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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.      

Bunbury move for Parks and Wildlife

A new location in Bunbury will be the home of the state government’s Department of Parks & Wildlife, with up to 300 employees to be housed at a Koombana Drive headquarters.

Iron ore uncertainty inevitable

The falling price of iron ore is putting substantial pressure on local miners, particularly small and mid-sized players, but the price of the bulk commodity is still well above levels achieved just more than a decade ago.

Invoice fraud sharpens GST reform case

Consumers and businesses are submitting fraudulent invoices to avoid tax and duties on purchases from overseas, contributing to calls from local retailers for reform to the tax-free threshold for imports.

IR reform crashes onto agenda

The Productivity Commission has flagged reform of the minimum wage, penalty rates and enterprise agreements in its workplace relations review issues paper, which was accidentally released early today.

Unicredit, Teachers Mutual consider merger

One of Western Australia’s last local credit unions, Unicredit, is moving to merge with Sydney-based Teachers Mutual Bank this year, joining a long-term trend towards scale in the lending industry.

Golden quarter for Saracen

Shares in gold producer Saracen Mineral Holdings were up 14 per cent today after the company's December quarterly report revealed strong production, lower costs and improved cash flow generation.

Farm loans scheme expanded

The state government’s farm finance concessional loans scheme has been expanded to allow loans for debt restructuring, and to farmers in areas that are not rainfall deficient.

Construction to provide jobs in 2015: Hays

Employment growth in the construction industry will be strong in this quarter, according to a report by Hays Recruitment, as the continued influx of new people to the state drives demand for residential properties.

WA front and centre on GST reform

A group of local business owners is lobbying the state government to support changes to the GST import threshold, making Western Australia a key front in national retail reform.

Regular prices at a premium

Perth has maintained its trend of weekly price fluctuations at the petrol bowser, according to Australian Competition & Consumer Commission data, despite most other capitals moving towards longer fuel price cycles.

WA's business leaders name top issues

Business News’ CEO survey has unearthed strong views on the turbulent 12 months just gone, while also offering some timely advice to our political leaders.

Mining gloom brings budget doom

The impact of falling export prices has been revealed in Canberra's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, as the federal government pushes the return to surplus out until the end of the decade.

Headphone market growth echoes in Perth

Perth company Audiofly is hoping to replicate strong export sales during the past three years with the opening of a new store and headquarters on King Street in the city.

CFMEU under fire in Royal Commission report

The federal government’s Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption has recommended criminal charges against a number of officials from the CFMEU and Health Services Union, while the government has also released terms of reference for a review of the country’s workplace relations framework.

Grain harvest to be 13mt

Western Australia’s grain harvest for this season will be around 13 million tonnes, as a result of lower than forecast yields in some areas.

BC Iron flags Iron Valley investments

BC Iron has announced it is working with Mineral Resources on potential new investments at the Iron Valley mining operation in the Pilbara, to improve its commercial viability.

WA population growth strong but slowing

Western Australia led the nation in population growth in the 12 months to June 2014, but the state has experienced the slowest growth rate in eight years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

CTI slides 10% on profit downgrade

Shares in transport and warehousing company CTI Logistics have dropped nearly 10 per cent today after a substantial profit downgrade.

RCR reaps $37.5m from properties sale

Engineering services company RCR Tomlinson has announced it will sell and lease back four properties for $37.5 million, with the proceeds to be used to pay down debt.

REL up 86% on takeover tick

Shares in Perth company Resource Equipment have climbed 85.7 per cent today after the board recommended a cash takeover offer valuing the company at $115.5 million.

Orbital in $10m note issue

Engine technology developer Orbital Corporation plans to raise $10 million via a convertible note issue to fund its acquisition of electrical product manufacturer REMSAFE.

SCEE latest in buy-back trend

Southern Cross Electrical Engineering is the latest WA based company to commence an on-market share buy-back, as the trend towards returning capital to the market continues.

Freight Link confirmed as WA’s first toll road

The state government will invest an additional $591 million to deliver the Perth Freight Link, including the Roe 8 extension, by 2019, with a plan to fund the investment through the first heavy vehicle user charge in the Perth metropolitan area.

IMX in $7m Tanzanian nickel sale

Mineral developer IMX Resources will sell part of its Ntaka Hill nickel mine to Mauritius-based private equity company Fig Tree Resources Fund II, with plans to use the cash to fund its nearby graphite project.

State to proceed with Perth Act

The state government is proceeding with plans to create a City of Perth Act as part of its reform of local governments, with cabinet approving the drafting of legislation to be released early next year.

Boom Logistics hit by downturn

Crane hire company Boom Logistics is relying on staff cuts and surplus asset sales to pay down debt amidst challenging market conditions, the company said today.

Power prices need competition: providers

The state’s private electricity providers have warned that an unfavourable result in the Energy Market Review could cause problems for independent operators, ultimately stifling competition and putting pressure on power prices.

Panoramic joins buy-back list

Nickel miner Panoramic Resources has joined the list of Western Australian companies returning cash to investors through share buy-backs.

MRC in legal dispute

Mineral sands developer Mineral Commodities has become the subject of action in the High Court of South Africa, after a dispute over a garnet deposit at its Tormin operations.

McKay to head Skilled

Skilled Group has recruited senior Asciano executive Angus McKay as its new managing director.

O’Connor leaves TFS

Director of sandalwood producer TFS Corporation Patrick O’Connor has resigned from the board today, just weeks after stepping down as chairman as the company continues a refreshing of the board.

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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.