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Deadline looms to strike remote communities deal24960Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml25/06/2018 9:32:52 AM2018-06-25T08:00:00Z Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yet to respond to calls to renew a funding deal Previous 10-year, $1.2 billion agreement due to expire on June 30 PM asked 'Don't walk away' from indigenous Australians The clock is ticking for the Federal Government to make an acceptable offer to the Western Australian Government to jointly fund remote communities. The previous agreement - a 10-year deal that saw a $1.2 billion Federal contribution - will expire on June 30, 2018, and the Commonwealth has indicated it intends to sever the arrangement and make the funding of remote communities solely a State responsibility. The McGowan Government currently commits about $86 million annually to support about 12,000 people living in 165 remote communities across the State through the provision of housing, community infrastructure and related services. Premier Mark McGowan wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on May 11, detailing his serious concerns about the consequences of the Federal Government walking away from an ongoing arrangement to jointly support remote communities. The Premier is yet to receive a reply from the PM and ongoing talks between respective State and Commonwealth officials have failed to deliver a new agreement at this point. Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley "WA's State Government contributes more than $86 million annually to support remote communities and help indigenous people continue their connection to culture and land. "The Federal Government has historically jointly funded these communities. But in less than a week, it plans to walk away from this joint responsibility. Why? "We need to secure the long-term future of the 165 remote communities in WA that thousands of people call home." Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt "This is the single biggest cut to regional WA that will affect thousands of the most disadvantaged people in the country, yet we have heard nothing from the State Liberal or National parties to help them to convince their Federal colleagues to change their position. "The Liberal and National parties have let down WA." Housing Minister's office - 6552 5300 Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5900
Processors step up to take stranded sheep24956Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml25/06/2018 7:50:13 AM2018-06-25T07:45:00Z Western Australian meat processors willing to take on sheep left stranded after the suspension of a major exporter's live export licence State Government to convene industry meeting this week to develop a longer-term response plan Major Western Australian meat processors have offered to work together to take on the 60,000 sheep currently in a Perth feedlot, after the Federal Government suspended a major live exporter's licence. The McGowan Government has been working with meat processors over the last two months in preparation for a reduction in the northern summer live export trade. Western Australian meat processor, Fletcher International Exports has confirmed to the State Government that it is willing to purchase the 60,000 sheep stranded in a local feedlot, and is working with other local processors to take on additional sheep in coming months. The sheep could be held in the feedlot over the next few weeks before they are processed and sold into domestic and international markets. The State Government will lead a meeting of producers and industry representatives later this week to develop a longer-term strategy to address challenges in the live export industry. Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "As it became clear early in the year that live exports during the northern late summer were not sustainable, I brought together Western Australian meat processors to discuss capacity during the period - and they made it clear they could increase their capacity. "While the short notice provided by the Federal Government before suspending Emanuel Exports' licence has created challenges, processors have indicated today that they can take on the sheep left stranded in a local feedlot. "Processors are working collaboratively together and with the State Government to absorb the sheep that cannot be transferred over the next few months. "There are many exciting new opportunities for processed sheep meat in markets like Iran and China." Minister's office - 6552 6200
Telehealth Awareness Week24955Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml25/06/2018 7:21:14 AM2018-06-25T07:15:00Z This week is Telehealth Awareness Week (June 25-29) Country patients are encouraged to ask their specialists if they can use telehealth for their next appointment In 2017, telehealth saved WA country patients from travelling 27.3 million kilometres - to the moon and back about 35 times Investment in technology over the past year has added 600 telehealth-enabled consult rooms, enabling thousands of more patients to access specialist care from regional locations. During Telehealth Awareness Week, people are encouraged to ask their specialist if they can have their appointments at their local health service, rather than travelling to Perth. In 2017, more than 18,000 country patients had their specialist outpatient appointments using videoconferencing equipment as part of the telehealth network - an average of 350 consults per week. As new hospitals are being built across the State they are being equipped with telehealth points - with 300 telehealth locations at Perth Children's Hospital alone. More than 30 outpatient specialties are delivered via telehealth for country people. The top five in 2017 were plastic surgery, respiratory medicine, haematology, orthopaedics and gastroenterology. Health services delivered by telehealth include emergency care, cancer treatment, palliative care, mental health, stroke care, surgical follow-up, wound care, and education for chronic conditions such as diabetes and asthma. As well as investing in health infrastructure, the Western Australian Government is also investing in innovative clinical service development so that health care reaches those who need it the most. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "It is important that patients can stay in their community, close to family and friends as much as possible when receiving health care. "It is fantastic to see that telehealth, which enables people to stay closer to their communities, is becoming 'business as usual' for our health system. "The Government is committed to delivering sustainable health care to people right across Western Australia, and this includes delivering health services close to where people live. "The network of country and metropolitan telehealth-enabled services will continue to expand over the coming year, offering a broad range of health care to both metropolitan and country patients. "This will further our efforts to bring health care closer to home for patients across WA." Minister's office - 6552 6500
McGowan Government secures Perth Motorplex for 12 months as buyer sought24954Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml25/06/2018 7:06:13 AM2018-06-25T07:00:00Z The State Government will continue to operate Perth Motorplex for another 12 months VenuesWest continues to seek private sector buyer for venue's long-term future The McGowan Government will continue to run Perth Motorplex for the next 12 months as it seeks a permanent operator to take on the facility. The State Government's venues arm, VenuesWest, will continue to manage the facility and the process towards securing a suitable long-term buyer or operator for the venue. The State Government believes engaging an operator from the private sector is the best option for Perth Motorplex's long-term sustainability. VenuesWest has managed Perth Motorplex on behalf of the State Government since July 2016. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "We understand how important Perth Motorplex is to Western Australia's motor racing fans, participants and those whose livelihoods depend on the industry. "Ultimately the State Government believes the venue will be best operated by the private sector in the long term. "For the coming season while we seek out an appropriate private sector buyer or operator, the State Government is committed to ensuring quality motor racing can continue for the benefit of local fans and the industry." Comment attributed to Kwinana MLA Roger Cook "The Perth Motorplex is an iconic part of the Kwinana community. I commend the McGowan Government for stepping up to ensure this important and popular local facility remains open, so it can continue to provide entertainment to the many Kwinana families who enjoy spending time there." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Carnarvon and Monkey Mia to benefit from community airfares24952Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml25/06/2018 5:56:25 AM2018-06-25T05:45:00Z New flight schedules to commence with discounted community airfares State Government committed to facilitating cheaper regional airfares New approach to support tourism and regional community connectivity People travelling to Monkey Mia and Carnarvon will benefit from discounted airfares offered by Regional Express (Rex), from July 2, 2018. The Perth-Monkey Mia-Carnarvon air route will be serviced by Rex after a five-year agreement to provide regulated air services was signed between the State Government and Rex earlier this year. An innovative approach to reducing airfares on the route has resulted in Rex engaging with the owner of Shark Bay Airport (commonly referred to as Monkey Mia Airport), RAC; the Shire of Carnarvon, owner of Carnarvon Airport; and Perth Airport, to implement the Rex Community Fare scheme. The State Government continues to work with airlines and stakeholders to find collaborative ways to reduce regional airfares. Implementing community fares is one way the State Government is responding to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Regional Airfares, to help reduce airfares on regional air routes. The Rex Community Fare, which is still subject to final approval by the Shire of Carnarvon on June 26, will be $157 and $199 one way, including all taxes and fees for Monkey Mia and Carnarvon travellers respectively. These fares will be available for 25 per cent of the seat availability for sales at least 60 days prior to departure. The community fare will also be applied to all remaining available seats within one day prior to departure. Passengers will have access to 24 air services between Perth and Carnarvon and 12 air services between Perth and Monkey Mia weekly, operated in a 34-seat aircraft. Rex flights are also connected to the Global Distribution System, which is used by most travel agents and online booking providers, making it easier for passengers to book and package flights and accommodation. Widening of the Monkey Mia Airport runway was recently completed, allowing Rex aircraft to operate at the airport. The upgrades totalling more than $600,000, were jointly funded by the Department of Transport's Regional Airports Development Scheme and RAC, as the Monkey Mia airport owner. Flight schedules and fares are available at http// Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "This is a fantastic example of collaboration between airlines, the State Government and airport owners to find ways to reduce airfares on regional air routes. "These community airfares, along with increases to flight schedules will provide more opportunities for local residents to travel to Perth and for people to visit Monkey Mia, Carnarvon and the Gascoyne region. "Rex's approach of putting all unsold seats on sale 24 hours prior to departure is the type of innovative approach we are looking for all airlines to undertake in regional aviation. "This approach was first trialled on the Albany and Esperance air routes, and the community is responding positively to these discounted fares. "Such initiatives need to be commercially successful and I am pleased to see that the community fare, which was first trialled in WA, is now being rolled out into other States of Australia." Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "Making destinations such as Monkey Mia and Carnarvon more accessible through affordable airfares is great news for WA's tourism industry. "Not only will it mean locals can travel to Perth for a lower fare but interstate and international visitors can explore everything the region has to offer for a reasonable rate, provided they meet the applicable conditions. "Tourism WA has a Two-Year Action Plan, which is the State Government's blueprint for how we will reinvigorate the tourism industry around the State and grow the number of visitors to WA over the next two years. "A central part of the plan is to increase regional visitation by improving regional aviation access and affordability and this innovative approach by Rex and the participating airports is helping us achieve that goal." Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500Tourism Minister's office – 6552 5600
Westport information sessions open to the community24950Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml25/06/2018 3:37:48 AM2018-06-25T03:30:00Z Community information sessions regarding the future Outer Harbour start in July Team of experts to discuss a variety of port planning considerations Part of the McGowan Government's long-term alternative to the flawed Perth Freight Link project A series of community information sessions will take place throughout July, giving community members an opportunity to learn more about the Westport Strategy. The six interactive sessions will be held in Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury, where community members can drop in to find out more about the land use, transport, environmental and economic issues being considered in the development of the strategy. The sessions will build on previous feedback provided by the community, which is summarised in the consultation report 'Westport What you have told us'. All feedback received at the sessions will be used to inform the next discussion paper, which will be released for comment later this year. Once complete, the Westport Strategy will fulfil an election commitment to plan solutions for port and freight related transport issues in Western Australia to meet the needs and expectations of the community and industry into the future. Details of the location and timing for each information session are available on the Department of Transport's website at http// Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The information sessions are a great opportunity for the community to learn more about the Westport Strategy and to hear first-hand from the people tasked with delivering it. "The State's future freight network is a topic that indirectly impacts all Western Australians and it is therefore important that there are a number of opportunities for people to get involved in the planning process. "While everyone has different views, opinions and experiences, the strong community interest to date reflects the importance of getting this planning right. "These sessions will be the first of many planned as the project progresses." Comments attributed to Westport chairperson Nicole Lockwood "We are pleased with the level of participation from stakeholders to date however we want to offer other groups and individuals in our community an opportunity to learn more about the strategy and to have their say on the freight future of this State. "The community is invited to drop in at any time during the sessions to speak with members of the Westport project team, have their questions answered and provide feedback. "I would also encourage anyone wanting to stay up-to-date with the latest project news to subscribe to the mailing list on the Westport page of the Department of Transport's website." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Hunt is on for WA's best STEM education schools24948Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml25/06/2018 2:14:41 AM2018-06-25T02:00:00Z Applications for the 2018 Governor's School STEM Awards now open The awards recognise schools that demonstrate excellence in leadership, teaching, collaboration and student engagement in STEM education McGowan Government investing in STEM education to skill WA kids for the jobs of the future The search is on for Western Australia's leading STEM education schools, with applications opening today (June 25) for the 2018 Governor's School STEM Awards. The awards, now in their fourth year, aim to raise awareness of the importance of STEM education among school leadership, and incentivise schools to support their teachers in undertaking STEM initiatives. This year, the State Government is working closely with Scitech and a committee of representatives from the education community to deliver the awards. The prizes awarded in both primary and secondary school categories include $2,000 for the Leadership Excellence Award (winner); $1,000 for the Meritorious Leadership Awards (runner-up); An invitation for staff and students to visit Government House; and A Scitech visit for up to 90 students. The winning schools will be selected by expert judging panels and announced at a presentation ceremony at Government House in November 2018. Applications close on August 20, 2018. For more information, visit http// Comments attributed to Science and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly "The world is changing fast and many of the jobs that exist now, and are likely to exist in the future, were not around five or 10 years ago. "We need to ensure all students have STEM skills for the jobs of the future, and reskill the current workforce with the STEM skills to embrace technological change. "The Governor's School STEM Awards aim to inspire students across Western Australia to pursue studies, and ultimately careers, in STEM-related fields. "I thank Scitech and the committee for their valued contribution in delivering the awards across all school sectors." Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "Building our STEM capacity is in the long-term interest of Western Australian students, our current workforce and employers - an investment in STEM is an investment in the jobs of the future. "Employers are looking for people with skills that STEM subjects help develop - teamwork, problem solving, creativity, independent thinking, critical analysis, initiative and communication - and these skills are transferable across careers." Comments attributed to the Hon. Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia "I am honoured to support the 2018 Governor's School STEM Awards and continue the legacy of the previous governor as patron of the awards and host of the awards ceremony in November. "We need to ensure all Western Australians have access to STEM opportunities, especially our students. In the midst of a global digital revolution, productivity and success in STEM-related fields is crucial for our State. "These awards play an important part in encouraging students to study STEM subjects at both primary and secondary levels." Science and Innovation and ICT Minister's office - 6552 6100 Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700
Suspension of Emanuel Exports live export licence welcomed24946Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml25/06/2018 12:31:53 AM2018-06-23T03:20:00Z McGowan Government welcomes suspension of Emanuel Exports' live export licence Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan has welcomed the Federal Government's action to suspend the live export licence of Perth-based Emanuel Exports. Emanuel Exports is the company behind the Awassi Express sheep shipment to the Middle East last year when thousands of sheep died from heat stress. Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "The McGowan Government welcomes yesterday's announcement by the Federal Government to suspend the export licence of Emanuel Exports. "For many months we have said the elements that have undermined the industry's credibility should be brought to account. "We believe yesterday's decision vindicates the work we have been doing to find alternative markets to supply during the Middle Eastern high summer. "This has involved working closely with meat processors and examining alternatives including the export of chilled and boxed meat. "It was always going to be unsustainable to allow ships to go to the Middle East in the northern high summer months. "The Federal Government's decision reflects that reality. "We again extend our offer to work cooperatively with the Federal Government in our respective investigations into animal welfare issues relating to live sheep exports as well as in finding other ways of providing sheep meat to the Middle East." Minister's office - 6552 6200
State Government welcomes regional WA shortlist for new Qantas pilot academy1381Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3980html22/06/2018 8:20:21 AM2018-06-22T08:15:00Z Regional WA being considered as a location for new Qantas Group Pilot Academy Busselton one of nine regional cities across Australia to be shortlisted for the academy Significant regional development opportunity for Western Australia Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan and Tourism Minister Paul Papalia today welcomed Qantas' announcement to consider Busselton as a regional location for its new Qantas Group Pilot Academy. Qantas will invest up to $20 million to establish a pilot training academy in regional Australia by 2019. The Western Australian Government was invited to submit a bid to locate the academy in regional WA, and provided a list of six proposed locations. More than 60 regional cities across Australia put forward a proposal, of which nine were shortlisted. The Western Australian Government recognises the opportunity to secure the academy and deliver an economic boost to the region, while building on the State's advantages including climate, time zone with Asia, space, existing infrastructure and supportive industries to develop a pilot training hub in WA. The Western Australian Government has fostered a strong working relationship with Qantas, working together on marketing and route development for the London-Perth direct service and the Perth-Broome initiative. Qantas' proposed academy would initially train at least 100 pilots per year from 2019. Qantas intends to scale the academy to up to 500 places per year on a fee-for-service basis for other airlines. The Western Australian Pilot Training Taskforce established by the McGowan Government will now work closely with Qantas to demonstrate Busselton's comparative advantages for pilot training. A final decision on the academy's location is due to be made in the third quarter of this year. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "This shortlisting is a big vote of confidence in Busselton. "It recognises not only the great blue skies but also the aviation infrastructure and the lifestyle on offer in the region. "We will work with the City of Busselton along with the City of Bunbury and the Shire of Manjimup to give us the best opportunity to win the academy for WA." Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "I welcome Qantas' announcement to consider Busselton as the location for its new Qantas Group Pilot Academy. "Busselton is a highly attractive location for pilot training in terms of weather, abundance of space and existing infrastructure. "The McGowan Government has been working hard to consolidate our recent success in building WA's role as the western gateway to Australia, Asia and beyond - and a pilot training school would be a strong step forward for WA as an aviation transport hub." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "WA would be the perfect home for the Qantas Group Pilot Academy and we will be working hard as a State Government to secure it. "We are committed to ensuring that regional Western Australians have access to air services." Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200 Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
New strategy for cultural infrastructure1380Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4460html22/06/2018 7:50:28 AM2018-06-22T07:50:00Z WA Cultural Infrastructure Strategy consultation was launched this week A strategy for cultural infrastructure will enhance State vibrancy Stakeholder consultation has commenced The lives of Western Australians will be enriched by having greater access to art and cultural experiences thanks to a WA Cultural Infrastructure Strategy. In a Western Australian first, the strategy will identify opportunities in urban, suburban, regional and remote areas for new or improved cultural infrastructure that will lead to more vibrant and empowered communities and economies. It will celebrate Western Australia's rich traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture, and promote our State as a destination of choice. This consultation follows a review of existing cultural infrastructure strategies, State planning frameworks, policies and blueprints, strategic cultural regions and cities relevant to Western Australia, emerging global trends and cultural planning best practice. Stakeholder consultation has started and will include public and community consultation on the final draft in November 2018. The WA Cultural Infrastructure Strategy consultation will be administered by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman "Western Australia has incredible cultural assets that are unique and can contribute to our identity and growth, and I was proud to launch the strategy consultation this week. "Culture plays an essential role in public planning and must be strategically integrated into State planning policy and investment if its benefits are to be realised. "Cultural infrastructure provides spaces for a thriving cultural life and fosters community connections, ideas and innovations that are a critical requirement for social and economic growth. "For the first time, WA's Aboriginal cultural values will underpin our strategy to enhance all our cultural places and spaces contributing to our unique sense of identity. "The benefits of a rich culture to our State can never be underestimated, particularly for tourism and the economy." Minister's office - 6552 5400