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

Gebro into administration

Small indigenous business Gebro Contracting, which has worked with Main Roads and Georgiou Group, has entered administration.

No axe to grind as venues compete

Perth will soon be home to three venues with a very different type of entertainment - axe-throwing - adding to a growing number of nightlife options offering interactive activities to lure in punters.

Juwi to take RCR's role at Greenough solar

Synergy’s renewable power joint venture has chosen Juwi Renewable Energy to complete the expansion of Greenough River solar farm, nearly a year after previous contractor RCR entered administration.

Gas, batteries firm as coal exits

SPECIAL REPORT: Gas peaking generation and utility scale batteries will become increasingly valuable in WA as coal power units are retired and new wind farms come online.

$9.4m for Hazer hydrogen

A commercial biogas to hydrogen operation in Perth is a step closer for Hazer Group, after the company announced it had received approval from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency board for $9.4 million of funding.

Market improves for graduates

The graduate jobs market is a competitive environment, but there is cause for optimism as parts of the state’s economy emerge out of a downturn.

EC&M workers returning amid uncertainty

Nearly 160 of EC&M’s 400 employees will be back at work in September, with administrators progressing deals with major clients since the business hit the wall last week.

2050 net zero carbon target for WA

Western Australia will be carbon neutral by 2050 under an aspirational policy announced by the state government today, although it is not yet clear what mechanism will be used to achieve the goal.

Retail, hospitality hit by rents, slow spending

The rate of business failures in hospitality and retail during the past year should be ringing alarm bells for decision makers.

Suppliers caught in EC&M insolvency

Bibra Lake-based Magellan Power has been hit by the insolvency of EC&M after supplying nearly $500,000 of equipment to a project, leading managing director Masoud Abshar to add his voice to calls for stronger laws around payment of subcontractors.

Kelly nationalises water maintenance

The WA government has turned the clock back by returning maintenance and operations work across Water Corporation’s Perth and Mandurah networks to state control.

EC&M into administration

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

Ayles gives fashion fest a sporting chance

Creating a more inclusive fashion festival and controlling costs have been the two priorities for the new boss of the Fashion Council WA.

Banks beware a currency revolution

Australia’s big four banks could be reduced to one within a decade, in an extreme scenario, as Western countries follow moves in China towards the mass adoption of social media-based payment systems, according to a New York University professor visiting Perth.

Gold miners reap rewards of strong market

Strong gold prices and higher production levels have helped lift revenue at gold miners Saracen Mineral Holdings and Regis Resources, with Saracen’s net profit up 22 per cent to $92.5 million.

Pay deal approved by public workers

A new wages deal for public sector workers that offers an extra holiday and superannuation payments during unpaid leave had been approved by workers, two months after Business News revealed the public sector union had claimed the deal broke the state government’s pay policy.

Java runs out of juice

The Leederville-based business which owns the iconic Perth brand Java Juice has entered administration, with stores in Joondalup and Perth closing doors in recent weeks.

Activists arrested in parliament showdown

Eight protesters were arrested at state parliament today as members of the Extinction Rebellion group took their climate change activism to the next level, with a sitting in the legislative assembly brought to a standstill.

Woodside setting up balance sheet for big build

A move to reactivate a dividend reinvestment plan and a $US 1.5 billion debt deal should be read as a sign Woodside Petroleum is confident that its Browse and Scarborough projects are moving forward, chief executive Peter Coleman said.

Key McGowan adviser in fight over CCC inquiry

The head of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet has been accused of an “extremely serious intentional breach of parliamentary privilege” by a parliamentary committee chaired by Labor's Kate Doust for his actions during a Corruption and Crime Commission investigation.

McGowan lobbying on submarine maintenance

Labour and capacity constraints in South Australia could lead to cost blowouts and delays in the building of new naval vessels, Premier Mark McGowan said today, as he lobbied federal counterparts to move more maintenance work for existing submarines out west.

Unions ready for offshore fight

SPECIAL REPORT: An alliance between two big unions will put pressure on oil and gas contractors at a time when many enterprise agreements reach their expiry and a big projects are set to get under way.

Domgas needs big developments

SPECIAL REPORT: Four prospective domestic gas projects will be key to ensuring adequate supply in WA in the next decade, despite new facilities recently starting up.

Green impact facing major projects

SPECIAL REPORT: Business News spoke to green advocates to explore how the petroleum industry might find common cause with the environmental movement, as pressure builds on billions of dollars of projects.

Cockatoos, wetlands on rail route

Nearly 30 hectares of Black Cockatoo foraging habitat and three priority wetlands will be impacted by the Thornlie-Cockburn link rail project, according to environmental documents.

Gorgon carbon capture online

The $2 billion carbon capture and storage facility at Chevron’s Gorgon LNG plant has entered operation, more than three years after first gas was shipped from Barrow Island.

Trade surplus, WA exports smash ceiling

Western Australia’s exports surpassed $161 billion in the year to June, as Australia recorded its largest ever trade surplus in the month.

Two coal units to close at Muja

The state government will shut two more generating units at the Muja coal power station, in October 2022 and October 2024, much earlier than scheduled.

Links course playing out of the rough

The operator of Links Kennedy Bay, which claims to have been named one of the top five public access golf courses in Australia, has gone into liquidation with a large tax debt.

Cause for optimism amid battery clouds

There’s cause for optimism about the potential to manufacture battery components in Western Australia in the long term, according to BHP Nickel West asset president Eddy Haegel.

Treasury bosses extend reach into utilities

Deputy under-treasurer Michael Court has joined the board of Horizon Power, the latest in a string of moves to appoint government employees to directorships at energy utilities.

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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.

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.

Liquidation as pressure builds at Yagan Square

Two businesses at Yagan Square have shut up shop in recent weeks, with warnings more may follow as tenants grapple with low foot traffic.

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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.