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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.      

Blackham finalises $36m raising

Gold miner Blackham Resources has completed a $36 million entitlement issue with help from underwriters, as the company seeks to cut debt.

Revenue rise lifts Civmec

Henderson-based contractor Civmec lifted profit to $S10.4 million ($A10 million) for the first half of the financial year, up 59 per cent, on the back of a big surge in revenue.

First tick for Pilgangoora expansion

A $207 million expansion to more than double the capacity of Pilbara Minerals' Pilgangoora project could get under way as early as this year, after a pre-feasibility study released today delivered positive results.

Simply Energy to enter Perth gas market

An east coast energy retailer backed by a French multinational will become the fifth player selling to consumers in the local gas market, after receiving approval by the Economic Regulation Authority today.

GO2 exposed in VCS receivership

Belmont-based labour hire provider Go2 People has revealed it is owed about $445,000 by contractor VCS Civil and Mining, which went into receivership last week, while a director involved in both businesses has been forced to step down.

Zenith up on promising guidance

Shares in remote power provider Zenith Energy were up 7 per cent today as the company announced an unaudited before tax profit of up to $11 million for the first half of the financial year.

US investment outflow threat

An international trade body has warned the recent package of tax cuts in the US will lead to a reduction in that country’s foreign investment stock overseas, with Australia potentially vulnerable.

Iron ore drag on Aurizon performance

Iron ore revenue for rail operator Aurizon dropped 9 per cent in the first half of the financial year, although the business overall delivered a big increase in profit.

Crypto raising a Discovery process

A Perth corporate advisory firm is acting as lead manager to raise $US15 million for an Australian cryptocurrency that will make it easier for banks to verify the sources of payments they receive from the growing digital cash market.

RBA cool on inflation risk

A global upswing driven by the manufacturing and industrial sectors will provide a tailwind for Australia’s economy, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s quarterly statement on monetary policy, but underlying inflation is expected to remain low until at least mid 2020.

Market moves hit portfolio values

Altura Mining directors Allan Buckler and Paul Mantell and AusCann Holdings directors Mal Washer and Harry Karelis have been among a group of major Western Australian investors to have the value of their portfolios hit as markets have fluctuated in recent weeks.

Synergy privatisation deal faces rule change risk

Changes to the accounting treatment of leases to be introduced next year could pose problems for the state government’s financial boffins, bringing numerous contracts onto agency balance sheets, including potentially $1.3 billion worth in the case of power generator Synergy.

AGL secures foothold in domgas market

Sydney-based energy supplier AGL Energy has secured 7,000 customers in Western Australia since its July 2017 local launch, according to the company’s half-yearly report.

Carnegie JV in Kalbarri microgrid win

A joint venture between a subsidiary of Carnegie Clean Energy and contractor Lendlease has won $6.8 million of work to install and operate a renewable powered microgrid in the Mid West town of Kalbarri.

Wellard heads to calmer waters

Improved margins on live cattle voyages have helped agribusiness Wellard reduce its net loss after tax for the first half of the financial year to $7.5 million, nearly 60 per cent lower than the previous corresponding period.

First step on Infrastructure WA plan

A new state government advisory body to improve analysis and transparency of major projects, Infrastructure WA, will begin work next year, according to Premier Mark McGowan, who launched a draft plan for its establishment today.

Road clearing for trucking players

SPECIAL REPORT: An improved outlook among the state’s resources players is contributing to renewed positivity in the trucking sector, with investment in technology upgrades a focus for some logistics businesses.

Kwinana fee a red light for truckers

SPECIAL REPORT: A new road usage charge to be levied on certain heavy vehicles by the City of Kwinana has drawn the ire of Western Roads Federation chief executive Cam Dumesny, who says it is another example of a local government imposing additional costs and red tape on the trucking industry.

Fed funding key for major projects

SPECIAL REPORT: A move to secure federal cash for road upgrades ahead of a new outer harbour port development is one possible funding fix for a state government battling budget issues.

EPA approval for Onslow marine base stage 2

A plan to expand the Onslow Marine Support Base has been given the tick of approval by the Environmental Protection Authority, three months after stage one of the project was completed.

Wyatt opens up Pilbara electricity market

The state government has opened up the Pilbara electricity market to greater competition after privately-owned Alinta Energy applied last year to gain access to state-owned Horizon Power’s network.

Brand focus Jus the first step

Bert Giancristofaro will play to the strengths of the Jus Burgers brand after taking ownership of the business last year, with his immediate priority being store refits and fine-tuning the customer experience.

Lithium value-add industry can stand on market merit

The global lithium supply chain will be worth more than $1 trillion in 10 years' time, if an analysis written for the Association of Mining & Exploration Companies pans out, with Western Australia well placed to grab a share.

Rio trucking on with ore moving innovation

Rio Tinto’s decade-long move towards autonomous haulage has hit a big milestone, with 1 billion tonnes of iron ore and waste material now transported by driverless trucks.

Unions, employers at odds on equity

The business community and unions may both support reducing the gender pay gap, but their divergent approaches to a solution present a stark choice for policy makers, if submissions to a review of industrial relations laws are any guide.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall, Matt Mckenzie, and Katie McDonald discuss the Quintis collapse, Wheatstone’s environmental conditions, Doric’s Chinese joint venture, wage gap battle, Fringe festival and land developers.

WA, national EBAs down

The number of enterprise bargaining agreements active in Western Australia fell to 1,592 at the end of September last year, about 30 per cent down on the mid-2015 peak.

Arc executive appointed to Westport

The state government has chosen Arc Infrastructure business development principal Tim Collins as project director for its proposed Westport outer harbour project in Cockburn Sound.

Redmile to take helm at Perth Energy

Local electricity retailer Perth Energy is planning a leadership change, with chief development officer Giles Redmile to take over as chief executive in mid-February as current boss Andrew Rowe moves back to the engineering industry.

IR pressure builds on franchises

SPECIAL REPORT: Franchises are being increasingly squeezed by employment law changes, but recent reforms to competition law provided a few wins for the sector.

Tech, training key for Success

SPECIAL REPORT: Technology and a greater emphasis on strategic advice are how one local accounting franchise hopes to brace for changes in the professional services sector.

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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.