Search By Region

Keyword Select a



Record number of Western Australian tourism businesses win gold in national awards131191Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html24/02/2018 3:35:03 AM2018-02-23T22:00:00Z Eight WA tourism businesses win a gold medal at Qantas Australian Tourism Awards Four businesses awarded silver medals; two awarded bronze medals Highest number of WA winners on record A record number of Western Australian tourism businesses have been recognised at the 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which were held last night at the world-class Optus Stadium. Out of the 25 national categories, eight gold medals were awarded to WA businesses for showcasing excellence in the tourism industry. In addition, four WA businesses took home silver medals and two were awarded bronze medals. The awards, which have been operating for more than 30 years, recognise and celebrate Australia's best tourism businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence. More than 800 people from across the country, including Federal and State tourism ministers, CEOs of tourism bodies and tourism industry leaders, attended the awards gala dinner. Western Australian gold medal winners included Fremantle Prison (Cultural Tourism); Swan Valley Visitor Centre (Visitor Information Services); Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures (Adventure Tourism); Australia's North West (Destination Marketing); Sandalford Wines (Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries); Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures - Horizontal Hotel (Unique Accommodation); Beach House at Bayside (Hosted Accommodation); and Swan River Seaplanes (New Tourism Business). For a full list of winners, visit https// Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "It is a massive coup for Western Australia to not only host the 2018 national awards in Perth at the new world-class Optus Stadium, but also to win the most medals for WA in the awards' 30-year-plus history. "I would like to congratulate all of WA's outstanding winners and finalists, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to the State's tourism industry. "Our tourism sector is vital to the growth of our State and I continue to be impressed by the dedication and passion of the 27,000 businesses that make up the industry." Minister's office - 6552 5600
Training for elected members builds country local government capacity131181Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4930html23/02/2018 4:11:27 AM2018-02-23T04:10:00Z McGowan Government supports training for elected members in country local governments WALGA to deliver training program to each of the 12 country local government zones Funding has been provided as part of the Country Local Government Capacity Building Program Continuing the successful training delivered last year by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA), a further program of training will be offered to country-based elected members in Western Australia to build their skills and improve governance and decision-making. Local Government Minister David Templeman and Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan today announced the $420,000 program, which is being rolled out this month. The program will enhance the unique strategic position that elected members in country local governments have in the State's diverse regions and demonstrates the McGowan Government's commitment to country local governments and regional communities. Training will be delivered by WALGA to all 12 country zones ensuring that all country local government elected members will be able to attend training within their own region. The units being offered are 'building blocks' towards a Diploma in Local Government and will give country local government elected members a good foundation to pursue further training and professional development in any aspect of their role as an elected member. Comments attributed to Local Government Minister David Templeman "This training will ensure that elected members are equipped with a sound working knowledge of their roles and responsibilities, including financial and governance processes informing the major decisions councils make. "As a former councillor for Mandurah, I understand how important it is that we build the capacity of local governments to deliver the best possible services for our regional communities."   Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "Providing access to training for country local government elected members is essential in ensuring that regional councils have strong and effective governance. "Local government has a key role to play in creating and supporting sustainable regional communities, and this investment will build their capacity to better serve their constituents." Local Government Minister's office - 6552 5400 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
Festival showcases multicultural South-West131180Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2460html23/02/2018 4:01:23 AM2018-02-23T04:00:00Z South West Multicultural Festival one of the State's largest Festival supported by the McGowan Labor Government More than 5,000 people will flock to Bunbury this weekend to celebrate the cultural diversity of the South-West at the annual Live Lighter South West Multicultural Festival. The festival has evolved into one of the most popular festivals in the region and one of the biggest multicultural festivals in the State. The McGowan Labor Government has supported the event with grants totalling $42,000. The event includes cultural demonstrations, arts and crafts, interactive workshops and food. It culminates in the popular Multicultural Night Under the Stars concert, featuring dance and music from around the world. This year will also see the introduction of the 'Experience Hub', offering more intimate, experiential workshops and hands-on activities such as Aboriginal craft, henna tattoos, turban wrapping, drumming workshops, gyoza-making and more. The festival promotes the celebration of cultural diversity as well as actively developing networks between existing, new and emerging culturally diverse groups in the community. For more information, visit the Office of Multicultural Interests' events calendar at http// Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "People from all corners of the world have made their home in the South-West of WA, and have had a significant impact - economically, socially and culturally - on the area's development. "Their hard work, dedication and commitment has helped build the South-West -and Western Australia - into what it is today a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family." Minister's office - 6552 5600
New agtech age on the horizon131176Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6210html23/02/2018 2:21:51 AM2018-02-23T02:20:00Z Nine WA agtech companies selected for innovation accelerator program 21st century agricultural opportunities to create more regional jobs Nine Western Australian agtech companies have been given the opportunity to take their technology development to the next level by participating in the State's first agtech-focused accelerator program. The HARVEST Agtech Accelerator program will support companies developing new and innovative technologies with the potential to help WA's agriculture and food industries, providing solutions to support increased production, drive efficiencies and support food security and traceability. A new precision farming approach, wind power as an alternative energy source for irrigation, using food technology to turn insects into food for human consumption and the use of drones are among the technologies chosen to be part of the program. The program will be delivered by Agristart, with local and international experts to mentor and provide advice and valuable networks to participating companies. The nine-week program will focus on accelerating the development of the business to prepare for commercialisation and investment, culminating with a pitch event where each company will pitch their concept to a panel of experts. The program is supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan "We want to create an environment to support businesses to develop their ideas, technologies, business models and commercialise their products in global markets. "Advancing technology and innovation is essential to support the State's food producers, processors and distributors to increase the value of our food production. "Our local agtech companies have the opportunity to come up with innovative technology-based solutions to make our agriculture and food industry more efficient, and capitalise on opportunities in growing export markets." Minister's office - 6552 6200 Companies participating in the HARVEST Agtech Accelerator program Convergio Convergio are applying the latest technologies in computer vision, machine learning and data analytics to develop next generation solutions for virtual simulation and economic modelling to enable farmers to improve yields, extend capacity, diversify products, enter new markets and create employment in regional areas. GeoMoby GeoMoby technology provides cost effective solutions to several problems in agriculture by coupling of real-time data with accurate position information, leading to efficient analysis of large amounts of geospatial data to enable several applications including livestock tracking, fencing automation, lone worker tracking and farm mapping. Grubs Up Grubs Up is WA's first edible insect farm, providing an alternative to beef and lamb as a protein source for human food and animal feed. Grubs Up aims to scale up insect farming that is sustainable with a zero waste system, with minimal environmental impact. MALDIID Identification of rhizobia, the critical soil bacteria needed for legumes to provide nitrogen to the soil, can be expensive and time-consuming. The MALDIID technology provides rapid and efficient rhizobia identification without the need to culture the bacteria, allowing farmers to manage their legume crops and pastures more effectively. Mapizy Mapizy's machine learning platform can rapidly process satellite, drone and terrestrial imagery data and create accurate inventory of crops, trees, weeds, pests and diseases. Equipped with this new type of information, agriculture businesses can make better decisions and improve performance. P&A Pan P&A Pan are a second generation, family run business that has traditionally grown fruit and vegetables. Their new venture involves soilless micro herbs grown in a sea container within a controlled environment, with the goal to be chemical free and use less water. Precision Agronomics Australia Precision Agronomics is focused on improving agricultural practises by developing customised soil mapping, data processing and machinery control solutions that help solve the practical problems for the world's farmers, such as reducing input and labour costs, optimising crop yield and quality, while minimising adverse environmental effects. Scientific Aerospace Scientific Aerospace is focused on designing and producing world-leading high precision aerial surveying solutions. Aerial surveying of soil and crop health will support farmers to identify plant vigour, pests, diseases and soil water content. Windturbine Windturbine is looking to solve issues with remote water pumping requirements for agriculture using renewable energy sources. The Windturbine solution combines wind and solar along with battery storage to provide a 24-hour pump on demand solution to remote irrigation.
Health researcher in bid to break sound barrier131175Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements4840html23/02/2018 2:15:05 AM2018-02-23T02:15:00Z Trial to tackle high rates of hearing loss in urban Aboriginal population Local researcher awarded National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) fellowship to undertake project A Telethon Kids Institute researcher and Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) audiologist is hoping to discover whether telehealth technology and community-based Aboriginal health workers might be keys to reducing high rates of hearing loss in urban Aboriginal children. Dr Chris Brennan-Jones is embarking on a study that should streamline the provision of routine audiology and ear, nose and throat (ENT) services for these children. The goal of the project is to hasten the detection and treatment of children with Otitis Media (OM) - a group of middle-ear infections and the leading cause of childhood hearing loss. OM affects more than half of Aboriginal children, leaving many with life-long hearing impairment and leading to delayed development and an increased risk of poor educational and mental health outcomes. Despite the potential consequences of untreated OM, wait times for routine audiology and ENT assessments for children in Western Australia's public health system can be up to two and a half years. As about half of Aboriginal children aged six to 24 months are already affected by OM and hearing loss, finding new ways of identifying and treating these children earlier is vital. As part of this project, selected children from two south metropolitan areas of Perth will be screened in their communities by Aboriginal ear health 'champions' who have been trained to conduct routine audiology and ENT tests. The results of these tests will be sent to a team of PMH ear health specialists who will review the results and, where necessary, develop treatment plans. Families of children requiring treatment will be given the option of getting the plan from their local ear-health champion or via a live telehealth consult with the PMH team. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "If successful in fast-tracking screening and treatment, this pilot project could become a model arrangement for other urban areas both here and around the country. "It has the potential not just to slash wait times but also to provide families with ear health care that is close to home and involves members of their own community. "This project has been made possible because Dr Brennan-Jones has been awarded a highly competitive National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Research Fellowship as well as some additional NHMRC funds. "He was also one of 16 local researchers awarded a WA Fellowship Merit Award last year in the State Government's Future Health WA program - an initiative designed to boost our health and medical research sector and lift WA's share of NHMRC funding. "We are delighted that Dr Brennan-Jones' Merit Award will have contributed to such an important project - one that has the potential to change the lives of so many young Western Australians. "Since coming into government, we have been working closely with a range of innovative health research projects to deliver the best possible health outcomes to the people of Western Australia. "Preventative health is a crucial aspect of the McGowan Government's health policy which is why we are hosting the State's inaugural Preventative Health Summit in Perth next week, an event that has the potential to improve the lives of so many Western Australians." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Busselton to welcome top sailors for SuperFoiler Grand Prix131174Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2670html23/02/2018 2:00:41 AM2018-02-23T02:00:00Z State Government to fund WA leg of the new SuperFoiler Grand Prix Race set to attract some of the world's best sailors to our South-West The State Government has signed a deal to fund the SuperFoiler Grand Prix, a world-class sailing event which is expected to attract some of the world's best sailors to Busselton and Western Australia's South-West. Sailors include former world champions, America's Cup winners and Olympic medallists. SuperFoilers feature 'foils', or wing-shaped pieces of carbon fibre, under the hull, enabling the boats to lift out of the water, and travel at speeds of more than 80 kilometres per hour. The SuperFoiler Grand Prix is an inaugural national race series that will involve six teams, comprising international and Australian crew, racing in five regattas staged in Western Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. The WA event will take place alongside the world famous Busselton Jetty on March 2-4, 2018. The SuperFoiler Grand Prix is funded by the State Government through Tourism Western Australia's Regional Events Program. For more information on the event, visit http// Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "The State Government is excited to support the SuperFoiler Grand Prix and we look forward to welcoming all the competitors, and their support crews, to our State. "The event will provide a fantastic opportunity to promote Busselton and its iconic jetty - which is the longest timber piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere - to some of the world's best sailors, as well as national and international audiences. "Tourism contributed $10.1 billion to WA's economy in 2016-17, and is a key pillar of the State Government's plan to diversify the economy, create jobs and develop business opportunities." Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan "The SuperFoiler Grand Prix will help cement Busselton's reputation as an events destination and showcase the South-West to the world. "The event will help to drive social and economic development, bringing a real buzz to the town, combined with a boost in visitor numbers and local spending." Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600 Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200
McGowan Government opens Round 17 of EIS131172Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6810html23/02/2018 1:04:11 AM2018-02-23T01:00:00Z Round 17 of popular Co-funded Exploration Drilling program opens Scheme offers capped refunds up to 50% of direct drilling costs for resources projects Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston today officially opened Round 17 of the Co-funded Exploration Drilling program at the Geological Survey of Western Australia Open Day. Supported by the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS), the co-funded drilling program focuses on innovative exploration in greenfield regions and aims to unearth Western Australia's next wave of resources projects. The McGowan Government will refund successful applicants up to 50 per cent of direct drilling costs - with caps of $150,000 for a multi-hole project, $200,000 for a single deep hole and $30,000 for prospectors. Recent EIS success stories include copper-dominated discoveries in the Pilbara by Perth-based companies Antipa Minerals, Sipa Resources, Encounter Resources and Great Boulder Resources. For more information, visit http// Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston "The EIS greatly assists mining and resources exploration in Western Australia, and supports a range of employment opportunities. "It also adds to our geological knowledge of this State, helps reduce risks for explorers and improves exploration efficiency. "The McGowan Government encourages investment in resources exploration as it creates jobs for Western Australians, which is our number one priority." Minister's office - 6552 6700
Improving security of payment for subcontractors gets approval131170Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8380html22/02/2018 11:30:45 PM2018-02-22T22:30:00Z McGowan Government to review security of payments to subcontractors Experienced barrister John Fiocco will chair Industry Advisory Group The McGowan Government today announced a review to improve security of payments for subcontractors in Western Australia's building and construction industry, and the establishment of an Industry Advisory Group (IAG). Key industry representations and public works agencies will be able to provide input to the IAG, which will facilitate the consultative process to implement industry wide laws. Once established, the IAG will complete a full and careful inquiry based on the Terms of Reference. It will also consider amendments to the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 and the need for new or amending legislation to provide fairer contracting practices. Other reforms for consideration include introducing trust arrangements to protect funds owed down the contracting chain, in case a head contractor experiences financial difficulty. The IAG will be chaired by John Fiocco and East Metropolitan Region MLC Matthew Swinbourn will assist him. Mr Fiocco is highly regarded among the legal fraternity in Western Australia and widely experienced in commercial and contract law. The first IAG meeting with industry stakeholders will be held on March 26, 2018. Comments attributed to Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston "The McGowan Government is delivering on its election commitment to improve payments to subbies and we are getting on with the job. "We're committed to ensuring a regulatory framework for the building industry that provides fairer contracting practices. "This is a complex industry problem and we are getting key industry players together to deliver practical solutions." Minister's office - 6552 6700 Terms of Reference 1. Whether amendments should be made to the Building Services (Registration) Act 2011 to a. introduce a demerit point system (or other appropriate power) to sanction registered builders that do not pay debts owed to subcontractors and suppliers in a timely manner, or engage in behaviour designed to dissuade a subcontractor or supplier from enforcing their rights under security of payment legislation; b. require applicants for registration as a builder to demonstrate sufficient managerial and business acumen qualifications; and c. place greater limits on the ability of directors of failed building companies to obtain a new building contractor registration. 2. Consider the need for new or amended legislation to provide fairer contracting practices in the industry by a. regulating dealings with retention amounts withheld under construction contracts, including mandating maximum amounts and time periods for release; b. introducing defined processes for calculating deductions from payment claims made under construction contracts; c. introducing defined procedures relating to variations and appropriate sanctions where variation costs have not been approved prior to work commencing; d. simplifying and standardising construction contracts by mandating minimum documentation requirements; e. prohibiting unfair terms and implying certain reasonable terms into construction contracts; and f. mandating the use of standard form construction contracts. 3. Whether improvements can be made to the rapid adjudication process under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 to a. assist subcontractors and suppliers with small value disputes use the adjudication process; and b. improve the compliance framework and standards for registered adjudicators. 4. Whether statutory trust arrangements should be introduced to protect monies owed to subcontractors in the event a head contractor on the project experiences financial difficulty, and, if so, a preferred model for such trust arrangements. 5. Consider any alternative and/or complementary reforms or measures which will improve fairness and security of payment for subcontractors and suppliers in the building and construction industry. In addition, there may be further issues that warrant consideration which the IAG is at liberty to identify and consider. This may include findings made by recent reviews into payment issues in the building and construction industry completed by the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments. The IAG should, as far as practicable, identify any negative impacts or additional regulatory burden that may arise in connection with any recommended reform, which may be the subject to a Regulatory Impact Assessment at a later date.
Top Aboriginal public school students awarded131144Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements6610html22/02/2018 7:51:24 AM2018-02-22T07:45:00Z Winners of the Rob Riley Memorial Prize announced Ashley Maroney and Kienan Davis to receive $5,000 each for further training Two of Western Australia's top performing Aboriginal students have been named the winners of the 2017 Rob Riley Memorial Prize. Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today announced John Curtin College of the Arts graduate Ashley Maroney as the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) prize winner, and Belmont City College graduate Kienan Davis as the Vocational Education and Training (VET) prize winner. The Rob Riley Memorial Prize is named in honour of the late Aboriginal human rights advocate and is awarded to the top performing Aboriginal students in public schools. Ashley will study a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science and International Relations, at The University of Western Australia before going on to study law. She is a role-model for other young people as an AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) ambassador and wants to become a politician. Kienan achieved a number of qualifications in tourism, business and sport and recreation while at Belmont City College and is now studying a Diploma of Nursing to fulfil his dream of becoming a paramedic. Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery "I congratulate both students on their outstanding achievements. "Ashley has had a remarkable year with her dedication and commitment resulting in an exceptional Australian Tertiary Admission Rank of 97.4. "Kienan has excelled in all areas of tourism and I look forward to following his journey as he switches into nursing on his path to become a paramedic." Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt "Rob Riley was a prominent and passionate Aboriginal activist and leader who left a lasting legacy, and receiving the Rob Riley Memorial Prize is a great honour. "Both Ashley and Kienan have very bright futures ahead of them and should be proud of their achievements so far." Education and Training Minister's office - 6552 5700 Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 5900
Final independent Ross Inquiry report complete131143Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8740html22/02/2018 7:44:15 AM2018-02-22T07:40:00Z Supplementary report finds North Metropolitan Health Service 'both thorough and appropriate' in investigating erroneous DNA matching at PathWest in 2004 Two out of the 10 recommendations from the Ross Inquiry into PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA completed, others are underway A supplementary report, the final report of the Ross Inquiry into PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA, has found that the North Metropolitan Health Service was 'both thorough and appropriate' in its review of erroneous DNA matching in 2004, and that there was no evidence of erroneous DNA matching in any other case. The Ross Inquiry was conducted to determine whether the Forensic Biology Department of PathWest issued incorrect evidence, results or reports to the WA Police or WA Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Of the five matters covered by the Inquiry, four were addressed in the Ross Inquiry Report tabled in State Parliament on October 19, 2017. The final matter - a review of an internal audit conducted by the North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS) into erroneous DNA matching in 2004 - is subject to the supplementary report tabled today. The supplementary report confirmed the NMHS's audit was 'thorough and appropriate' and endorsed the 10 recommendations for improvements at PathWest put forward in the original Ross Inquiry Report, which related to areas including peer review, governance, IT systems, and labelling of items. Two of the 10 recommendations have already been completed, including A State Government commitment of $4 million to relocate the PathWest Forensic Biology Department to new premises; and Proposing a national methodology for peer review. The remaining eight recommendations are being progressed by the North Metropolitan Health Service. Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook "The State Government welcomes the findings of this report and the culmination of the Ross Inquiry into PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA. "PathWest's Forensic Biology Department has made significant enhancements to the processes used for the issue of intelligence reports to the WA Police. "As a result, many of the manual processes that were in place in 2004 - the time which this erroneous DNA matching occurred - have already been replaced with automated solutions. "PathWest continues to enhance its procedures by developing and implementing further automated IT systems in order to eliminate or at least minimise manual processes, and refine existing peer review processes to minimise error. "This final report closes an important chapter for PathWest, which continues to deliver high-quality forensic services for the State." Minister's office - 6552 6500 Note The Ross Inquiry was conducted by Alastair Ross AM, a former founding Director of the National Institute of Forensic Science, former Director of the Victoria Police Forensic Group and former Chair of the National Association of Testing Authorities.