Matt Mckenzie

Matt Mckenzie joined Business News in June 2014 and reports on resources, infrastructure, agribusiness, small business 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 and has worked at a leading financial services company.

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

Nickel price aids Western Areas

Nickel miner Western Areas has returned to positive territory with a net profit of $516,000 in the six months to December.

Woodside profit jumps but oil prices weigh

Woodside Petroleum says it is considering new facilities at Pluto LNG to distribute the fuel in the Pilbara for mining and marine usage, as the company bounced back from large write-downs to post a sharp rebound in profitability for the first half of the 2017 financial year.

Tunnel costs lower than first forecast

The state government's estimate for the cost of a tunnel to complete Roe 9 has fallen dramatically since the option was first floated in 2014, according to documents obtained under freedom of information by Labor.

WA unemployment down, but worst in nation

Western Australia's unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points in January to be 6.5 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, although the state now has the worst unemployment rate in the nation.

Pilbara project hit by $US1bn impairment

Iron ore miner Citic Pacific will cop a write down of up to $US1 billion on its Sino Iron magnetite operation in the Pilbara, less than a year after the facility completed commissioning.

Senate orders Roe 8 inquiry

UPDATE: A snap inquiry into alleged breaches of environmental conditions at the Roe Highway extension project will be held next week, after a motion introduced to Parliament by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was today backed by the Senate.

Mining tech boss backs Greens

Perth mining industry software entrepreneur Norman Pater has put his money where his mouth is, with his private company, Pater Investments, supporting the Greens WA to the tune of $99,500.

Water West wins utility licence

Perth-based private utility Water West has received Economic Regulation Authority approval to roll out water recycling at a new land development near Pinjarra.

Opportunity tipped as China shifts trade environment

Environmental services companies could be among the beneficiaries of an ongoing shift in China's economy from manufacturing to services, according to University of Western Australia lecturer Yanrui Wu.

Roe 8 documents handed over

Previously secret documents regarding the planning of the Perth Freight Link were yesterday released by Main Roads after a recent order by the Information Commissioner, according to Labor North Metropolitan region candidate Alannah MacTiernan.

Civmec weathering tough market

A currency depreciation and weak market conditions for resources companies have driven net profit after tax down by 42.9 per cent at Henderson-based contractor Civmec.

Nationals' $150m WASM commitment

The WA Nationals will today commit $150 million to the Western Australian School of Mines, with the cash to be funnded from revenue it hopes to gain with a proposed new iron ore tax.

AGL takes next step in domgas market entry

Sydney-based AGL Energy has said it would lose around $15 million in a bid to enter the Western Australian domestic gas market in the 2018 financial year, after it lodged a retailing application with the state's Economic Regulatory Authority. 

Details still to come on Metronet value capture

Shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt said he had no intention of raising taxes after the state election, while leaving wriggle room to do so, and declined to provide further details about how Labor's value capture proposal to partially pay for the Metronet rail package might affect residents living in proximity to stations.

Nahan puts job on line against royalty hike

State Treasurer Mike Nahan has put his neck on the line to stop the Nationals WA's proposed mining tax, saying he will resign from the portfolio if a post-election Liberal government does a deal to lift royalties.

Costings debate for $3bn Metronet pledge

The planned first stage of Labor's Metronet package with railway lines to Ellenbrook, Yanchep and Byford, and an additional line linking Cockburn and Thornlie, will have a price tag of $3 billion, according to costings announced today.

Locals call for regional road spend

SPECIAL REPORT: Congested roads are becoming a way of life for many residents of Bunbury as visitors from the north clog the city's arterial roads on weekend trips to and from the South West.

Election to determine road, port future

SPECIAL REPORT: Two Perth mayors have more at stake than most if the controversial Roe 8 contract is ripped up, having both devoted decades fighting on opposite sides of the debate.

WA in China fashion deal

Local fashion designers will have an easier route into the growing Chinese luxury market after the Fashion Council of Western Australia today signed off a five-year deal with the China Fashion Association.

WA investment outlook remains soft: Deloitte

The lion's share of investment projects under way nationally are still taking place in Western Australia, according to the latest Deloitte Access Economics investment monitor report, although that lead will evaporate as $107 billion of LNG projects are completed in the next two years

Recycled rainwater could ease drain on underground supply

A filtration product that enables the reuse of rainwater otherwise lost to stormwater systems has attracted the attention of the local government sector.

Adams to run as independent

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams has announced her third tilt at state parliament, nominating as an independent for the South Metropolitan region in the Legislative Council, while the WA Liberals remain tight lipped about a potential preference deal with Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

Confidence key, retailers say

Local businesses aren't popping the champagne corks for an economic recovery just yet despite the latest data from the Commonwealth Bank showing a rise in transactions across a range of sectors during the Christmas trading period.

Tourism spend to boost state

A significant lift in private capital expenditure in the tourism sector could provide a tailwind for Western Australia's struggling economy this year, according to the author of a report released by investment bank UBS.

Guthrie powers on post-Toro

Former Toro Energy managing director Vanessa Guthrie says recruiting and maintaining women in senior leadership roles remains a significant challenge in Western Australia, given the prevailing corporate culture.

Government opens cheque book for industry assistance

The state government has granted $415,000 to 20 local defence industry businesses on the same day it announced applications were open for a pool of $400,000 of innovation vouchers.

Balla Balla, Brockman deals headline positive iron ore prospects

More than $8 billion of greenfields iron ore projects are either proposed or in development, while $450 million of brownfields work is under way as the state's miners plan investments to maintain production.

$520m rail commitment welcomed

The Royal Automobile Club of WA and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA have both welcomed an election pledge by Premier Colin Barnett to spend $520 million upgrading a freight rail line between Thornlie and Cockburn to enable passenger service.

Rate cut unlikely amid sluggish inflation

Higher fuel and domestic holiday travel costs have contributed to a 0.4 per cent rise in Perth prices in the December quarter, while national inflation remains below the Reserve Bank's target, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' most recent data.

Iron ore price rise helps Atlas

A higher iron ore price has helped Atlas Iron post operating cash flow of $58 million in the December quarter, as the company maintained that it would reach a net cash position by the middle of the year.

Sims hits back on union Western Power campaign

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims has written to the local branches of two trade unions, saying they misrepresented his views on the float of Western Power in a recent advertisement campaign.



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.

Property player tops 40u40

Blackburne managing director Paul Blackburne was last night named the 2016 Business News 40under40 First Amongst Equals, ahead of a talented and diverse field of candidates.

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.

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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.