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Grants to improve waste management in WA3274Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml18/11/2019 2:34:03 AM2019-11-18T02:30:00Z $1.17 million shared between 13 organisations for waste projects Projects support the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030The Community and Industry Engagement (CIE) program aims to support organisations that promote better waste management operations, behaviours, practices and awareness. Wrapping up National Recycling Week, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today announced $1.17 million in grants to thirteen organisations across Western Australia, following independent panel assessments of applications for the latest round of the CIE program. The successful projects focus on improving recovery and reuse of the materials identified in the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 such as plastics, construction and demolition waste, food organics and garden organics (FOGO) waste, as well as initiatives promoting behaviour change. The combination of infrastructure and general projects are expected to help create jobs across the State, while supporting the Strategy's objectives to avoid waste, recover more value and resources from waste and protect the environment. Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "I'm encouraged by the high level of interest in the CIE program and its objectives to improve the way we manage our waste. "The community shift to treat waste as a resource shows that we are well on our way to getting our waste sorted. "In line with the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2030 released earlier this year, the State Government is clear that it wants at least 75 per cent of waste generated to be reused or recycled by 2030. "This program is just one way we can support industry and the community and bring some of the best projects to life. "Congratulations to all successful funding recipients in this round. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of your projects and initiatives." Minister's office - 6552 5800
WA Government launches 10-year plan to prevent elder abuse3273Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml18/11/2019 2:07:47 AM2019-11-18T02:05:00Z McGowan Government releases Western Australia's first elder abuse prevention strategy Initial $500,000 towards WA Elder Abuse Helpline, education programs, public awareness campaigns Thousands of older Western Australians are victims of abuse at the hands of people in relationships of trust The State Government has released Western Australia's first long-term strategy to combat elder abuse, outlining a series of support, education and awareness measures to combat the growing issue. The WA Strategy to Respond to the Abuse of Older People (Elder Abuse) 2019-2029 will guide the State Government's programs and initiatives to prevent elder abuse and protect the rights and dignity of older Western Australians. Elder abuse involves the abuse of an older person by someone in a relationship of trust, often a family member, and most commonly involves financial, psychological or social abuse. Believed to impact between 7,000 and 49,000 Western Australians, elder abuse is both an underreported and misunderstood issue in the community. The 10-year Strategy outlines four key priority areas Educating older people and the community about elder abuse, the signs of abuse, and where and how to report it; Supporting older people to remain socially connected, and providing avenues to seek help; Safeguarding and supporting older people with accessible support and justice responses; and Building the evidence base to inform effective responses that can prevent and reduce elder abuse, and support older people to seek help and recover. The State Government has allocated an initial $500,000 to progress the Strategy's outcomes, with an early focus on raising community awareness and educating people how to report abuse. The programs and initiatives supported by this initial funding include Five-year funding certainty with Advocare to continue to deliver the WA Elder Abuse Helpline; Education programs for professionals - including police, doctors and financial services workers - to detect elder abuse; Development of education resources for distribution through media platforms; A public advertising campaign to raise awareness of elder abuse and combat ageism; Peer and community education programs; Expansion of public forums and regional roadshows, including social isolation awareness and educational initiatives; and Research into elder abuse in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Further funding, programs and initiatives to implement the Strategy will be delivered in the coming months. The WA Strategy to Respond to the Abuse of Older People (Elder Abuse) 2019-2029 is available at https//www.communities.wa.gov.au/elderabuse Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray "This Strategy provides Western Australia with its first clear plan to combat the growing issue of elder abuse. "With our ageing population, we are seeing increasing cases of older people being exploited by people they trust - whether that is money being stolen, or other kinds of social, psychological, or physical abuse. "We need to be very clear that elder abuse is a kind of domestic violence and needs to be treated as such. Vulnerable older Western Australians need to be protected from those who would seek to exploit them. "Elder abuse is both underreported and misunderstood, so the first step is educating older people and the community about what constitutes abuse and how to report it. "We are putting programs in place to educate professionals on how to detect suspected abuse, developing education materials, launching a public advertising campaign, expanding our public forums and regional roadshows, and carrying out more research. "Most importantly, we need the public to join us in recognising the seriousness of elder abuse and the impacts it has on victims and families so we can prevent it in our communities." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Morley-Ellenbrook Line environmental assessment commences3272Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml18/11/2019 2:01:16 AM2019-11-18T02:00:00Z Critical step in environmental assessment process for major METRONET project begins Environmental submissions recognise the different conditions along the alignment Morley-Ellenbrook Line will bring far reaching and long-term sustainable benefits Early works for Morley-Ellenbrook Line to start at Bayswater in DecemberThe first of two environmental assessment applications has now been submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), marking an important step towards formalising the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line alignment. Meanwhile, the Bayswater Station Upgrade - the first stage of the Morley-Ellenbrook Line construction - is getting underway during December. Submitting the alignment assessment in two parts recognises the different environmental values along the 21km Morley-Ellenbrook Line. This Bayswater to Malaga Rail Works submission covers the rail works required from the Bayswater industrial area to Malaga within the Tonkin Highway median. As this area is already built-up and has largely been cleared during previous projects, there are minimal environmentally sensitive values, with the submission focussing on reducing amenity impacts, such as noise and vibration, to nearby residents. The Malaga to Ellenbrook Rail Works submission, covering rail works from Malaga to Ellenbrook, is scheduled for referral to the EPA by early 2020. This proposed section of the future rail line travels through Marshall Road land, across the narrowest part of the Bennett Brook and land parallel to New Lord Street. The project team has worked hard to avoid sensitive sites and will continue to work closely with regulators to identify, avoid, minimise and mitigate any potential impacts. The environmental assessments are being managed through the Public Transport Authority (PTA) on behalf of the State Government. Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti "The Morley-Ellenbrook Line will bring far-reaching and long-term benefits to people living and working in the area, as well as raise the profile of Whiteman Park by making it easier for people to visit this unique attraction. "METRONET projects like the Morley-Ellenbrook Line limit urban sprawl, reduce reliance on cars and help create more sustainable communities." "We have used the existing Tonkin Highway corridor as much as possible and much of the alignment follows largely unvegetated land. "We will continue to work with environmental regulators to ensure this legacy project for Perth minimises its impacts and maximises its role in supporting the long-term sustainability of our city as it grows. "In the meantime, we look forward to starting the first stage of the Morley-Ellenbrook Line very soon by starting early works for the Bayswater Station Upgrade." Minister's office - 6552 5500
Unprecedented summer crime blitz to deliver increased police presence across WA3271Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml18/11/2019 12:18:13 AM2019-11-17T01:00:00Z Increased police presence on the streets to help keep Western Australians safe $5 million in additional funding to provide more than 50,000 additional police hours Significantly increased patrols in suburban centres and regional cities across WA The McGowan Government has launched a massive summer crime blitz, providing $5 million in additional funding for increased police patrols around our State this summer. The operation has been timed to run from December 1 to May 31 to tackle the rise in crime rates historically experienced during the summer period. Operation Heat Shield will result in a significantly increased police presence in suburban and regional centres across the State and will be on a scale never before seen in Western Australia. Highly visible police patrols will be stepped up at suburban centres, the Perth CBD and shopping, entertainment and transport hubs, to deter anti-social behaviour and provide reassurance to the public. The $5 million funding package will enable police to boost the number of shifts and pro-active patrols, by delivering a massive 55,000 additional policing hours. It will also allow police to do more co-ordinated operations targeting burglary, retail theft and family violence perpetrators. Mounted section, K-9 unit, Regional Operations Group, Juvenile Action Group, bike and beat patrols will all be part of what will be the most co-ordinated and targeted police blitz the State has seen. Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts "We know historically there is a spike in crime over the summer months, so this is about being pro-active and giving the community reassurance. "Whilst these types of operations have been run in the past, the McGowan Government is providing record funding to ensure a sustained effort by police across the State. "It's because of the McGowan Government's strong financial management, that we're in a position to provide this unprecedented boost to police operations. "Compared to the Barnett-Harvey era, overall crime is down and our aim is to continue to cut crime by providing our police with the resources they need." Minister's office - 6552 6900
State’s most remarkable older people recognised at 2019 WA Seniors Awards3262Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statementshtml18/11/2019 12:05:31 AM2019-11-16T04:00:00Z Angela McCluskey and Rae Endersby take out top prizes at annual awards City of Bayswater and Hawaiian's Melville win local government and business age-friendly awards Awards hosted as part of WA Seniors Week celebrations (November 10-17, 2019) Carers advocate Angela McCluskey and long-term volunteer Rae Endersby have been awarded the top honours at the 2019 Western Australian Seniors Awards for their dedicated community service. Ms McCluskey was awarded Metropolitan WA Senior of the Year in honour of her work in establishing the popular Forget-me-not café community group that provides a connected and nurturing environment for people living with dementia and their carers. Ms Endersby took out the Regional WA Senior of the Year award for her 30-plus years of service to the Friends of the Murray Districts Hospital Group, of which she has been president for the last 20 years Ms Endersby operates a voluntary patient trolley service at the hospital, delivering basic essentials to people experiencing financial hardship or other difficult circumstances. The City of Bayswater earned the WA Age Friendly Local Government award, highlighting a range of successful initiatives that followed the launch of the City's inaugural Age Friendly Strategy in 2017. With one in every six residents aged 65 years or above, the City of Bayswater's strategy was designed in consultation with older members of the community, leading to positive outcomes across social, welfare and health indicators. Hawaiian's Melville received the WA Age Friendly Business Award for its innovative service for seniors, where it hosts regular morning teas with guest speakers - through its involvement in the Melville Age-Friendly and Accessible Businesses network. The 2019 WA Seniors Awards were presented by the Council on the Ageing (WA) in partnership with the McGowan Government. The annual awards are celebrated as part of WA Seniors Week, which runs from November 10-17. Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray "Well done to Angela and Rae and all of the individual finalists. While we know nobody does this sort of work for the recognition, I hope you take a moment to reflect on your years of dedicated service to these worthy causes. "Angela and Rae are wonderful examples of the positive contributions older people make to our communities. Both have dedicated a great deal of their own time in service of others and they are worthy winners. "The City of Bayswater and Hawaiian's Melville are both to be commended for their achievements in proactively creating opportunities for older members of the community to feel included, safe and valued. "The age-friendly movement is something the State Government is passionate about supporting, and this year's winners provide a wonderful example to their peers about what can be achieved with age-friendly thinking. "The Awards also provide a wider opportunity for the community to reflect on the many and varied contributions older people make to Western Australian life - and remind to us all that age does not have to be a barrier." Minister's office - 6552 6400 WA Seniors Award 2019 Metropolitan Winner Angela McCluskey In 2015, Angela's husband Michael was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Unable to leave Michael alone on their property, Angela gave up her position as a librarian and became his full-time carer. With the help of a local tea rooms business, Angela began the first Forget-me-not memory café. She formed strong friendships with three other women whose husbands were also living with dementia and helped them start up their own Forget-me-not cafés, which now includes a network of seven cafés across the State as part of community group, supporting people with dementia and their carers. Finalists Colin Wilson As a long-term volunteer, Colin developed rapport with a terminally ill man who had no close familial relations to assist him. Colin contributed approximately 30 hours a week to bring the man clothes and toiletries at the various hospitals (he was moved seven times) he was receiving care at, while also temporarily adopting the man's pet dog. Colin's friend passed away in June and Colin took it upon himself to arrange the funeral in keeping with the man's wishes. Patricia Halvorsen Patricia is an active member of the Attitudinal Healing WA volunteer organisation which advocates for the awareness and inclusion of people living with dementia. She has facilitated Younger Onset Dementia Carer Workshops and played a lead role in connecting service providers to assist the effective delivery of dementia services and to enhance the scope of dementia awareness and efficacy. WA Seniors Award 2019 Regional Winner Rae Endersby At 78 years of age, Rae is a long serving volunteer to the Murray Districts region and has been particularly active in support of initiatives that help seniors and the elderly. Rae has been an active volunteer with the Friends of the Murray Districts Hospital group for 30 years and has served as the group's president for the past two decades. She is also president of the Murray Health Group which assists those in the community who have weight or diet problems. It aims to help people regain health, wellbeing and fitness. Finalists Bruce Langoulant AM For nearly 30 years, Bruce Langoulant has worked tirelessly towards the eradication of Meningitis in Australia and across the world; and in doing so has made a significant contribution to health, community wellbeing and disability advocacy outcomes. He has served as Chair for the Disability Services Commission for 16 years and is carer for his 30-year-old daughter who contracted Meningitis when she was six months old. Jacqui Thorpe Jacqui has been influential in driving activities for the Independent Living Units at Bethanie Fields for 12 years. She helped establish the gardens at Bethanie Fields which enable residents living in the village to maintain their interest and love of gardening even if their ability to maintain their own garden has changed. She is the main organiser of events and functions within the village and she also volunteers in the aged care facility by attending bus trips for shopping excursions or other day outings that add meaning and value to residents' lives. Jacqui is a staunch advocate for creating an environment in which older people can contribute and enjoy their lives, regardless of age or ability. WA Age Friendly Local Government Award 2019 Winner City of Bayswater With one in six people in the City of Bayswater aged 65 years and over, the City launched its inaugural Age Friendly Strategy in 2017 in consultation with its older members. The strategy has delivered a wide range of benefits and outcomes for residents, across areas such as the Active Community Centre, a Service Directory for Older Adults in both hard copy and electronic formats, an Engage Bayswater panel for better feedback, a Fit For Life Program, The Age Friendly Ambassador Program, more events for Have a Go Day and National Volunteer Week, the Noranda Nook with age friendly seating and the My Aged Care system to assist and connect community members to the right information. Finalists Shire of Manjimup Manjimup Home and Community Care is a not-for-profit organisation that operates through the support of the Shire of Manjimup. It provides a range of services to some 400 individuals residing in the Shires of Manjimup and Bridgetown and enables older people to live longer in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes with enhanced quality of life. MHCC operates out of the Wellness and Respite Community Centre, which offers support to people with dementia and provides respite and relief for carers. City of Greater Geraldton Through the City's QEII Seniors and Community Centre, over 3,500 residents a month visit the facility to engage in one or more of the 39 programs available each week. The QEII centre encourages inclusion and activity for seniors, with programs such as Walking Football, Zumba, and Pilates all proving popular. The City, in consultation with the centre's members, has also developed the Senior User-Friendly Business Program (SUB) which provides free training to local businesses on how to provide excellent customer service for the benefit of seniors. WA Age Friendly Business Award 2019 Winner Hawaiian's Melville Hawaiian's staff approached the City of Melville in 2019 to support the Melville Age-Friendly and Accessible Business (MAFAB) network. After conducting a survey to assess the requirements of older shoppers, Hawaiian's Melville initiated a bi-monthly morning tea with guest speakers, which now attracts over 40 attendees at each session. The shopping centre also offers a weekly 'quiet hour' across the whole facility to support older shoppers and people who live with conditions that impact their senses, such as dementia. Finalists Community Vision Dementia Bus In 2019, Community Vision launched its Dementia Bus service, which provides respite and information to carers, support and access to new technology for people living with dementia and education about dementia to school groups. The Dementia Bus links in with Community Vision's existing awareness campaign - 'A Roast to Remember'. Home Chef Home Chef supports healthy ageing by providing nutritious home style quality meals that are home delivered and affordable. They provide customers aged over 65 with main meal choices that are appropriate for seniors' needs, with an emphasis on respecting older people's desire to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. There are no lock-in contracts, enabling flexibility, while customers are also allocated a dedicated driver and customer care team member to support relationship and rapport development.
Ritz-Carlton makes triumphant return to Perth3084Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8250html15/11/2019 5:11:21 AM2019-11-15T05:00:00Z The Ritz-Carlton Hotel opens today (November 15) as the luxury brand returns to Australia Over 600 jobs created throughout construction, 180 new hotel jobs created Expected to become a major attractor for lucrative Asian tourism market The 204-room The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Perth at Elizabeth Quay officially opened today with the first guests arriving to enjoy Western Australia's newest luxury hotel in the heart of the CBD. The opening marks the return of the brand to Australia for the first time in 18 years. The short-stay rooms available at The Ritz-Carlton will complement the 379 residential apartments across the two tower development with restaurants, cafes and retail outlets on the lower levels and three levels of basement parking. The $400 million project created more than 600 jobs during construction and will directly employ 180 people. Construction of the two residential and hotel towers began in late 2016, with residents of 'The Towers' apartment building moving in earlier this year. Comments attributed to Lands Minister Ben Wyatt "Being able to attract global iconic brands like Ritz-Carlton signals Perth is maturing as a City and can mix it with the best the world has to offer in terms of visitor experiences. "It will be a particularly strong attractor for the very important and growing Asian tourism market, which is worth around $300 million each year to the Western Australian economy." Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia "Perth is the western gateway to Australia and in the same time zone of much of Asia, and the superior Ritz-Carlton brand will act as another significant drawcard to Western Australia. "Now, more than ever, there is so much to see and do in Perth with access to stunning beaches, wineries and native wildlife all within an hour of the city centre. "We look forward to the opening of the Ritz-Carlton in Perth which will increase the fantastic range of accommodation options people can choose from when they visit Perth." Lands Minister's office - 6552 5900 Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5600
Elder abuse awareness roadshows for regional WA3083Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements3430html15/11/2019 4:00:25 AM2019-11-15T04:00:00Z State Government commits $50,000 to take elder abuse support to country WA Advocare to conduct workshops in South-West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Kimberley, Pilbara and Mid-WestAdvocare will deliver a series of public forums on elder abuse awareness and prevention in regional and remote parts of the State, thanks to a $50,000 contribution from the State Government. The workshops - which will also address social isolation as a factor contributing to elder abuse - will travel to the South-West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt, Kimberley, Pilbara and Mid-West. The forums will focus on educating professionals who regularly work with older people of the warning signs and risk factors of elder abuse, and how to report it. Advocare will link with the Western Australian Country Health Service to run parallel community forums in tandem with the health service's regional workshops. The Community Awareness Roadshow sessions will provide communities with important information on elder abuse, including what is elder abuse; facts and figures; how to respond; examples of elder abuse; risk factors; and referral and supportThe roadshows begin later this month in the Mid-West, travelling around the State until mid-2020. The Community Awareness Roadshows are the first of a planned expansion of public forums in WA, with further education and awareness initiatives to be outlined in the final WA Strategy to Respond to the Abuse of Older People (Elder Abuse) 2019-2029. Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray "Older people living in regional and remote parts of the State are susceptible to social isolation and elder abuse, so we need to make sure we are getting education and awareness out into those communities. "Advocare does great work supporting elder abuse victims and helping the wider community to understand the issue and how to prevent it. These roadshows will help spread awareness around Western Australia. "The roadshows will help foster a greater understanding of elder abuse, its causes, and how to prevent it, providing regional areas with a greater ability to confront and prevent the issue in their communities." Minister's office - 6552 6400
Feedback sought on improving native vegetation management3085Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements8070html15/11/2019 8:48:50 AM2019-11-15T03:10:00Z Consultation on initiatives to improve native vegetation management now open Feedback will inform the State's new Native Vegetation Policy Environment Minister Stephen Dawson is inviting Western Australians to have their say on initiatives to support improved management of the State's native vegetation. A 12-week consultation period is opening today, with the release of the Native Vegetation in Western Australia issues paper. The paper proposes four initiatives aimed at providing better protection for vegetation where it is most needed and help streamline assessment processes a State Native Vegetation Policy better information, including mapping and monitoring improved regulatory processes a regionally-tailored approach The proposed initiatives would be implemented in stages. The issues paper follows last year's extensive consultation on clearing application fees and other assessment processes. Feedback on the issues paper can be provided via an online survey and at community forums, to be held this month and December in various country and metropolitan locations Perth Thursday 28 November 2019 Register here Kalgoorlie Friday 29 November 2019 Register here Bunbury Monday 2 December 2019 Register here Northam Tuesday 3 December 2019 Register here Broome Thursday 5 December 2019 Register here Perth Monday 9 December 2019 Register here Pilbara TBC TBC Consultation closes 10 February 2020. Consultation feedback will inform a draft policy, which is set to be released in April 2020 for further public comment. The final policy is due to be completed mid-2020. For more information visit https//dwer.wa.gov.au/consultation/nativeveg Comments attributed to the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "Western Australia's unique ecology and extraordinary biodiversity are vital to our State's character, culture and economy. "The McGowan Government is seeking input from the Western Australian community to shape the State's new Native Vegetation Policy. "This is the next step by this Government to improve the protection of our native vegetation and making regulation more efficient and effective. "Our aim is to strike the right balance between protecting the environment and delivering a strong economic outlook - for now and future generations." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Protecting the Pilbara focus for new offsets fund3082Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements5620html15/11/2019 3:10:22 AM2019-11-15T03:05:00Z The Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund supports a rigorous, scientific and strategic approach to protecting the region's environmental values. The fund was co-designed with traditional owners, natural resource management organisations, conservation groups, industry and the research sector.The McGowan Government has launched an innovative new fund to support environmental conservation in the Pilbara, and is seeking applications for the first round of funding grants. The Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund, a co-designed fund led by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER), will play a critical role in ensuring sustainable development in the region while also protecting the region's unique environmental values. It will also create opportunities for traditional owners and rangers to work on country and use their local knowledge and expertise to help protect the environment. The fund was developed by the department, traditional owners, natural resource management organisations, conservation groups, industry and the research sector, to deliver conservation work through a strategic and co-ordinated offsets program. Projects delivered through the fund will include rehabilitation, pest plant and animal control, and erosion and fire management to improve high quality vegetation and habitat. The fund is expected to receive about $90 million for conservation projects in the Pilbara over the next 40 years. A total of $1 million in funding for projects is available from the fund's grant account in 2019-20 and applications are now open until 5pm (AWST) January 20, 2020. The department has released a guideline for applicants which provides details on eligibility, selection criteria and the application process. Conservation projects will be recommended by DWER, with advice from stakeholders and a project recommendation group. For more information go to http//www.dwer.wa.gov.au/peof Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson "The Pilbara region plays a vital economic role for Western Australia, however, it is important this is balanced with conservation of the region's outstanding biodiversity. "It is in the interests of government, the community and industry to maximise the environmental benefits from Western Australia's offsets system. "The Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund provides a rigorous, scientific and strategic approach to protecting the region's environmental values for future generations. "It also builds on partnerships between traditional owners, conservation agencies, industry and government to deliver projects that improve the local environment, and engage traditional owners and rangers in work on their country - creating local jobs in regional communities." Minister's office - 6552 5800
Record number of graduating female officers join firefighting ranks3081Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Media Statements2800html15/11/2019 3:03:03 AM2019-11-15T03:00:00Z The largest number of female firefighters for more than two decades graduated today Four female trainee firefighters join traditionally male-dominated service Lifeguard, occupational therapist, small business owners and engineers amongst former professions of this year's WA Fire and Rescue Service firefighter graduates The diversity of Western Australia's firefighting ranks has been increased today with a record number of female firefighters graduating from one trainee school in more than two decades. The four female firefighters graduated today with 19 male colleagues after a highly successful recruitment campaign that led to a 153 per cent increase in female applications compared to the previous intake. The Department of Fire and Emergency Services campaign targeted women across sporting events and lifestyle interests including strength and conditioning training. The campaign also led to a 62 per cent increase in total applications and a 40 per cent increase in Indigenous applications. Today's graduating school of 23 firefighters also includes a diverse range of backgrounds with the trainee firefighters previously employed as jockeys, teachers, occupational therapists, accountants, fitness trainers, engineers, tradespeople and small business owners. The graduates range in age from 23 years to 41 years. Five had previously served as volunteer firefighters in their communities. During the 20-week intensive course, the trainees completed both theoretical and practical components of a nationally recognised, competency-based training program. Units include firefighting skills, road crash rescue, technical rescue, hazardous materials, emergency and off-road driving, community safety and teamwork. For more information about a career as a firefighter, visit http//www.dfes.wa.gov.au/recruitmentandtraining Comments attributed to Emergency Services Minister Francis Logan "This has been a great result by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to increase the diversity of its ranks and include more female firefighters. "Being a firefighter is a tough and demanding job, but females are increasingly joining industries that were traditionally male-dominated. "These new officers not only bring a wealth of previous employment experience, but also life experience that will benefit our firefighting service. "I hope that these new female officers encourage other women and people from all walks of life to step up and become a firefighter either as a career officer or as a volunteer. "I would like to wish the graduates of Firefighter School 83 all the best and thank them for joining our firefighting ranks. "It is a rewarding role that makes a significant difference to the safety of our State." Minister's office - 6552 6300