Matt Mckenzie

Matt Mckenzie joined Business News in June 2014 and reports on projects, energy, agribusiness, infrastructure, small business, 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. In 2018, Matt won a WA Media Award for business reporting.

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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 mattmckenzie. I'd also like to declare that I'm a member of the Liberal Party.      

End in sight for Bell battle

About $1.9 billion will be split between the Insurance Commission of Western Australia and other creditors of Bell Group when a settlement deal, signed in December, comes into effect later this year.

Five trends to expect in the 2020s

The rise of AI, pressure on China, and tighter money are key issues facing the global economy.

Freo getting its mojo back

There’s a sense of optimism in Fremantle amid a flurry of new venue openings, supported by a potential investment pipeline of nearly $1 billion.

GDP, jobs strong in US

US growth, investment and unemployment numbers all look improved under President Donald Trump, but it is still early days to call the full impact of his tax cut package passed two years ago this month.

Unfinished business in 2019 to energise leaders

An emerging battle for the future of WA’s energy industry and efforts to revive Perth’s street precincts have been among the defining themes of 2019.

Western defence delivers for feds

The Liberal Party WA’s marginal seat contingent played a big role in the shock May federal election victory, while local ministers, most notably Christian Porter, are key to the government’s agenda.

Developments needed for domgas demand

Chevron and Newcrest have signed a supply deal for 16 petajoules of domestic gas until 2023, while a new analysis of the state’s gas market says the Scarborough and Browse developments are necessary to ensure sufficient supply.

WA alone in power price surge

Western Australia is the only Australian state expecting an increase in power prices during the next three years, according to new modelling out today, which could put pressure on the state government to introduce further competition to the electricity sector.

Work with us in Pacific, Belt and Road: China

Australia, China and the US can cooperate in the South Pacific on big data and in artificial intelligence, according to a visiting senior Chinese policy adviser, while encouraging Western Australia to get involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Lowe cautious on QE

Moves by the Reserve Bank to buy private assets or government bonds, known as quantitative easing, are unlikely in the near future, according to governor Philip Lowe.

Uyghur activist’s chilling warning on China

Australia needs to consider its trading relationship with China in light of alleged human rights violations against tens of thousands of the Uyghur ethnic minority, community representative Rushan Abbas said at a media briefing organised by the US consulate.

AI fish robots to defend ecosystems

Robotic fish supported by machine learning are being developed to help rid WA waterways of invasive species, a project which illustrates the impact of the Forrest Fellowship program.

Critical minerals capital yet to pay out

At least $1.6 billion of equity has been raised by WA-linked critical minerals hopefuls in the past five years, but achieving consistent returns is another battle.

Nahan to vacate Riverton in 2021

Former treasurer Mike Nahan will not re-contest his seat of Riverton at the 2021 state election, he announced today, about six months after leaving the role of opposition leader.

LNG trucking for Strandline power

Woodside Petroleum and power contractor EDL will team up for a 27-megawatt gas and renewable microgrid to be built at Strandline Resource’s Coburn mineral sands project, which will include trucked LNG.

Santos moves towards $2.2bn Dorado development

Developing the Dorado oil project will cost up to $2.2 billion, with front-end engineering and design to start next year, Santos revealed today, while forecasting $60 million of investment in Western Australia in 2020.

Morning headlines December 2

Rich listers targeted by ATO in cash push

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Matt Mckenzie discuss mining projects — the good news and bad, mining technology, BGC Contracting changes hands, Metronet, John Holland legal action, Water Corp contracting, new hotels, the Royal Flying Doctor Service WA, and our special report on chief executive remuneration.

Autonomy, big data driving resources revolution

A move to use lasers to perfectly load rail cars is worth about $300 million to BHP and is an example of how the area around the town of Newman is world class in applying technology to resources.

AFG directors in $27.6m sale

Two Australian Finance Group founders have sold shares worth about $27.6 million, about 5 per cent of the company, as they plan to diversify their portfolios.

MinRes shifts focus to Yilgarn

About $300 million will be invested by Mineral Resources into expansion projects in the 2020 financial year, led by moves to boost Yilgarn iron ore output nearly 50 per cent.

Pricing solution to solar pressure

Regulators will be considering moves to cut the amount thermal generators need to pay when the electricity market is oversupplied, as independent retailers warn they may soon need to charge customers for exporting solar energy into the grid.

Administration, restructure planned for Fashion Festival

The entity which ran the Perth Fashion Festival for 20 years, before operations were passed to the Fashion Council WA, has entered administration owing $819,000, with owners Mariella Harvey-Hanrahan and Tony Sage planning a deed of company arrangement.

From ocean to plate, it’s favoured in Asia

Hard work, a lean supply chain and premium quality help make WA lobster a popular delicacy in China.

Seven developments that built brand Perth

Free to read: Major recent investments and fresh ideas have added to WA’s traditional tourist attractions and natural beauty.

Gearing up for Indo-Pacific’s bright minds

International education is a $1.9 billion industry for WA, and there are plenty of innovative ideas about how to build the sector.

Boom brings mutual benefit

Perth and Shanghai have developed dramatically in recent decades, and former premier Colin Barnett says a strong relationship between WA and China has enabled the state’s success.

BHP, Woodside in Scarborough deal

A price has been set for processing Scarborough field gas at the Pluto LNG facility, Woodside Petroleum and BHP announced today, the second boost for the $15 billion project in recent weeks.

Approvals split for Ellenbrook rail

Environmental work for part of the Ellenbrook rail line has been submitted to regulators today, with a second stage of the project, from Malaga to Ellenbrook, to be reviewed next year.

Cook moves up at Arc

Murray Cook will take the reins at freight rail network operator Arc Infrastructure early next year as chief executive Paul Larsen steps aside after 12 years in the role.

CEFC, Cannon-Brookes in agritech fund

A local farmer, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the founder of an Australian technology unicorn have chipped in $16 million to a new venture capital fund focussed on agrifood tech.



Green light for Bechtel Pluto camp

A $180 million project to house up to 2,500 fly-in, fly-out workers for the expansion of Woodside Petroleum's Pluto LNG plant was approved by the local joint development assessment panel in December.

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.

EC&M into administration

Henderson-based electrical contractor EC&M has entered administration this morning, with about 400 staff to be temporarily stood down.

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.

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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.