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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.

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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 mattmck0. I'd also like to declare that I'm a member of the Liberal Party.      

Mixed outlook for China

Chinese demand for Australian natural resources could be on a longer-term path of slow growth, although a major international development project could bring some benefits.

Jockeying for position in Perth Basin

SPECIAL REPORT: Only a small number of oil and gas players in the Perth Basin are moving forward on projects.

Fracking moratorium hit to under-pressure gas plays

SPECIAL REPORT: Ongoing uncertainty over state government policy and a lengthy approvals process are muddying the waters for local energy hopefuls.

Walker replaces Aitken at Empire

Former Canaccord Genuity head of energy Asia Pacific, Angus Walker, has taken over the helm of Perth Basin energy producer Empire Oil & Gas today after the resignation of managing director Ken Aitken.

WA biggest winner from Inpex project

Tokyo-based Inpex’s Ichthys LNG project will provide a $34 billion boost to incomes in Western Australia across the period to 2050, and generate about $73 billion of tax revenue, according to an economic impact report by Acil Allen Consulting released today.

Commercial solar momentum builds

Schools, aged care facilities, shopping centres and bars are among the eclectic mix of establishments installing solar panels, amid predictions commercial rooftop installations could grow by nearly a gigawatt in Perth and surrounds by 2037.

RCR loses appeal in eight-year court fight

RCR Tomlinson has lost the latest round in a long-running legal action against a former executive who was dismissed in 2009, and will pay nearly $300,000 in retirement benefits after the company's appeal failed.

Backdoor plays, resources lead shareholder returns

SPECIAL REPORT: Backdoor-listed technology businesses and mining hopefuls have joined the state’s top performers in financial year 2016 in Business News’s annual analysis of total shareholder returns.

Local opportunity in premium products

Olive oil, chocolate, avocados, marron and cider are among a number of Western Australian products that are ideal for local industry to target as premium markets, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and food released Thursday night.

Discounts grow in gas battle on AGL entry

Sydney-based AGL made its long-awaited entry to the Perth gas market this week, with price cuts and a range of customer incentives underpinning the company’s offering as the sector’s newest player in the domestic gas sector.

CBH opens malt facility in Vietnam

Grain handling cooperative CBH Group’s partially owned subsidiary, Interflour, has officially opened a new malt production facility in Vietnam, which it said would give Western Australian farmers better access to the Asian nation’s beer market.

Drilling success for AWE

AWE has reported more positive drilling results at its half-owned Waitsia gas field near Dongara, which it has previously said could be the biggest onshore gas discovery in WA for 50 years.

University rethink needed amid competition

Local universities risk losing much of the income derived from international students if they don’t rethink their curriculums and entry requirements, according to the chief of a prominent Asia-Australia business advocacy group.

$2bn investment on fertile ground

An upgrade to a meat processing plant at Katanning, a chicken feed mill in Muchea, a new piggery at Moora and a live lobster holding facility in Welshpool are the latest in a string of investments that will boost the agribusiness sector in Western Australia.

Regulator gives AGL, Origin green light

East coast-based companies AGL Energy and Origin Energy have received approval to enter Western Australia’s domestic gas market, where they will join Wesfarmers subsidiary Kleenheat and Alinta Energy.

Criminal or work shy, tax evasion costing billions

The red tape facing some businesses is having consequences beyond merely increasing compliance costs, according to chair of the federal government’s Black Economy Taskforce Michael Andrews, and is a contributing factor in tax evasion far more significant than any similar activity undertaken by multinationals.

Perth startups delivering solutions

SPECIAL REPORT: From storage to bookkeeping, Perth’s startup scene has found solutions to a range of problems many small businesses grapple with.

Tech time savers suit small business

SPECIAL REPORT: Technological change is making parts of small business, such as managing accounts and chasing up invoices, less time and cost intensive.

Marindi, Kidman trial to start today

A battle for control of the Earl Grey lithium deposit near Southern Cross between junior miners Kidman Resources and Marindi Metals will get under way in the Supreme Court today, with the trial expected to conclude within three to five days.

Strong returns, teething troubles for graphite

Graphite players have posted strong share price gains in the past 12 months and raised $66 million between them, but they are struggling to kick off production of the mineral. 

From minesweeping to mine sites

A Queensland business that uses sensors to detect unexploded bombs in former conflict zones in South-East Asia and Europe is now using its technology to help iron ore miners find pieces of equipment that have broken off in stockpiles.

Credi taps $20bn loans market

A local startup is hoping to simplify some of the complexities that can arise when lending money to friends or relatives, bringing formality to agreements valued at $20 billion a year nationally.

Curtin market research gets personal

If the thought of a premium branded wine or a high-end snack makes your taste buds tingle, Graham Ferguson’s psychophysical technology would be able to measure it.

NWQ targets overseas business

West Perth-based fund manager NWQ has opened an office in New York as part of the business’s first foray into the US market.

Large drop in WA unemployment

More than 13,000 Western Australians found jobs in April in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as unemployment in the state dropped 0.6 percentage points to 5.9 per cent.

Optimism for WA farmers

Western Australian farmers are among the most optimistic in the nation, according to the annual Commonwealth Bank of Australia Agi Insights report to be released today, with 39 per cent likely to be investing in their businesses in the year ahead.

Ingham's in $70m WA poultry investment

Poultry producer Ingham’s Chicken will invest more than $70 million to build a new feed mill near Muchea as part of a plan to grow production volumes in Western Australia.

BHP dropping Billiton

BHP Billiton will begin dropping the "Billiton" from its name in a process beginning this week, and has signalled a further plan to eventually change its registered name, too.

Belgium, Luxembourg grow Aussie interests

Belgium and Luxembourg have been among the biggest contributors to growing overseas investment in Australia, as the level of foreign-owned assets in Australia doubled in the past 10 years to hit nearly $3.2 trillion at the end of calendar 2016.

Quintis drops 36 per cent on downgrades

Ratings agencies Moody’s and S&P have downgraded the debt of agribusiness Qunitis, while private equity fund Black Rock revealed it had taken a 5.1 per cent stake in the company.

AMEC slams federal tax concession change

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies has strongly criticised a federal government decision to abolish the exploration development incentive tax concession, which it warns will have severe consequences in a climate where exploration is already soft.

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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.