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Kimberley footy set to reach new heights with $5 million boost7157Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6610html26/09/2021 1:06:01 AM2021-09-25T23:00:00Z McGowan Government and AFL partner for new $5 million Kimberley football plan $1 million per year to build the positive impact of Kimberley football Five-year project aims to upgrade facilities, boost participation and strengthen pathways Plan will reduce cost and distance barriers associated with Kimberley football The McGowan Government is teaming up with the AFL to deliver a $5 million boost to one of football's most skilled, passionate, and remote talent pools - the Kimberley. The funding program is designed to create a legacy to follow Western Australia's historic first AFL Grand Final. Delivering $1 million per annum over five years, the program will support a wide range of measures from facility upgrades to community participation initiatives. The Kimberley has a population of around 35,000 with 81 football teams, 17 Auskick centres and nearly 2,600 registered players across an area twice the size of Victoria. There are several players hailing from the Kimberley in the AFL and AFLW system - including Liam Henry, Callum Ah Chee, Bailey Banfield and Krstel Petrevski - making it a well-represented region in terms of AFL players per capita. Despite the region's incredible success to date, further investment is required to help football in the Kimberley reach its full potential and allow players to overcome the tyranny of distance. The McGowan Government and AFL will jointly fund the annual $1 million investment, each contributing an equal 5050 share towards the program. The initiative will fund four key development areas $400,000 on facility upgrades such as lighting, ground improvements, and female change rooms and amenities; $350,000 on community participation, investing in the region's three leagues and creating new local jobs to support football development; $150,000 to bolster football pathways, supporting regionally-based coaches to oversee pathway programs and access to specialist expertise; and $100,000 on travel subsidies, removing barriers to regular competition, particularly for remote communities participating in the Kimberley football leagues. The pathway program funding will complement the existing Kimberley Spirit (indigenous male program) and the Claremont Football Club pathways. This $5 million funding program follows recent State Government investments in Kimberley football, including $339,000 for floodlighting at Nipper Roe Sports Field in Broome and $592,000 to upgrade change rooms and lighting at Clarrie Cassidy Oval in Wyndham. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The Kimberley is a source of incredible football talent, punching well above its weight in producing champions of the game. "Players in the Kimberley often face significant barriers like distance, travel costs and a lack of facilities. This plan is about reducing those hurdles and ensuring the support is in place to grow the game in our north. "Despite the challenges, the Kimberley football system has produced some exciting elite players, while delivering community and health benefits to people of all ages." Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Tony Buti "The funding for Kimberley football will ensure our incredible AFL Grand Final is not a flash in the pan for Western Australia, and its legacy will continue through grassroots development. "Strong football clubs in regional areas like the Kimberley translates to stronger communities and better social outcomes. "We want this program to help anyone, of any age and gender, to get involved whether they're playing for Halls Creek Hawks, Wangkatjungka Crows or the Bidyadanga Emus. "There is no greater passion for footy than in the Kimberley, and we look forward to seeing the region continue to develop as a regional football capital." Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna "This funding will go a long way to supporting Kimberley football, not only for those aiming to reach the professional levels but importantly for our community level clubs and players. "Grassroots footy delivers so many important health and community benefits in our towns, and I look forward to working with our local clubs to help deliver these terrific programs." Minister's office 6552 6400
‘Roll up, roll up’ to Perth Royal Show’s walk-in vaccination clinic3591Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements20390html25/09/2021 3:25:19 AM2021-09-25T01:00:00Z Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic open at the Perth Royal Show More than 2.2 million COVID-19 vaccination doses have been administered in WAPeople rolling up to the iconic Perth Royal Show can grab some showbags, watch the sheep dog trials, race the bumper cars and get vaccinated against COVID-19. The State Government has partnered with the Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia to deliver vaccines for walk-ins at the Claremont COVID-19 vaccination clinic during the Show until October 2. All eligible Western Australians from 12 years and up will be able to drop in and receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination, without needing an appointment. Thousands of spots are available every day for people to walk-in and receive their first COVID-19 vaccine. Those who need a second dose should already have a booking and are urged to keep their appointment. In addition to the walk-in clinic, an information, education and booking hub - the 'Roll up for WA' building - will be set up behind Amherst Farm within the showgrounds. Staff will be on hand to talk people through the vaccination process. WA Health State-run COVID-19 vaccination clinics are available in more than 100 locations across Western Australia, with sites listed on the HealthyWA website. People aged 60 or older who have already had a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are urged to get a second dose of the AstraZeneca, in line with the advice provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The Perth Royal Show is an institution in Western Australia, and it is very exciting that it is back this year. "There are so many families and young people heading out to enjoy this fantastic event, which is one of the country's only Royal Agricultural Shows to proceed in 2021. "A special inclusion at this year's event is a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic, giving Western Australians aged 12 and older the opportunity to get their first dose without an appointment. "If you're rolling up to take part of the excitement down at the Show, I encourage you to also 'Roll up for WA' and do your bit to keep WA safe." Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "So far we have introduced a range of initiatives to increase vaccination rates, which include targeted blitzes and pop-up clinics. "This walk-in vaccination clinic at the Perth Royal Show is another initiative by the McGowan Government to encourage all eligible Western Australians to get vaccinated. "Vaccination is the best protection we have against COVID-19 and we are continuing to explore all options to get as many people vaccinated as possible." Premier's office - 6552 5000Health Minister's office - 6552 6500
Soil Systems Masterclass to unearth carbon opportunities7115Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9010html24/09/2021 8:23:29 AM2021-09-24T08:20:00Z Soil Systems Masterclass series helping to build stronger, sustainable farming businesses Part of McGowan Government's $15 million Agriculture Climate Resilience Fund to help WA farmers thrive in a changing climate The latest in a series of Soil Systems Masterclasses was held in Beacon today to help farming businesses capture carbon opportunities and become more resilient, profitable and sustainable. The Masterclasses are part of the McGowan Government's $15 million investment in the Agriculture Climate Resilience Fund to help farmers respond to changes in climate and market expectations. Experts in soil biology and carbon farming delved into the science and economics that underpin sustainable, biologically rich farming systems that build and maintain soil carbon. The program gave farmers a hands-on experience and understanding of a range of soil systems at Di and Ian Haggerty's Mollerin farm. From the soil microbiome and the benefits of livestock and native pastures in farming systems, to landscape rehydration and the potential of the soil carbon sponge. The Masterclass provided insight into the State Government's Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program, to assist farmers to implement revegetation and holistic management programs that develop soil carbon and de‑risk their operations. Upcoming Soil Systems Masterclasses are planned throughout the South West Agricultural Land Division with the next event to be held in Salmon Gums later this month, and more to follow in 2022. To find out more information or to register to attend a Soil Systems Masterclass, visit agric.wa.gov.au/climate-resilience-fund. Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Today's Beacon Masterclass is a terrific opportunity to hear first-hand from experts and farmers about the biological soil systems that underpin sustainable, profitable agricultural production. "We need to arm our farmers with the latest science to ensure they stay ahead of the game and build climate resilience and carbon opportunities into their agricultural operations. "The next opportunity is in Salmon Gums next week - locals should come along to learn more about how to tap into grants from our Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program." Minister's office - 6552 6200 ​
2020-21 Annual Report on State Finances released7114Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12670html24/09/2021 7:15:32 AM2021-09-24T06:30:00Z Final, audited figures for the 2020-21 financial year released Net debt declined $2 billion in 2020-21 to $33.5 billion Infrastructure investment totalled $5.8 billion in 2020-21, the highest level since 2013-14 The 2020-21 Annual Report on State Finances has been released, containing the audited outcomes of the State's finances for the last financial year. The Treasury report shows that the general government sector recorded an operating surplus of $5.8 billion in 2020-21. This is higher than the $5.6 billion operating surplus estimated in the recent 2021-22 Budget, largely reflecting the audited accounting treatment of non-cash costs for two significant native title settlements finalised in 2020-21. Infrastructure investment totalled $5.8 billion in 2020-21, the highest level of infrastructure spending since 2013-14. The higher expenditure reflects additional investment to support job creation and stimulate the economy through the COVID-19 pandemic. Total public sector net debt at June 30, 2021 totalled $33.5 billion, down $2 billion from June 30, 2020. It is the second consecutive year of declining net debt levels following annual increases over the preceding decade. Net debt is more than $10 billion lower than projected when the McGowan Government came to office. For more information, visit https//www.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan "Western Australia's financial position is strong and on a sustainable footing, despite the global pandemic. "Our financial position highlights our safe and strong management of COVID-19, and has delivered the best economic and financial outcomes in Australia - and possibly the world. "We have also protected the jobs of Western Australians, with our economy more open than elsewhere in Australia and the world throughout the pandemic. "While this is a record operating surplus, it is important to remember that the State's revenue base is highly volatile, as evidenced by the recent sharp fall in iron ore prices. "My Government has used our strong finances to make massive investments in Western Australia's future - including health and mental health, social housing, addressing climate change, the new Women and Babies Hospital, a new desalination plant, Westport and much more." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Mandatory vaccination of ‘at risk’ transport, freight and logistics workers to be in force late next month7113Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements17090html24/09/2021 5:35:52 AM2021-09-24T05:35:00Z Changes to emergency management directions enforce mandatory vaccination for transport, freight and logistics workers travelling from or through 'high' or 'extreme' risk jurisdictions to enter Western Australia Latest health advice mandates for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine effective from 12.01am, October 24, 2021 and second doses by 12.01am, December 24, 2021 Another tool in the multifaceted effort to keep Western Australians safe Mandatory vaccination in addition to negative COVID-19 test and other protocolsFrom late next month, freight, transport and logistics workers must have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter Western Australia from 'high' or 'extreme' risk jurisdictions, based on the latest public health advice. Changes to the Transport, Freight and Logistics Directions under the Emergency Management Act 2005 will further protect this highly mobile workforce. From 12.01am, October 24, transport, freight and logistics workers will need to have had at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter WA if they have travelled through a 'high' or an 'extreme' risk jurisdiction. These workers will need to be fully vaccinated within two months of their first dose, which means they must have received their second dose by 12.01am December 24. Each day, there are about 300 crossings of the Western Australian border by transport, freight and logistics workers. Many of these workers are from WA, while some are based in other States and Territories. Regardless of where a worker lives, the Directions will apply to them if they have transited through a 'high' or an 'extreme' risk jurisdiction within 14 days of entering WA. The Directions include, but are not limited to, freight truck drivers, pilot/support vehicle drivers, removalists, rail drivers and rail support crew, where these employees are required to travel from or through a 'high' or an 'extreme' risk jurisdiction for work. In addition to the mandatory vaccination requirement, these workers must also wear a facemask when in public, show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or undertake a Rapid Antigen Test at the WA border and if they are staying in WA, they must comply with the regular testing regime until 14 days has passed. It will be the responsibility of employers to collect and maintain records of vaccinated workers. The Directions provide exemptions for unvaccinated transport, freight and logistics workers, for approved medical reasons. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The transport, freight and logistics workforce is by its nature highly mobile with truckies and other workers visiting numerous places during the course of their work. "I have a lot of admiration for the work of people in transport, freight and logistics, who do an incredible job each and every day. "Throughout the course of the pandemic they've continued work to ensure Western Australians could continue with their livelihoods and keep the State's economy ticking over. "Being on the road day in day out brings with it risks, and that is why is it important we've followed the health advice to ensure this workforce gets vaccinated against COVID-19. "We have already seen instances where truck drivers from places like New South Wales, which is currently at an 'extreme risk' setting has incidentally carried COVID. "We can never be too vigilant in our efforts to keep this deadly virus out of Western Australia and so I strongly encourage everyone to get their COVID vaccine now and let's get our vaccination levels up." Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "It is vital that our transport, freight and logistics workers - who do a remarkable job keeping our State running and supply chains moving - are vaccinated against COVID-19. "This is to protect these workers, their family and networks, the community, our industries and the economy. "On the advice of our Chief Health Officer, the mandate for transport, freight and logistics workers coming into Western Australia from a 'high' or an 'extreme' risk location to be vaccinated, is a proportionate and appropriate response in the ongoing effort to keep WA safe. "Of course, we would like all workers in this important industry to roll up their sleeves and get vaccinated, and I'd urge them to do so." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Transport Minister's office - 6552 5500
Victoria to transition to ‘extreme risk’ category to keep WA safe7112Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements36260html24/09/2021 5:30:32 AM2021-09-24T05:30:00Z Effective 12.01am Wednesday, September 29, Victoria will transition to 'extreme risk' Travel will not be permitted from Victoria into WA except in extraordinary circumstances Current approved travellers under the 'high risk' category need to return before Wednesday Based on the latest health advice, Victoria will be further elevated to an 'extreme' risk category from 12.01am Wednesday, September 29, 2021. With case numbers continuing to increase in Victoria, and the situation unlikely to improve significantly in the short term, the WA Chief Health Officer has advised the need to elevate conditions on Victorian arrivals. This means that under the 'extreme risk' category, travel from Victoria to Western Australia will not be permitted unless approved under the strictest of conditions. Under this category, the exemptions for approved travellers have been further restricted to Commonwealth and State officials, Members of Parliament, Diplomats and specialist or extraordinary circumstances determined by the State Emergency Coordinator or the Chief Health Officer. These approved travellers are subject to the following conditions, unless otherwise advised undertake hotel quarantine at a State facility for 14 days at their expense; get tested for COVID-19 on days one, five and 13; have returned a negative COVID-19 PCR test in the past 72 hours before departing; receipt of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, if eligible. Under the 'extreme risk' setting, if a Western Australian returning from overseas falls into one of the above categories, is approved to enter WA and has completed 14 days of supervised quarantine in Victoria they will be required to undergo 14 days of self-quarantine in a suitable premise. The trigger for review, which guides the implementation of an 'extreme risk' classification, is a 500 case rolling average over five or 14 days. Under WA's Controlled Interstate Border, travel is permitted from 'very low risk' jurisdictions (Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia), and is also permitted from 'low risk' jurisdictions (Queensland), with 14 days of self-quarantine and relevant COVID-19 testing. The Australian Capital Territory is at the 'medium risk' setting, which means travel is only permitted unless approved. WA's border arrangements are enacted under the Emergency Management Act and failure to follow these directions will be enforceable by law, with penalties ranging from $1,000 infringements to up to $50,000 fines for individuals. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by the growing outbreak in Victoria. "It's heartbreaking to see what is happening over east. "As the situation there continues to escalate, we need to do everything we can to protect Western Australia, while we continue to get as many people vaccinated. "This means Western Australians currently in Victoria with an approved G2G Pass should come home immediately, because once the reclassification kicks in next week, they will not be able to do so, except for the most extraordinary circumstances. "We don't take this situation lightly, however, my priority is the health of Western Australians first and foremost." Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "What's happened in New South Wales and now Victoria just demonstrates how determined the COVID-19 virus is. "It's vital we follow the health advice and take every precaution we can to keep COVID out of our community. "In WA we are so fortunate to be where we are now with no COVID in our community. "That's why we cannot be complacent, and we all need to keep up good hygiene, use SafeWA, and stay home if we're unwell." Premier's office - 6552 5000 Health Minister's office - 6552 6500
Perth-Fremantle Principal Shared Path extension opens7111Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements13460html24/09/2021 3:43:45 AM2021-09-24T03:40:00Z 2.1 km Principal Shared Path connecting Victoria Street and North Fremantle stations now open Extension provides a safe route for riders and walkers from Perth to North Fremantle Locals can ride new section on October 17 at WA Bike Month's 'Leighton Slow Roll' Further PSP extension from North Fremantle Station and across Swan River part of Swan River Crossings project McGowan Government investing a record $265 million in cycling infrastructure Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has today opened a new 2.1 kilometre section of Principal Shared Path (PSP) along the Fremantle train line that gives riders and walkers a safe, off-road route to travel between Perth and North Fremantle. The four-metre wide PSP has been constructed by local company Advanteering Civil Engineers between Victoria Street and North Fremantle stations, and provides new access points to North Fremantle Station and the Leighton Beach Boulevard. A new concrete path connects the PSP to the Beehive Montessori School, and upgrades to pedestrian crossings on Curtin Avenue provide pedestrians with safe access to the Mosman Beach and Leighton Beach car parks. The $5.1 million project is part of the McGowan Government's $265 million investment in cycling infrastructure over the next four years, which includes the next stage of the project to extend the PSP between North Fremantle Station and the Swan River as part of the Swan River Crossings project. A three-kilometre section of PSP along the Fremantle Line was completed between Grant Street and Victoria Street in mid-2019, with data collected from the opening to June 2020 showing a 139 per cent increase in bike traffic. As part of WA Bike Month this October, the community is invited to participate in a free event by the Leighton Community Action Network Town Team to celebrate the opening of the new path section. The 'Leighton Slow Roll' is an all ages and abilities bike ride from Victoria Street Station along the new PSP to North Fremantle Station on October 17, 2021, finishing near Leighton Beach, with riders to collect stamps at checkpoints to claim a free brekkie roll or coffee at one of the local cafés. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "This path extension is a great asset for the Fremantle community and provides safe access to local amenities for walkers and riders of all ages and abilities, as well as a high-quality, connected trip between the City and North Fremantle. "Every day more than 600 cyclists use the PSP north of Victoria Street Station and we expect this number to grow with the opening of this new section of path. "As a celebration of WA Bike Month in October, locals can test out the new path at the Leighton Community Action Network Town Team's event supported by the $12,000 WA Bike Month major event grant. "We have a record investment in cycling and walking infrastructure, with more than $265 million allocated over the next four years to deliver other major projects including the next phase of this PSP extension as part of the Swan River Crossings project." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Local governments prepare for AFL Grand Final Day7110Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12950html24/09/2021 2:00:41 AM2021-09-24T02:00:00Z AFL Grand Final preparations are underway in City of Perth and Town of Victoria Park Both local governments are playing a major role in the smooth running of the Grand Final The AFL Grand Final highlights the importance of local government to facilitating major cultural events Event preparations are well underway across WA for the State's historic AFL Grand Final celebrations on Saturday - in particular, at the City of Perth and Town of Victoria Park. The two local governments have a direct involvement in preparations for the big match, with staff busy behind-the-scenes ensuring the day goes smoothly for local businesses and communities planning and preparing a number of side events. Teams at both local governments are putting traffic management measures in place, ensuring that streets stay clean and tidy despite increased foot traffic and putting local rangers on standby. Support is also being provided to local businesses to ensure that trade is optimised. Teams across the City of Perth are working on events and activations including Footy Place, People's Parade on Grand Final eve, Twilight Hawkers Market, Northbridge Piazza Live Site and Forrest Place Live Site. The City has also put up 255 banners across the City's streets, and lighting up owned assets in AFL colours - including Council House and Trafalgar Bridge. As well as hosting the AFL Grand Final at Optus Stadium, the Town of Victoria Park is holding special Grand Final events on the day. For more information on events visit the Town of Victoria Park's program for the AFL Grand Final at the Town's website, and for the City of Perth go to the City of Perth's website. Comments attributed to Local Government Minister John Carey "This weekend's historic AFL Grand Final highlights just how important local government is to helping facilitate major cultural events. "There is an enormous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes at a local government level to make sure major events run smoothly, and I want to give a shout out to all the staff at both the City of Perth and Town of Victoria Park for their efforts in the lead up to the Grand Final. "This weekend promises to be a fantastic one, and I hope as many people as possible will get out to support the events, and local business in the area." Minister's office - 6552 5300 ​
Consultation underway on new marine park for the south coast7109Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements13560html24/09/2021 1:01:51 AM2021-09-24T01:00:00Z Marine park will ensure the south coast's unique ecological and cultural heritage values are protected Multiple use park allowing commercial, recreational and charter fishing in appropriate zones Jointly managed with traditional owners who will be closely involved in planning processConsultation is now underway for a proposed marine park on the south coast of Western Australia as part of the McGowan Government's Plan for Our Parks initiative. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), in partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will be consulting the commercial, recreational and charter fishing sectors, along with aquaculture, environmental groups, local government, traditional owners, tourism groups and the community. The marine study area under consideration extends from Bremer Bay eastward to the Western Australian border, and offshore to the limit of State waters. Development of an indicative boundary will occur as part of the consultation process. In Western Australia, marine parks are multiple use, allowing for biodiversity conservation and cultural activities alongside a range of commercial and recreational activities including fishing, diving, boating and tourism in appropriate zones. Management arrangements for the marine park will be developed in consultation with a Community Reference Committee, informed by Sector Advisory Groups, to ensure a balanced approach that provides for ongoing sustainable use, including commercial, recreational and charter fishing and aquaculture. Former McGowan Government Minister for Emergency Services; Corrective Services, Hon. Francis Logan has agreed to be the chairperson of the Community Reference Committee, with expressions of interest for membership of this committee to be advertised shortly. DBCA will seek to work closely with traditional owners in the planning process with a view to joint management of the marine park with DBCA when it is formally established. Stakeholders will be consulted throughout the planning process which is due for completion in February 2024. People can get involved in the consultation process and stay up-to-date by visiting https//www.dbca.wa.gov.au/south-coast-marine-park and signing up to the newsletter. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson "Our south coast is globally recognised for its diverse marine habitats, plants and animals, with many species occurring nowhere else in the world, which is why it is so important for these areas to be protected. "Marine parks can help to increase the resilience of marine ecosystems against pressures such as pollution, climate change, overuse of resources and marine pests. "I would like to thank Francis Logan for agreeing to lend his considerable expertise to the role of Chair of the Community Reference Committee." Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Don Punch "The creation of State marine parks in Western Australia is crucial for the conservation of the State's aquatic environment. "Only by supporting the coexistence of valuable commercial fisheries with protected marine ecosystems can we ensure the long-term sustainability of both recreational and commercial fishing experiences into the future. "Genuine engagement with our aquaculture, commercial, recreational and charter fishing sectors is planned through an extensive engagement process, and the State Government is committed to undertaking meaningful consultation with traditional owners, the fishing sectors and other stakeholders." Comments attributed to Hon. Francis Logan "I look forward to working with the Community Reference Committee and the Sector Advisory Groups to bring the proposed South Coast Marine Park to fruition. "I am confident that with good communication and collaboration from all parties, we can design a marine park that delivers benefits for conservation, tourism, cultural heritage and local communities." Environment Minister's office - 6552 5900 Fisheries Minister's office - 6552 6400
Chapman Valley leads northern rollout of McGowan Government’s BEN sign program7108Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9390html24/09/2021 12:19:23 AM2021-09-24T00:00:00Z McGowan Government initiative working to improve beach safety along the WA coast Chapman Valley the first Shire to share in $600,000 of available grant funding for the northern rollout of the BEN sign program BEN signs provide vital support to first responders to emergencies and form part of the State Government's comprehensive shark mitigation strategy The Shire of Chapman Valley is the first local government authority (LGA) between Geraldton and Kununurra to install potentially life-saving Beach Emergency Number (BEN) signs thanks to a State Government grant. Since 2017, the McGowan Government has provided funding for the installation of BEN signs on the coast between the WA/SA border and Geraldton. So far almost 1,300 are installed along Western Australia's coastline, and the southern rollout of BEN signs is likely to be completed by the end of the year. The continuation of the program for the northern coastline was announced in December 2020, with nine LGAs having submitted an expression of interest for the signs. BEN signs are prominently located at WA beaches, each with a unique identifying number to help emergency services pinpoint an exact location to attend and improve response times for serious incidents. By the end of last month (August) St John Ambulance had received 457 requests for ambulance attendance referencing BEN signs and WA Police had 329 requests for police assistance. Check the SharkSmart WA app or SharkSmart website for locations of existing BEN signs. Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Don Punch "Under the State Government's grant program for BEN signs in WA's north, up to $50,000 is available to each of the 12 eligible local government authorities to improve beach safety for their communities. "Chapman Valley moved quickly to apply and has now received a grant of $1,137 to install four signs - two at Coronation Beach and two at Buller River. "I congratulate the Shire of Chapman Valley for leading the northern rollout and thank the other shires working with the McGowan Government to help bring BEN signs to their beaches. "Geraldton beachgoers are also set to enjoy safer shores, with the City of Greater Geraldton currently in the process of mapping out where its Beach Emergency Numbers signs will be installed." Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Sandra Carr "With our beach-loving community, coupled with increased tourist activity, I am really pleased to see the Shire of Chapman Valley be so prompt to apply for and secure this funding. "I congratulate the Shire for proactively caring for their community and for those who enjoy our beautiful coastline." Minister's office - 6552 6900