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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 leading financial services company.

Passing Comment

If you need to get in touch with me anonymously or through an encrypted service, you can contact me on Wickr at mattmck0. I'd also like to declare that I'm a member of the Liberal Party.      

Port expansion an economic boost: ACIL

Exports through Port Hedland could reach 700 million tonnes per annum within a decade, contributing an extra $4.8 billion to Australia’s GDP, according to a report by ACIL Allen, as debate continues about the impact of iron ore dust on the nearby township.

Avocado grower named businesswoman of the year

Avocado grower and Fresh Produce Alliance co-founder Jennifer Franceschi has been named the Telstra Western Australian Businesswoman of the Year, joining an alumni that includes Gina Rinehart.

Portal highlights why small business matters

Subiaco-based Small Business Matters is hoping the 'buy local' message of its new online portal will resonate with consumers ahead of Small Business Day this Saturday.

Retailers becoming more positive

Western Australian retailers have a positive view of business conditions in the year ahead, according to a recent survey by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, with one third expecting an improved market in the 2018 financial year.

AI could yield $400bn dividend

Artificial intelligence has the potential to increase GDP growth by an additional 1.5 per cent per annum until 2035, according to research by consultancy Accenture.

Amalgamation cuts port costs

The state-owned Southern Ports Authority has cut its annual operating costs by about $7 million since its three component ports were amalgamated in 2014, according to its annual report.

L3 Oceania wins $2.9m defence contract

Defence contractor L3 Oceania, formerly known as Nautronix, has won a $2.9 million innovation contract from the federal government’s Defence Innovation Hub.

Van Der Wielen getting HBF in shape

Cost reductions, east coast expansion, and cutting the number of products on offer are all part of HBF chief executive John Van Der Wielen’s strategy to help the not for profit deliver results for members in a tough private health insurance market.

Origin to launch in west today, deepening price war

Sydney-based energy provider Origin Energy will launch in the Western Australian retail gas market today, 10 months after Business News revealed the company would be the fourth business to supply domestic gas in the state.

Foreign capital boosts growth

SPECIAL REPORT: Mitsui & Company, Shell and Itochu Corporation are among a swag of businesses that have made substantial investments in the state’s exporting industries over the decades, showing that foreign investors can contribute without directly operating assets.

Lithium projects progress ahead of $4bn sales surge

SPECIAL REPORT: Ten lithium projects under construction or in advanced planning to bring new lithium supply onto the market will dramatically boost exports of the commodity in coming years.

Exports grow as Chevron, Roy Hill ramp-up

SPECIAL REPORT: Roy Hill Holdings and Chevon have joined the likes of Rio Tinto, BHP, Woodside and CBH Group in an updated ranking of WA’s largest exporters in the BNiQ Search Engine.

CBH in grain movement record

West Perth-based CBH Group hit new records for grain shipments and rail movements in the 12 months to the end of September, the cooperative said today.

Miners turn on power opportunities

More mining projects on the horizon and a move towards outsourcing generation is creating work for power contractors.

BN30 index nears record high

Investors appear to have shaken off a drop in gold and iron ore prices at the end of September to back Western Australian businesses, with the Business News BN30 index of local shares closing the September quarter near record highs.

Top fashion label to close

One of Perth’s most successful fashion designers, Melanie Greensmith, has announced she will close her Wheels & Dollbaby label after three decades in the business.

Sky the limit for WA’s mini observatories

A partnership between Lockheed Martin and Curtin University highlights that WA researchers have a lot to offer when it comes to looking at the stars.

Borgioli right at home on King Street

It was in the aftermath of a profoundly emotional moment that Terence Borgioli, then 23, decided to chase his dream of starting a luxury fashion business.

WA exports surge, but retail stagnates

Western Australia’s exports are continuing to grow, with $122.5 billion shipped overseas in the past 12 months, up 22 per cent from the same period to August 2016, but retail sales data shows that it is too early to call a recovery.

Roy Hill hits 55mtpa rate

The state’s largest iron ore mine Roy Hill hit its nameplate capacity for the first time last month, according to Roy Hill Holdings chief executive Barry Fitzgerald, while the exact cost of the project so far has been revealed.

Milestone in Rio rail automation program

Rio Tinto's long-running project to fully automate its Pilbara rail operations has achieved a milestone, with the first unmanned train journey successfully completed over a distance of nearly 100 kilometres.

GST change could encourage royalty hikes: CCI

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has warned a Commonwealth Grants Commission proposal for states to retain more revenue from royalty rate changes when calculating the GST distribution might encourage tax hikes, potentially discouraging investment in the mining industry.

Mark my words podcast

In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer, Matt Mckenzie and Katie McDonald discuss the GST debate, Kerry Stokes and gas sector deals, WA's resource sector outlook, local content on big projects, population growth and residential builders.

Tax equity no easy fix

Western Australians would not be better off under a return to state-based income taxes, according to an award-winning honours paper prepared by a Curtin University graduate who now is part of EY’s infrastructure advisory team.

Empire Oil & Gas into administration

Local energy producer Empire Oil & Gas has entered voluntary administration today, two weeks after receivers took control of subsidiary Empire Oil, which operates the company’s key Perth Basin assets.

Utilities face financial flux

Across the state’s major government-owned utilities, more money goes in through subsidies than out through dividends, according to the latest batch of annual reports.

Tech, new port to shape freight future

New ports, better planning and increased use of technology are in the sights of transport industry leaders preparing the state’s freight network for coming decades, according to a panel of experts at a recent Committee for Economic Development of Australia lunch.

Yanchep JV backs Y-hub

The state’s newest co-working space has been opened in Yanchep, after a $10 million investment by the area’s main property developer, in a bid to create a knowledge-based economy in the region ahead of an anticipated population influx.

Ritter to head IR review

Unions and businesses have welcomed a review of Western Australia’s industrial relations system, the only remaining state-based scheme operating in parallel with federal laws in the country.

Stochastic into liquidation

Oil and gas software developer Stochastic Simulation has gone into liquidation, about five months after it went into receivership, with secured creditors likely to receive about 4 cents in the dollar in a best-case scenario.

Perth property down 8.8% in three years

Perth residential property prices fell 0.8 per cent in the June quarter, to be down 3.1 per cent across the financial year, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today.

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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.