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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.      

Miners mastering rehab ‘magic’

A team of local researchers is taking the next step in a program analysing the use of chemicals in smoke to grow seeds for mine rehabilitation.

Job apps target a mobile workforce

Students and hospitality workers are the key cohorts first targeted by new mobile apps GoCasual and Squaddle, both of which have been developed by Perth startups.

Chevron loses $340m tax appeal

Chevron Australia has lost its appeal of a 2015 Federal Court ruling regarding the company's financial and taxation relationship with its US parent, although the company has not ruled out a High Court appeal.

Super pit deal falls through

The Chinese company angling to buy a 50 per cent stake in the Kalgoorlie super pit has reportedly dropped the $US1.3 billion bid due to more rigid Chinese controls on capital outflows, while its bid to buy Southern Cross gold mine owner Hanking Australia has been completed.

Woodside continues Pluto expansion pursuit

Woodside Petroleum has engaged contractors to develop concept options for an expansion of the Pluto LNG facility for consideration as early as mid-year, while reporting an 11 per cent drop in March quarter revenue on the back of adverse weather and inventory build up.

Ore fall a big dent to budget

The dramatic fall in the price of iron ore since the start of March could punch a $1.4 billion hole in the state's finances in the next financial year.

Ship spending to trigger apprentice uptake

SPECIAL REPORT: Henderson shipbuilders have plans to put on hundreds of apprentices as billions of dollars in naval investment is expected in the next few years.

Directors want tax reforms back on agenda

A lower company tax rate, the abolition of stamp duty and a review of the federation should be top priorities to drive national prosperity, says the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Stochastic to be sold by receivers

Oil and gas software developer Stochastic Simulation is expected to be put up for sale, two weeks after it was put into receivership. 

Unis’ post-boom hangover

The two-speed economy that hampered Western Australia during the peak years of the mining boom continues to linger in sectors where labour markets lack flexibility.

West could lag next boom wave

Western Australian workers would have the most to lose of any state from a major downturn in China and the least to gain from a major growth in services exports, according to new modelling from Deloitte, but an increased openness to investment opportunities might bring an upside in both scenarios.

Taxi tax could be admin headache

A taxi levy to buy back plates could be a major administrative headache for the sector and punish more efficient players, according to Ingogo chief executive Hamish Petrie.

Wave Park lease green light

The City of Melville has approved a lease for a proposed wave park on a 4.4-hectare area of Tompkins Park in Alfred Cove, after a lengthy council meeting last night.

Data analysis driving societal change

Health could be the next sector to be disrupted by technology, according to a panel of employees from four globally significant companies in that sector at Business News' Success & Leadership breakfast this morning.

Wages a target as state grapples with worsening debt

A wage freeze could be on the agenda for public sector staff in the upcoming state budget, according to new Treasurer Ben Wyatt, as Treasury officials warn the state will need to pay increasing rates of interest on government bonds.

Bring tax mix switch back on agenda: AICD

A lower company tax rate, the abolition of stamp duty and a review of the federation should be top priorities to drive national prosperity in coming decades, the Australian Institute of Company Directors has said, as it seeks to reignite public debate on major economic reform.

Exports to China boost trade surplus

Western Australian merchandise exports were up 36 per cent in February compared to the same month in 2016, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, while the national trade surplus reached the second highest level on record.

Oil price albatross weighs on marine logistics players

Offshore oil & gas: The marine logistics sector is yet to significantly rebound from the lower oil prices of the past few years, although positive signs are emerging.

Gas demand a blue sky opportunity for Woodside

Offshore oil & gas: Woodside Petroleum's February launch of a new supply ship that can use liquefied natural gas as a fuel is an early move in what could be a larger focus on driving new market demand.

Greater Enfield project a positive for contractors

Offshore oil & gas: Three international players are among those to have won work for Woodside Petroleum's Greater Enfield oil project since it was given the go ahead in the middle of last year.

Chopper crew rides above turbulence

Offshore oil & gas: The lack of new construction projects is not too much of a headwind for one helicopter operator.

Tax uncertainty, competition cloud decision making

Special Report- Offshore oil & gas: First gas at the final train of Chevron's Gorgon project and two potential significant Woodside-led brownfields LNG projects are positives for an offshore energy industry under pressure. Click through for four related articles on the sector.

Contracts awarded for Gold Road project

A suite of contract announcements has been made for Gold Road Resources' $507 million Gruyere project, including for GR Engineering Services, Maca and Civmec, while Macmahon Holdings said today it had been selected as preferred contractor for a new Queensland coal mine.

Paladin, Avira deal falls over at final hurdle

Paladin Energy's planned $US10 million sale of a 30 per cent stake in the Manyingee uranium project to Avira Energy has been thwarted, with Avira unable to secure financing in time.

State to keep eye on mine rehab fund

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston says the McGowan government will keep a close check on usage of the industry's mine rehabilitation fund to ensure unscrupulous operators don't shift costs onto honest players, while also confirming the existing state exploration incentive scheme will continue operation.

BHP says tax defeat a win for new projects

Investment plans for BHP Billiton's South Flank project can proceed with greater certainty following the defeat of the Nationals WA's proposed iron ore levy hike at the ballot box earlier this month, according to the company's asset president of WA iron ore, Edgar Basto.

WA solar take-up drives major energy storage need

A lack of battery storage across the electricity network in Perth and surrounds is the most significant energy problem facing the state, according to recent research from the University of Western Australia.

Automic seeks efficiencies in the cloud

Perth-based share registry business Automic Registry Services wants to double its market share this year after making a substantial investment in a new cloud-based platform.

Agri-researchers testing growth

Agribusiness consultancy Kalyx Australia will pursue growth opportunities in horticulture research following its recent merger with Peracto WA, the local franchise of the Tasmania-based Peracto research brand.

Exploration spend up 13 per cent: BDO

Exploration spending among ASX-listed resources juniors increased about 13 per cent in the December quarter, the third consecutive uptick, according to recent research by professional services firm BDO.

NWQ in US expansion, appointment moves

West Perth-based hedge fund NWQ Capital Management has revealed it will be targeting the huge US financial sector with a new offshore fund, on the same day it announced former Bennelong Funds director of consultant relationships Tara Bell would be appointed managing director of research.

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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.

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.

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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.