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$9.2 million Pingelly Health Centre officially open19908Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml15/11/2018 3:36:26 AM2018-11-15T03:30:00Z Minister for Health opens the new Pingelly Health Centre providing local residents with enhanced treatment options closer to home Centre is the first primary health care demonstration site for the WA Country Health ServiceThe new $9.2 million Pingelly Health Centre was officially opened today by Health Minister Roger Cook. Innovative technology along with new infrastructure and improved patient systems all have a huge part to play in modern day healthcare, and this new health centre is an outstanding example of that. The Pingelly Health Centre features a state-of-the-art emergency department with two treatment bays, a procedure room including a computerised x-ray service, and a general practitioner suite including consulting rooms and a shared procedure room. There are also four multipurpose telehealth-enabled consult rooms that will be used to provide a range of services, including child health services. The 'Pingelly Arising' sculpture, located outside the entrance, highlights one focus of this centre - to build and grow strong families. The 'healthy community' themed artwork throughout the centre is the result of a strong collaboration between the local art committee and the artist. As the first primary health care demonstration site for WACHS, staff from the centre have adopted a greater focus on community-based services and health promotion activities such as diabetes education, designed to keep residents healthier at home. Complementing improvements to hospital infrastructure, the Pingelly Health Centre has also benefited from investment in digital and information systems, such as telehealth capacity and Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the facility. Construction of this centre is part of a $300 million capital works program supported by Royalties for Regions that is improving infrastructure in 37 towns across the Wheatbelt, Great Southern, Mid-West and South-West regions. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "I am pleased to have officially opened the Pingelly Health Centre - the upgraded infrastructure will reduce the need for country patients to travel long distances, away from home, for care. "Improvements to infrastructure, along with new patient information systems and access to a virtual workforce provided through telehealth services combine to deliver the best possible care for country communities. "One of the most impressive aspects of this new facility is that it is the result of genuine, collaborative community consultation." Minister's office - 6552 6500
State Government urges consumers to make portable pools SAFE19898Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml15/11/2018 3:09:43 AM2018-11-15T03:00:00Z National education campaign on portable pool safety launched today Western Australians can be fined up to $5,000 for not installing a fence The State Government and Royal Life Saving Society - Australia have launched a national campaign to warn consumers about the dangers of portable pools this summer. Tragically, on average, one child dies from drowning in a portable pool every year, with others needing hospital treatment and some suffering from permanent brain damage. The Don't Duck Out, Make It SAFE initiative includes four key safety messages for parents Supervise. Actively watch children within arm's reach. Don't leave children in charge. Act. Learn CPR – know to start compressions and breaths as soon as possible when a child is pulled from the water and to call triple zero (000) for help. Fence. In WA and most parts of Australia, pools with more than 30cm of water in, are legally required to have a compliant safety barrier. Check with your local council. Empty. For pools that don't need to be fenced, keep watch all day, then pour out the water and store away from children, in a place where it can't refill with rain or sprinkler water. Under the Australian Consumer Law, portable pools (plastic paddling pools, bigger wading pools, inflatable spas or high-sided flexible plastic pools on a frame) must have warning labels drawing the buyer's attention to the drowning risk. Several major Australian retailers have agreed to display Don't Duck Out, Make It SAFE promotional materials in store and/or put stickers on portable pool products. For more information, visit http//www.productsafety.gov.au/makeitsafe Comments attributed to Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston "It's crucial that consumers comply with the legal requirements to fence portable pools that are deeper than 30cm, otherwise they risk a fine of up to $5,000. "Suppliers of portable pools failing to comply with the mandatory standard can also face hefty penalties, up to $1.1 million. "Since July, Consumer Protection inspectors have visited about 50 stores and checked more than 290 portable pools. I'm pleased that only one paddling pool and one inflatable spa did not comply with warning label requirements for retail packaging." Minister's office - 6552 6700
Substantial boost for WA's fish health capabilities19896Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml15/11/2018 2:09:01 AM2018-11-15T02:00:00Z A $1 million election commitment delivered to grow the WA aquaculture industry and support WA jobs New state-of-the-art aquatic animal health laboratories open at Watermans Bay Support for industry to improve finfish and shellfish health and productivity On the edge of the ocean at Watermans Bay, in Perth's northern suburbs, a suite of new laboratories, examination and sampling rooms are now fully operational and providing vital support for Western Australia's fast-growing aquaculture industry. The new state-of-the-art facilities deliver on the McGowan Government's $1 million election commitment to provide cutting-edge fish health and research services to grow Western Australia's aquaculture industries and support WA jobs. Managed by aquatic animal health scientists from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, the facilities will bring together government, university partners and industry to develop new aquaculture research and development. The comprehensive facilities include a high-tech DNA laboratory and a cutting-edge cell culture laboratory, which will help to identify emerging pathogens and understand their distribution and dynamics as well as their potential to cause disease. High-throughput sample processing robots will also help speed up large-scale pathogen molecular studies, and new equipment will enable rapid assessment of fish and shellfish immunity by examining individual cells from samples. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly "These new aquatic animal health facilities will be vital to grow and protect a strong and sustainable aquaculture industry that will deliver jobs and opportunities along WA's coastline. "Just last month, we announced that Huon Aquaculture will be setting up a 2,200-hectare yellowtail kingfish farm off Geraldton and that has the potential to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs. "We have enviable environmental credentials that underpin finfish and shellfish projects, but we need to ensure we can diagnose, manage and overcome future fish health challenges. "Enhancing our applied health research capacity, by investing in these Watermans Bay facilities, complements existing disease diagnostic and aquaculture services provided to industry by government." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Greater support for Aboriginal business leaders in the Goldfields19891Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml15/11/2018 1:13:41 AM2018-11-15T01:05:00Z Aboriginal Business Leadership Program expands to Goldfields-Esperance region Program aims to strengthen capacity and capability of Aboriginal business leaders to create jobsAboriginal business leaders and entrepreneurs in the Goldfields will be better equipped to grow and sustain their enterprise with a new leadership support program announced today. The Aboriginal Business Leadership Program, which has been successfully implemented in the South-West and Mid-West regions, will be rolled out in the Goldfields-Esperance region to improve economic development, business and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people. The program will develop and enhance Aboriginal business networks; and support Aboriginal businesses to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence to ensure they thrive and prosper. Local businesses will assist in co-designing the leadership program that will include access to tailored leadership mentoring, knowledge sharing and business development expertise for up to 15 participants, over a four-month period. The program will assist current and emerging leaders to develop a business initiative as part of the training, supported through a mentoring and coaching framework. The Aboriginal Business Leadership Program will be delivered by the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission in partnership with Aboriginal community leaders and with support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Those interested in the program are encouraged to contact the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission on (08) 9080 5000 or visit their website at http//www.gedc.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "The McGowan Government is committed to empowering Aboriginal people to access employment and procurement opportunities, and become resilient and capable business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in their community. "This program will ensure Aboriginal businesses are supported to reach their full potential, creating new employment opportunities and greater economic diversity in the region. "We will take a tailored approach to supporting Aboriginal businesses in the Goldfields while learning from the success of similar programs that have been implemented in other regions." Comments attributed to Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Kyle McGinn "The McGowan Government is delivering once again on great programs and reforms for Aboriginal people in Western Australia. "I commend the Minister who hasn't stopped driving growth for Aboriginal business and leadership opportunities, continuing to go into bat for marginalised groups. "The program will see capacity strengthened and Aboriginal business capability grown. We have so many great potential Aboriginal business leaders in the Goldfields and I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of this program. "The GEDC will now support these leaders to develop their business as part of the training and mentoring framework." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Recycled materials to be used for road base to reduce landfill19889Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml15/11/2018 1:06:45 AM2018-11-15T01:00:00Z ​Recycled construction and demolition product slated for Kwinana Freeway widening project A State Government initiative to divert construction and demolition waste from landfill Further road projects to be considered pending the outcome of pilot projectThe McGowan Labor Government will pilot the use of recycled materials for road base on the Kwinana Freeway widening project, using recycled construction and demolition (C&D) waste as road base. In a first for a major road in Western Australia, recycled material will be trialled on the freeway widening project between Russell Road and Roe Highway to boost WA's poor recycling performance. Main Roads Western Australia will work with the Waste Authority and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation in a push to increase the use of recycled C&D products in major civil construction projects throughout the State. The Kwinana Freeway Northbound Widening Project from Russell Road to Roe Highway will be the pilot project and use about 25,000 tonnes of recycled C&D product. A new product testing scheme will help C&D recyclers with costs associated with the rigorous sampling and testing required to ensure all products meet appropriate specifications and are free of contaminants - including asbestos. An independent audit testing scheme will provide an additional level of assurance that recycled construction and demolition products are fit for purpose. The pilot is an important step in providing confidence about the benefits of using recycled C&D products, and supporting the increased use of recycled materials to meet the State's waste diversion targets. The findings of the Roads to Reuse pilot and finalisation of the State Government's Waste Strategy 2030 report later this year, will be used to establish the Government's Roads to Reuse program. For more information on Roads to Reuse, visit the Waste Authority's website. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "This demonstration project is the beginning of a significant new practice for government. "It will demonstrate to local governments and industry that recycled content is usable and value for money, redressing the concerns from many years ago that effectively stopped any reuse of valuable construction and demolition materials. "This partnership between DWER, the Waste Authority and Main Roads is a huge step forward for the reduction of construction and demolition waste in Western Australia. "By using recycled construction and demolition products in projects across the State, we can help meet our landfill diversion targets and focus on recycling materials." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "Roads to Reuse establishes a strict testing regime to reduce the risk of contaminants to below allowable limits - protecting people and the environment. "This interagency partnership is key to ensuring the ongoing use of recycled material in Western Australia." Environment Minister's office - 6552 5800Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
Celebrating 130 years of geological excellence19876Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml15/11/2018 12:10:02 AM2018-11-15T00:00:00Z 130 years since the inception of the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) GSWA maps the State's geology and has produced more than 12,000 publicationsThe McGowan Government is pleased to announce that 2018 marks the 130th anniversary of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety's Geological Survey of Western Australia. Since 1888, the GSWA has become an internationally respected institution and produced robust interpretations of our State's tectonic setting, crustal architecture and geological evolution. The GSWA has remained faithful to its dual objectives of conducting proactive, field-based research and providing solid, unbiased geoscientific advice to government, industry and the public. Mapping of Western Australia began in the 19th century, although the tools of the trade have evolved from pencils, compasses and theodolites to sophisticated GPS tracking and capturing information digitally in the field. GSWA also manages the Perth and Kalgoorlie core libraries, where drill cores are preserved as an invaluable resource held in perpetuity for the exploration industry. Digital delivery is essential for GSWA's data and information products today, and includes leading products such as drill hole core atlases, 3D models and digital geological packages. Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston "Technology has come a long way since the inception of GSWA when geologists explored WA on horseback and camels. "Today, men and women in the field have the advantage of amazing technology including drones that can map inaccessible outcrops. "I'd like to congratulate the GSWA for its outstanding and invaluable service; it has assisted mining companies in discovering new projects and helped create thousands of jobs for Western Australians." Minister's office - 6552 6700
McGowan Government begins State Disability Plan225499Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html14/11/2018 6:07:08 AM2018-11-14T06:00:00Z State Government to develop State Disability Plan Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson has today announced plans to develop a State Disability Plan that will underpin all State Government activities and initiatives that support and empower people with disability over the coming decade. The plan will drive more inclusive communities and improve the accessibility of State Government services, systems and infrastructure for all Western Australians with disability. Development of the State Disability Plan is part of the State Government's strategy to listen, engage and hear the needs of the disability community. National Disability Services WA called for a State Disability Plan in its pre-Budget submission presented to the State Government on October 22, 2018. Consultation will extend to people with disability, their families and carers, support networks, service providers, State and local governments and advocacy groups. For more information, visit the State Disability Plan website. If you require assistance with the registration process, call 1800 996 214 or email statedisabilityplan@communities.wa.gov.au. Comments attributed to Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson "There are about 360,000 Western Australians with moderate to severe disability. "The State Disability Plan will be an authentic and responsive action plan that reflects the desires, aspirations and needs of people with disability in WA for the longer term. "The first stage of the process will be consultation and engagement. "The intention is to reach people with disability, their families and carers to gather real-life experiences to help develop the plan. "Most importantly, the plan is not just for people with disability - it's for all Western Australians who want to live in an inclusive community." Minister's office - 6552 5800
State’s first Aboriginal volunteer emergency services unit officially opened225495Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html14/11/2018 4:52:28 AM2018-11-14T04:45:00Z One of WA's largest Aboriginal communities has become the first to have its own dedicated Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services (VFES) unit New Bidyadanga unit significantly improves response times in surrounding areas including the Great Northern Highway Bidyadanga Fire and Emergency Services Facility officially opened todayThe remote north-west Bidyadanga community has become the first Aboriginal community in Western Australia to have its own Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service unit capable of responding to bushfires and other hazards. The Bidyadanga Fire and Emergency Services Facility was officially opened today by Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan and Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Darren Klemm. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has been working with the Bidyadanga community since 2011 to help facilitate the creation of the VFES unit. Extensive training and support continues to be provided by DFES to further the unit's capabilities, now and into the future. In the past six months the Bidyadanga VFES attended more than a dozen scrub and bushfires, and a truck fire on Great Northern Highway. Prior to the unit's establishment, response times to bushfires around the community were over two hours because the nearest crews were 180 kilometres away in Broome. Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan "The Bidyadanga community and local ranger groups have a long and proud history of using fire to mitigate bushfire risks and protect their community and lands. "The establishment of the Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services unit has helped to empower local residents to protect community infrastructure if fire threatens their community or Great Northern Highway. "The Bidyadanga VFES unit is a fantastic example of a remote community meeting its own community safety needs as well as being there to help others in the surrounding areas." Minister's office - 6552 6300
Beverley and Quairading health service redevelopments complete225494Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html14/11/2018 4:40:59 AM2018-11-14T04:35:00Z Official opening of redevelopments to Beverley and Quairading health services Works form part of the biggest capital works program ever completed by the WA Country Health ServiceThe redevelopment of the Beverley and Quairading health services have been officially opened by Agricultural Region MLC Laurie Graham, representing the Minister for Health. The renovations are part of a $300 million capital works program that is improving infrastructure in 37 towns across the Wheatbelt, Great Southern, Mid-West and South-West regions. The $5.4 million upgrade to the Beverley Health Service includes the construction of three new consultation rooms for allied health staff, who previously operated off-site, and a resuscitation and treatment room. Improvements have also been made to the kitchen, the entrance and car park along with improved ambulance access. The $3.2 million upgrade to the Quairading Health Service includes the refurbishment of the kitchen, the medical records room and creation of a new multipurpose consultation room. The new emergency suite features resuscitation and treatment bays, a triage room and pathology area. Both projects also received extensive upgrades to electrical and mechanical services together with improved hydraulic works. The ICT improvements at both sites mean telehealth services have been expanded with cancer care, stroke care, emergency telehealth and many allied health services all available. WiFi is now also accessible throughout both facilities. In the Wheatbelt, the WA Country Health Service's capital works program also includes the redevelopment of Merredin, Narrogin and Northam hospitals as well as upgrades to 23 small hospitals and health centres. These infrastructure projects are part of a modernisation program supported by Royalties for Regions and taking place across the WA Country Health Service. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring patients in regional Western Australia have access to quality healthcare closer to home. "Capital upgrades, along with investment in digital and information systems combine to make contemporary health services more accessible to people living in regional areas. Telehealth upgrades mean patients can receive treatment near home, avoiding the need for costly and stressful travel." Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Laurie Graham "I am pleased to have officially opened the redevelopments at both Beverley and Quairading health services. The upgraded infrastructure will reduce the need for country patients to travel long distances, away from home, for care. "I'm particularly pleased that the upgrade to the Beverley Health Service includes the construction of three new consultation rooms for allied health staff, having access to health services at one site greatly improves the experience for patients." Minister's office - 6552 6500
State debt targeted following successful GST campaign225493Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html14/11/2018 3:58:59 AM2018-11-14T03:50:00Z GST reform package successfully passes through the Senate WA's GST 'top-up' payments will solely be used to reduce WA's debt burden An estimated $1.7 billion in 'top-up' payments between 2019-20 and 2021-22 to be dedicated to a Debt Reduction Account Account forecast to save about $200 million in interest payments alone in the first three yearsThe McGowan Labor Government has welcomed the successful conclusion of the GST debate and announced its plan to utilise the additional funding expected to flow to Western Australia. WA's fair share of the GST campaign was in the making for years and the beginning of the current process started when Premier Mark McGowan wrote to the then Prime Minister in April 2017, requesting the Productivity Commission conduct an inquiry into the flawed system. Through successfully lobbying Canberra to secure WA's fair share of the GST, the McGowan Government will now lock away the additional funding to help pay down the debt burden left behind by the previous Liberal National Government, forecast to peak at $41 billion. Western Australia is now guaranteed to receive a 'top-up' to an effective 70 per cent floor over the three years from 2019-20 to 2021-22. The Federal Government currently estimates this to be worth $1.7 billion. The McGowan Government will direct the first three years of the 'top-up' payments into the State's Debt Reduction Account. This will be included in the 2018-19 Mid-year Review. It will save hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments over the long term, with Treasury currently forecasting about $200 million in savings over just the next three years. With the passage of the legislation in the Senate today, the new GST system will be introduced over eight years. In addition to the initial untied 'top-up' payments for WA, a transition to the new equalisation formula will see all States and Territories equalised to the strongest State out of New South Wales and Victoria. A 'within‑system' 70 per cent floor will also be locked into place from 2022-23, and rise to 75 per cent from 2024-25. This will prevent any State or Territory from falling below this mark. The new equalisation formula (and associated GST pool 'top‑ups') is estimated to deliver an additional $3 billion in revenue to WA over six years from 2021-22. This revenue will form part of the typical annual GST grants. Over the last 12 years, Western Australia has provided $30 billion of our GST money to other States and Territories. In 2015-16, WA's GST fell as low as 30 per cent with our current share at 47 per cent under the existing GST formula. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "This is a historic day for Western Australia, we have finally secured our fair share of the GST. "It has been a long and difficult campaign, but today every Western Australian can take comfort in knowing that our State is no longer taken for granted by Canberra. "I want to acknowledge the efforts of the leaders from both sides of politics, the Federal Government and the Federal Opposition, for working with my Government and with the other States and Territories to implement this plan through legislation. "It is no secret that my Government inherited a record level of debt, on an unsustainable trajectory, that would burden generations of Western Australians. "In just a short space of time, with responsible financial management, our debt trajectory is now under control and we are on track to return to surplus. "However our policy of managing the finances responsibly will continue with the success of the GST campaign, and that is why all additional 'top-up' funding will be dedicated towards our Debt Reduction Account. "My Government takes budget management seriously and that is why we will manage this GST funding responsibly, to ensure it delivers ongoing benefits to all Western Australians into the future." Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "Today is a great day for Western Australia. Today, we end decades of political squabbling and point scoring with action that puts the State's finances back on a path to sustainability. "Of course the irony is that much of this money was assumed to arrive in former Treasurer Christian Porter's Budget of 2011-12 and was spent accordingly, so our action today is merely continuing to right the wrongs of the previous Liberal National Government. "The McGowan Government has always said it will manage the finances in a mature, responsible fashion, and utilising this additional GST revenue will be no different. "We have been workman-like since coming to office and today we reap the rewards of that approach, with the Debt Reduction Account to deliver ongoing savings in our interest bill." Premier's office - 6552 5000Treasurer's office - 6552 5900