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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.      

China FTA whets abalone appetite

The southern town of Augusta will be home to a new artificial reef as a Western Australian company uses local technology to improve productivity in abalone ranching.

12.8mt wheat harvest tipped

The falling Australian dollar has been a positive development for growers of the state’s two largest agricultural exports as the harvest cranks up across the grain belt.

Economy exceeds expectations as exports surge drives growth

Export growth has helped lift Western Australia’s economic performance above budget expectations, with gross state product up nearly 5.5 per cent in real terms over the 12 months to June 30, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Neon board under pressure from Evoworld

Oil and gas producer Neon Energy has said the result of its recent shareholder meeting gives it a mandate to pursue a merger with Melbourne-based MEO, despite receiving renewed notice that key shareholder Evoworld Corporation will call a meeting to remove directors.

TNG legal battle over

Subiaco-based resource exploration company TNG has been awarded damages of $3.5 million after a court case that spanned more than a decade, but has cautioned that the impact of the "extraordinarily complex" judgement remains unclear.

Growers want to get back on T3 rail

Regional communities are putting pressure on the WA government and Brookfield Rail to re-open the third tier of the freight network.

Positives emerging at Gindalbie

Gindalbie Metals chairman Keith Jones has told shareholders at today’s annual general meeting that the last twelve months had been “confronting” for the company, and “as close to a perfect storm as one can get”.

Approval achieved for Augusta abalone

The state government has granted approval for an Augusta-based aquaculture company to expand its abalone production.

Couch potato on deregulation

WA potatoes grow in a unique regulatory climate.

WAFarmers milk ready for sale

Coles stores in Western Australia will be selling WAFarmers branded milk from today, with part of the proceeds from sales going to development of the state’s agricultural industry.

TSA Telco in second legal battle

Former Water Corporation chairman Tim Ungar and business partner Peter Jones are locked in a Fair Work dispute with the previous general manager of their telecommunications business, Timothy Collins.

Swivelpole pivots to international market

An innovative product developed in Western Australia is being exported to energy and resources companies internationally under the leadership of former Bankwest corporate and specialised banking head, Andrew Tolj.

Doray, Iluka in gold farm-in

Gold miner Doray Minerals has inked a farm-in agreement with Iluka Resources for exploration in Iluka’s South Australian tenement portfolio.

Punishment v performance on safety

Workplace injury rates in WA have fallen despite the heavy influx of workers to construction projects. In fact, mining is behind retail trade in terms of injuries.

Perth group joins social media and mining

A local software company and a Perth-based international mining consulting company have launched a new social media platform today they hope will revolutionize labour flexibility in the mining industry.

China trade deal boon for WA

President Xi Jinping of China is poised to sign a free trade agreement with Australia on Monday following the G20 summit in Brisbane, after nearly a decade of negotiations.

McAuslane MD at explorer RNI

Metallurgist Royce McAuslane has been appointed managing director of mineral explorer RNI, while chairman Miles Kennedy will move to a non-executive role effective immediately.

Orbital in Remsafe acquisition

Engine technology developer Orbital Corporation has moved to acquire half of electrical product manufacturer REMSAFE from co-founder Nick Bertucci for $5 million.

Alcoa fined for contractor death

International aluminium producer Alcoa has joined a number of companies fined for workplace deaths this year, today receiving a $68,000 fine for a fatality at its Wagerup refinery five years ago.

South leads regional sales

Attention turns to the state’s south as the property market in the north-west stalls.

Federalism change floated

The inclusion of gambling revenue in Commonwealth Grants Commission funding is one of a number of suggestions to reform Australia’s federation, following the release of a recent federalism paper by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

Record cattle slaughter for September

Cattle and lamb slaughters have continued on a strong upwards trend in September 2014, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Resolute in $25m raising

Gold miner Resolute Mining has announced plans raise $25 million through a convertible note issue to fund projects in West Africa and near Peel.

Continental Coal in $72m sale

Embattled collier Continental Coal has struck a $70 million deal to offload its interest in its South African subsidiary, leaving the company debt free and with excess cash reserves.

Care sector looking healthy

The state’s healthcare and social services sectors are in for another decade of rapid change, industry leaders say, after growing employee numbers by more than 60,000 during the past 10 years.

IR reform returns, slowly, to agenda

Western Australia is feeling the effects of recent changes to workplace relations law, with 457 visa restrictions causing skills shortages in niche markets and a high level of industrial activity.

Sunny side up for jobs - SPECIAL REPORT

Our annual Biggest Employers feature has the latest BNiQ data on employment trends in WA, including the companies that are expanding and those that are shrinking, and in-depth analysis of what's happening in mining, construction, health care, accounting, law and other industries.

WA tops nation in 'economic freedom'

Western Australia would rank third in the world in economic freedom if it were its own country, but recent resources-driven success should not make governments complacent about reform, according to Canada’s Fraser Institute.

Ag productivity in government sights

Expanding the coverage of the foreign ownership register, further investment in infrastructure, abolition of excessive regulation and adjustments to the tax system have all been suggested as policy initiatives in the federal government’s Agricultural Competitiveness green paper.

Macmahon extends negotiation deadline

Mining contractor Macmahon Holdings has again extended talks with Mongolian government-owned coal miner Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi concerning $30 million it is owed in overdue payments.

Gas debate fires up

A recent Grattan Institute report on the east coast gas market has further fuelled debate in Western Australia over the merits or otherwise of the gas reservation policy.

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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.