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On-demand transport reform Bills to reach Parliament90665Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml21/08/2018 4:44:36 AM2018-08-21T04:30:00Z Biggest reform of on-demand transport and taxi industry in WA history Transport (Road Passenger Services) Bill 2018 and Associated Amendment Bill to be introduced to State Parliament tomorrow Deregulation of industry to create level playing field and more competition Voluntary taxi plate buyback scheme to be funded by temporary levy on operator's fare revenue Delivers an election commitment to end industry uncertainty following inaction by the previous Liberal National Government Critical legislation that will reform Western Australia's on-demand transport industry and foster more competition and innovation will be introduced to State Parliament tomorrow (August 22). The Transport (Road Passenger Services) Bill 2018 represents the biggest reform to the industry in WA history, and will bring the sector into the 21st century. In the lead-up to the election, the McGowan Government made an election commitment to reform the industry and implement an industry-funded taxi plate buyback scheme. Once passed, the legislation will end restrictions that have made it difficult for taxis to compete and give the industry greater certainty. It provides for the voluntary buyback of owned taxi plates, which will be industry funded over four years through a temporary levy on the total fare revenue of booking services. This approach will allow for the temporary levy to be incorporated into the business models of authorised booking services. Since coming to government, the McGowan Government has consulted widely with industry stakeholders to draft a Bill that Creates a fairer and modernised system for all operators; Removes restrictions on when, where and how taxis can operate; Introduces a strengthened duty of care for passenger safety; Creates one annual authorisation for all types of on-demand drivers; and Promotes competition and innovation across the industry, removing regulation and costs. Further in-depth consultation with industry stakeholders since the initial reform announcement in November last year has resulted in refinements to the original proposal, including Exempting regional operators from paying the temporary levy; Excluding vehicles with 12 seats or more from the levy; Applying a maximum levy of $10 to all metropolitan taxi or charter fares; Waiving booking service fees during the first 12 months of the reform; Removing the cap on the number of authorised taxis; and Exemption from the levy available to operators who solely provide special event services, such as weddings or school balls. The reform will encourage greater competition and innovation in on-demand transport throughout WA, providing customers with greater choice and easier access to safe and smart services. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "This legislation has been prepared to create a level playing field for all on-demand transport operators. "It is long overdue reform and creates consistent regulations for the on-demand transport sector as a whole to prosper into the future. "Under the new Act, all those involved in the delivery of the service will be accountable for driver and customer safety. "Customers should expect that when they get in an on-demand vehicle they are travelling with a driver who is authorised and in a vehicle that is roadworthy. "This is our one chance to move the industry into the 21st century and it is vital for the Upper House to support the legislation. It is also the one and only chance for plate owners to receive a buyback offer." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Director General appointed to oversee Government’s jobs agenda90664Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml21/08/2018 4:15:35 AM2018-08-21T04:15:00Z Rebecca Brown appointed Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation Acting Premier Roger Cook has today welcomed the appointment of Rebecca Brown as the new Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI). Ms Brown was appointed after a formal process run by the Public Sector Commission and will commence in the role on September 3, 2018. Most recently, she served as Department of Health Deputy Director General where she oversaw transformational change to deliver better outcomes for the community. She has served as Deputy Director General in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and has held numerous senior roles within the State Government. Ms Brown will be responsible for attracting investment to WA, and overseeing the State Government's agenda to diversify the economy and create jobs for Western Australians. An announcement regarding the new Managing Director of Tourism will be made in coming weeks. Comments attributed to Acting Premier Roger Cook "I congratulate Ms Brown on her appointment. She has extensive experience across the public sector, holding senior positions in a range of departments and has a strong record in delivering real outcomes. "The State Government's key objective is to diversify the economy and create jobs for Western Australians across a range of industries. "As Director General of JTSI, she will ensure the State Government can capitalise on the growth in new and emerging industries, such as lithium, to support the economy and create new jobs." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Help us plan for alcohol and other drug services in the Kimberley90662Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml21/08/2018 3:31:32 AM2018-08-21T03:25:00Z The State Government is seeking to expand alcohol and other drug services in the Kimberley region Consultation will be undertaken to ensure that new services meet the specific needs of the Kimberley community People from across the Kimberley region are invited to have their say on which services are needed in their community, in order to support individuals who wish to address problems related to alcohol and other drug use and co-occurring mental health issues. People are invited to provide input via an online survey while the Mental Health Commission undertakes targeted consultation in the Kimberley to ensure new or expanded services meet the needs of the local community. The State Government, through the Methamphetamine Action Plan, is committed to expanding alcohol and other drug treatment services in the Kimberley region to provide more options for individuals and families close to where they live. This consultation forms the first step in designing services in the Kimberley with the community. The online survey closes at 5pm on Friday September 7, 2018. For more information or to complete the survey, visit http//www.mhc.wa.gov.au Individuals looking for more information about where to find help for their own or another person's alcohol and other drug use can contact the Alcohol and Drug Support Service on 1800 198 024. Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "The current levels of alcohol and other drug harm in the Kimberley region are concerning. "I would like to see a range of comprehensive and integrated services in the Kimberley that meets the specific needs of people who live in the region. "For Aboriginal people, we know culture is important, along with support from family and friends, so providing the culturally appropriate treatment and support services close to where people live is a priority for the Government." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Eid festival a time for celebration and reflection90660Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml21/08/2018 3:01:04 AM2018-08-21T00:05:00Z Our State is home to more than 50,000 Western Australian Muslims The McGowan Government supports Eid community events with $21,000 through the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) Western Australian Muslims will join hundreds of millions around the world this week in celebrating Eid ul-Adha, one of the most important festivals on the Islamic calendar. Eid ul-Adha marks the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Hajj. Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, it is a reminder of the sacredness of life and is a time of significant celebration and reflection for the WA Muslim community. Eid ul-Adha is one of two key festivals on the Islamic calendar. The other is Eid ul-Fitr, which falls at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. For more than 50,000 Western Australians who follow the Islamic faith in WA, the period will be marked by helping others, strengthening family ties, and making community connections. This year, the McGowan Government, through the Office of Multicultural Interests' Community Grants Program, is supporting three major events to mark Eid ul-Adha The Islamic Centre of WA's Eid ul-Adha Prayer and Fun event at Whiteman Park being held today (August 21) and tomorrow (August 22); The Australian Arab Association's Multicultural Eid-Adha Carnival in Southern River on Friday, August 24; and The Furqan Islamic Association of WA's Perth Eid Festival in Mirrabooka on Saturday, August 25. Eid events are now some of the biggest community festivals in this State and are enjoyed by WA Muslim communities, as well as by increasing numbers from the wider community. More information about Eid events can be found at http//www.omi.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "Eid festivals have been held in Western Australia since 1896 and are an important part of our cultural heritage. "With many community events happening around the State, Eid ul-Adha is an occasion to advance understanding between cultures and strengthen the foundations of our multicultural community. "On behalf of the McGowan Government, I would like to wish all Western Australian Muslims and their families Eid Mubarak during this important time - and to everyone undertaking the Hajj, I wish them a safe journey and return." Minister's office - 6552 5600
SPURonWA grants offer $100,000 to Western Australian innovators35049Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/08/2018 7:15:49 AM2018-08-20T07:10:00Z Grants of up to $25,000 on offer through Landgate's location technology hub, SPUR SPURonWA grants are supporting local entrepreneurs and innovators establish industries and jobs of the future Western Australian start-ups, businesses and individuals working on innovative location-based products or services are encouraged to apply for the third round of SPURonWA grants, which open today (August 20). The grants can be used towards development costs; intellectual property protection; obtaining business, financial or marketing advice; and accessing location data. This is the third round of SPURonWA grants. From the 85 applications received in the last two years, Landgate has awarded grants to 16 Western Australian businesses, assisting them to develop mobile apps, secure Intellectual Property rights, adopt technological advancements and successfully launch new products to market. As well as providing financial support, SPUR offers access to location data, co-working spaces and commercialisation expertise. SPUR is Landgate's location and innovation hub that works to stimulate and accelerate economic development in the digital economy. Applications close on September 14, 2018. For more information and to read SPURonWA success stories, visit http//www.spur.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Lands Minister Rita Saffioti "SPUR is helping to accelerate ideas into action and support start-up businesses and commercial partnerships to create a stronger, more diverse economy in WA. "The SPURonWA grant program has demonstrated how government and businesses can use data to innovate, address challenges and help shape the future of WA. "SPURonWA grants are supporting local entrepreneurs and innovators, by establishing new industries and creating jobs of the future." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Record one million fans watch AFL football in WA at Optus Stadium35030Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/08/2018 1:18:57 AM2018-08-19T22:00:00Z Optus Stadium exceeds one million AFL fans during West Coast-Melbourne match For the first time ever, AFL crowds hit one million in a single year in Western Australia AFL attendances have become the second best in the country, behind only the MCG Stadium's average customer satisfaction rating over 90 per cent Optus Stadium yesterday welcomed its one millionth AFL fan during the West Coast Eagles versus Melbourne Demons clash, breaking the magical one million fan mark for the first time in the State's history. The venue has reached the one million fan mark for AFL matches after just 24 games, making AFL attendances at the new stadium the second highest in the country behind the MCG. Sunday's achievement surpassed a 2007 record when just over 985,000 football fans flocked to Subiaco Oval over the course of a season, also including home finals - putting Optus Stadium in a position to smash previous records by season's end. Nearly 600,000 fans have already attended West Coast Eagles home games in 2018, smashing their previous home and away attendance record established in 2007 by more than 130,000. Overall, after 24 games at Optus Stadium, 1,037,220 fans have watched a game of AFL at an average of 47,146. Seven-year-old Cooper Jones - who attended the game with his five-year-old brother Logan and grandparents Joe and Connie Russo - was Optus Stadium's one millionth AFL fan. The milestone was marked by awarding them with four tickets to a West Coast Eagles home final and a dining voucher for the City View Café. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "Western Australian football fans have embraced this terrific stadium and flocked to it to watch the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers. "To smash the 1,000,000 AFL fan mark for the first time, before the home and away season has even finished, is a testament to Optus Stadium. "Optus Stadium is now second only to the MCG in terms of AFL crowds. The high customer satisfaction ratings, which run to 94 per cent at the most recent measure, demonstrates why Western Australians and visitors alike keeping flocking to the venue. "I look forward to Optus Stadium hosting an AFL final next month and West Coast Eagles fans once again turning out in huge numbers." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Trusted WA local RAC secures Arena naming rights35031Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/08/2018 12:25:52 AM2018-08-18T22:00:00Z Venue to be named RAC Arena from September 1, 2018 Local organisation RAC edges out a number of national and international companies to secure naming rights for at least five years McGowan Government fulfils another election commitment in support of Budget repair Well-respected Western Australian organisation RAC has secured the naming rights for Perth Arena for at least the next five years. The world-class venue will be re-named RAC Arena from September 1, 2018, after the State Government finalised a naming rights partnership with the 113-year-old, fully WA-owned membership organisation. A major supporter of local jobs and the WA economy, RAC employs more than 1,400 people throughout metropolitan and regional Western Australia. The organisation supports local jobs in a range of WA industries, including its flagship roadside assistance service, travel, tourism, insurance, finance, security and auto services. The State Government is delighted such a trusted local organisation was able to beat out Eastern States competition in a competitive tender process to secure the venue's naming rights. The deal fulfils the McGowan Government's 2017 election commitment to sell the naming rights to the State's two major venues in support of Budget repair. RAC has more than a million members across a remarkable 60 per cent of WA households. The organisation played a critical role in the development of mobility and motoring in Western Australia, erecting the State's first road signs, developing its first roadmaps and continually lobbying for better road safety and transport outcomes. RAC has been a Founding Partner with the Arena since 2013 and more recently became a sponsor of the venue's RAC Local Lounge. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "RAC is one of WA's most trusted, iconic organisations which supports hundreds of WA jobs in a range of important industries. "We are delighted RAC has been able to beat out national and international competition in securing this deal, making sure the State's world-class arena is attached to a truly local organisation. "RAC has played a crucial role in the development of mobility, motoring, road safety and transport in Western Australia, and the McGowan Government is proud the trusted brand has forged another important relationship with the State." Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "We inherited not only a record level of State debt, but also the perverse situation where WA taxpayers were forking out compensation for Perth Arena to not have a naming sponsor. "This decision allows us to continue to fix the finances and focus our spending on essential services." Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 6400 Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
McGowan Government Cabinet heads north to the Pilbara34987Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12850html17/08/2018 7:05:03 AM2018-08-17T07:05:00Z McGowan Labor Government Community Cabinet to be hosted in Port Hedland Opportunity for community members to hear about the Government's plans for the region Key issues to be discussed include local jobs, tourism and infrastructure The McGowan Labor Government is hosting a Community Cabinet in Port Hedland starting on Sunday, August 26. The modern and community-focused Community Cabinet program has been designed to foster greater engagement between local leaders and the State Government. As part of the two-day visit, Premier Mark McGowan, State Government Ministers and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel will host more than 100 community representatives in Port Hedland for a Town Hall style meeting. Attendees from across the Pilbara will have the opportunity to pose questions to the Premier and Ministers about the community's most important issues. On Monday (August 27), the Premier and Ministers will participate in a series of events including a breakfast with local business representatives, a Cabinet Meeting and lunch with local youth leaders. After the Cabinet meeting, Ministers will be visiting various locations across the Pilbara including Newman, Port Hedland and Karratha. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The Pilbara Community Cabinet demonstrates the priority my Government places on engaging with regional communities. "Community Cabinet is a chance for Pilbara residents to meet with Cabinet Ministers and have discussions with us directly about the issues that matter most to the community. "I look forward to meeting residents, community groups and community leaders at our Town Hall while we discuss our plans for jobs, tourism and infrastructure in the region." Comments attributed to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel "As the Member for the Pilbara, I am honoured to host the McGowan Government's 2018 Regional Cabinet. "There are many exciting projects happening in our region and I am proud to be part of a Government that is committed to representing and understanding regional communities such as our Pilbara." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Liberal and Nationals parties distort facts to justify protecting foreign home buyers over WA families34985Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9490html17/08/2018 6:42:30 AM2018-08-17T06:35:00Z Foreign buyers make up a very small portion of the total housing market There is no evidence that the introduction of surcharges in other States has had a material impact on foreign investment This week, the McGowan Government introduced to State Parliament its election commitment to levy a surcharge on foreign home buyers. Every other Australian State, as well as a number of other countries, already has a similar surcharge in place. Unfortunately, in an effort to protect foreign home buyers, the Liberal and Nationals parties have sought to exaggerate the potential impacts of the surcharge on the local housing market. The fact is that foreign buyers make up a very small portion of the total housing market - about 1.26 per cent in 2016-17. Another fact is that not all foreign buyers would be subject to the surcharge - foreigners acquiring land on which to undertake residential development of 10 or more dwellings will be exempt from the surcharge. It is also true that of those foreign buyers who are subject to the tax, the vast majority are still expected to purchase a house. This is because other factors such as capital growth prospects and exchange rates are far more important considerations for foreign purchasers than a one-off surcharge. This is all backed up by experience - there is no evidence that the introduction of surcharges in other States has had a material impact on foreign investment. It is therefore of great disappointment that after leaving the State with a record $40 billion of debt, the Liberal and Nationals parties are now trying to block a measure that would require foreign property buyers to help pay down that debt. In doing so, the Liberal and Nationals parties are shifting more of the burden of repaying its debt onto WA families. Comments attributed to Finance Minister Ben Wyatt "If it wasn't enough that the Liberal and Nationals parties have left the people of Western Australia with $40 billion of debt, they now appear hell bent on ensuring that WA families continue to carry the burden. "I remain optimistic that other parties in the Parliament will take a more constructive approach and help deliver a reform that stands up for WA families and helps ease their burden. "If not, the McGowan Government looks forward to taking this issue to the next State election." Minister's office - 6552 5900
Midland Child Advocacy Centre receives $4.5 million grant34984Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9200html17/08/2018 3:05:04 AM2018-08-17T03:05:00Z Funding for new Midland Child Advocacy Centre to support children and their families experiencing trauma Centre will be the second of its kind in Australia A child advocacy centre in Midland, set to help thousands of children and families experiencing trauma, has been given $4.5 million in State Government funding. The Lotterywest grant will support the construction and fit out of the new Midland Child Advocacy Centre, run by Parkerville Children and Youth Centre. The centre will wrap services around children and their families who are experiencing trauma from physical, sexual or emotional abuse. The facility will incorporate a multi-disciplinary team including doctors, police, social workers, psychologists and therapy staff - all in one child-friendly location. The child and their family will attend the centre to access a range of professional support, as well as complementary services provided by Parkerville and other not-for-profit organisations. The Midland Child Advocacy Centre will be the second of its kind in Australia, the first being the George Jones Child Advocacy Centre in Armadale. This is also administered by Parkerville Children and Youth Centre, which opened in 2011. Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk "WA is leading the way on this work and I'm proud to be a part of a Government which supports this innovative approach. "It's important victims get a sympathetic, meaningful interaction - this joined up approach achieves better justice outcomes. The need for this exact work has been highlighted in the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. "We are now working towards the delivery of a staged implementation plan of the recommendations that outlines reform priorities, timeframes and resourcing options." Comments attributed to Midland MLA Michelle Roberts "The Midland Child Advocacy Centre is being built at the Old Railway Workshops and will be an important part of our health precinct. "The entire Midland community welcomes this funding which will serve to give some of our most vulnerable young people the opportunities they deserve. "I'd like to thank the Government and Lotterywest for this real commitment to our community." Minister's office - 6552 6600
First of more than 1,000 lifesaving signs installed at WA beaches34981Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8730html17/08/2018 3:02:58 AM2018-08-17T02:35:00Z Beach Emergency Numbers will help save vital time in critical incidents More than 1,000 BEN signs are planned for WA's coast from Geraldton to Esperance McGowan Government delivers on election promise to support local governments to improve beach safety The first of more than 1,000 lifesaving Beach Emergency Number (BEN) signs, funded by the McGowan Government, for the Western Australia coast have now been unveiled in the City of Kwinana and Shire of Waroona. At Wells Park in Kwinana today, Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly and Kwinana MLA Roger Cook were joined by Rick Gerring to reveal one of nine signs for the Kwinana and Naval Base coast. The BEN signs are part of the McGowan Government's election commitment to strengthen emergency responses should a serious incident occur. Each sign has a unique code, to help emergency services pinpoint exact beach access locations and improve crucial response times for a range of potential serious incidents. The signs were initiated by Rick Gerring, the brother of Ben Gerring whose life was lost after a fatal shark attack in Falcon in 2016, after concerns about possible delays in attending emergency services trying to locate the closest beach access point. The McGowan Government has offered grants of up to $25,000 for eligible metropolitan councils, and up to $50,000 for eligible regional councils, to install the lifesaving signage. Since the announcement of the program in December 2017, 29 of the 32 eligible local government authorities have expressed an interest in the signage, and 26 are actively working with the WA Government. The City of Kwinana is the first metropolitan council to install the lifesaving BEN signs through the McGowan Government's grants scheme, while the Shire of Waroona is the first regional council with three BEN signs now in place at Preston Beach. The City of Mandurah independently installed 81 BEN signs in honour of Mr Gerring in May 2017. These lifesaving BEN signs complement the McGowan Government's comprehensive shark mitigation strategy. This strategy includes; funding for Surf Life Saving WA beach, helicopter and drone patrols, a world-first personal shark deterrent subsidy for divers and surfers, beach enclosures, an extended Shark Monitoring Network to Esperance, tagging operations and a new SMART drumline trial off Gracetown. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "I am delighted to be delivering this project initiated by Rick Gerring in honour of his brother Ben Gerring who tragically lost his life in 2016. "Time is critical in an emergency and could mean the difference between life and death. BEN signs will be vital for first responders to identify the quickest route to a precise location. "I have spoken to emergency responders who have told me they have no doubt these signs will save lives. "In the event of an emergency, the public can call triple zero and quote the BEN number with confidence that emergency services will reach the destination as quickly as possible." Comments attributed to Kwinana MLA Roger Cook "The BEN signs will enhance the safety of our beautiful beaches, providing locals and visitors with surety that prompt help is at hand in the event of an emergency, be it a shark bite, boating accident, drowning, violence or a heart attack. "I congratulate Kwinana and other councils for embracing this great example of constructive collaboration between State and local governments to address shared challenges that serve to protect and enhance the enviable beach lifestyle that Western Australians enjoy." Comments attributed to Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke "The installation of these signs will make an immense difference in an emergency. "Preston Beach is a popular tourist spot in the summer and I commend the Shire of Waroona for taking up this initiative to help keep locals and visitors safe." Comments attributed to Rick Gerring "Using the BEN signs, the first people on the scene can relay the beach reference number with confidence emergency services know the exact location, reducing critical time in attending the scene. "With the signs being standard along our coastline, it will mean people will instantly recognise them in the unfortunate event of an incident occurring and relieving unnecessary stress trying to communicate with emergency services. "Although nothing can ever bring my brother Ben back, knowing that the BEN signage will save many lives gives me some closure and a legacy that will never be forgotten." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Mine site leaders come together to talk safety34979Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements7520html17/08/2018 1:35:04 AM2018-08-17T01:35:00Z Fourth annual Registered Managers Forum focuses on safety in the mining industry Senior managers from WA mining operations gather for annual event Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston today officially opened the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety's fourth annual Registered Managers Forum. The event brings together mine managers, from across the State, to focus on a range of health and safety topics. This year's forum includes presentations and workshops on the changing competency landscape, upgrades to the online Safety Regulation System, and updates on key legislation and other safety and health guidance. The forum is part of the department's Towards 2020 regulatory strategy, which aims for a safe and healthy resources sector in Western Australia. For more information, visit http//www.dmp.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston "Workplace safety is one of the McGowan Government's number one priorities, and there are always improvements to be made. "Today's event is an opportunity for delegates and government to work together to improve safety across Western Australia's mining industry. "Workers, supervisors, managers and inspectors all have a role to play in preventing injuries and fatalities on site." Minister's office - 6552 6700
Western Australia honours sacrifice of its warriors in Vietnam War34977Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5380html17/08/2018 1:05:06 AM2018-08-17T01:05:00Z Five Aboriginal soldiers part of 108-strong D Company that fought at Long Tan The 1966 Battle of Long Tan was one of first major battles for Australians in Vietnam Australia's Vietnam War toll 521 killed, more than 3,000 wounded Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley has urged Western Australians to honour the contribution of Aboriginal veterans today, ahead of a broader commemoration tomorrow of Australia's servicemen and women who served in the Vietnam War. The Minister's call comes the day before the 52nd anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan - a significant battle in 1966 and one of the first major conflicts for Australian forces in Vietnam. Originally known as Long Tan Day, August 18 (tomorrow) has since evolved into Vietnam Veterans Day - a time to reflect on the selfless service of Australians in Vietnam. The Battle of Long Tan, which occurred in a rubber plantation, centred on 105 Australians and three New Zealanders from D Company 6RAR, who fought against an overwhelming number of North Vietnamese Army and local Viet Cong soldiers. Vastly outnumbered, D Company was ultimately saved by their own rigorous discipline under fire and by a timely resupply of ammunition, accurate artillery fire and the arrival of reinforcements in armored personnel carriers. Recent research has suggested that five Australians fighting in the battle were Aboriginal. About 60,000 Australians served in the Vietnam War with 521 killed and more than 3,000 wounded. A total of 61 Western Australians were killed during the conflict. Comments attributed to Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley "The Vietnam War, Australia's largest force contribution to a foreign conflict since World War Two, solidified the reputation of Australia's armed services as determined and courageous men and women who placed a high value on mateship and teamwork. "The contribution of Aboriginal veterans deserves a special mention. At least 160 Aboriginal service personnel served in Vietnam, with seven dying as a result of their service. "There are many Australians who still carry physical and emotional scars from Vietnam. "Vietnam Veterans Day gives us all a chance to remember the sacrifices made by Australian service men and women during the Vietnam War, and honour all those who served." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Liberal and Nationals parties ignore facts and WA families34970Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9780html16/08/2018 7:20:43 AM2018-08-16T06:55:00Z Members of the Liberal and Nationals parties continue to put foreign investors ahead of WA families Surcharges in other countries are far higher, if foreign ownership is allowed at all All other Australian States have had this levy in place for some time The Liberal and Nationals parties' opposition to an increase in the Foreign Buyers Surcharge on the grounds that it is an unfair burden on foreign property owners, fails to understand the comparative rates internationally. In yet another example of their destructive approach to fixing the State's finances, the Liberal and Nationals parties have colluded to increase the burden of Budget repair on WA families. The following table lays out the corresponding rates of foreign buyer levies in other countries, and illustrates how the proposed seven per cent surcharge remains very low comparatively. Foreign Buyer levies in other countries ​ Country Rate Canada - British Columbia 20% Canada - Ontario 15% Hong Kong 15% Singapore1 15% China N/A - foreign ownership not permitted for investors India N/A - foreign ownership generally not permitted 1. Singapore charges a flat rate of 20% for foreigners buying a residential property. This is 15% higher than a permanent resident buying their first property, 20% higher than a citizen buying their first property but only 8% higher than a citizen purchasing a second property. Not only is the surcharge designed to allow the McGowan Government to fund its freeze on TAFE fees and also assist with Budget repair, but it also allows the foreign property investors to contribute to the infrastructure from which they benefit and are paid for by WA taxpayers. Comments attributed to Finance Minister Ben Wyatt "The Liberal and Nationals parties, the coalition of chaos, have decided to ignore the financial problems they left the State and simply play politics. "It is clear that the Government's position is fair and reasonable, and that we look to spread the burden of Budget repair to those who benefit from the State's infrastructure. "By blocking this reasonable revenue measure, the WA Liberals and WA Nationals will simply ask WA families to take on another $120 million in debt to the benefit of those foreign investors in WA residential property. "I remain optimistic that other parties in the Parliament will take a more constructive approach and help deliver a reform which stands up for WA families and helps ease their burden." Minister's office - 6552 5900
Fitzroy Pioneer Cemetery remains repatriated34968Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6380html16/08/2018 5:22:44 AM2018-08-16T05:00:00Z Aboriginal remains in the Kimberley moved to safer ground away from flood risk A ceremony will ensure a respectful and safe final resting place A small number of identified remains to be repatriated Aboriginal remains at risk of being washed away by floodwaters have been moved to safety thanks to funding from the State Government. The Pioneer Cemetery Project was initiated in response to the exposure and loss of Aboriginal remains during a significant erosion event on the Fitzroy River in 2016-17. The $700,000 State Government-funded project has helped to provide a safe, final resting place for dozens of remains, bringing comfort and closure to local Aboriginal communities. The project has successfully ensured that 70 sets of human remains were exhumed from gravesites prior to the 2017-18 wet season. Of these, 16 have since been positively identified. The unidentified remains will today be reburied at the Fitzroy Crossing Town Cemetery in a ceremony involving local elders. Aboriginal community members from throughout the Kimberley have been invited to attend to pay their respects. The sets of remains that have been positively identified will be repatriated to the appropriate community with the assistance of Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre and State funding. Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt "The desire to ensure a final resting place for those who have passed away is not unique to Aboriginal people, it is shared by cultures all over the world. "By funding this project, the State Government has ensured the sacrosanct rights of these people have been protected and they are properly buried and acknowledged with the upmost respect. "I hope that this project has provided some comfort and closure for the local Aboriginal people." Minister's office - 6552 5900
Cold Cuddle Cots - the gift of time for grieving families34965Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8130html16/08/2018 4:05:37 AM2018-08-16T04:00:00Z Help for grieving parents of stillborn babies in Western Australia Thirteen Cold Cuddle Cots supplied to hospitals to ensure all families, regardless of location, are provided with time to say goodbye Grieving parents who have lost a newborn baby will be able to spend unlimited time with their child to say goodbye, as a result of a State-wide rollout of 'Cold Cuddle Cots'. The refrigerated cots allow the family to spend additional time with their baby, in their room. For these grieving families the gift of time is extremely precious and helps create some of the only memories they will have with their baby. Used mainly for stillbirths, 13 Cold Cuddle Cots have been distributed to regional hospitals across Western Australia since 2015. They are funded by the Department of Health through its Nursing and Midwifery Office. Western Australian midwife Kristy Wiegele was instrumental in ensuring Cold Cuddle Cots were available in regional maternity hospitals. Following Ms Wiegele's donation of a Cold Cuddle Cot through fundraising, and subsequent meetings with the Department of Health, a decision was made by the department to fund 13 additional Cold Cuddle Cots at regional hospitals with maternity units. The delivery of the final cot in Narrogin this month means that, in addition to all metropolitan hospitals with maternity units, there are now Cold Cuddle Cots at Kalgoorlie Health Campus, Albany Health Campus, Broome Health Campus, Derby Hospital, Kununurra Hospital, Geraldton Regional Hospital, Hedland Health Campus, Nickol Bay Hospital, Busselton Health Campus, Esperance Health Campus, Narrogin Hospital, Northam Hospital and Bunbury Health Campus. A Cold Cuddle Cot will also be located at the Perth Children's Hospital. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "While no new parent ever wishes to have the need of a 'Cold Cuddle Cot', the availability of one at a time of great tragedy provides families with the additional time they need to say goodbye to their baby. "I thank Kristy Wiegele for starting this initiative and for her commitment to ensure that every family in Western Australia has access to these special cots at a time of great need and during unimaginable sadness." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Kalamunda Community Hub election commitment underway34962Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8490html16/08/2018 1:35:40 AM2018-08-16T01:35:00Z McGowan Government delivers a further $3 million for Kalamunda Community Hub State Government has already provided $2.5 million through Lotterywest, bringing the total contribution to $5.5 million Project will create local jobs during construction and provide vital services once completed Key McGowan Labor Government election commitment underway Premier Mark McGowan and Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes today delivered on a major election commitment, presenting a further $3 million of funding for the construction of the Kalamunda Community Hub. The project will create local jobs during its construction and provide vital, local services once completed. Based in the Kalamunda town centre, the multi-user community hub will be a first-class facility that caters to all ages and community groups. The City of Kalamunda has been working with the Kalamunda Community Learning Centre and other potential future users to create a concept plan for the hub. The concept plan includes a range of features such as a crèche space, outdoor play spaces, a dedicated craft room and training kitchen. The City of Kalamunda was also a successful recipient of a $2.5 million Lotterywest grant, which will assist with construction and running costs of the community hub. The State Government and City of Kalamunda will continue to work together on this important community project, with construction to begin in 2019. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The Kalamunda community hub was a key election commitment and I'm pleased to be presenting $3 million to begin construction. "This project will create local jobs during construction and when complete will be a multi-purpose hub that will house important, local services. "I'm pleased the City of Kalamunda was successful in its application for a $2.5 million Lotterywest grant to assist in constructing the hub, recognising the importance of this project." Comments attributed to Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes "I am pleased to be a part of the McGowan Labor Government that is delivering on this crucial commitment to the Kalamunda community. "The need for a designated community hub was one of the key issues the local community spoke to me about, day in and day out. Many people travel some distance to the existing learning centre so it's vital we have a multipurpose centre. "I've worked hard with the Premier to deliver on this funding, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with the City of Kalamunda and local community to finish this important project." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Police Minister unveils latest high-tech weapons in the fight against meth34961Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8480html16/08/2018 1:20:44 AM2018-08-16T01:20:00Z Handheld Tru Narc machines can identify more than 450 illegal substances Simple test works through glass or plastic and helps protect police from contact with dangerous chemicals while maintaining integrity of evidence 55 new mobile phone downloading devices to be rolled out across the State Police efforts to target crime syndicates involved in the distribution of meth and other drugs is receiving a boost, with new specialist equipment allocated to the WA Police Force. The Tru Narc machine is a handheld device that can carry out on-the-spot analysis of more than 450 suspected illicit substances in a single test. The devices are small and compact and can scan through clear plastic and glass, providing front-line officers with greater protection when exposed to dangerous illicit drugs. Twenty-nine of the devices are being supplied to the WA Police Force to be used in targeted drug operations across the State by Meth Border Force operatives. A total of 55 mobile phone downloading devices are also being deployed to assist in targeting criminal syndicates involved in the distribution of meth. The devices allow front-line officers to download information and evidence from mobile phones more rapidly and efficiently, providing immediate access to new leads. The Technology Crime Unit will also receive a significant upgrade to software, which is capable of analysing large quantities of information for patterns of criminal activity and criminal relationships. Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts "The McGowan Government is committed to tackling the devastation meth is causing in our community. "Drug syndicates are becoming increasingly sophisticated and it's important our police are equipped to combat the scourge of drugs. "These new handheld Tru Narc machines can scan for more than 450 suspected illegal substances, including materials that are commonly used as drug cutting agents. "They are especially effective because they can test through glass and plastic, protecting the tester from exposure to drugs and preventing cross-contamination of collected evidence. "The additional software being provided will expand the capability of police to analyse information and gather intelligence well beyond anything which was previously possible." Minister's office - 6552 6900
Premier’s Science Awards celebrate leading WA scientists34958Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10940html16/08/2018 12:18:37 AM2018-08-15T23:00:00Z Premier's Science Awards, now in their 17th year, offer prizes totalling $80,000 to Western Australia's leading scientists Professor Peter Newman AO named Scientist of the Year Emeritus Professor David Blair inducted into the WA Science Hall of Fame Western Australia's most outstanding researchers and science engagement initiative were recognised last night at the Premier's Science Awards 2018 ceremony. The awards, now in their 17th year, cover all fields of science, including natural, medical, applied and technological science, engineering and mathematics. The awards also recognise community engagement. The finalists and winners of the Premier's Science Awards are decided by a panel led by Professor Peter Klinken, Western Australia's Chief Scientist. The 2018 winners are Professor Peter Newman AO (Curtin University) - Scientist of the Year ($50,000); Dr Melissa O'Donnell (Telethon Kids Institute/The University of Western Australia) - Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year ($10,000); Arman Siahvashi (The University of Western Australia) and Ryan Urquhart (Curtin University) - joint winners of the ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year ($10,000); and Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park - Chevron Science Engagement Initiative of the Year ($10,000). Emeritus Professor David Blair was inducted into the WA Science Hall of Fame in recognition of his extensive achievements in experimental physics, focusing on the direct detection of gravitational waves. ExxonMobil, Chevron and Woodside have sponsored the awards since 2013. Western Australia's five universities are proud supporters of the Premier's Science Awards. For more information about the winners and finalists, visit http//www.jtsi.wa.gov.au/premiersscienceawards Science Minister Dave Kelly also took the opportunity at the ceremony to release the new WA Science and Innovation Framework (2018-2022), which outlines the State Government's science and innovation priorities which are critical to enriching lives, creating jobs and diversifying the economy. For more information about the WA Science and Innovation Framework, visit http//www.jtsi.wa.gov.au/scienceandinnovationframework Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "I would like to congratulate all finalists and winners for their outstanding contributions to our community. "Emeritus Professor David Blair's impressive career has helped secure a high profile for Western Australia in the international gravitational wave community, and was aptly recognised when he was admitted into the WA Science Hall of Fame." Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly "Each of the 2018 Premier's Science Award winners have demonstrated great achievement and impact in their area of science. "Professor Peter Newman AO is a world leader in the science of cities and their sustainability. "His decades of crucial research have had a significant impact on the science community and public policy at all levels, contributing to urban design and transport sustainability in Western Australia." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Science Minister's office - 6552 6100
WA to attract best and brightest international students34957Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements261610html16/08/2018 12:09:22 AM2018-08-15T22:00:00Z McGowan Government moves to attract more international students to Western Australia High achieving graduates attending WA's universities will be targeted Attracting international students boosts the economy and helps creates jobs for Western Australians An additional Graduate Skilled Migration List will be introduced to attract the best global talent with the advanced qualifications, skills and experience and help grow Western Australia's share of the international education market. The McGowan Government will give high achieving education graduates - PhD, Masters, Honours and other higher degree graduates - a pathway to skilled migration. It is expected the changes will attract an increased number of high-quality international students to the State and help grow our share of the international education market. The State Government's existing Skilled Migration Occupation List will not be affected, with the policy of not including occupations such as bricklayers, electricians and mechanics remaining in place. Priority consideration for skilled migration under the State Nominated Migration Program will be granted to the best and brightest international students graduating from WA universities. These students are essential to maintaining the competitiveness of Western Australia's universities in creating knowledge and building capacity for scientific and technological development, and strengthening the future workforce. Information about eligibility and how to apply will be available on the Department of Training and Workforce Development's migration portal in coming months at http//www.migration.wa.gov.au The McGowan Government has also committed $2 million to develop a detailed and comprehensive International Education Strategy, which is expected to be announced later this year. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "Attracting the best and brightest of international university students represents a major step in our commitment to increasing Western Australia's share of the international education market. "We need to send a message to the world that we welcome international students, and their friends and families. Perth is an attractive, supportive destination to live, study and work. "A key part of our Plan for Jobs includes an investment of $2 million to develop an International Education Strategy to grow and diversify the knowledge economy, while creating jobs." Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "Encouraging international students to choose Western Australia as a destination for study and work will help boost our economy and create WA jobs. "We have excellent universities and our weather and lifestyle is second-to-none. "We're confident that investment in international education and our International Education Strategy will see growth in the sector." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700