling greens. Ms Davies said she was pleased to open the centre which was at the heart of her electorate. "Being active has many benefits including improving your physical and mental well-being and that's why the Government supports projects like this one. The State Government's latest research has also confirmed that for young people being active on the playground, on the court and on the field helps learning in the classroom," she said. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Royalties for Regions was committed to funding community projects that provide long-term benefits for regional communities. "Facilities like the Narembeen Sport and Recreation Centre provide the community with opportunities to engage and interact, critical factors for sustainable regional communities," Mr Redman said. Fact FileSince 2008, through the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund, the Government has invested about $145 million in sport and recreation facilities around the State in projects totalling about $909 millionThe Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund exemplifies the WA Government's commitment to the development of sustainable infrastructure for sport and recreation across the State Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 5500
Award-winning arts centre opens in Newman118719Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html29/04/2016 7:00:05 AM2016-04-29T07:00:00ZEast Pilbara Arts Centre opens in NewmanMade possible by State Government's Royalties for Regions program The East Pilbara Arts Centre was officially opened today, proudly showcasing Aboriginal culture from the Martu people. Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the State Government's Royalties for Regions program provided $3.5 million towards the centre, which will foster meaningful cultural exchanges between indigenous and non-indigenous communities. Mr Redman said to mark the opening the new gallery space would feature the We don't need a map a Martu experience of the Western Desert project, a nationally-acclaimed exhibition presenting the work of more than 30 local artists. "The East Pilbara Arts Centre will help bring the colour and technique of the Martumili Artists to the wider Pilbara community," he said. "This facility is more than bricks and mortar. It will be transformative for Newman as a shared space that brings indigenous and non-indigenous people together to connect, learn and share cultural experiences." The Minister said even before the centre had opened its doors, it had been recognised for its innovative design, engagement practices and partnerships as a finalist in last year's WA Premier's awards. "The progressive approach to the project's development has resulted in a culturally and environmentally innovative centre that sets a new benchmark for arts and community infrastructure," he said. "This project will help support economic development and continued community growth in the East Pilbara, and it is a valuable Royalties for Regions investment." The East Pilbara Arts Centre was made possible by BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Lotterywest, the Shire of East Pilbara and the State Government's Royalties for Regions program. Fact FileThe $1.7 billion Pilbara Cities initiative is being delivered by the Pilbara Development CommissionFor more information about Pilbara Cities, visit https//www.pdc.wa.gov.au For more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions Minister's office - 6552 6700
Funding boost for regional visitor centres118716Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html29/04/2016 4:51:01 AM2016-04-29T04:45:00ZSecond round of Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program open$4.2 million investment over three years including $1.05 million in 2016-17 Regional visitor centres are invited to apply for State Government funding towards initiatives that will help them stay viable and adaptable in the changing tourism landscape. Centres can apply to share in more than $1 million in the latest round of the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program made possible by Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions. Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said the program, worth $4.2 million over three years, recognised the vital role of visitor centres in boosting regional tourism and employment. "Tourism is a $4 billion industry for regional Western Australia. Research shows that people spend more time and money in an area when they use a visitor centre," Mr Barnett said. "As more travellers go online for information and bookings, visitor centres are looking to adapt their traditional business models to stay relevant and viable." The first funding round, in 2015-16, supported 39 visitor centres from places as diverse as Carnarvon, Chittering, Esperance, Roebourne and Nannup. Projects included website development, improved signage, accreditation and a mobile visitor centre in Geraldton. "A range of innovative projects have already enhanced the services on offer at visitor centres throughout the State," the Premier said. "I now urge regional visitor centres to apply for the second round of funding to kick-start or progress their initiatives." Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Royalties for Regions investment would help strengthen regional tourism, employment and skills development. "Visitor centres have a wealth of local knowledge that enhance the tourism experience and help visitors discover the best of what the regions have to offer," Mr Redman said. "Improving visitor experiences is key to creating opportunities and jobs for local communities, and contributing to stronger regional economies in this way is an important Royalties for Regions investment." Fact FileAccredited visitor centres or local government authorities can apply for grants between $40,000 and $100,000; non-accredited centres can apply for grants between $5,000 and $40,000Applications close 5pm, Friday June 17, 2016. For more information, visit Tourism WA Premier and Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5000 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Long-term frigate maintenance contract to WA118715Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html29/04/2016 4:11:37 AM2016-04-29T04:10:00Z Premier Colin Barnett said a new long-term contract for the maintenance of the ANZAC Class Frigates to be centred in Western Australia, further cemented the State's role in the sustainment of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet. "The open-ended sustainment contract has a value of more than $2 billion for the first eight years," Mr Barnett said. "This is excellent news and is likely to generate hundreds of jobs for West Australians. "Companies at the Australian Marine Complex have consistently proven their ability to win and deliver maintenance and upgrade projects for the Navy. Henderson is one of only two shipbuilding precincts in Australia." The Premier said the contract ensured the ANZAC Class Frigates remained a potent capability for the RAN until the Future Frigates, which begin construction in Adelaide in 2020, entered service. The majority of the work will be undertaken in Henderson at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC), with additional work at Fleet Base East. Today's announcement comes after it was revealed earlier this week that WA contractors were expected to benefit from the awarding to a French company, the contract to design 12 new submarines for the Navy. And last week, the Australian Government announced WA would share the construction of 12 Offshore Patrol Vessels with South Australia and that Henderson-based Austal Ships Pty Ltd was the preferred tenderer to construct and maintain up to 21 replacement steel-hulled Pacific Patrol Boats. In 2013-14 alone, defence contracts managed at the AMC totalled an estimated $624 million, creating up to 3,000 jobs. Western Australia is home to about 180 companies with direct defence contracts, of which the majority are small to medium enterprises. Premier's office - 6552 5000
Selfless service as PMH helper celebrates 100th118713Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html29/04/2016 3:00:33 AM2016-04-29T03:00:00ZBlind centenarian assembles up to 500 kids care packs per monthHighlights important role of volunteering across the community Health Minister John Day has congratulated Gerry Leeuwangh on his years of dedicated service, as the Princess Margaret Hospital helper celebrates his 100th birthday today. "Gerry is an inspiration and personifies the spirit of giving," Mr Day said. "Though he is legally blind and lives with chronic lung disease, he volunteers his time from his Morley home putting together the hospital's private patient packs for the benefit of young patients." Mr Leeuwangh has volunteered in this way for the past six years, using his sense of touch to assemble up to 500 of the care packs each month, which contain toiletries and information for private patients. During recent years, his sight has succumbed to progressive macular degeneration, rendering him unable to focus. "Gerry's volunteer work with PMH is a continuation of his proud record of service," the Minister said. "He has volunteered with many charity and church groups throughout his life. "Not only is his work much appreciated by children at PMH, he is also highly regarded in his home community as a local government stalwart and a former deputy mayor whose legacy is still benefiting the residents of the City of Bayswater." Mr Day said Mr Leeuwangh's work highlighted the important role of volunteering across the WA health system and throughout the community. "There are more than 200 volunteers who give their time to make life easier for sick and recovering children and their families at PMH seven days a week," he said. "Despite the increasing use of technology and the looming move to the state-of-the-art Perth Children's Hospital, volunteers will continue to provide a wide range of support services that are such a vital part of the healing process." Fact FileGerry Leeuwangh was born in Rotterdam on April 29, 1916He trained as an accountant and worked as a shipping clerk, migrating to WA in 1950He and wife Audrey have been married more than 60 years and have eight children, 20 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildrenFor information on PMH volunteering, visit http//www.pmh.health.wa.gov.au/help_us/volunteers_pmh.htm Minister's office - 6552 6200
Website puts spotlight on council performance118711Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html29/04/2016 2:08:44 AM2016-04-29T02:00:00Z​MyCouncil website to focus on local government accountability and performanceRatepayers can view and compare council revenue, expenditure and financial health Western Australian ratepayers will be able to scrutinise their council's financial health and performance via a new dedicated website providing unprecedented access to local government data. The MyCouncil website provides a snapshot of every local government in WA, allowing the public to make comparisons of data over time and between councils. Launching the website today, Local Government Minister Tony Simpson said MyCouncil would reveal how local governments were raising, spending and managing their money. "For the first time, ratepayers and residents will be able to access detailed information on the way their council operates with the click of a button," Mr Simpson said. "This website builds on the State Government's commitment to strengthen accountability throughout the sector and ensure all West Australians benefit from high-performing councils. "We want local governments to be open and transparent when it comes to spending ratepayers' money." MyCouncil allows the public to determine if they are receiving value for money by comparing the performance of councils across a range of services and financial indicators. "The website presents financial data visually, making it easier to interpret and make assessments about council performance and improve awareness of each local government's financial health," the Minister said. "Comparisons with other councils will enable local governments to identify areas for continuous improvement." Fact FileMyCouncil is hosted by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) and consolidates data currently available in annual reports and other reporting documentsDLGC will continue to work with local governments, State Government agencies and other stakeholders to expand the capabilities of the websiteMyCouncil website can be viewed at http//www.mycouncil.wa.gov.au Minister's office - 6552 6600
Airport rail line negotiations completed118690Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements15390html28/04/2016 5:30:09 AM2016-04-28T05:30:00ZState Government finalises negotiations to design, construct and maintain the Forrestfield-Airport Link$1.176 billion contract signed to deliver the main package of works on the project Will connect Perth's growing eastern foothills to the CBD via the airport The Forrestfield-Airport Link has reached a major milestone with a joint venture between Italian company Salini Impregilo and local company NRW Pty Ltd (SINRW) awarded a contract to design, construct and maintain the Forrestfield-Airport Link. The joint venture entered into negotiations with the Public Transport Authority in February. Premier Colin Barnett said the $1.176 billion contract had now been signed to deliver the main package of works on the rail line to Perth's eastern foothills. Mr Barnett confirmed a recent $490 million payment from the Australian Government to the State would go towards the project. "SINRW are contracted to build the eight kilometres of rail tunnels and three stations for the Forrestfield Line, as well as maintenance of the tunnel and civil structures for 10 years after completion," the Premier said. "This is a huge milestone on the path to delivering this project, which will change the face of Perth's eastern corridor and give people direct access to the airport by public transport. "It's the biggest expansion of the city's rail system since the Mandurah rail line was completed." Transport Minister Dean Nalder said early work, worth $370 million, was already underway for the construction of the Forrestfield Airport Line, including geotechnical work, contract management and land purchases. "Various forward works have been underway at Forrestfield since November 2015 and I expect the joint venture to mobilise on site in the coming months. The project's direct employment is expected to peak at about 600 workers," Mr Nalder said. Two of the stations on the Forrestfield-Airport Link have been renamed - Belmont (formerly Airport West) and Airport Central (formerly Consolidated Airport) - to more accurately reflect their purpose and locations. The rail line will be tunnelled underground from a junction near Bayswater Station, under the Swan River and the airport, and out to Forrestfield. It is due to open in 2020. Fact FileTrains are expected to begin operating on the line in 2020, linking the city to the airport and to ForrestfieldIn November 2015, Transperth introduced Route 380 - a direct bus link between Perth's CBD and T1 and T2 at Perth Airport as an interim serviceFor more information, visit the Forrestfield-Airport Link website Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 6400
Construction start promises better Collie health care118689Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2020html28/04/2016 5:01:55 AM2016-04-28T05:00:00ZWork begins on $7.8 million Collie hospital upgradeHealth service to remain fully operational during buildingProject expected to support up to 200 jobs during construction Work is underway on a $7.8 million redevelopment of the Collie Health Service that will transform the hospital into a contemporary, best-practice healthcare facility. Kicking off the building project today, Health Minister John Day and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said BCG Construction had won the tender for the main works, which would allow the health service to remain fully operational during construction. "This investment will provide improved facilities for patients in need of immediate care, with the staged program of works including a major refurbishment of the Emergency Department (ED), plus a new administration centre and hospital entry," Mr Day said. "It is expected the $7.8 million revamp will support up to 200 jobs during construction." Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the State Government's Royalties for Regions program was investing in strategic regional health initiatives to enhance health care in regional Western Australia. "The latest infrastructure supports health services that deliver modern, efficient and interconnected patient diagnoses and care," Mr Redman said. "Once completed, the new Collie Health Service will help attract and retain medical and nursing staff, building a skilled workforce to meet the growing needs of the community." The redevelopment is being undertaken as part of the Southern Inland Health Initiative's (SIHI) $300 million infrastructure program to improve hospitals and health services in 37 towns across the Wheatbelt, Great Southern, Mid-West and South-West. The infrastructure program is one component of the $500 million SIHI, made possible by Royalties for Regions. The project will occur in three stages Stage 1, expected to be completed by August 2016, involves fit-out of the new administration centre, hospital entry, ambulance entry, equipment and medical stores; Stage 2 involves the ED refurbishment, including new reception and triage areas, waiting areas and treatment bays; and Stage 3 includes the completion of the ED refurbishment. Construction is due to be completed in June 2017. Fact FileSIHI is also funding a new hospital in Manjimup - the Warren Health ServiceFor more information, visit http//www.health.wa.gov.au/southerninland or Bigger Picture - Health Health Minister's office - 6552 6200 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
More help for Aboriginal jobseekers118687Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5290html28/04/2016 3:00:44 AM2016-04-28T03:00:00ZNew online tool to help employers and Aboriginal jobseekers Redesigned website identifies services for jobseekers and employers New State Government initiatives are providing key support and removing barriers to employment for Aboriginal jobseekers. Deputy Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said the new jobs board and revamped website for the Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre were among the 'next steps' identified in the 2014 update of the Training Together - Working Together Aboriginal workforce development strategy. "The jobs board is part of the revamped website which details a range of jobs available to registered jobseekers," Mrs Harvey said. "The jobs board will enable Government and non-government organisations to lodge vacancies online and access resumes and other documents posted by registered Aboriginal jobseekers. "The Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre works with its registered jobseekers to match them with employment opportunities that suit their skills and knowledge, ensuring employers find the right fit for their business." The Minister said although the jobs board was officially launched today, it had already been promoted to employers and received a positive response. "More than 120 Government and non-government job vacancies have been posted to date. I encourage more employers to make the most of this free service," she said. "Our focus is to get Aboriginal people into sustainable employment. The jobs board will be a vital tool to increase job opportunities for Aboriginal people throughout Western Australia." With five offices in Perth and regional WA, the Aboriginal Workforce Development centres provide jobseekers with access to a range of support services and advice to employers on how to attract, recruit and retain Aboriginal employees. Fact FileEstablishing the Aboriginal Workforce Development centres was a key outcome of the Training Together - Working Together Aboriginal workforce development strategyMore than 1,750 jobseekers have been placed into employment or training through the Aboriginal Workforce Development Centres since 2010For more information, visit http//www.dtwd.wa.gov.au/AWDC Deputy Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister's office - 6552 5900
Community Chest funding for Mid-West region118683Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3810html28/04/2016 1:47:18 AM2016-04-28T01:35:00ZMid West Community Chest Fund recipients announcedCommunity projects funded by $10 million Community Chest FundMade possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program Regional Development Minister Terry Redman today announced the grant recipients of the Mid-West region's Community Chest Fund, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program. The fund provides one-off grants of up to $50,000 to community, public and not-for-profit organisations to support local, demand-driven community projects. Mr Redman said the first grant recipient of the Mid West Community Chest Fund - the Shire of Coorow - was announced last week, three more recipients were advised of their successful grant applications today. "As well as the $21,700 to bolster the emergency response and evacuation capabilities in Coorow and Leeman, the fund has provided $20,000 to the Shire of Meekatharra to upgrade the Meeka Rangelands Discovery Trail," he said. "John Willcock College and Geraldton Senior College have together received $18,000 to facilitate neurology and education professional learning workshops, to be delivered by an international expert in neurology of learning, Dr Judy Willis. The Shire of Mount Magnet has been provided $3,600 to support the annual Astro Rocks Fest 2016." The fund supports region-specific priorities that are driven by local communities to assist the development of infrastructure, services and community projects that help build vibrant regions with strong economies. "Hundreds of diverse projects and organisations across regional Western Australia have significantly benefited from the fund in recent years," the Minister said. WA's nine regional development commissions oversee the projects, each being allocated an equal share from which to provide the Community Chest Fund grants. The State Government, through the Royalties for Regions program, has invested $10 million into the fund over four years. Fact FileThe Community Chest Fund aims to improve economic and community infrastructure, and services in regional WAFor more information, visit http//www.drd.wa.gov.au Minister's office - 6552 6700
Milestone reached on Aubin Grove station upgrade118682Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5010html28/04/2016 1:39:13 AM2016-04-28T01:30:00ZPad and columns for Aubin Grove Station completedTotal investment in the rail and road works revised to $120 million Progress on the Aubin Grove Station and Russell Road upgrade has reached a milestone with the concrete pad and columns for the station completed. Inspecting works on the site today, Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the combined project cost had been revised to $120 million. "The scope of the station and Russell Road upgrade has been refined as the Government is delivering a station and transport precinct that, when combined, far exceeds what was originally proposed," Mr Nalder said. "All the transport elements are intrinsically linked in this precinct. Opportunities were identified to enhance all of these elements including the station, surrounding road network, bridge and freeway capacity." Last year, the State Government announced the Russell Road bridge would be widened as part of the Aubin Grove Station project. The Australian and State governments are also funding the extension of the Kwinana Freeway widening project three kilometres further southbound from Armadale Road to Russell Road. "It makes sense to deliver a complete project at the outset. I understand it comes at a cost, however this is the type of smart transport decision the Government is making to ensure a comprehensive integrated transport solution is delivered," the Minister said. Construction activities are required over three consecutive weekends in June to deliver the projects. The works will have significant impacts on the Kwinana Freeway and the Mandurah Line. "Some rail and road disruptions are needed so the station building can be constructed, and the pedestrian footbridges and beam spans for the Russell Road Bridge installed," Mr Nalder said. To safely complete the work, traffic will need to be diverted around part of the Kwinana Freeway and Russell Road and part of the Mandurah Line will be closed. "The three weekend diversions have been meticulously planned and will save Kwinana Freeway users several months of disruptions over the life of the Aubin Grove and Russell Road upgrade," the Minister said. Fact FileWorks include upgrading the Russell Road/Gibbs Road approaches to the interchange, signals from Russell Road into the station car park, bus-only access from Lauderdale Drive into the station, and removing the Lamar Court-Russell Road connectionPassenger amenities will include public toilets, a kiosk, ticket and add-value machines, public art, a 2,000-bay car park, dedicated drop-off area and bicycle facilitiesProjected patronage of 3,900 boardings at the station on an average weekdayThe State Government is investing $100 million in the Aubin Grove station and the Australian Government is investing $20 million in the Russell Road upgrade Minister's office - 6552 6400
Joint media statement - NDIS trial set for expansion in WA118681Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9040html28/04/2016 1:32:19 AM2016-04-28T01:15:00Z More Western Australians will gain access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) over the next year with the Commonwealth and Western Australian State Governments extending the current trials to July 2017 and expanding them to additional locations in the State. As part of this agreement the Commonwealth and WA State Governments have set the target to finalise arrangements for the Statewide roll out of the NDIS in WA by October 2016, with the rollout expected to start on 1 July 2017. Federal Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said today's agreement will give certainty to around 10,900 current and future participants of ongoing support and will ensure more Western Australians will benefit from the NDIS while the details of the full scheme model are being finalised. "The Commonwealth and WA State Governments are working closely on the details of the full scheme approach for Western Australia and we expect to agree to the final NDIS full scheme model later this year," Mr Porter said. "This will be informed by the comparative evaluation and will be done in consultation with people with disability, their families, carers and service providers." The Commonwealth and WA governments established a comparative trial of two different models of the NDIS in 2014. The WA NDIS (formerly NDIS My Way) operates in the Lower South West region and Cockburn-Kwinana area. From 1 October 2016, the WA Disability Services Commission (DSC) will expand the NDIS model to local government areas Armadale, Murray and Serpentine-Jarrahdale. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) model delivered in the Perth Hills region will be expanded to Bayswater, Bassendean, Chittering, Toodyay, York and Northam from 1 January 2017. "The expansion of the two trials will allow a further 2,700 people to access the NDIS in WA," Minister Porter said. "In addition, extending the original trial sites to July 2017 means that participants will have certainty about the current trials." Western Australian Minister for Disability Services Donna Faragher said both governments were committed to the wellbeing of people with disability. "The lives of people with disability, their families and carers are being changed for the better by the NDIS," Mrs Faragher said. "The full implementation of the NDIS in WA will draw on lessons learnt from existing trials and will apply the same eligibility requirements and portability of supports as the rest of the country. "Since the launch of the Western Australian comparative NDIS trials, more than 4,000 Western Australians have had access to the increased funding, and choice and control over their disability services provided through the NDIS. "We need to ensure that the NDIS in WA is accountable to the Western Australian community and builds on the State's existing relationships and long history of disability reform." For further information about WA NDIS visit http//www.disability.wa.gov.au or call 1800 996 214. For further information about NDIA NDIS visit http//www.ndis.gov.au or call 1800 800 110. Disability Services Minister's office - 6552 5300
Process simplified for driver medical assessments118679Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4590html28/04/2016 12:42:17 AM2016-04-27T23:30:00ZMedical assessment reforms to reduce burden of red tapeTime and costs savings for healthy driversFitness to drive notifications simplified The State Government has taken another step to reduce red tape through changes to medical assessment procedures for Western Australian drivers, which took effect last week. Transport Minister Dean Nalder said a simplified process was now available for some drivers to satisfy the Department of Transport of their ongoing fitness to drive with the option of completing a declaration instead of undergoing a further medical assessment. "The Fitness to Drive Declaration process will only apply to eligible drivers who have previously undergone a full medical assessment and where their medical condition is well maintained and under the regular care of a medical practitioner," he said. Mr Nalder said the department would retain the ability to require any Western Australian driver to undergo a medical assessment where there was reason to believe they could be unfit to hold a driver's licence. "Over the past seven years, the number of medical assessments of Western Australian drivers has grown by 280 per cent, which impacts on the medical profession, inconveniences drivers whose medical condition is well maintained, and incurs costs for drivers and taxpayers," he said. "In addition to this, an online solution that will enable doctors to submit medical assessments to the department electronically will be implemented later this year. This new process will improve the electronic exchange of information between medical professionals and the department and provide earlier responses to drivers." Finance Minister Bill Marmion said the changes were part of the Government's rolling red tape reduction strategy and would improve services, speed processing and combat the upward, unsustainable trend in medical assessment volumes. "These medical assessment reforms aim to reduce the regulatory burden on drivers who are in good health and streamline the exchange of information through the use of technology," Mr Marmion said. Mr Nalder said while red tape would be reduced, the proposed medical assessment changes would not diminish the department's commitment to road safety. Fact FileThe declaration process will not apply to new drivers to WA, occupational drivers (which includes taxi, bus, drivers of public passenger carrying vehicles and driving instructors) or drivers aged 80 years and olderEligible drivers will be sent a Fitness to Drive Declaration form about 12 weeks prior to the expiry of a drivers licence Transport Minister's office - 6552 6400 Finance Minister's office - 6552 6800 ​
Move to a dedicated multi-purpose taxi service118665Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements13610html27/04/2016 9:16:50 AM2016-04-27T09:10:00Z​Black and White Cabs appointed as the dedicated multi-purpose taxi (MPT) dispatch service providerUnder the new arrangements, wait times will be reduced and all MPT requests will be monitored in real time to ensure jobs are completed Black and White Cabs has been appointed as the dedicated multi-purpose taxi (MPT) dispatch service for the delivery of wheelchair accessible taxi services in the Perth metropolitan area. The announcement by the State Government is part of its commitment to improving outcomes for taxi passengers travelling with wheelchairs. Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the decision to appoint a dedicated dispatch service followed a review of MPT services and the Department of Transport's ongoing work with disability support services on behalf of passengers who travelled with wheelchairs. "For some people living with disability and travelling with a wheelchair, taxis may be the only available transport option," Mr Nalder said. "The appointment of a dedicated dispatch service will ensure they have the same access to a responsive and reliable taxi service as the rest of the travelling community." The Minister said the current dual MPT co-ordinator arrangement had been ineffective and outcomes for wheelchair-accessible taxi patrons were poor. "The evidence presented to me is that operators place much lower priority on MPT jobs during peak periods, resulting in reduced service to vulnerable taxi users during these times," he said. "Taxi dispatch service performance levels for multi-purpose taxis have been well below that of conventional taxis, and having a single, dedicated service provider will make a new dispatch service more accountable for the service it delivers. "Passengers will find it easier and simpler to book a MPT by contacting just one dispatch service provider." Under the new arrangements, wait times will be reduced through the management of a centralised fleet and vehicle roster system that will match demand, while MPT requests will be monitored in real time ensuring all jobs are completed. Currently, there are 109 MPTs operating in the metropolitan taxi fleet, which represents about five per cent of the total metropolitan fleet. All 109 MPTs can utilise the Black and White Cabs MPT dispatch service. "For those drivers who have a regular MPT passenger, they can continue to provide this service under the new dispatch service arrangements," Mr Nalder said. "All that is required is the driver logs the service request with Black and White Cabs MPT dispatch service." The Government will be consulting with Black and White Taxis, and informing MPT drivers and passengers on the transition and commencement plans of the new service. The dedicated dispatch service contract is part of the Government's commitment to continuous improvement in accessible and safe on-demand transport services. Fact FileThe new MPT dispatch service arrangement will remove the requirement for MPT drivers to complete 60 jobs per monthDrivers will receive a Service Co-payment, replacing the Lifting Fee for jobs logged through the MPT dispatch serviceThe appointment is part of the Government's co-ordinated MPT dispatch strategy to provide improved management of taxi services for passengers travelling with wheelchairs Minister's office - 6552 6400
Support for new Geraldton community complex118663Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3720html27/04/2016 8:10:53 AM2016-04-27T08:00:00Z​New Sun City Christian Centre and Sun City Care complex officially opened$4.1 million complex supported by Lotterywest and the State Government's Royalties for Regions program Regional Development Minister Terry Redman today officially opened the new Sun City Christian Centre and Sun City Care complex, a $4.1 million project supported by Lotterywest and the State Government's Royalties for Regions program. Sun City Christian Centre and Sun City Care have a long-standing reputation in the Geraldton community of providing quality community programs that meet the needs of children, youth, families, the aged and people in crisis. Premier Colin Barnett said $1.45 million had been contributed to the project by Lotterywest and a further $800,000 from Royalties for Regions. The remaining $1.87 million was funded by Sun City Christian Centre. "Sun City Christian Centre and Sun City Care provide services to a diverse range of people within the community with different ages, nationalities and backgrounds," Mr Barnett said. "The new facilities will be a catalyst for community services and provide valuable care and support for those in need and the wider Geraldton community." Mr Redman said Royalties for Regions was focused on delivering benefits to regional Western Australia through building capacity and improving services in regional communities. "Royalties for Regions supported the construction of Sun City's two new buildings, which will enable them to relocate and expand existing facilities to better meet existing and future community and aged care needs," he said. Sun City's new facilities were developed following extensive community consultation and were critical to the organisation's strategic plan to accommodate current users and expected growth. Fact FileWA is the only State where money raised from lottery products is distributed directly back to the community to support not-for-profit organisationsLast financial year, Lotterywest raised $283 million to support the WA communityThe State's regional development priority is to develop regions into vibrant communities with strong economies that are desirable places to live, work and investRoyalties for Regions has invested $6.1 billion into more than 3,600 projects and programs to deliver strong economic and social outcomes for the StateFor more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Overwhelming support for Southern Forests irrigation scheme118661Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3890html27/04/2016 5:01:10 AM2016-04-27T05:00:00ZIncreased water availability for new irrigated areas and expand existing onesProvide a boost to investment, a strengthened economy and creation of jobs A proposed irrigation scheme for the Southern Forests area is another step closer after receiving overwhelming support from local growers through a formal Letter of Intent process. Water Minister Mia Davies said the process - which closed last month - far exceeded expectations, with 68 submissions received, representing a total of 92 properties being potentially serviced by an irrigation scheme, requiring a volume of 10.3 gigalitres. Ms Davies said this was 50 per cent above the initial target. "The $3.6 million Water for Food Southern Forests water futures project is investigating the potential for an irrigation scheme in the Warren-Donnelly and Southern Blackwood districts, to identify new water supply options and increase availability for the development of new irrigated areas and to expand existing ones," she said. "Now that the demand has been identified and the locations of potential subscribers have been mapped out, a scheme will be designed by experts from Tasmanian Irrigation Pty Ltd and a business case will be developed." Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the regional benefits of the project included increased investment, a strengthened economy and the creation of sustainable job opportunities. "It is envisaged a scheme will involve co-investment by the Government and private sectors, with the sale of water entitlements comprising the private contribution," Mr Redman said. "This is an exciting opportunity to transform the current use of irrigation water in the Warren-Donnelly area and enable the expansion of the irrigated district to those areas that currently have limited options." Fact FileIt is expected water will be distributed via about 100km of pipeline and pumped with about four pump stations, depending on a final scheme designAt this stage, irrigation rights in the scheme area are likely to be provided at 95% reliability, taking into account climate change modellingFor more information, visit http//www.waterforfood.wa.gov.au/projects/southern-forests-water-futures Water Minister's office - 6552 5500 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Renowned academy boosts hospitality training118659Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7530html27/04/2016 2:03:02 AM2016-04-27T02:00:00ZWorld-leading academy to open and boost hospitality training in WADegrees offered in Tourism and Event Management Renowned international academy Le Cordon Bleu will open its first institute in Perth and welcome its first intake of Western Australian hospitality and tourism students this year. Degree programs in Convention and Event Management, and Tourism Management will be delivered in collaboration with North Metropolitan TAFE, enhancing the State's role as a key tourism and hospitality hub. Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett opened the Perth institute and launched the partnership and degree programs today at the North Metropolitan TAFE Northbridge campus. Mr Barnett said the partnership had come at an important time for WA as tourism and hospitality emerged as key industries for the State's economic development. "The accommodation and food services industry is an important source of jobs for the State, accounting for 6.6 per cent of Western Australia's total workforce in 2015," he said. "The addition of Le Cordon Bleu's world-class training at North Metropolitan TAFE will ensure we are at the forefront of skills development in the tourism and hospitality industry. "The degree programs will also support the growth of international education in WA and promote Perth as a great place to study and work." Deputy Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said students enrolled in both Bachelor of Business qualifications would commence their study in June 2016, with training carried out at the North Metropolitan TAFE Northbridge campus. "Students will be training in the cultural and hospitality heart of Perth, enabling them to observe what opportunities can arise from their chosen field of study," she said. "As a world leader in culinary and hospitality education, Le Cordon Bleu produces graduates who are highly sought after by industry. This will be an exciting opportunity for those people who have a passion to establish a rewarding career in this sector. "The recently established North Metropolitan TAFE introduces a new dimension to the partnership. Specialised hospitality programs delivered from the Joondalup campus will strengthen training opportunities and allow the State's tourism and hospitality industry to thrive." Fact FileLe Cordon Bleu has operated in Australia with public training partners for 15 yearsDelivery of courses follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in 2012North Metropolitan TAFE has delivered almost 3,700 enrolments in tourism, travel and hospitality in the last three years Premier and Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5000 Deputy Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister's office - 6552 5900
Design and colour of stadium seats revealed118657Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10340html27/04/2016 1:30:17 AM2016-04-27T01:30:00ZSeat design and colours reflect 18 months of consultation and testingSeats will be 50cm wide with cup-holders positioned on seat backs Sports fans have given the thumbs up to the size, design and colour of the seats at Perth Stadium and Sports Precinct. Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies today joined members of the Sports Fans User Group to inspect the first of 60,000 seats that will be installed after 18 months of rigorous consultation and testing. "The seat colour and design had to be durable for the Western Australian climate, visually appealing, comfortable, not impact on on-field performance and offer contrast to the colours of our home teams," Ms Davies said. "Seat comfort is an important factor and feedback from the Sports Fans User Group was hugely valuable during the design selection process. "The general admission seats are 50 centimetres wide with rubber cup-holders that will be located on the back of every seat, adding to the 'fans first' experience. To put it into context, one general admission seat at Perth Stadium is about as wide as two bench seats at Domain Stadium - so fans will notice a significant difference when they come to watch a football game or cricket match in 2018." The seat colours were also an important consideration and the selected natural colours complement the overall design. The sports that will play in the stadium also had a chance to provide input. This was particularly relevant for cricket as specific seat colours can significantly impact a fielder's ability to sight the ball against the backdrop of the seats. Western Australian Cricket Association chief executive officer Christina Matthews said she was very pleased with the outcome and said it would enhance the match day experience for fans and players. Seats are being supplied by Bluecube, with installation of seating brackets and seats to be undertaken by local workers. More than 50 per cent of the concrete seating platforms that the seat brackets will be fixed to have been installed. Full seat installation will start in early 2017. Construction of Perth Stadium is currently just over 40 per cent complete and is on schedule to open in time for the start of the 2018 AFL season. Fact FilePerth Stadium will have a capacity of 60,000 seats. For rectangular sports, up to an extra 5,000 drop-in seats will be positioned around all four sides of the pitchArtist renders showing the seat colours are available at http//www.perthstadium.com.au/images-and-video/high-resolution-images For more information, visit http//www.perthstadium.com.au Minister's office - 6552 5500
Industry capability to benefit from sub contract226358Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7750html26/04/2016 6:22:52 AM2016-04-26T06:15:00Z Premier Colin Barnett said he expected Western Australian contractors to benefit from the Australian Government's announcement today that French company DCNS had been selected as the preferred partner to design 12 submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. "Although the bulk of the submarine build will occur in Adelaide from 2025, the Future Submarine project is viewed by the Australian Government as a national endeavour and I would expect the proven capabilities of the State's naval shipbuilding sector will be called upon," Mr Barnett said. "WA has significant capability to build components for the submarines and to maintain them. The State's capability, particularly in heavy steel works, is well recognised and will no doubt contribute heavily to the submarine project. "For example, this State has the unique capability to roll and form submarine hull sections which currently no other State can do." The Premier said WA was regarded as a key part of the naval ship build in the short and medium term with the Pacific Patrol Vessels and the Offshore Patrol Vessels set to be built at the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) in Henderson. The State Government would also continue its work with DCNS to ensure local capability for work opportunities for the submarines, including maintenance and upgrades, is optimised. As part of its Future Submarine industry engagement, the Department of Commerce is co-hosting an Innovation Seminar day with DCNS on May 24 in Fremantle to discuss the technology transfer opportunities for local industry. The Minister for Commerce will be opening the event and highlighting Western Australian expertise. WA is the location of the nation's largest naval base, HMAS Stirling, which houses 12 fleet units including five of the eight Anzac frigates, and the six Collins submarines. The Western Australian industry is already undertaking much of the work associated with the repair, maintenance and sustainment of these vessels. Fact FileIn 2013-14 alone, defence contracts managed at the Australian Marine Complex totalled an estimated $624 million, creating up to 3,000 jobsWA is home to about 180 companies with direct defence contracts of which the majority are small to medium enterprises Premier's office - 6552 5000
Increased voice for WA’s Aboriginal people226355Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8360html26/04/2016 5:29:05 AM2016-04-26T05:25:00ZNew appointments to the Aboriginal Cultural Material CommitteeCommittee assesses the importance and significance of Aboriginal sitesIncreased Aboriginal knowledge and engagement in decision making Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier today announced four new appointments to the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee (ACMC), increasing the committee membership to 10. The ACMC is an independent committee responsible for evaluating, on behalf of the community, the importance of places and objects believed to be associated with Aboriginal people, and for providing advice to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. "These appointments increase the Aboriginal membership on the committee from two to six people," Mr Collier said. "This increase will give the Aboriginal community confidence that people with regional knowledge and cultural understanding are intimately involved in the decision-making process." The new committee members are from the East Kimberley, Pilbara, Ngaanyatjarra Lands and South-West. "They bring considerable experience through their important work with organisations such as the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre, Kimberley Land Council, Ngarluma Aboriginal Corporation and the Ngaanyatjarra Council," the Minister said. "I am confident the expanded committee will contribute strongly to the improved protection of important Aboriginal heritage across the State." Fact FileThe four new members areMerle Carter (Miriuwung Gajerrong/Bunuba) Chairwoman of the Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre and board member of the Kimberley Land CouncilPatrick Churnside (Ngarluma/Yindjibarndi) Chairman, Ngarluma Aboriginal CorporationBruce Smith (Ngaanyatjarra Lands) Former chairman, Ngaanyatjarra CouncilLindsay Dean (Noongar) Chairman, Dreamtime CommitteeThe four new members have been appointed for a three-year term, commencing March 2016For more information, visit http//www.daa.wa.gov.au/about-the-department/boards/aboriginal-cultural-material-committee1 Minister's office - 6552 6300