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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.      

Astronomical impact of space junk research

A deal between Adelaide-based Silentium Defence and Curtin University astronomers to develop technology tracking space junk is an example of WA’s growing capability in matters extraterrestrial.

Zenith in Barrow Island power build

Belmont-based remote power provider Zenith Energy has won a contract to provide a 20 megawatt power station at Chevron’s oil operations on Barrow Island.

Report adds pressure to Synergy split

It may have gone largely unnoticed in Western Australia, but a recent report into the east coast's electricity market could have major implications for the state, including for government-owned monopoly power business Synergy.

$200m gas saving from tribunal decision

Gas users will save nearly $200 million over five years after the Australian Competition Tribunal dismissed a move by the owner of the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline to alter a pricing decision by the state’s Economic Regulation Authority.

Staff cuts add to red tape concerns

SPECIAL REPORT: Despite a host of deals in the Perth Basin during the past year, proponents are battling issues with red tape.

Cha play buoyant FLNG role

SPECIAL REPORT: With shipments at Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility still to get under way, one Perth businessman is hoping to reignite use of the technology for stranded gas fields.

Expansion plans get energy sector pumping

SPECIAL REPORT: Chevron’s $5 billion Gorgon phase two project announced in April might be the first in a wave of new oil and gas investments.

Oil spill at Cliff Head

West Perth-based oil junior Triangle Energy has revealed a leak at its Cliff Head oil platform, about 300 kilometres north of Perth, although the company said the spill was substantially less than 10,000 litres.

Talison approves $516m Greenbushes expansion

Talison Lithium has confirmed it will build a third concentrator at the Greenbushes lithium mine to boost output to 1.95 million tonnes per annum, but the owner of tantalum rights at the project has again warned the expansion will be subject to an ongoing legal battle.

Forethought needed for lithium boom dreams

Lithium advocates have been cautioned to separate facts from hype as it is not yet clear if battery manufacturing in Western Australia will be practical, although refining plans should proceed immediately, according to Mckinsey & Co partner Prabhav Sharma.

Tax changes key to investment flow

Lower company tax rates and changes to power pricing are among possible moves that would support the state’s economic development, according to local academic Peter Hartley.

Carnarvon jumps after staggering oil find

Shares in Carnarvon Petroleum were up 57 per cent today after the company revealed its joint venture partner Quadrant Energy had made an oil discovery described as staggering.

Battery research centre of interest

A bid to launch a battery focused cooperative research centre in Perth has so far received more than $26 million in commitments from supporters, and will build on existing research programs at institutions such as Murdoch University.

Centurion gears up acquisitions with Triton

Hazelmere-based trucking business Centurion had made its second major acquisition in two months, buying Welshpool-based heavy haulers Triton Transport Services.

Gorgon leads way as LNG exports pass $30bn

A doubling of production at Chevron’s Gorgon LNG plant has helped boost national exports of the fuel 38 per cent to $30.8 billion in the year to June 2018, according to consultancy Energy Quest.

Battery trend broadens to business

An avocado farm near Pemberton, deep in the state’s South West, may not be the obvious location for an award-winning energy technology application.

Banks need relationship reboot

A Perth-based banking consultant who helped banks in Africa develop more customer-centric strategies believes a return to that model would benefit Australian institutions.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Matt Mckenzie discuss closures in the hospitality sector, growth in the Pilbara, residential property, the outlook for oil and energy markets, and our quarterly corporate finance review dissects 235 WA deals worth $7 billion.

Strong returns for AusCann investors

SPECIAL REPORT: AusCann has benefited from a wave of interest in medicinal cannabis for pain relief to be the BN30’s top performer in shareholder returns for the year to June 30.

Resources returns lead rebound

SPECIAL REPORT: Battery metals businesses such as Pilbara Minerals, Altura Mining, and Western Areas have joined AusCann Holdings, Buru Energy and OM Holdings among the best-performing stocks in the year to June.

AusCann raises $33m for cannabis development

Joondalup-based medicinal cannabis hopeful AusCann Holdings has secured $33.4 million from local and North American institutions, with NYSE-listed marijuana play Canopy Growth Corporation upping its stake to 11.2 per cent.

Law firm chasing Asian markets

Law firm Squire Patton Boggs is sharpening its Asian engagement strategy, with former Lavan partner Tony Chong appointed to head its Asia desk in June.

Study cool on cannabis pain benefit

A University of New South Wales study has called for caution about the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis to relieve pain, but a Western Australian hopeful in the sector is still confident for the future of the industry.

Treasury highlights risk of failure to sell TAB

The state government is aiming to decide the future of the TAB by the end of this year, following today's release of a Treasury paper warning that failure to sell the state’s betting agency could create a major risk for the longevity of the local racing industry.

Goyder to steer Qantas as chair

Richard Goyder will become chair of Qantas in October, less than a year after he joined the board of the Sydney-based carrier, replacing Leigh Clifford after more than a decade in the role.

Spacecubed grows on collaboration

SPECIAL REPORT: Spacecubed has been at the vanguard of the growth in Perth’s startup community in recent years, with the social enterprise now operating about 5,000 square metres of co-working spaces and a range of accelerator programs.

Cranecorp extends reach in tight sector

SPECIAL REPORT: Several acquisitions in the past four years have helped Cranecorp Australia grow into new markets, but the company’s owners still make themselves available to clients to give relationships a personal touch.

$640m+ likely from partial Landgate privatisation

The state government will partially privatise title registry agency Landgate in a move expected to raise at least $640 million, with the money to be used to fund the state's share of the National Redress Scheme for child abuse victims.

Innovation a key trade advantage

International opportunities for Western Australian startups, microgrid developers and the biotech sector are expected to develop in coming years, according to the state’s trade representatives.

Confidence up as explorers win $31m grants

Stavely Minerals, Prodigy Gold, Chalice Gold Mines and St George Mining are among the Western Australian miners that will share in $31 million allocated through the federal government’s Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive announced today.

Greenbushes expansion proceeding despite legal threat

Work is continuing on the stage one expansion at Greenbushes lithium mine, according to Talison Lithium, despite the business hitting a legal speed bump in a dispute with Global Advanced Metals.

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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.

EC&M into administration

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

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.