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Chaos in National Party poses threat to important WA regional water projects23331Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/02/2018 8:40:18 AM2018-02-20T08:40:00Z Turmoil within the National Party is threatening Western Australia's chances of securing $179.7 million in Federal funding for two important regional water projects The Myalup-Wellington and the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme projects have the potential to create more than 1,500 long-term jobs The mayhem within the National Party is threatening Federal funding for two important regional water projects in Western Australia that have the potential to create more than 1,500 long-term jobs. WA Nationals leader Mia Davies today issued a media statement calling on Federal National Party leader Barnaby Joyce to resign because he has lost the support of the party in WA. Ms Davies' statement invoked an immediate slap down from Mr Joyce. The McGowan Government is awaiting news of Federal funding for the Myalup-Wellington and the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme projects. The decision for this funding rests with Federal Nationals MP and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud - who is a Joyce loyalist. Mr Littleproud recently told ABC News that those agitating against Barnaby Joyce needed to 'put up or shut up'. The McGowan Government is concerned the chaos within the National State and Federal parties will ruin WA's chances of securing $179.7 million in Federal funding for these two important regional job-creating projects to proceed. The McGowan Government has already committed $56 million for the two projects. Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly "WA is competing with other States for Federal funding for regional water projects. The last thing we need is for the internal warfare in the National Party to spoil WA's chances. "The WA Nationals are now at war with Barnaby Joyce. I would hate to see their fight jeopardise a favourable decision from Barnaby loyalist Minister Littleproud and put 1,500 WA jobs at stake." Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Federal Minister Barnaby Joyce's response to Mia Davies' statement proves what we have always known - that because the Nationals have no Federal seats in WA, the Nationals are completely disinterested in WA. "Our Government has been firm in our support for these job-creating projects - locking in funding despite the dire state of the finances, and working to fix the application for funding submitted by the former Liberal National Government after it was knocked back. "We would urge Minister Littleproud to grasp that he governs for all Australians, recognise the importance of these projects to driving jobs and economic development in regional WA, and give our agricultural sector the fair share it deserves." Water Minister's office - 6552 6100 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
WA first: ‘Catch, click and release’ technology to be used in Perth’s biggest family fishing event23328Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/02/2018 6:45:14 AM2018-02-20T06:45:00Z Swanfish, Perth's biggest family fishing event, will take place on February 24 and 25 New format focuses on catch and release fishing In a WA first, new 'catch, click and release' technology to be used for the event For the first time in its 30-year history, Swanfish 2018 will not only be a predominately catch and release event but will also incorporate 'catch, click and release' technology to collect data on local fish species. Swanfish, which is Perth's biggest and longest running family fishing event, will take place on the banks of Perth's Swan River at Garvey Park, Ascot this weekend (February 24-25). Recfishwest, who organises the popular event, has taken a new direction with the event so that it aligns with the conservation values of the fishing community. Fishers will have the opportunity to become citizen scientists for the day with the use of the Swanfish smartphone app. Participants who catch a fish will be able to take a photo of it and quickly release the fish back into the wild. They can then log their catch into the app to provide data that will help shape our understanding of local fish species. By logging their catch, fishers go into the draw to win some great prizes which have been provided by local businesses. Recfishwest and Fishability will also be running community fishing clinics during Swanfish. For more information, visit http//www.swanfish.com.au Comments attributed to Fisheries and Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly "Swanfish is a great community event where mums and dads can take their family down to the river and enjoy the health and wellbeing aspects of fishing. "This year's new format shows the commitment local fishers have to conserving and understanding our marine environments. "I'm particularly pleased, not only as Fisheries Minister but also Innovation and ICT Minister, that this year will also incorporate technology for the first time to enable fishers to become citizen scientists for the day. "If you're looking for a fun activity to do with your family this weekend, I encourage you to cast a line at Swanfish 2018." Minister's office - 6552 6100
Major systemic failings identified in Special Inquiry23327Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/02/2018 6:15:11 AM2018-02-20T06:15:00Z Special Inquiry tabled in State Parliament shines a light on financial management of former government The inquiry reported on the decision-making processes, accountability and culture of government under the Liberals and Nationals Recommendations handed down to ensure future governments avoid the same mistakes and record debt and deficits are addressed over time Special Inquirer John Langoulant AO today handed down his comprehensive report into the programs and projects of the former Liberal National Government. The Special Inquiry characterises the former government's poor governance culture, lack of financial discipline and unsustainable spending decisions as the key factors behind the record debt and deficit created. A total of 32 projects were examined in close detail, with all State Government departments required to co-operate with the Special Inquiry by providing access to relevant documentation as requested. The McGowan Government broadly endorses the recommendations of the Special Inquiry and will begin an implementation program across government to address the key findings. Premier Mark McGowan stated that Royalties for Regions would continue with a hypothecated account following significant improvements, including strengthening the governance and accountability of the program and a new rigorous oversight regime installed over the past year. To view the report, visit https//publicsector.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "This Special Inquiry has shone a light on what was a grossly incompetent and financially reckless government. "The lessons learned from this irresponsible period of government in WA must be acknowledged by all relevant parties, to ensure the mismanagement of the State's finances and major projects and programs is never repeated. "For those responsible, the only honourable thing to do now is to reflect on the lessons learned and apologise to the people of Western Australia. "The damning report provides a clear guide to my Government and future governments. "My Government will continue to strengthen governance, accountability, transparency and focus on the key economic and social benefits of government decisions when dealing with taxpayers' money. "We will continue to govern in the interests of all Western Australians. "I thank Mr Langoulant and his team for his comprehensive examination. I will provide my Government's immediate response to the Special Inquiry tomorrow." Premier's office - 6552 5000
WA supports a national plan to combat elder abuse23325Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/02/2018 3:43:50 AM2018-02-20T03:40:00Z Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray welcomes the Council of Attorneys-General agreement to develop the National Plan on elder abuse The National Plan will be a co-ordinated approach to safeguarding the rights of older people Western Australia will co-chair the national working group It is estimated that 12,500 older Western Australians could experience elder abuse and more than 180,000 nationally The State Government has welcomed the announcement that all Australian Attorneys-General - excluding Tasmania's which is in caretaker mode - will develop a national plan to combat elder abuse. 'Responding to elder abuse' was a McGowan Government election commitment with specific actions including taking a key role - in negotiations with State and Federal governments - to develop a national strategy and a funding model to enable services to be delivered equitably. The Commonwealth Attorney-General's office made the announcement today (February 20) coinciding with the 5th National Elder Abuse Conference being held in Sydney. The Australian Law Reform Commission's capstone recommendation for a National Plan recognised the need to develop strategies beyond legal reforms. This presented the opportunity to develop national awareness and community education campaigns, provide training, establish elder abuse helplines and direct future research. Planning for the initiative gets underway next month (March) when the working group - co-chaired by WA - meet to agree on an engagement strategy and a timetable for development. Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray "WA Labor has long recognised the prevalence of elder abuse in the community with an estimated 12,500 older Western Australians potentially experiencing abuse every year. "We also recognise that this is a highly complex and often seemingly invisible issue that can take many forms. "These forms of abuse can be financial, emotional or psychological, social, neglect and physical or sexual abuse. "Regardless of the type of abuse, the sad truth is that exploitation or abuse of older people is more likely to come from people the older person should trust like family or friends. "The McGowan Government's election commitment 'Responding to elder abuse', covers many areas including being a part of this national plan. "The plan provides a significant opportunity to increase awareness about the issue and to provide a range of meaningful initiatives to help older people to feel safer and more secure." Minister's office - 6552 6400
New $7.1 million Mental Health Observation Area opens at Joondalup Health Campus23323Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/02/2018 2:00:11 AM2018-02-20T02:00:00Z Mental Health Observation Area (MHOA) opens at Joondalup Health Campus The new 10-bed area is a dedicated, custom-built unit next door to the main emergency department The MHOA may assist in reducing expensive readmissions and reduce waiting times in Perth's northern suburban emergency departments Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook and Ramsay Health Care Australia Chief Operating Officer, Kate Munnings have today officially opened the $7.1 million Mental Health Observation Area at Joondalup Health Campus. The 10-bed MHOA offers an improved service for people presenting with psychiatric disorders by providing a specialised service in a more clinically appropriate environment. Prior to the establishment of the MHOA, patients were treated in the main area of the emergency department. The open layout of emergency departments is not ideal for managing mentally ill or intoxicated patients. This can be disruptive to many patients and staff and at worst, pose a security and safety risk. The new MHOA has been modelled on some of the best in the country and features Four bedrooms with sliding doors; Six patient bays; A patient lounge; A secure outdoor courtyard; and A waiting area. The MHOA was a joint project between the State Government (contributing $5.1 million) and Ramsay Health Care Australia (contributing $2 million). The Western Australian Government and Ramsay Health Care have a longstanding and successful Public Private Partnership. Comments attributed to Health and Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "The establishment of the new Mental Health Observation Area at Joondalup Health Campus will go part of the way to improving mental health services for residents in Perth's northern suburbs. "In 2017, the Joondalup Health Campus emergency department had approximately 97,600 presentations, making it one of the busiest EDs in the country. "Of these presentations about six per cent had a diagnosis relating to mental health, some of whom had to wait in the busy emergency department for long periods until a mental health bed became available somewhere in the State. "These patients will now receive specialist care in a dedicated custom-built unit, offering a more clinically appropriate environment. "With our Government's commitment to invest $167 million towards further expanding the hospital, residents in Perth's northern suburbs can expect to see even bigger improvements to health services at this campus in the coming years, including in the area of mental health. "As part of the McGowan Labor Government's Plan for Mental Health and Mental Health Recovery Services, we are progressing with the introduction of Mental Health Observation Areas at Royal Perth Hospital and Geraldton Hospital." Comments attributed to Ramsay Health Care Australia Chief Operating Officer, Kate Munnings "The Mental Health Observation Area is another excellent joint initiative between the WA Government and Ramsay Health Care. "Ramsay Health Care has a longstanding partnership with the WA Government, which has seen the delivery of excellent health care to residents of Perth's northern suburbs for many years now. "We are looking forward to working with the Government on the next stage expansion, which will help meet the growing needs of the local community." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Six native species removed from threatened list23321Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/02/2018 1:00:08 AM2018-02-20T01:00:00Z Annual review of WA's threatened species list released Environment Minister Stephen Dawson has approved the recommendations of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to amend the list of threatened flora and fauna in Western Australia. The committee is made up of 10 independent scientists with specialist knowledge of the State's flora and fauna and the conservation of threatened species. The Airlie Island Ctenotus, also known as Northwestern coastal Ctenotus (Ctenotus angusticeps), has been removed from the list of threatened species after targeted surveys significantly increased the known distribution of the species. The lizard was first thought to only exist on Airlie Island off the Pilbara coast, but was later discovered on the mainland at Roebuck Bay. It is now known to inhabit several sites along the coast between Onslow and Broome, with genetic work confirming that the mainland lizards are the same as the Airlie Island species. Four species of flora, Asterolasia nivea, Asterolasia sp. Kalgan River, Cryptandra congesta and Stylidium wilroyense, were also removed from the threatened flora list following a review of their conservation status against international criteria. Another species of flora, Opercularia acolytantha, was thought to be extinct until work by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions discovered that several specimens of the species had been incorrectly identified and it is now known to exist in a number of locations. Further studies into the flora and fauna of Western Australia have resulted in two species of fauna and nine species of flora being added to the threatened species list. A major taxonomic review of the threatened shield-backed trapdoor spider, Idiosoma nigrum, resulted in the species being split into additional new species. Two of these species of trapdoor spider were added to the threatened fauna list as endangered species, while the original Idiosoma nigrum has been upgraded from vulnerable to the higher threat category of endangered. Eight species of flora were added to the list of extant threatened flora species as a result of targeted survey work that demonstrated those species met the international criteria for threatened species. These species were Acacia shapelleae, Bossiaea sp. Frankland, Eremophila glabra subsp. Scaddan, Hibbertia sp. Toolbrunup, Lasiopetalum sp. Mount Caroline, Lepidosperma bungalbin, Melaleuca sp. Wanneroo and Stylidium asymmetricum. Another plant species, Myriocephalus nudus, is only known from the original specimen collected by James Drummond, the first Government Botanist in Western Australia, in the early 1840s. The species appears to have grown in wet claypan areas on the Swan Coastal Plain, but has not been rediscovered despite intensive searching. This species has been added to the list of presumed extinct flora. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "This annual review of Western Australia's threatened species list is crucial in our understanding of the plants and animals that need our attention. "Adding species to the threatened species lists ensures they are provided with added legal protection, and inclusion in flora and fauna recovery programs. "The review highlights the important work being undertaken by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to protect our native species through wildlife conservation programs such as Western Shield." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Healthway grants provide mental health support to WA’s LGBTQI community21529Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements10520html19/02/2018 6:08:53 AM2018-02-19T06:00:00Z $140,100 in grants to benefit lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) community Funding grants aim to prevent suicide and the onset of depression and anxiety Grants affirm McGowan Government's priority to funding mental health services to help support higher risk Western Australians Tackling suicide by providing better mental health support will be the focus of two research grants, through State Government funding, to support Western Australia's LGBTQI community. Murdoch University has received a $70,050 Healthway grant for a mental health research project which aims to understand the mental health needs of those who identify as both Aboriginal and LGBTQI, and work with mental health services to better respond to their needs. Aboriginal and LGBTQI people face some of the highest rates of suicide compared to any other population groups in Australia. The Telethon Kids Institute will utilise an additional $70,050 grant from Healthway to adapt an online interactive game that shares key skills which aim to help prevent the onset of depression in transgender young people. Nearly 75 per cent of transgender youth in Australia have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and about half of them have attempted suicide. In Western Australia, there are thousands of transgender people aged 15-24 years old. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "Evidence shows the LGBTQI community experience higher rates of mental health issues than the general population because of the perceived stigma. "The university research project will look at the experiences and diverse needs of Aboriginal LGBTQI people, and work with mental health service providers to help them better respond to the mental health needs of this community. "It is important that innovative and cost-effective tools and services are available to the LGBTQI community including young transgender people, to help them overcome barriers they face and improve their quality of life and mental wellbeing. "These programs - funded by Healthway - will build on the work the McGowan Government has underway supporting both LGBTQI and Aboriginal communities in mental health and wellbeing, including a two-year $282,000 pilot project to help prevent suicide among LGBTQI youth in regional areas and $18.2 million to secure the future of the State-wide Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Services." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Sport and recreation support to reach Every Club in WA21527Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements11840html19/02/2018 4:00:07 AM2018-02-19T04:00:00Z Every Club program to expand support for WA community sport and recreation, State-wide New model will service all local government areas in the city and the regions, up from the current 18 per cent New website, learning and development programs, and networking opportunities for WA community sport and recreation clubs State Government support for grassroots sport and recreation clubs is set to be expanded across the State, with the new Every Club program to provide every single city and country club with access to club development resources. Sport and Recreation's existing model only services 18 per cent of Western Australia's 5,500 clubs, with two-thirds of local governments currently having limited or no access to club development resources. Every Club was established after feedback was sought from more than 700 WA clubs, 47 State Sporting Associations, and 92 local governments - as part of a process to determine how club development resources could be better delivered. The new program will provide a new website, learning and development resources, and networking opportunities for club volunteers across the State to access. It will also provide localised, flexible and responsive support to any community sporting or active recreation club that wishes to take part in the program. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "WA community sporting and recreation clubs are run by passionate volunteers who are always looking for ways to improve their clubs but don't always know where to start. "Every Club will provide every club in the State with access to best practice resources on how to make their club succeed. "The new Every Club program has come from community sporting club volunteers and local governments telling us what they need. We have responded to these ideas and will use the latest thinking and tools to deliver club development tools to the entire State. "Whether it is bookkeeping, how to run a club Facebook page, ideas for fundraising or any of the other hundreds of small tasks club volunteers want to master - Every Club will be a one-stop shop for anyone to access. "The existing program only reached 18 per cent of the State's sporting clubs, with about two-thirds of local government areas having limited or no access to resources. "Every Club provides resources that anyone can access, at any time, for the specific needs of their local club." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Singaporean agreement brings Transform Peel a step closer21523Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8190html19/02/2018 2:05:33 AM2018-02-19T02:05:00Z Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed to support development of an agri-innovation precinct in the Peel region Overseas investment in the Peel could drive new job opportunities and more diverse industries in the region A proposed agri-innovation precinct in the Peel region has taken a step forward, with a significant Memorandum of Understanding signed between the McGowan Government, Fund Singapore, Murdoch University and the Peel Development Commission. The MoU is a sign of overseas investor interest in the Peel, which will help to create new industries and job opportunities in the region. Deeper co-operation between the State Government, potential Singaporean investors and the academic sector will help to drive commercial agriculture opportunities in the Peel region and research and technology trials in intensive food and agriculture production, processing and value-add. Murdoch University's Singapore Centre for Research, Innovation, Productivity and Technology will lead and manage industry outreach and investment attraction to the precinct on behalf of Fund Singapore. An agri-innovation precinct forms part of the broader Transform Peel project, which includes the Peel Food Zone, Peel Business Park and Peel Integrated Water Initiative, designed to drive job creation and economic diversification in the Peel region. Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "We recognise that co-operation in agtech development, intensive food production and innovative start-up enterprises between Singapore and WA will contribute to the Peel and WA's economic competitiveness and adoption of innovation, as well as supporting Singapore's food security. "Closer ties with our Singaporean neighbours and the university sector will help to encourage investment into the Peel Business Park and Peel region. "The Peel has real natural advantages in food production and, through the Transform Peel project, we are confident we will see more diverse industries and more job opportunities in the region." Comments attributed to Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke "This Memorandum of Understanding is an important step forward in the Transform Peel project, which will bring a significant number of job opportunities to the region. "The region is perfectly positioned to become the State's centre of agri-innovation, and it's great to see investor interest in the project already occurring." Minister's office - 6552 6200
One State with many voices - WA celebrates language diversity21522Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2940html19/02/2018 2:00:10 AM2018-02-19T02:00:00Z International Mother Language Day celebrated on February 21 McGowan Labor Government supports language learning in Western Australia Western Australian schools and community groups will be holding activities to celebrate International Mother Language Day on Wednesday (February 21). International Mother Language Day has been celebrated annually around the world since 2000 to promote speech and linguistic diversity, and to protect all mother languages. The date of International Mother Language Day was chosen to recognise Bangladesh's Language Movement Day, and WA's Bangladeshi community regularly hold events to mark the day. More than 240 languages are spoken in Western Australia - including Aboriginal languages - and 17.7 per cent of Western Australians speak a language other than English at home. The McGowan Government is committed to supporting language learning and maintenance through the mainstream schools and community language sector. The Community Languages Program, administered through the Office of Multicultural Interests, funds 50 community language schools, which teach 36 languages as well as an in-school insertion language program. The McGowan Government has also supported the Modern Language Teachers Association of WA to host a public event on February 21 at the State Library of Western Australia. More information about International Mother Language Day events can be found at http//www.omi.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "Language is the key to our identity - it influences who we are, forms what we think and expresses what we say. "The McGowan Government recognises the importance and value of the diversity of languages spoken in this State, and is committed to maximising the benefits of language maintenance, teaching and learning for the benefit of the whole community." Minister's office - 6552 5600