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On-demand transport reform Bills to reach Parliament90665Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml21/08/2018 4:44:36 AM2018-08-21T04:30:00Z Biggest reform of on-demand transport and taxi industry in WA history Transport (Road Passenger Services) Bill 2018 and Associated Amendment Bill to be introduced to State Parliament tomorrow Deregulation of industry to create level playing field and more competition Voluntary taxi plate buyback scheme to be funded by temporary levy on operator's fare revenue Delivers an election commitment to end industry uncertainty following inaction by the previous Liberal National Government Critical legislation that will reform Western Australia's on-demand transport industry and foster more competition and innovation will be introduced to State Parliament tomorrow (August 22). The Transport (Road Passenger Services) Bill 2018 represents the biggest reform to the industry in WA history, and will bring the sector into the 21st century. In the lead-up to the election, the McGowan Government made an election commitment to reform the industry and implement an industry-funded taxi plate buyback scheme. Once passed, the legislation will end restrictions that have made it difficult for taxis to compete and give the industry greater certainty. It provides for the voluntary buyback of owned taxi plates, which will be industry funded over four years through a temporary levy on the total fare revenue of booking services. This approach will allow for the temporary levy to be incorporated into the business models of authorised booking services. Since coming to government, the McGowan Government has consulted widely with industry stakeholders to draft a Bill that Creates a fairer and modernised system for all operators; Removes restrictions on when, where and how taxis can operate; Introduces a strengthened duty of care for passenger safety; Creates one annual authorisation for all types of on-demand drivers; and Promotes competition and innovation across the industry, removing regulation and costs. Further in-depth consultation with industry stakeholders since the initial reform announcement in November last year has resulted in refinements to the original proposal, including Exempting regional operators from paying the temporary levy; Excluding vehicles with 12 seats or more from the levy; Applying a maximum levy of $10 to all metropolitan taxi or charter fares; Waiving booking service fees during the first 12 months of the reform; Removing the cap on the number of authorised taxis; and Exemption from the levy available to operators who solely provide special event services, such as weddings or school balls. The reform will encourage greater competition and innovation in on-demand transport throughout WA, providing customers with greater choice and easier access to safe and smart services. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "This legislation has been prepared to create a level playing field for all on-demand transport operators. "It is long overdue reform and creates consistent regulations for the on-demand transport sector as a whole to prosper into the future. "Under the new Act, all those involved in the delivery of the service will be accountable for driver and customer safety. "Customers should expect that when they get in an on-demand vehicle they are travelling with a driver who is authorised and in a vehicle that is roadworthy. "This is our one chance to move the industry into the 21st century and it is vital for the Upper House to support the legislation. It is also the one and only chance for plate owners to receive a buyback offer." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Director General appointed to oversee Government’s jobs agenda90664Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml21/08/2018 4:15:35 AM2018-08-21T04:15:00Z Rebecca Brown appointed Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation Acting Premier Roger Cook has today welcomed the appointment of Rebecca Brown as the new Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI). Ms Brown was appointed after a formal process run by the Public Sector Commission and will commence in the role on September 3, 2018. Most recently, she served as Department of Health Deputy Director General where she oversaw transformational change to deliver better outcomes for the community. She has served as Deputy Director General in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and has held numerous senior roles within the State Government. Ms Brown will be responsible for attracting investment to WA, and overseeing the State Government's agenda to diversify the economy and create jobs for Western Australians. An announcement regarding the new Managing Director of Tourism will be made in coming weeks. Comments attributed to Acting Premier Roger Cook "I congratulate Ms Brown on her appointment. She has extensive experience across the public sector, holding senior positions in a range of departments and has a strong record in delivering real outcomes. "The State Government's key objective is to diversify the economy and create jobs for Western Australians across a range of industries. "As Director General of JTSI, she will ensure the State Government can capitalise on the growth in new and emerging industries, such as lithium, to support the economy and create new jobs." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Help us plan for alcohol and other drug services in the Kimberley90662Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml21/08/2018 3:31:32 AM2018-08-21T03:25:00Z The State Government is seeking to expand alcohol and other drug services in the Kimberley region Consultation will be undertaken to ensure that new services meet the specific needs of the Kimberley community People from across the Kimberley region are invited to have their say on which services are needed in their community, in order to support individuals who wish to address problems related to alcohol and other drug use and co-occurring mental health issues. People are invited to provide input via an online survey while the Mental Health Commission undertakes targeted consultation in the Kimberley to ensure new or expanded services meet the needs of the local community. The State Government, through the Methamphetamine Action Plan, is committed to expanding alcohol and other drug treatment services in the Kimberley region to provide more options for individuals and families close to where they live. This consultation forms the first step in designing services in the Kimberley with the community. The online survey closes at 5pm on Friday September 7, 2018. For more information or to complete the survey, visit http//www.mhc.wa.gov.au Individuals looking for more information about where to find help for their own or another person's alcohol and other drug use can contact the Alcohol and Drug Support Service on 1800 198 024. Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook "The current levels of alcohol and other drug harm in the Kimberley region are concerning. "I would like to see a range of comprehensive and integrated services in the Kimberley that meets the specific needs of people who live in the region. "For Aboriginal people, we know culture is important, along with support from family and friends, so providing the culturally appropriate treatment and support services close to where people live is a priority for the Government." Minister's office - 6552 6500
Eid festival a time for celebration and reflection90660Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml21/08/2018 3:01:04 AM2018-08-21T00:05:00Z Our State is home to more than 50,000 Western Australian Muslims The McGowan Government supports Eid community events with $21,000 through the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) Western Australian Muslims will join hundreds of millions around the world this week in celebrating Eid ul-Adha, one of the most important festivals on the Islamic calendar. Eid ul-Adha marks the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Hajj. Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, it is a reminder of the sacredness of life and is a time of significant celebration and reflection for the WA Muslim community. Eid ul-Adha is one of two key festivals on the Islamic calendar. The other is Eid ul-Fitr, which falls at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. For more than 50,000 Western Australians who follow the Islamic faith in WA, the period will be marked by helping others, strengthening family ties, and making community connections. This year, the McGowan Government, through the Office of Multicultural Interests' Community Grants Program, is supporting three major events to mark Eid ul-Adha The Islamic Centre of WA's Eid ul-Adha Prayer and Fun event at Whiteman Park being held today (August 21) and tomorrow (August 22); The Australian Arab Association's Multicultural Eid-Adha Carnival in Southern River on Friday, August 24; and The Furqan Islamic Association of WA's Perth Eid Festival in Mirrabooka on Saturday, August 25. Eid events are now some of the biggest community festivals in this State and are enjoyed by WA Muslim communities, as well as by increasing numbers from the wider community. More information about Eid events can be found at http//www.omi.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Paul Papalia "Eid festivals have been held in Western Australia since 1896 and are an important part of our cultural heritage. "With many community events happening around the State, Eid ul-Adha is an occasion to advance understanding between cultures and strengthen the foundations of our multicultural community. "On behalf of the McGowan Government, I would like to wish all Western Australian Muslims and their families Eid Mubarak during this important time - and to everyone undertaking the Hajj, I wish them a safe journey and return." Minister's office - 6552 5600
SPURonWA grants offer $100,000 to Western Australian innovators35049Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/08/2018 7:15:49 AM2018-08-20T07:10:00Z Grants of up to $25,000 on offer through Landgate's location technology hub, SPUR SPURonWA grants are supporting local entrepreneurs and innovators establish industries and jobs of the future Western Australian start-ups, businesses and individuals working on innovative location-based products or services are encouraged to apply for the third round of SPURonWA grants, which open today (August 20). The grants can be used towards development costs; intellectual property protection; obtaining business, financial or marketing advice; and accessing location data. This is the third round of SPURonWA grants. From the 85 applications received in the last two years, Landgate has awarded grants to 16 Western Australian businesses, assisting them to develop mobile apps, secure Intellectual Property rights, adopt technological advancements and successfully launch new products to market. As well as providing financial support, SPUR offers access to location data, co-working spaces and commercialisation expertise. SPUR is Landgate's location and innovation hub that works to stimulate and accelerate economic development in the digital economy. Applications close on September 14, 2018. For more information and to read SPURonWA success stories, visit http//www.spur.wa.gov.au Comments attributed to Lands Minister Rita Saffioti "SPUR is helping to accelerate ideas into action and support start-up businesses and commercial partnerships to create a stronger, more diverse economy in WA. "The SPURonWA grant program has demonstrated how government and businesses can use data to innovate, address challenges and help shape the future of WA. "SPURonWA grants are supporting local entrepreneurs and innovators, by establishing new industries and creating jobs of the future." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Record one million fans watch AFL football in WA at Optus Stadium35030Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/08/2018 1:18:57 AM2018-08-19T22:00:00Z Optus Stadium exceeds one million AFL fans during West Coast-Melbourne match For the first time ever, AFL crowds hit one million in a single year in Western Australia AFL attendances have become the second best in the country, behind only the MCG Stadium's average customer satisfaction rating over 90 per cent Optus Stadium yesterday welcomed its one millionth AFL fan during the West Coast Eagles versus Melbourne Demons clash, breaking the magical one million fan mark for the first time in the State's history. The venue has reached the one million fan mark for AFL matches after just 24 games, making AFL attendances at the new stadium the second highest in the country behind the MCG. Sunday's achievement surpassed a 2007 record when just over 985,000 football fans flocked to Subiaco Oval over the course of a season, also including home finals - putting Optus Stadium in a position to smash previous records by season's end. Nearly 600,000 fans have already attended West Coast Eagles home games in 2018, smashing their previous home and away attendance record established in 2007 by more than 130,000. Overall, after 24 games at Optus Stadium, 1,037,220 fans have watched a game of AFL at an average of 47,146. Seven-year-old Cooper Jones - who attended the game with his five-year-old brother Logan and grandparents Joe and Connie Russo - was Optus Stadium's one millionth AFL fan. The milestone was marked by awarding them with four tickets to a West Coast Eagles home final and a dining voucher for the City View Café. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "Western Australian football fans have embraced this terrific stadium and flocked to it to watch the West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers. "To smash the 1,000,000 AFL fan mark for the first time, before the home and away season has even finished, is a testament to Optus Stadium. "Optus Stadium is now second only to the MCG in terms of AFL crowds. The high customer satisfaction ratings, which run to 94 per cent at the most recent measure, demonstrates why Western Australians and visitors alike keeping flocking to the venue. "I look forward to Optus Stadium hosting an AFL final next month and West Coast Eagles fans once again turning out in huge numbers." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Trusted WA local RAC secures Arena naming rights35031Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements0html20/08/2018 12:25:52 AM2018-08-18T22:00:00Z Venue to be named RAC Arena from September 1, 2018 Local organisation RAC edges out a number of national and international companies to secure naming rights for at least five years McGowan Government fulfils another election commitment in support of Budget repair Well-respected Western Australian organisation RAC has secured the naming rights for Perth Arena for at least the next five years. The world-class venue will be re-named RAC Arena from September 1, 2018, after the State Government finalised a naming rights partnership with the 113-year-old, fully WA-owned membership organisation. A major supporter of local jobs and the WA economy, RAC employs more than 1,400 people throughout metropolitan and regional Western Australia. The organisation supports local jobs in a range of WA industries, including its flagship roadside assistance service, travel, tourism, insurance, finance, security and auto services. The State Government is delighted such a trusted local organisation was able to beat out Eastern States competition in a competitive tender process to secure the venue's naming rights. The deal fulfils the McGowan Government's 2017 election commitment to sell the naming rights to the State's two major venues in support of Budget repair. RAC has more than a million members across a remarkable 60 per cent of WA households. The organisation played a critical role in the development of mobility and motoring in Western Australia, erecting the State's first road signs, developing its first roadmaps and continually lobbying for better road safety and transport outcomes. RAC has been a Founding Partner with the Arena since 2013 and more recently became a sponsor of the venue's RAC Local Lounge. Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray "RAC is one of WA's most trusted, iconic organisations which supports hundreds of WA jobs in a range of important industries. "We are delighted RAC has been able to beat out national and international competition in securing this deal, making sure the State's world-class arena is attached to a truly local organisation. "RAC has played a crucial role in the development of mobility, motoring, road safety and transport in Western Australia, and the McGowan Government is proud the trusted brand has forged another important relationship with the State." Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt "We inherited not only a record level of State debt, but also the perverse situation where WA taxpayers were forking out compensation for Perth Arena to not have a naming sponsor. "This decision allows us to continue to fix the finances and focus our spending on essential services." Sport and Recreation Minister's office - 6552 6400 Treasurer's office - 6552 5900
McGowan Government Cabinet heads north to the Pilbara34987Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements12850html17/08/2018 7:05:03 AM2018-08-17T07:05:00Z McGowan Labor Government Community Cabinet to be hosted in Port Hedland Opportunity for community members to hear about the Government's plans for the region Key issues to be discussed include local jobs, tourism and infrastructure The McGowan Labor Government is hosting a Community Cabinet in Port Hedland starting on Sunday, August 26. The modern and community-focused Community Cabinet program has been designed to foster greater engagement between local leaders and the State Government. As part of the two-day visit, Premier Mark McGowan, State Government Ministers and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel will host more than 100 community representatives in Port Hedland for a Town Hall style meeting. Attendees from across the Pilbara will have the opportunity to pose questions to the Premier and Ministers about the community's most important issues. On Monday (August 27), the Premier and Ministers will participate in a series of events including a breakfast with local business representatives, a Cabinet Meeting and lunch with local youth leaders. After the Cabinet meeting, Ministers will be visiting various locations across the Pilbara including Newman, Port Hedland and Karratha. Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan "The Pilbara Community Cabinet demonstrates the priority my Government places on engaging with regional communities. "Community Cabinet is a chance for Pilbara residents to meet with Cabinet Ministers and have discussions with us directly about the issues that matter most to the community. "I look forward to meeting residents, community groups and community leaders at our Town Hall while we discuss our plans for jobs, tourism and infrastructure in the region." Comments attributed to Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel "As the Member for the Pilbara, I am honoured to host the McGowan Government's 2018 Regional Cabinet. "There are many exciting projects happening in our region and I am proud to be part of a Government that is committed to representing and understanding regional communities such as our Pilbara." Premier's office - 6552 5000
Liberal and Nationals parties distort facts to justify protecting foreign home buyers over WA families34985Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9490html17/08/2018 6:42:30 AM2018-08-17T06:35:00Z Foreign buyers make up a very small portion of the total housing market There is no evidence that the introduction of surcharges in other States has had a material impact on foreign investment This week, the McGowan Government introduced to State Parliament its election commitment to levy a surcharge on foreign home buyers. Every other Australian State, as well as a number of other countries, already has a similar surcharge in place. Unfortunately, in an effort to protect foreign home buyers, the Liberal and Nationals parties have sought to exaggerate the potential impacts of the surcharge on the local housing market. The fact is that foreign buyers make up a very small portion of the total housing market - about 1.26 per cent in 2016-17. Another fact is that not all foreign buyers would be subject to the surcharge - foreigners acquiring land on which to undertake residential development of 10 or more dwellings will be exempt from the surcharge. It is also true that of those foreign buyers who are subject to the tax, the vast majority are still expected to purchase a house. This is because other factors such as capital growth prospects and exchange rates are far more important considerations for foreign purchasers than a one-off surcharge. This is all backed up by experience - there is no evidence that the introduction of surcharges in other States has had a material impact on foreign investment. It is therefore of great disappointment that after leaving the State with a record $40 billion of debt, the Liberal and Nationals parties are now trying to block a measure that would require foreign property buyers to help pay down that debt. In doing so, the Liberal and Nationals parties are shifting more of the burden of repaying its debt onto WA families. Comments attributed to Finance Minister Ben Wyatt "If it wasn't enough that the Liberal and Nationals parties have left the people of Western Australia with $40 billion of debt, they now appear hell bent on ensuring that WA families continue to carry the burden. "I remain optimistic that other parties in the Parliament will take a more constructive approach and help deliver a reform that stands up for WA families and helps ease their burden. "If not, the McGowan Government looks forward to taking this issue to the next State election." Minister's office - 6552 5900
Midland Child Advocacy Centre receives $4.5 million grant34984Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements9200html17/08/2018 3:05:04 AM2018-08-17T03:05:00Z Funding for new Midland Child Advocacy Centre to support children and their families experiencing trauma Centre will be the second of its kind in Australia A child advocacy centre in Midland, set to help thousands of children and families experiencing trauma, has been given $4.5 million in State Government funding. The Lotterywest grant will support the construction and fit out of the new Midland Child Advocacy Centre, run by Parkerville Children and Youth Centre. The centre will wrap services around children and their families who are experiencing trauma from physical, sexual or emotional abuse. The facility will incorporate a multi-disciplinary team including doctors, police, social workers, psychologists and therapy staff - all in one child-friendly location. The child and their family will attend the centre to access a range of professional support, as well as complementary services provided by Parkerville and other not-for-profit organisations. The Midland Child Advocacy Centre will be the second of its kind in Australia, the first being the George Jones Child Advocacy Centre in Armadale. This is also administered by Parkerville Children and Youth Centre, which opened in 2011. Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk "WA is leading the way on this work and I'm proud to be a part of a Government which supports this innovative approach. "It's important victims get a sympathetic, meaningful interaction - this joined up approach achieves better justice outcomes. The need for this exact work has been highlighted in the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. "We are now working towards the delivery of a staged implementation plan of the recommendations that outlines reform priorities, timeframes and resourcing options." Comments attributed to Midland MLA Michelle Roberts "The Midland Child Advocacy Centre is being built at the Old Railway Workshops and will be an important part of our health precinct. "The entire Midland community welcomes this funding which will serve to give some of our most vulnerable young people the opportunities they deserve. "I'd like to thank the Government and Lotterywest for this real commitment to our community." Minister's office - 6552 6600