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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.      

Franchise opportunity in transition

Two long-term Perth franchises are hoping to embrace opportunities in WA's changing economy.

Quintessential moving on Y&B takeover

Former copper and gold explorer Quintessential Resources has moved another step towards its scrip takeover of technology incubation company Yonder and Beyond with the appointment of Y&B chief executive Shashi Fernando as a non-executive director.

Report calls for rail reopening

The state government must take action to amend its freight network lease, and should take action to recommission rail lines that have been put into care and maintenance, according to a report by the state parliament’s Economic and Industry Standing Committee.

ThyssenKrupp launches new Henderson home

Leading plant technology provider ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions has unveiled its newly expanded service centre in Henderson today.

Latin America an opportunity for miners

Australian resources companies are under-represented in Latin America’s mining sector despite its attractive operating environment, according to a seasoned player in the region.

Personal loans up but housing and commercial down

Housing finance for owner occupation fell 2 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms last month, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ August figures.

Education players up for challenge

WA’s higher education providers are benefiting from strong growth in Asia, but are facing increased competitive pressure.

China top destination for exports

Chinese demand continues to drive export growth in Western Australia, with more than 57 per cent ($6.2 billion) of the state’s $10.9 billion of goods exports in August bought by China.

High-quality focus for agriculture

Niche production of quality exports might be the future for high-cost sectors of WA’s agribusiness industry.

Dairy policy not quite right

The Productivity Commission has called for a series of reforms to improve the competitiveness of the dairy industry, and warned that the federal government’s drought assistance measures would have costly unintended consequences.

Metals X declares dividend, consolidation

Tin and gold producer Metals X will reward shareholders with an $11 million dividend, the first since the company was listed over a decade ago.

Sheep innovation wins $10m

The state government has announced a further investment in the local agriculture industry, with nearly $10 million to go to a new sheep business centre in Katanning.

Western Areas in farm-in deal

Local miner Western Areas is extending its exploration program in South Australia, inking farm-in and joint venture agreements with Gunson Resources and Monax Mining.

WA Pork to be on national forks

Western Australia’s agribusiness industry will score a win with a contract to supply pork to Coles stores nationwide to be signed on Tuesday morning.

Perth research catches gold manipulators

A University of Western Australia doctoral student has found major banks were exploiting price sensitive information through the London Gold Fix and has predicted the demise of the system before the end of the year.

Creasy’s White Rivers in Africa JV

Private operator White Rivers Exploration, majority owned by Mark Creasy, has joined Harmony Gold Mining Company in an exploration and development joint venture for its Beisa project in South Africa.

RDG completes Centrals acquisition

Perth-based Resource Development Group has completed its acquisition of Central Systems today, as the new group looks towards growth and diversification.

Profitable utilities top up WA coffers

Western Australian utilities are boosting the state government’s budget bottom line, partially offsetting falling GST and royalty revenue, according to the latest round of annual reports submitted to state parliament.

State looks to dining boom: Premier

Agricultural producers might need to think about the structure of the industry in order to take advantage of a once in a lifetime opportunity in the global food trade, Premier Colin Barnett has said while giving the 2014 Muresk lecture.

Low confidence doesn't reflect fundamentals: CCI

Consumer confidence in Western Australia is well below levels in the European Union, despite leading indicators suggesting there is a positive story in the state’s economy, according to Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief economist John Nicolaou.

Retail turnover up, but below forecast

August saw mixed performance in retail, with turnover up 0.1 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest monthly report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Otoc steps towards east coast expansion

Surveying and infrastructure company Otoc has completed its acquisition of Victorian urban design and town planning business Bosco Jonson.

Barminco weathering resources slow down

Mining contractor Barminco has been affected by a weaker resources sector but has cut costs to grow its margin on a weaker revenue base.

Lower costs drive Western Power profit lift

Lower operating costs and an efficiency drive have helped Western Power record an improved net profit result, in a year where strong capital investment continued.

Iron ore shake-out inevitable: Smith-Gander

Leading non-executive director Diane Smith-Gander has said a shake-out of the iron ore sector is almost unavoidable, while speaking at today’s Business News Success & Leadership Series breakfast.

Better signs from China

HSBC’s China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index is at a two month high on the back of improved export and domestic orders, according to the flash summary released today.

Drought loans available in WA

Drought-plagued farmers will be the beneficiaries of a new concessional loans scheme announced by the state and federal governments today.

CT secures Perth beachhead

US-based executive search firm CTPartners has launched its new operation in Perth after buying local firm Park Brown for an undisclosed sum in July.

Competition review draft revealed

The federal government’s competition review advisory panel has released its draft report, with recommendations including the abolition of the National Competition Council and Australian Energy Regulator, deregulation of taxis, pharmacies and trading hours, removal of restrictions on parallel imports, and promotion of user choice in health, education and community services.

Hockey, G20 to hit tax avoidance

Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced Australia will implement a new tax reporting standard from 2017, as part of a global initiative to tackle tax avoidance led by the G20.

WAMMCO vacancy heats up

Producer owned lamb exporter WAMMCO has seen a record four nominations for a vacancy on the cooperative’s 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.