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New grants to help drive economic growth in Collie147297Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements194430html18/01/2019 5:01:51 AM2019-01-18T05:00:00Z Second tranche of the Collie Futures Small Grants Program delivers a share of $220,000 to three projects Part of $20 million Collie Futures Fund The McGowan Government continues to invest in Collie's future, announcing today a further $220,000 towards three projects aimed at growing the local economy and creating jobs. Funding through the second tranche of the Collie Futures Small Grants Program will back projects that support efforts to drive long-term economic growth and stimulate job creation. A demonstration marron farm, a tourism feasibility study for Black Diamond Lake and a Noongar landcare employment program are the latest projects to receive funding. The three new small grants recipients are in addition to a further eight that were announced in September, bringing the total funding delivered so far through the program to $898,000. The Collie Futures Small Grants Program is a $2 million fund available over four years, which supports new opportunities for enterprise and industry that will provide long-term benefits for the Collie region. The Collie Futures Small Grants Program is part of the $20 million Collie Future Fund, which will provide financial support and investment while Collie's economy undergoes transition. There will be further opportunities to apply for funding through the small grants program. Organisations with projects that will help unlock economic growth in Collie and that are looking for financial support are encouraged to register their interest with the South West Development Commission at http// Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This funding program is serving as a catalyst for economic growth and jobs creation. "Investing in these projects, alongside the ongoing work to develop an economic development plan, will lead to a stronger future for Collie." Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "There is no bigger believer in Collie's potential than me, and through this program we are working with organisations to tap into growth opportunities. "By backing projects that will diversify and strengthen the economy, we aim to create a broader range of jobs for local people. "I congratulate the recipients on their exciting initiatives and look forward to seeing these projects develop and ultimately diversify Collie's economy." Minister's office - 6552 6200 Collie Futures Small Grants Program recipients - Second tranche Collie River Valley Marketing - $70,000 towards Black Diamond Tourism Feasibility; Leschenault Catchment Council - $75,000 towards Danju-Jobs Together; and Dam Fish - $75,000 towards CRV Demonstration Marron Farm.
Industry encouraged to tap into new Collie funding program supporting job-creating projects147296Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements273900html18/01/2019 4:49:23 AM2019-01-18T04:45:00Z McGowan Government delivering on its commitment to stimulate the diversification of the Collie economy and grow local jobs Collie Futures Industry Development Fund to support industry-led projects that will grow and diversify the economy Up to $2 million available per project to support new and existing industries The McGowan Government has announced a new program that will provide grants of up to $2 million towards industry-led projects capable of growing and diversifying the Collie economy. Applications are now open for the Collie Futures Industry Development Fund, designed to develop new industries and expand existing industries in the Collie region to create more job opportunities for local people. Initiatives from a wide range of sectors that can demonstrate the capacity to make a significant and sustainable impact on the local economy, will be eligible for consideration under the program. Successful applicants will need to match the State Government's funding contribution. The Collie Futures Industry Development Fund is the second funding program delivered through the McGowan Government's $20 million Collie Futures Fund. The Collie Futures Small Grants Program was launched last year, with successful applicants already receiving support to kickstart economy-boosting, job-creating initiatives through the program. For more information and to apply for grants, visit http// Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This is an exciting opportunity to drive economic advancement and create jobs in Collie - we're providing financial support to companies looking to establish or expand operations to help smooth the transition for Collie. "This significant investment will be the key to further unlocking Collie's economic potential, with the funding set to capture new opportunities for the region. "The McGowan Government is working to identify new industry, employment, upskilling and training opportunities through the creation of an economic development plan for Collie and Bunbury." Comments attributed to Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray "If you are a business looking to establish a new base or expand operations, Collie is well worth considering. "I encourage companies and organisations to take up the opportunity to tap into the millions of dollars in funding on offer through this program and to utilise Collie's strengths to support your endeavours. "No doubt we will see some exciting proposals come through the application process, and I look forward to seeing the transformation that will take place as projects are funded and progressed. "Jobs creation for local residents is a top priority. The program will contribute to securing a strong economic future for the town of Collie and the surrounding region." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Keystart continues to open doors and support WA’s housing sector147295Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements339110html18/01/2019 2:00:22 AM2019-01-18T02:00:00Z Scheme supported 1,700 jobs; generated $670 million in economic activity in 2017-18 First home owners make up 85 per cent of Keystart applicants in 2018-19 Keystart has helped more than 102,000 people into their own homes since 1989 Official figures show the State Government's blue ribbon Keystart scheme, which dramatically reduces barriers to home ownership for lower income earners, approved 1,152 loans worth almost $400 million in the six months to December 2018. The figures also reveal that 85 per cent of those applying for Keystart loans in the current financial year were first home owners. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Keystart has approved more than 66,700 loans since it was established as a Labor Government initiative in 1989 and along the way has helped more than 102,000 Western Australians into a home of their own. In 2017-18, Keystart approved 2,789 loans of which 2,169 were for new builds or newly constructed homes. The associated building activity stimulated WA's economy by supporting an estimated 1,700 jobs and generating up to $670 million in economic activity. Access to Keystart is not limited to people on a low income and first home buyers. Eligible singles living in the metropolitan area can earn up to $90,000 a year, couples $115,000 and families up to $135,000. The earning limits are even higher in regional WA and maximum property purchase price limits range from $480,000 to $650,000. In December 2018, the McGowan Government boosted the value of Keystart's loan book to $4.8 billion by extending its lending capacity by almost $421 million - equating to an extra 1,100 home loans. Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley "Keystart is the most successful scheme of its kind in Australia. It allows people to stop renting and take that important step towards home ownership. "At a time when the housing construction sector is flat and banks are tightening their lending criteria - partly as a result of the Royal Commission - Keystart has a crucial role in creating jobs and stimulating the economy. "Property is currently the most affordable it has been in six years, making WA the cheapest in the nation to buy property. "Unlike most major lenders, Keystart reduces the barriers to get a home loan, with deposits starting from as low as two per cent and no requirement for Lenders' Mortgage Insurance. This can save clients between $8,000 and $10,000." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Review finds better Local Lobster Program needed for WA147293Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements586220html18/01/2019 12:36:11 AM2019-01-17T22:30:00Z Review finds previous government's Local Lobster Program is too small and too inaccessible McGowan Government proposing to allow Western Australians to have greater access to this iconic seafood A review conducted by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development into the Local Lobster Program has found it is not delivering this iconic seafood to Western Australians as envisaged. The Local Lobster Program was started by the previous Liberal National Government in 2016, with an aim of providing more lobster for Western Australians. About 95 per cent of Western Australian lobsters are exported, with nearly all of it going to China. This means a very small amount of lobster is available for Western Australian families and tourists to enjoy. The review, which was undertaken in 2018, found that Significant amounts of the lobster were used by fishers themselves rather than sold to the public. In the first two phases of the program, more than a quarter of the seafood was kept by the fishers themselves; Restaurants advised that continuity of supply and purchases from multiple suppliers were problematic; Most sales were from fishers' homes or by off a fishing boat - raising issues of public accessibility; and Facebook pages established to make the lobster available to the public were ineffectual. In early December last year, after weeks of negotiations with the Western Rock Lobster Council, the McGowan Government announced an innovative plan to sustainably increase the annual lobster catch. The plan provides more lobsters for Western Australians to enjoy, creates hundreds of local jobs, supports small businesses and boosts our tourism and hospitality sectors. The plan is currently open for industry consultation until Thursday January 31, 2019. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "More rock lobster for WA means more jobs and opportunities for locals, especially in our tourism and hospitality sectors. "The previous government's Local Lobster Program has not achieved its objectives. "This is because at the time the program was introduced in 2016, no rules were set to ensure everyday Western Australians had the opportunity to access the lobster. "A review found that in the first two years of the program, more than one quarter of the lobsters that were reserved for Western Australians were actually kept by the fishers themselves. "At about 15 tonnes per year, the review found the Local Lobster Program is too small and too inaccessible to the local public or local restaurants. "While the McGowan Government has introduced a number of new rules to ensure the Local Lobster Program was more effective in providing lobsters to Western Australians, we believe more can be done." Minister's office - 6552 6100
WA set to strengthen sporting ties with Asia147294Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements330300html18/01/2019 12:08:29 AM2019-01-17T22:00:00Z $500,000 Asian Sport Strategy to develop closer ties and boost jobs, local events, tourism and international education Swimming WA kicks off program this week, welcoming Japanese swim team to Perth A new $500,000 fund to promote Western Australia as a sports event and training hub for Asia is set to forge stronger tourism and trade ties between the State and our northern neighbours. The Asian Sport Strategy will fund Western Australia's State Sporting Associations to better engage with overseas teams and encourage their use of WA as an offshore base for training and competitions. The program will encourage local sporting associations to forge closer links for the benefit of local athletes and their Asian counterparts. Swimming WA is the program's first successful applicant - this week welcoming the Japanese swim team to Perth - as it kicks off a two-year plan to utilise the State's excellence in the sport to build greater partnerships with Japan, China, Indonesia and India. The Swimming WA program will involve training and development opportunities with the WA Institute of Sport, swimming scholarships for international students, a swimming instructor exchange program and continued delivery of the Indian Ocean All Stars Meet. The funding program will also help strengthen broader ties between WA and Asia by encouraging increased local visitation, stronger engagement in international education and better trade links within the region. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "Sport is in WA's DNA and we already have some tremendous relationships within the Asian region. "This program enables us to take that situation one step further by encouraging our Asian neighbours to bring their training camps to WA and participate in local competitions, while sharing our sporting expertise." Comments attributed to Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley "WA shares the same time zone as much of Asia and is ideally placed to offer important economic, social and cultural opportunities to many of our most important trading partners. "The Asian Sport Strategy seeks to leverage global interest in sports to boost local jobs, generate increased international tourism and attendance at WA events, and strengthen existing trade ties." Comments attributed to Swimming WA chief executive Darren Beazley "Swimming WA is delighted to be the first sport selected to support the State Government in this wonderful initiative. Western Australians set a very high standard when it comes to swimming and continue to do so. "Our involvement in this program will play a significant role in strengthening the sport here in the West, whilst building a reputation for excellence and building mutually bilateral relationships with swimming federations in the region. We look forward to working with the State Government over the next two years." Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 6400 Asian Engagement Minister's office - 6552 5300
New app to help record learner driver logbook hours147289Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements477330html16/01/2019 11:37:31 PM2019-01-16T23:30:00Z Novice driver licensing process improved with release of new logbook app for learners Electronic medical assessments now also available online, saving time and money Latest improvements follow introduction of strengthened driver testing processes in October 2017 A new app to digitally record learner driver logbook hours and trips has been developed to simplify the process of getting a driver's licence in Western Australia. The latest change follows the State Government's introduction of strengthened driver testing processes in October 2017, and is part of ongoing improvements to how Western Australians attain a licence. The new improvements include the development of a Learner Log Book application - Learn&Log - and the continued delivery of an integrated electronic medical assessment tool to streamline the assessment process for drivers with medical conditions. The launch of Learn&Log will enable learner drivers to transition from paper to digital and provides a faster, more convenient way to record and submit supervised driving hours. Designed with safety in mind, the app lets you 'set and forget' - there is no reason for learner drivers or their supervisors to interact with their mobile phone while driving. Learn&Log's public release is planned for early 2019, following the successful completion of a trial with selected learner drivers. Meanwhile, the Department of Transport (DoT) is also addressing practical driving assessment (PDA) wait times by Recruiting an additional six assessors, starting in February; Trialling the use of SMS reminders to combat PDA no-shows (10 per cent of bookings go to waste due to no-shows or attempts to use unregistered/unsafe vehicles); Changing session times to increase the number of assessments conducted; and Trialling extended hours at the new Kelmscott appointment-only centre during the week and on Saturdays. Keeping with the paperless theme, DoT continues to work closely with selected GP clinics in both metropolitan and regional locations to raise their awareness of the electronic medical assessment tool and to encourage doctors to go paperless. The technology improves the speed and quality of information required to confirm fitness to drive which is exchanged between the Department of Transport, health practitioners and drivers - saving all parties time and money. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "We encourage novice drivers to get as much driving experience in as many conditions as possible before attempting a practical driving assessment. "This trial is a result of DoT listening to the community regarding the novice driver process and will ensure applicants have greater access and flexibility when learning to drive. "We will continue to enhance and expand digital services in 2018-19 with a focus on introducing e-billing, enhancing fleet management functionality and developing an online vehicle licence fee calculator." Minister's office - 6552 5500
METRONET receives $185m boost from PEXA share sale147288Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements728000html16/01/2019 11:28:33 PM2019-01-16T22:00:00Z WA Government has received $185m from the sale of its shares in PEXA Transaction represents a positive outcome for the State and is a result of prudent, responsible investment by Landgate Money raised will go towards METRONET projects under development The McGowan Government has received $185 million from the sale of its 11.8 per cent shareholding in Property Exchange Australia (PEXA), with the transaction finalised this week. PEXA was formed in 2010 to fulfil the Council of Australian Governments' (COAG) initiative to deliver a single, national electronic conveyancing solution to the Australian property industry. The State of Western Australia, through Landgate, invested in this initiative, along with other State Governments, helping to establish the company and, in doing so, building a market for electronic conveyancing in Western Australia and nationally. The electronic conveyancing market has now matured to a point where new entrants are being established, and other property exchange operators are emerging. With this, it was the view of the Government that the objective of helping to establish the market had been achieved and it was the right time for the State to exit. As foreshadowed in the Mid-Year Review, the money raised will go towards METRONET projects under development such as the Morley-Ellenbrook line. Comments attributed to Treasurer and Lands Minister Ben Wyatt "The completion of this transaction represents a positive outcome for the State and a tremendous boost for our flagship METRONET project. "Given Landgate and the State's investment totals approximately $38.9 million, this is an exceptional outcome for Western Australia. "This decision to invest in METRONET also ensures that the financial discipline and responsibility which has been the hallmark of the McGowan Labor Government continues." Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
Minister extends consultation for plans to grow WA lobster industry147279Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements549660html16/01/2019 4:31:38 AM2019-01-16T04:20:00Z Proposal aimed at growing the iconic WA lobster industry to make more lobster available in Western Australia 95 per cent of WA lobster is exported, with an overwhelming majority going to China Strong support for plan from tourism and hospitality sectors Submission period for the lobster plan extended to January 31 Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has today extended consultation on the future management and growth of the Western Rock Lobster Fishery to enable more time for industry to have its say. The Minister was today joined by representatives from the hospitality industry who support the push for more lobster to be available in Western Australia. Currently, nearly all of our WA lobster is exported to China, with WA's own unique premium seafood not readily available in the vast majority of local restaurants. In early December last year, after weeks of negotiations with the Western Rock Lobster Council, the McGowan Government announced an innovative plan to sustainably increase the annual lobster catch. The plan provides more lobsters for Western Australians to enjoy, creates hundreds of local jobs, supports small businesses and boosts our tourism and hospitality sectors. The plan is supported by the Australian Hotels Association, Tourism Council and local government leaders from WA coastal communities. The consultation period closes on Thursday January 31, 2019. For more information, visit http// Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "With nearly all of our local lobster going to China, the McGowan Government wants to see more Western Australian lobster made available for Western Australians. "WA's unique lobster should be a staple item on the menu of restaurants across our State. "Western Australians should be able to enjoy our lobster, but we also want to make sure visitors to our State can experience eating our lobster right here in WA. "By growing this industry, we have the opportunity to boost our tourism and hospitality sectors. "We understand there has been a lot of discussion about this plan and that is why we are extending the consultation period until the end of January. "We look forward to hearing what the industry has to say, so we can work together to deliver more lobster for the benefit of all Western Australians." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Fairer pest rates for Carnarvon147278Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements391910html16/01/2019 1:00:51 AM2019-01-16T01:00:00Z Industry comment invited on revised declared pest rates for 2018-19 following local consultation Government reduces cost to growers The State Government has proposed a revised declared pest rate for Carnarvon that is fairer for growers while continuing the fight to eradicate Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) from the horticultural district. Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan held a growers' forum last month amid concerns that contributions had increased and were not equitably spread across all horticultural businesses. As a result, a new rate has been proposed for 2018-19. Under the new rating model for 2018-19, the State Government would reduce the total industry contribution by $75,000. A rate will apply to all properties currently engaged in commercial horticultural activities, based on the size of each property rather than the value of the property. The rate will also be extended to the 13 growers whose properties are not zoned rural freehold and who were not previously rated. This will broaden the base and see rates reduced for most growers. The State will cover the additional costs for the handful of growers with increased rates under the proposed model. In total, the State Government would provide $310,000 to fund local Medfly activities in 2018-19, while growers' contribution would be $160,000. Officers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will meet with affected growers over the next month to ensure all growers have the opportunity to provide feedback or seek further information. Comment on the proposed rate is open until February 18, 2019 and submissions can be sent to Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "From my discussions, it was evident we needed a fairer way of applying the declared pest rate - which this new proposed model provides. "Like the majority of growers, we remain strongly committed to the eradication of Medfly from Carnarvon and to the funding for this important work being shared by industry and the State Government. "The collective effort of growers and the community over the past three years is working. Medfly numbers are currently at a very low level in the production area, and we are well on the way to getting rid of this destructive pest. "Achieving Medfly-free status will increase the value of horticultural properties right across the district." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Restoration of historic Roebourne landmark complete147254Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements469580html15/01/2019 7:30:28 AM2019-01-15T07:30:00Z Victoria Hotel redevelopment complete Construction delivered major boost for local jobs and training Project partners, local businesses and contractors gathered in Roebourne today to celebrate the completion of the Victoria Hotel redevelopment. The $6 million project restored the heritage building to its former 1900s architectural form, delivering a new asset for the North-West's oldest town that will drive tourism, training and business opportunities in the Pilbara region. An Aboriginal Employment and Training Model was developed for the project to maximise employment opportunities for Aboriginal people and local businesses. That resulted in local business spend making up 70 per cent of construction expenditure and a total of 30 Aboriginal people engaged in employment and training during the project, including two apprentices and eight high school-based trainees. Inmates from Roebourne Regional Prison and students from Roebourne Senior High School were among those to work on the project. Known in the early 1900s as a popular watering hole for gold prospectors, pearlers and local pastoralists, the new Victoria Hotel boasts a contemporary interior featuring office space, a café, community library, and a visitor information and cultural centre. Fit out of the facility will now commence in preparation for the official opening in the first quarter of 2019. The Victoria Hotel redevelopment project was made possible with an equal investment of $2 million from the State Government, the Australian Government's National Stronger Regions Fund, and the Yindjibarndi Capital Trust. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "When we came to government, we immediately switched the project's focus to driving opportunities for the local Aboriginal community - and we have seen real results. "Before opening its doors, the Victoria Hotel has already created a new legacy by providing meaningful employment and training prospects for local Aboriginal people and businesses in Roebourne. "The redevelopment of the Victoria Hotel adds to Roebourne's unique identity as a cultural and heritage hub in the North-West and will be a major drawcard, particularly for self-drive tourists. "The Victoria Hotel is a great example of a powerful partnership between government and community to create real benefits for Aboriginal people and local business." Minister's office - 6552 6200