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

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.

Tax relief flows west

A greater proportion of Western Australian taxpayers are likely to benefit from immediate changes to tax thresholds passed through parliament yesterday than other states, according to Business News analysis of Australian Taxation Office data.

$144bn tax plan passes Senate

Nearly three in four taxpayers will pay a marginal tax rate of 32.5 per cent from 2025, with the government’s plan to flatten the income tax system approved by the Senate today, despite moves to lower company tax still stalled.

Pilbara leads spike in WA job vacancies

Job vacancies in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions hit their highest level in four years in May, as demand for engineers, IT professionals and automotive trade workers in Western Australia takes off.

Power Ledger in Silicon Valley electric car deal

Perth-based blockchain business Power Ledger has signed a deal to work on an electric vehicle charging project in California’s Silicon Valley.

Ashburton, Peppermint Grove nation's highest income locales

Western Australians still have higher median incomes than those in other states despite recent softening, according to data released today, with Ashburton and Peppermint Grove the nation’s top local government areas by the measure.

Contractors switch on for next generation of power

SPECIAL REPORT: The rollout of next generation energy infrastructure such as batteries and microgrids is kicking off in WA, adding to the opportunities available for contractors in this space.

From Bibra Lake to the Big Apple

SPECIAL REPORT: Perhaps surprisingly for a contracting business based in Bibra Lake, Sovereign Hydroseal has some high-profile international clients in its order book, with the world’s seventh busiest subway among them.

State still sorting contracts

SPECIAL REPORT: The state government appears to be tacking away from using contracting in public services provision, but the work of Serco is an example of how private businesses can bring cutting-edge innovation into the space.

Labour challenge looms as work ebbs and flows

SPECIAL REPORT: Contractors are buoyant despite the twin challenges of uncertainty around infrastructure spending and an employment market tipped to tighten.

Research to augment reality for manufacturers

A Perth-based business that uses augmented reality technology to help customers visualise designs for factories, offices or other products is investing up to $6 million in research after winning a federal grant.

BHP targets 75%+ WA content for South Flank

BHP’s local boss has said more than 75 per cent of work on the new South Flank mine will be sourced within Western Australia, as CPB Contractors announced it had won a $260 million contract on the $4.5 billion project.

UWA prioritises public policy

The University of Western Australia has big plans for its newly established Public Policy Institute, with hopes its research will have a powerful, real-world impact.

Green light for BHP's South Flank

A second mining major has given the green light to a big iron ore development in a month, with BHP’s board approving the $4.5 billion South Flank development on Thursday.

WA rooftop solar to triple: AEMO

Rooftop solar capacity across Perth and surrounds will nearly triple in the next decade, to be about 2.3 gigawatts, as the Australian Energy Market Operator confirmed current capacity and demand side management was sufficient to meet forecast demand on the South West Interconnected System power network.

Drop in Chinese investment

Australia outperformed most other jurisdictions as a destination for Chinese direct investment in 2017 despite a fall in flows and declining confidence in the country as a safe location for capital, according to KPMG.

Unions, academics at odds on power reform

Securing union support for his bid to introduce competition into the local electricity retailing market will be a major test of Ben Wyatt’s political and negotiating skills.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer, Matt Mckenzie, and Katie McDonald discuss the latest economic growth data, three intriguing takeover prospects (Atlas Iron, HBF, BGC), stockmarket floats, including Primero group, agricultural projects in WA's north, the continuing debate over fly-in-fly-out, and our special report on Perth apartment projects.

Asset sales halted after 1990s flurry

BN 25th Anniversary series- WA has been slow to introduce private ownership to some state industries, although a series of moves during the Court era generated benefits, according to one prominent WA economist.

Alliance assembles for naval opportunities

Three industry associations in WA are seeking to help local businesses win defence work.

Momentum grows for irrigation plans

Several major agricultural irrigation projects are moving forward in the state’s north, with Pardoo Beef Corporation and Argyle Cattle Company among the proponents.

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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.

$130bn of major projects in WA

Nearly 140 major projects are either under way or planned for WA, new research by Business News has found. Click through to access the new list on the BNiQ Search Engine.

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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.