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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.      

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 Tara Bell would be appointed managing director of research.

GST share below expectations

New state Treasurer Ben Wyatt has labelled the latest recommended GST distribution "abysmal" and a threat to the state's finances after the Commonwealth Grants Commission recommended Western Australia receive 34.4 per cent of its per capita share. 

Mitsui in the frame after Walsh appointment

The appointment of Sam Walsh as a director of Mitsui & Company this week has brought attention to the usually low-profile Japanese multinational, which according to BNiQ Search Engine data has been a major investor in Western Australia's resources industry and is one of the state's largest exporters.

Chains serve up $40m stores push

A big increase in takeaway spending in WA may not be flowing through to the big players, but they are still investing in market share.

Long-term potential for biogas, hydrogen as domgas

Biogas and hydrogen could be injected into distribution networks to partially replace natural gas for use by industry and households within decades, according to a report released today b

WA regional travel down

Air travel from Perth to Broome and Perth to Karratha fell dramatically in January compared to the same month in 2016, according to the latest data by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.

OECD calls on China to cut steel capacity

Almost 500,000 workers would need to be laid off in China's steel industry by 2020 to reduce excess capacity, according to a report released by the international Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development this week.  

Chevron boss warns against political threats

Chevron managing director of Australasia Nigel Hearne has confirmed a fourth LNG train at the Gorgon project won't be happening in the near term, while calling on governments not to buckle to calls for higher taxes and increased regulation that will reduce competitiveness of the industry.

Three developments keen for Quantify device

Quantify Technology Holdings has announced it is likely to win contracts for its internet of things services to be rolled out on three projects, including at the University of Western Australia's Medical and Dental Library.

McGowan sworn in as premier

Western Australian Labor leader Mark McGowan has been sworn in as the state's 30th premier at Government House.

Better news on unemployment for WA

The unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percentage points in Western Australia in February, to 6 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, as the state jumped from last place on that metric to be better than Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

Ore dust costs Port Hedland economy up to $60m a year

Iron ore dust in Port Hedland has cost the local economy around $60 million per annum, with an additional $216 million in one-off capital costs, according to a report released today commisoned by a local hotel opposing further expansion of BHP Billiton's port operations.

WA players set to battle Elon Musk for SA battery project

Australian Vanadium has joined fellow Perth company Carnegie Clean Energy in hoping to help solve South Australia's energy crisis, today committing to tender to build a battery storage facility in that state.

Slow return for retail sales

A recent report by professional services firm Deloitte Access Economics suggests retail spending could be slowly picking up in Western Australia, with recent official data finding sales grew 0.3 per cent in January after seasonal adjustment.

Ecocentric sharpens green edge

Improving accuracy in measuring electricity consumption could provide benefits from the office block to the mine site.

Modern spin on laundry load

Two Perth entrepreneurs are looking to clean up in the laundry business with new offerings that bring technology and style to an often thankless household chore.

Post-election wave for some businesses, rainy day for others

Shares in Carnegie Clean Energy jumped 23 per cent today, with the company likely to receive financial support for an Albany wave project from the newly elected state government, while environmental activists are already putting pressure on uranium miners.

Port planning transfer could cut costs

Trans-shipment has been floated as a solution to capacity constraints at bulk export ports in the state's north.

Azimi works to plant positive seeds

40under40: Welcomed to Australia after fleeing his home country, Akram Azimi hopes to pay it forward by working to improve education standards for disadvantaged children.

Better insolvencies data for January

There was a slight dip in the number of Western Australian businesses entering administration in January compared to the same month in 2016, according to the latest data from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Hong Kong company onto Wellard register

A Hong Kong-based company has joined the share register of live export business Wellard International just days after Holmes a Court family entity Heytesbury Holdings took a stake.

Shoppers keen for better retail hours

Moves to extend trading hours on weekdays and on Sundays could be a hit with voters, according to a recent survey conducted for the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA, with 59 per cent of shoppers keen for longer weekday trade.

McKeon to step down from AFG leadership

Australian Finance Group chief executive Brett McKeon will step aside after 23 years at the helm of the mortgage broker, after leading the company from its founding to an IPO in 2015 and winning the 2006 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for WA.

SUVs still more popular in declining market

The pickup in the state's economy revealed in the latest GDP data hasn't flowed through to spending on new cars, with vehicle sales in February 13.7 per cent lower than the same month in 2016.

Programmed in indigenous jobs committment

Employment provider Programmed hopes to increase the number of indigenous employees in the national workforce by 5,000 within a decade, the company said at an announcement with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Generation One founder Andrew Forrest in Canberra today.

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.

Brierty well down despite profit

Shares in mining and civil contractor Brierty have tumbled 23 per cent today despite the company announcing a $3.8 million net profit for the six months to December, which the company said was above guidance.

Better numbers for Emeco

Osborne Park-based heavy equipment supplier Emeco Holdings has reduced its first-half net loss after tax by around 70 per cent, to $31.3 million for the six months to December.

Australis in $100m raising plan

Subiaco-based energy company Australis Oil & Gas has announced an $80 million expansion of its shale acreage in the southern US, amid plans for a $100 million raising.

Smaller players seek to reduce freight barriers

SPECIAL REPORT: Contractors face hurdles as they bid for work with major companies, and suggest a more open approach might bring benefits.

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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.