Matt Mckenzie joined Business News in June 2014 and reports on projects, energy, agribusiness, small business, employment relations, manufacturing and economics. He completed bachelor of arts and bachelor of economics degrees at the University of Western Australia, majoring in political science and international relations, economics, and money and banking. He was formerly president of the UWA Student Guild, where he introduced the first private catering outlets on campus, and has worked at a leading financial services company.
A local power generator majority owned by Rod Jones’s Hoperidge Capital has refinanced its bank debt through a $44 million bond issue which the company believes will give it more flexibility, including the potential to pursue a 100-megawatt solar farm.
Western Power plans to reduce spending by nearly $1 billion in the next five years compared to the five years just gone, according to a proposal by the state-owned network operator to the state’s economic regulator.
Horizon Power will roll out a $7.1 million distributed energy pilot project in Carnarvon, while the state government has unveiled a trial to incentivise demand management by users during peak periods in Broome.
Treasurer Ben Wyatt has kept open the possibility of a bank tax in Western Australia, after South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill today quietly dropped his state’s planned tax on the five biggest financial institutions.
A $2.2 million expansion of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope has been completed, doubling the number of antenna stations at the facility, as design work on the planned Square Kilometre Array continues.
SPECIAL REPORT: Activity in Western Australia’s graphite sector is continuing apace, with local hopefuls seeking to raise more than $70 million this quarter, an amount similar to that raised for the entire financial year just past.
Altura Mining has taken the next step to double capacity at its Pilgangoora project, approving a definitive feasibility study for expansion to 440,000 tonnes per annum of lithium concentrate, while confirming shipments from stage one of the mine are due in the second quarter of 2018.
The competition watchdog has had its first major win enforcing a new franchising code of conduct, with the Federal Court today fining Pastacup franchisor Morild and co-founder Stuart Bernstein $150,000 for a failure to disclose he had been a director of two insolvent entities.
Shares in technology business Structural Monitoring Systems were up 18 per cent today after the company announced a $10 million acquisition of Canadian company Aerodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corporation, and completion of a $13 million raising.
Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting Group more than doubled profit to $1.1 billion in the year to June, the highest level since 2011, with the company paying or providing for $767 million in dividends to the family.
Edith Cowan University is hoping to bolster its presence in defence industry research, with the appointment of former air vice-marshal Andrew Dowse as director of defence research and engagement today.
Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has made an emotional plea for gambling revenue to be factored into the GST distribution system, while Western Australians have been warned the state’s share of the revenue could potentially fall to zero if the economy were to return to boom times.
SPECIAL REPORT: The state government has rejected criticism of the cost and projected savings of its flagship medihotel healthcare policy, after work began on the construction of the first facility earlier this month.
In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall, Matt Mckenzie and Tori Wilson discuss house prices, Tianqi, the sale of Henderson-based Silver Yacht, the latest in the Perth lord mayor saga, recent women in business awards, and health care.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his government would have the numbers to vote down a no-confidence motion in the House of Representatives, as the seat of New England heads to a by-election after a High Court ruling that Barnaby Joyce had been ineligible for election.
Chinese company Tianqi Lithium has approved the second stage of its processing plant in Kwinana, a $300 million investment to double production capacity to 48,000 tonnes of lithium hydroxide per annum.
Exports through Port Hedland could reach 700 million tonnes per annum within a decade, contributing an extra $4.8 billion to Australia’s GDP, according to a report by ACIL Allen, as debate continues about the impact of iron ore dust on the nearby township.
Western Australian retailers have a positive view of business conditions in the year ahead, according to a recent survey by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, with one third expecting an improved market in the 2018 financial year.
GDP has bounced back from a poor showing in the September quarter with December quarter seasonally adjusted growth of 1.1 per cent, while Western Australia snapped a five quarter streak of shrinking state demand to grow 0.4 per cent.
The University of Western Australia Student Guild has dismissed a staff member over financial irregularities after bringing in forensic accountants from BDO to undertake a special analysis of its 2013 accounts.
Uber drivers using the service as a supplementary income should declare it to their primary employer, according to Minter Ellison partner Kathy Reid, after a driver who had worked during sick leave lost an unfair dismissal claim.
The Roe 8 road project will be cancelled if the Labor Party wins the upcoming state election, opposition leader Mark McGowan said today, even though the government has already signed a contract for construction, with $236 million of funding to be re-allocated to three alternative roads.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder has highlighted the social benefits of Roe 8 and touted the minimal environmental impact of the project at a lunch today, adding that the link would need to be built regardless of any move to an outer harbour.