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Hay Street Bridge height clearance to increase5254Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml20/01/2020 7:11:51 AM2020-01-20T07:10:00Z Transport Minister Rita Saffioti today announced that an alliance contract had been awarded to Bocol and MACA Joint Venture (BMJV) for work on the Hay Street Bridge in the city. The work will increase the clearance of the Hay Street Bridge by 250 millimetres for southbound motorists, over the Mitchell Freeway in Perth. To achieve this, a six metre by 21 metre-long section of the existing bridge will be replaced with a new raised section. A bridge protection beam will also be installed to help minimise the risk of damage in the event of future strikes by unauthorised over-height vehicles. The Hay Street Bridge was constructed in 1968 and complied with bridge height clearance standards at that time, however, it is now considered a low height clearance structure. Data shows that the bridge has been hit 20 times, nine of those in the past five years alone. In order for this project to be completed in a safe and effective way, the southbound freeway at this location will need to be closed for two full weekends - one weekend to dismantle the bridge section and another to install the new bridge section. It is expected that these closures will take place approximately two months apart but the bridge and freeway will remain open during the day with additional night closures only during the project. Freeway closure details including dates will be widely communicated to the public once they are confirmed closer to construction. Work is expected to be completed by September 2020. The $6.75 million project is being funded by the State Government. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "As most Perth road users would be aware, there are very significant safety risks and traffic delays caused by unauthorised over-height vehicles hitting the Hay Street Bridge when travelling southbound on Mitchell Freeway. "Lane closures are often required to clean up resulting debris and to assess potential bridge damage. This leads to heavy traffic congestion for long periods of time, causing road users to become frustrated. "Modification works will be undertaken by an alliance contract. It is expected that 40 new jobs will be created during the construction phase. "Given the complex nature of these works, as well as the location, there will be substantial impacts for road users and the wider community. "Main Roads and BMJV will explore all opportunities to minimise these impacts, and will work closely with stakeholders during the development of the design and construction." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Firefighting aerial giant touches down in Perth5253Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml20/01/2020 6:49:49 AM2020-01-20T06:45:00Z First large air tanker to be based in WA touched down in Perth today LAT can drop 11,350 litres of water or retardant and can travel at speeds over 650 kmh Western Australia's fire response capabilities bolstered with new aircraftThe first large air tanker (LAT) to be based in Western Australia touched down at RAAF Base Pearce today adding a significant new asset to the State's aerial firefighting fleet. The LAT, an Erickson Aero MD 87, can drop 11,350 litres of water or retardant and travel at speeds over 650 km/h. This is the first time that WA has had a LAT based in the State and follows the McGowan Government's longstanding advocacy for greater resources for WA's aerial firefighting fleet. The new aircraft has been delivered through the Federal Government's recent $20 million funding boost for Australia's aerial firefighting fleet in December. The decision to base the aircraft in WA was made by the National Aerial Firefighting Centre, a business unit of the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council. The new aircraft will be based at RAAF Base Pearce and managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan "The arrival of this new aircraft is fantastic news for Western Australia and I would like to thank the Federal Government for the funding increase and the National Aerial Firefighting Centre for choosing to base a large air tanker here. "We obviously have a significant amount of territory to cover and this MD 87 will be a great help. "It cannot work in isolation though and it is part of a multi-faceted aerial firefighting fleet that includes helicopters and light planes. "Any aerial support still needs firefighters on the ground and it's important to recognise that it is a combined approach that brings the best results." Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "I would like to thank the Federal Government for their funding increase that has led to more aerial firefighting resources for Western Australia. "I am sure that this large air tanker will be a very welcome sight for our firefighters when they are battling a fire on the ground. "We have vast national parks that cover a wide range of vegetation and terrains and this new aircraft will make a significant difference when there is restricted access for our on-the-ground resources. "However, like any firefighting resource, it has its limits and needs to be used in conjunction with the rest of the aerial firefighting fleet and firefighters at the fire front for the best possible results." Emergency Services Minister's office - 6552 6300 Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800
McGowan Government contributes $200,000 for Port Beach rock wall5252Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml20/01/2020 12:10:09 AM2020-01-18T02:30:00Z McGowan Government and City of Fremantle partner to address Port Beach erosion Temporary rock wall to protect beach and infrastructure while a longer-term solution is developed Rock wall to be built ahead of winter to provide storm protection Investment follows release of Coastal Erosion Hotspots in Western Australia report last yearThe McGowan Government will contribute $200,000 towards a temporary rock wall to protect the infrastructure at Port Beach in North Fremantle. Port Beach was identified as an at-risk location in the Coastal Erosion Hotspots in Western Australia report released last year. Today's $200,000 contribution follows a State Government grant of $50,000 provided to the City of Fremantle in August last year to undertake further analysis on the issue of coastal erosion at Port Beach. The funding will be matched by the City of Fremantle to build the $400,000 rock wall, which will serve as an interim measure to protect local infrastructure. The project will involve constructing a rock wall to adjoin the existing wall in front of the beach change rooms and replenishing sand on the dune in front of Coast Café. The City of Fremantle is aiming to have the wall built prior to winter, when the area is more prone to damaging weather and severe erosion. A technical advisory group for the North Fremantle development precinct has been formed to investigate options for the long-term solution to erosion in the area. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "Construction of this rock wall is intended to secure Port Beach's current functions and provide time to refine and implement a long-term approach. "Port Beach is hugely popular with locals and visitors, and we are working with local government and the community to devise longer-term safeguards. "The McGowan Government has also called on a greater role from the Federal Government in addressing the national issue of coastal erosion." Comments attributed to Bicton MLA Lisa O'Malley "I've had a lot of discussions with local business owners, beachgoers and residents about the plan to manage erosion at Port Beach. "It's clear a longer-term plan is required, however, the temporary rock wall will give us the time to find ways to address the increasing challenges faced due to changing environmental conditions. "Coastal monitoring and data collection is currently in progress with the aim to develop a longer-term coastal adaptation strategy for Port Beach. "There has been a groundswell of local support for taking action on Port Beach and I thank everyone who has provided feedback." Minister's office - 6552 5500
McGowan Government flags classic car and street rod rego discount5251Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml20/01/2020 12:10:07 AM2020-01-18T01:30:00Z New scheme to offer 75 per cent registration discount for classic vehicles registered to an approved club 'Concessions for Classics' scheme to stimulate business and jobs in automotive industry Scheme removes red tape for classic car owners that only drive occasionally WA's motoring culture celebrated through classic vehicle registration concessions The McGowan Government is introducing a new quarter-price registration scheme to bring more classic cars out of the shed and onto the road. The new 'Concessions for Classics' licensing scheme will remove restrictions that currently prevent modified classic vehicles and street rods from accessing licence concessions. Under the new scheme, all car and motorcycle enthusiasts with a vehicle older than 30 years that are also registered to a Department of Transport approved club, will be eligible for the 75 per cent registration concession. Feedback from local motoring clubs and custom vehicle owners suggested the old licensing arrangement discouraged vehicles that would otherwise be used for tourism events, exhibitions and special events from being registered at all. Under 'Concessions for Classics', the annual registration discount would vary from vehicle to vehicle depending on specification. For example A 1956 Holden FJ would drop from $748.90 to $167.35 a year; A 1970 Ford GT would drop from $839.40 to $169.20 a year; A 1929 Ford Roadster would drop from $721.20 to $139.65 a year; and A 1974 Holden Torana SLR would drop from $768.45 to $151.50 a year. The Department of Transport is currently drafting regulation changes and upgrading systems to support the 'Concessions for Classics' scheme. Part of this process will involve the Department of Transport meeting with stakeholders such as motoring clubs to discuss details such as registering a club and defining what constitutes a club event. Drafting is proceeding as quickly as possible and the McGowan Government is aiming to have the new registration scheme available to owners in the second half of 2020. Owners will be subject to a number of conditions such as identification labels, annual vehicle inspections and vehicle use being limited to attending club shows and events. To stay updated, visit http//www.transport.wa.gov.au/concessionsforclassics and subscribe to receive emails in relation to the scheme. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "Western Australians love their classic cars and motorcycles, resulting in a strong local motoring scene. "Many local motoring enthusiasts also attend cruises, exhibitions and events that often attract tourists or raise funds for charities. "It's clear that a large amount of classic vehicle enthusiasts are only using their pride and joy for special events such as cruises or shows - so it's unfair they should pay full registration. "Our current registration system also prevents classic car owners from accessing registration concessions if modifications - even safety improvements - have been made to their vehicles. "This new scheme will remove that red tape and encourage more owners to get their classic cars and bikes out to events. "I have been approached by many classic vehicle owners who say the annual registration cost is too high for classic cars that are only used occasionally. "We will now work with those owners to finalise the details of the policy. "The more classic vehicles that are brought out of the shed to qualify for the scheme, the more flow-on benefits we will see in the local automotive industry." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Changing lives for the better - celebrating WA’s corrective services5231Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3040html17/01/2020 8:01:21 AM2020-01-17T08:00:00Z National Corrections Day celebrates Australia's corrective services staff for their important, but 'behind-the-scenes' work Today's celebration coincides with 50th anniversary of Bandyup Women's Prison Staff recognition events have been held throughout the week at prisons, work camps, farms and WA's detention centreCorrective Services employees throughout Western Australia have spent the week being celebrated for their achievements in helping to keep the community safe. Today is National Corrections Day and events have been held this week throughout the State's corrective services prisons, work camps, farms, youth detention centre, and offices to recognise the often unheralded achievements of WA's corrective services staff. Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan joined staff at Bandyup Women's Prison today to mark the national day and to commemorate the prison's 50th anniversary of operation. Bandyup prison sits on previous farming land and began as the 'Bandyup Training Centre' in 1970 to house female prisoners who had been accommodated at Fremantle Prison. Today the facility holds maximum, medium and minimum-security prisoners as well as mothers and their babies in specially designed accommodation. It focuses on providing women with skills to help employment opportunities on release as well as rehabilitative programs. The key to the prison's success, which included recently introducing a beauty therapy training facility, is down to the staff. Today many were recognised for their achievements with various awards by the prison's superintendent. Similar awards ceremonies have been held throughout WA's corrective services facilities this week to recognise the important and rewarding efforts of the State's 4,500 corrective services employees. Perth landmarks including the Bell Tower, Elizabeth Quay and the Matagarup Bridge were also illuminated in the National Corrections Day colours of blue and green this week and each day Yagan Square featured the faces of corrective services staff. Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan "It was fantastic to attend today's celebrations for the staff at Bandyup Women's Prison who are doing remarkable work in trying to turn prisoners' lives around. "The prison is also commemorating 50 years of operations. It is a very different facility to how it started with a very different cohort of female offenders. "It is not an easy job working in corrective services, but is a very important one. "Whether you are in a prison, work camp, head office or a community offender management office your work is vital to keep the community safe and for making a difference in an offender's behaviour. "I have visited every prison, work camp and prison farm in WA on multiple occasions and I have visited nearly all the Youth Justice offices and Adult Community Corrections offices throughout the State, and there is always a common theme of wanting to make a difference. "I am glad that this week, and especially today, we have turned the focus on the 4500 corrective services staff who make a significant difference to community safety, but whose efforts can often go unheralded." Minister's office - 6552 6300
First Aboriginal trainees graduate from Mid-West shearing camp5230Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2790html17/01/2020 5:02:52 AM2020-01-17T05:00:00Z Aboriginal trainees graduate from shearing camp run by State Government and Mhunga Whalla Success of camp to pave the way for new Aboriginal-focused training hubs in Mid-West and other parts of the State The first trainees today graduated from a Mid-West training camp that may serve as a prototype for creating both Aboriginal economic development and new shearing labour. The Geraldton-based Mhunga Whalla group and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development organised the camp at a Northampton farm. Participants aged 16 to 29 completed a two-week course facilitated by accredited trainers and are now looking to gain work in the State's shearing industry. The McGowan Government is supporting a similar shearing camp in Brookton, and has plans to further expand the model in conjunction with the WA Shearing Industry Association. Mhunga Whalla is considering developing a permanent training facility in the Mid-West. The Mid-West camp attracted strong financial and logistical support from Australian Wool Innovation and many local businesses and individuals. Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan congratulated the camp graduates Jamaine Narrier; Clinton Narrier; Taharna Mitchell; Leeson Flanagan; Brentley Comeagain; Rob Ronan; Kahsan Stack; Edward Ponta; and Robbie Speight. Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "With wool prices on the rebound, demand is growing for shearers. "Many young Aboriginal people today had grandparents in the industry - and they live in sheep growing regions. It makes sense to offer this employment opportunity for young Aboriginal people across our regions and particularly in the Mid-West. "This program responds to the projected 10 per cent per annum growth in demand for shearing labour to meet the increases in wool production. "Congratulations and thank you to Bobby Pepper and the Mhunga Whalla team, the Teakle family from Northampton for hosting the camp, and the dedicated departmental staff for their efforts. "This is the first step towards realising the Government's vision of creating permanent Aboriginal-focused shearing training hubs in the Mid-West and other parts of the State." Minister's office - 6552 6200
New Government-backed beach patrol services for Mandurah5229Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3300html17/01/2020 2:05:34 AM2020-01-17T02:05:00Z The McGowan Government is working to make summers safer for Western Australians A three-year trial begins on Monday to bring lifesaving services to Mandurah The City of Mandurah has been a leading council in beach safety initiatives Acting Fisheries Minister David Templeman has welcomed the City of Mandurah's decision to introduce Surf Life Saving WA patrol services to watch over its popular beaches. The McGowan Government has put $287,000 towards supporting a $553,329 contract to trial the beach safety services which, starting on Monday (January 20), will cover the cost of lifesaving patrols, with options for additional services such as jet ski and inflatable rescue boat services. Last year, the Government agreed to a request from the City of Mandurah, for funds originally allocated for a beach enclosure at Falcon, to be used for community-preferred lifesaving services at its popular beaches. Mandurah's community already has a keen Sea Sense, being one of the top locations where surfers and divers have claimed the McGowan Government's world-first $200 rebate to buy scientifically proven personal shark deterrent devices. The new SharkSmart WA app is also popular, with more than 17,000 downloads. The free app helps people switch on their Sea Sense when they head to our beaches this summer. Find out more information at https//www.sharksmart.com.au/staying-safe/sea-sense Comments attributed to Acting Fisheries Minister David Templeman "I congratulate Mandurah on its plan for three years of beach patrols that will support its community and provide lifesavers at four locations. "Patrols will operate at Pyramids, Falcon Bay and San Remo, as well as Town Beach, until mid-April. The lifesaving services trial will be assessed annually over three years. "These new services align with WA's comprehensive shark mitigation strategy, which funds Surf Life Saving WA beach and helicopter patrols along Perth metropolitan and south-west beaches, including Mandurah. "Mandurah also initiated installation of Beach Emergency Number signs, since developed by the McGowan Government and offered to coastal councils from the Mid-West to Esperance. "Collectively almost 900 BEN signs are now installed, covering 820 coastal locations, with unique codes for emergency services to pinpoint the locations in an emergency." Minister's office - 6552 5300
Recycling charities funded through dumping reduction program5228Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5910html17/01/2020 2:04:22 AM2020-01-17T02:00:00Z $41,859 awarded under the Charitable Recyclers Dumping Reduction Program Funding from this round to build on findings from first round of fundingWestern Australian charities, Alinea Inc in partnership with Good Samaritan Industries and Anglicare WA, have secured more than $41,000 in funding to help reduce dumping at charitable recycling sites. The funding is available through the Charitable Recyclers Dumping Reduction Program, and also enables research to inform better practices by charitable recyclers. Research findings are circulated through the National Association of Charitable Recycling Organisations - WA. This is the second round of program funding and builds on findings from the first funding round. The successful applicants were Alinea Inc in partnership with Good Samaritan Industries - $19,984 to install sensor lighting and optical surveillance equipment at four collection sites in the metropolitan area; and Anglicare WA - $21,875 to purchase and install ten high security donation bins at four sites in the metropolitan area.The program assists charitable recyclers that divert used items from landfill and recover them for recycling and reuse. It aims to reduce illegal dumping and littering, and to prevent unusable items - which ultimately end up in landfill - being left at donation sites. This funding is in addition to the State Government's Charitable Recyclers Rebate program, which provides up to $250,000 in funding each year. Funding supports eligible charitable recyclers to reduce the substantial costs incurred in disposing of items deposited or illegally dumped at drop-off sites that cannot be reused or recycled. For more information on these programs visit the Waste Authority's website. To report illegal dumping, contact DWER's Pollution Watch hotline on 1300 784 782. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "Illegal dumping and unusable donations are a widespread problem faced by charities. "This program not only helps reduce illegal dumping and littering through better surveillance and security, but also through ongoing research. "Charitable recyclers welcome useful and resalable donations and are an example of recycling in action, yet they are often left with the unsightly and expensive problem of disposing of unusable or illegally dumped items at their sites. "They also provide critical services across the Western Australian community and it is vital that every dollar they raise is spent on services, not on waste disposal." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Western Australian data assisting bushfire response5227Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5530html17/01/2020 12:08:11 AM2020-01-16T22:05:00Z Landgate data has been made available to Commonwealth agencies and not-for-profit organisations to assist with the national bushfire response Maps provide vital information on landscape and terrain Landgate's data has been made available to various organisations to support response and recovery efforts for the bushfire emergencies occurring across Australia. Topographic maps of Western Australia have been provided to the Australian Defence Force to support Operation Bushfire Assist in the event that WA is severely impacted by bushfires for the remainder of this bushfire season. The maps provide a summary of the landscape and terrain while displaying important physical (natural and man-made) features including road names, contours, spot heights, cities, towns and buildings. They are particularly useful in remote areas where terrain and lack of internet access can affect operations on the ground. National datasets for areas burnt during the current fire season have also been provided to support the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy in carrying out environmental impact analyses, and Landcare Australia in their community group recovery efforts. Comments attributed to Acting Lands Minister Stephen Dawson "We've always said Western Australia stands ready to help those impacted by the devastating bushfires in any way we can. "This is a great example of various levels of government working together to support the community. "Landgate is Western Australia's land information authority and has the most extensive continuous dataset of fire burnt areas across Australia. The data provided will underpin environmental and community group recovery efforts. "Our thoughts are with those impacted by these devastating bushfires. On behalf of the State Government, I thank all emergency services personnel and volunteers for their ongoing dedication and support." Minister's office - 6552 5900
WA’s visitor numbers and spend the highest on record5226Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4920html17/01/2020 12:01:01 AM2020-01-16T22:00:00Z Latest national and international visitor numbers at record high WA's growth rate for international holiday visitors the highest of all States and Territories Increase in visitor numbers and spend boosts local economy and creates jobs The latest visitor data from Tourism Research Australia reveals the number of visitors to Western Australia, and their total spend, has again reached an all-time high. According to the latest National Visitor Survey (NVS) and International Visitor Survey (IVS), which were released today, WA had 2.87 million out-of-state (international and interstate) visitors in the year ending September 2019. The number of total overnight visitors was 11.8 million people who, together with day-trippers, spent $10.9 billion in the State - an increase of 17.9 per cent on the previous year. Of this, $5.2 billion (48 per cent) was spent in regional WA. International holiday visitors were the highest on record for Western Australia, with the number increasing by 13.2 per cent to 521,800 - the highest amount of international holiday visitors WA has ever seen. International holiday spend was also the highest WA has ever seen, with a year-on-year increase of 25.2 per cent to $870 million. As a result, total international visitor spend in WA increased by seven per cent, to $2.31 billion. The NVS results revealed WA had 1.9 million interstate visitors in the year ending September 2019, an increase of 22.7 per cent on the previous year. These visitors spent $1.94 billion, with both figures the highest on record. Of those interstate visitors, 478,000 came to WA for a holiday - a 9.6 per cent increase on the same time last year - and spent $822 million. The NVS also showed growing numbers of Western Australians are holidaying at home, with intrastate holiday trips increasing by 15.1 per cent to 3.79 million - the highest figures on record - and corresponding spend up 17.2 per cent to $2.3 billion. To view the detailed NVS and IVS results for the year ending September 2019, visit http//www.tourism.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "These extremely positive visitor results once again prove that all the hard work we've put in to promoting our amazing State is paying off. "As with the last quarter, the holiday visitor numbers and spend are the highest on record in WA, for both international and domestic visitors, and we have the highest international holiday visitor growth rate in the country. "We will continue to focus all our efforts on making WA the number one holiday destination in the country to both domestic and overseas visitors." Minister's office - 6552 5600