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Matt Mckenzie

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.

Passing Comment

If you need to get in touch with me anonymously or through an encrypted service, you can contact me on Wickr at mattmck0. I'd also like to declare that I'm a member of the Liberal Party.      

Trade war risks collateral damage

Market fears for the outcome of the escalating tariff war between the world’s two biggest economies have heightened during the past week, with history showing what could be a significant impact on consumers, and employment.

Hibernian Place tops UDIA awards

BGC Development’s Westin Hotel and Hibernian Place development was picked as the top project in Western Australia in this year’s Urban Development Institute Australia WA awards.

Johnston to decide Kidman tenement fate

Shares in lithium hopeful Kidman Resources dropped 15 per cent to be $1.08 each after the company acknowledged a Warden’s Court ruling last week which recommended Kidman not be exempt from past minimum expenditure obligations on tenements at its Mt Holland project.

Beyer to lead Regis

Former Mt Gibson Iron boss Jim Beyer will take the reins as managing director of Regis Resources next month, while director James Mactier will take over as chair, after executive chairman Mark Clark announced his resignation.

Chevron to browse Clio, Acme options for backfill

Chevron’s Clio and Acme gas fields could provide backfill supply for an existing LNG plant, most likely North West Shelf Venture’s Karratha facility, under a plan to be unveiled by the company’s Australian managing director Nigel Hearne this afternoon.

Murdoch, WACA, hope to hit science sixes

Helping the state’s elite batsman become better run scorers is one planned outcome from a deal between Murdoch University and the Western Australian Cricket Association announced today.

Bajaj games-out growing his dominion

Saran Bajaj is combining his love of arcade games with staple bar offerings of cocktails and pizza at his new venue, Palace Arcade.

Kerr to lead Mt Gibson

Mount Gibson Iron will have a leadership change at the end of the month, which chief financial officer Peter Kerr to succeed Jim Beyer as chief executive as the latter pursues other opportunities.

Asia hungry for wheat amid Australian drought

This season's Western Australian grain output will be 800,000 tonnes higher than previously expected, at 16.3 million tonnes, according to the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia, at a time when Asia is facing a potential supply shock.

Hancock raises Atlas offer to $413m

Gina Rinehart's Hancock Prospecting has conditionally upped its takeover offer for Atlas Iron in a bid to win over Fortescue Metals Group, which holds a blocking stake.

Unemployment steady in the west

Western Australia’s unemployment was steady in August at 6.2 per cent in trend terms, despite a small rise in the number of people employed, although the level was much lower for women than men.

Texas miner continues local nickel pursuit

Panoramic Resources has agreed to sell the Lanfranchi nickel project for $15 million to Texas-based Black Mountain Metals, showing the American business is still on the hunt for nickel opportunities in Western Australia.

Decmil wins $150m QGC contract

Osborne Park-based Decmil Group has won a $150 million contract extension to provide upstream services in the Queensland coal seam gas space.

Searle resigns from Dept of Communities

Department of Communities director general Graham Searle has resigned from the role, with the decision believed to be due to illness.

OpenDNA acquires new digital agency

Subiaco-based marketing business OpenDNA has completed a $2.5 million placement and announced it will acquire Perth-based Choose Digital and Chinese-focused RooLife.

Phylogica in $9.1m recapitalisation

Shares in biomedical technology business Phylogica were up 13 per cent today after the company announced it had completed a $9.1 million recapitalisation.

Kreepy Krauly, JWH named to hall of fame

Osborne Park-based manufacturer Kreepy Krauly and homebuilder JWH Group were last night added to Family Business Australia’s hall of fame.

$5m IPO for nickel, cobalt hopeful

Shares in nickel and cobalt hopeful Aldoro Resources will begin trading on the ASX tomorrow, after a $5 million initial public offering.

Aus Mines' $US12m deal for cobalt work

Perth-based Australian Mines has secured a $US12 million convertible note facility with a New York fund, as it seeks to continue development of a Queensland cobalt project and completes the acquisition of a second cobalt deposit.

Altura in $US15m debt raise

Lithium producer Altura Mining has secured an additional $US15 million of debt funding to support a second stage expansion and the ongoing ramp-up of its Pilgangoora operation, after officially opening the project last week.

Empired wins $9m+ NZ contract

Empired subsidiary Intergen has won a $9 million-plus contract to develop a digital transformation program for New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs.

Small Metronet slice for local contractors

Early works for the Yanchep rail extension and Thornlie to Cockburn link will be contracted separately, as the state government attempts to give opportunities for smaller players after combining the main portions of the two projects into one package.

MinRes takes position in cobalt hopeful

Mineral Resources has continued to diversify its interests, taking a $2 million stake in West Perth-based Barra Resources, which is developing the Mt Thirsty cobalt project near Norseman.

Todd to raise $4.2m

Subiaco-based copper hopeful Todd River Resources plans to raise $4.2 million for drilling work at its Mt Hendy discovery in the Northern Territory.

Thiess wins $190m Leinster contract

CIMIC Group subsidiary Thiess has won a $190 million contract extension for mining services at BHP Billiton Nickel West’s Leinster underground mine, where it has operated since 2016.

Jessica Gomes grows to Asia

SPECIAL REPORT: China and South Korea are key targets for Jessica Gomes as she seeks to take her skincare business into Asia later this year.

Designers plan global assault

SPECIAL REPORT: Asia and the US are the big targets for Perth designers who hope to break onto the world stage.

Downer wins Broome Chinatown work

Downer has been awarded a $6.9 million contract for work to revitalise Broome’s Chinatown streetscape, with works on Carnarvon Street and Dampier Terrace to start this month.

Hydrogen a potential energy option

The cost of hydrogen production could be competitive enough for Western Australia to become a exporter in the next decade, while use in applications such as remote area power systems is not far away.

National growth accelerates in June

State final demand lifted 0.2 per cent in Western Australia in the June quarter, while national GDP growth hit its fastest level in more than 5 years at 3.4 per cent in the 12 months to June.

Gaetjens flags productivity push

Treasury secretary Phil Gaetjens has said policies to improve labour productivity would be critical if Australia was to continue its record run of growth, while hitting back at claims about growing inequality.

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WA returns to growth as Australia avoids recession

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.

Financial probe for student union

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.

Warning to Uber moonlighters

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.

$130bn of major projects in WA

Nearly 140 major projects are either under way or planned for WA, new research by Business News has found. Click through to access the new list on the BNiQ Search Engine.

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McGowan to cancel Roe 8

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.

Nalder makes fresh freight link pitch

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.

Green light for Kwinana lithium plant

A $400 million lithium processing plant to be built in Kwinana has got the green light, with West Perth company MSP Engineering to act as head contractor.

Feds back unconventional drilling

Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg said the federal government would be pushing states to remove moratoriums on unconventional gas extraction, including fracking, he told the LNG 18 conference today.