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.
Six local resources companies have announced capital raisings of around $26 million for projects including in lithium and rare earths, with one of the businesses, Okapi Resources, planning to join the ASX bourse.
Shares in three local energy companies have surged today after hitting hydrocarbons while drilling the Xanadu-1 offshore prospect in the Perth Basin, with Triangle Energy leading the charge, up nearly 60 per cent.
State-owned regional power provider Horizon Power has recorded a $35.4 million net profit for the year to June, while hitting its targeted reduction of government subsidies more than a year ahead of time.
State-owned power generator and retailer Synergy has recorded a loss of $12.6 million for the 2017 financial year on the back of lower sales revenue and a large impairment due to the early closure of its generation capacity.
Opposition leader Mike Nahan has called for a parliamentary budget office to be established as part of his budget reply speech today, while lashing out at Labor for not funding the Ellenbrook rail line.
West Perth based Sheffield Resources has moved a step forward on its Thunderbird mineral sands project, securing an offtake deal with Indian business Ruby Ceramics to supply 6,000 tonnes of zircon annually for at least three years.
The state government has appointed Infrastructure Australia board member Nicole Lockwood to chair a new taskforce to plan a Kwinana outer harbour development, as Transport Minister Rita Saffioti indicated she would stare down internal party dissent about the project.
Kidman Resources has finalised a $110 million joint venture agreement with Chilean company SQM for the Mt Holland lithium project, while Altura Mining has begun extracting ore at its Pilgangoora lithium project.
Contract Power Group has won a contract to build, own and operate a power station at Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora lithium project for at least seven years, while former Fortescue Metals Group delivery manager Dale Henderson has taken over as Pilbara’s project director.
Shares in Brisbane-based Diatreme Resources were up 20 per cent today as the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese company ENFI Engineering Corporation to undertake a bankable feasibility study at the Cyclone mineral sands project.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA will be hunting for a new chief executive after Deidre Willmott signalled she would move on from the role early next year to pursue non executive director opportunities.
Western Australians paid nearly $90 billion more in taxes to the federal government than they received in spending in the four years to June 2016, according to estimates revealed by the Department of Treasury in yesterday’s budget.
Gold miners have warned of devastating consequences from a higher royalty rate, including potential mine closures, while business groups have also taken aim at proposed payroll tax hikes for larger employers, after both were targeted in a $1 billion revenue grab by the state government in today’s budget.
Western Australia’s economy shrunk by 0.3 per cent in the June quarter, excluding international trade, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, while GDP grew 0.8 per cent nationally.
The state government has strengthened its ban on fracking in Perth and the South West, while moving to appoint Environmental Protection Authority chairman Tom Hatton to run a scientific inquiry into the drilling technique.
Chinese company Citic has recorded a first-half loss at the Sino Iron magnetite mine in the Pilbara, while warning that the ongoing tussle with tenement holder, Clive Palmer’s Mineralogy, means production at the project could eventually be suspended.
An ambitious multi-billion dollar project to export solar power from the Pilbara into Indonesia would be technically viable, according to a pre-feasibility study released by the Pilbara Development Commission today.
Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood has said the state government should proceed, but move cautiously, toward full retail contestability in the local electricity market, speaking at the Energy in WA conference today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.