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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.      

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.

WAFarmers in Port win

Grain grower lobbyist WAFarmers has had a win for its members, convincing the federal government to waive port regulations for grower co-operatives, on the same day CBH announced its estimated freight fees for next season.

Bunge opens $40m facility

International agribusiness giant Bunge has officially opened its new grain export terminal in Bunbury.

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.

Partnership to progress Esperance woodchip

New woodchip player Southern Pacific Fibre has struck a marketing and sales deal with Australia’s largest producer and exporter of high-quality hardwood chips, Australian Bluegum Plantations, despite a weak woodchip market.

Trade activity to steady: HSBC

Australian businesses expect subdued trade activity over the next six months as concerns around the global outlook increase, according to HSBC’s latest Trade Confidence Index, but long-term demand from growing Asia will provide opportunities.

Warning on education export costs

High tuition fees and living expenses could place Australia’s reputation as an education destination for international students in jeopardy, according to global research from HSBC.

Population growth remains high as investment drops

The transition of the Western Australian economy is under way amid strong population growth, according to recent research from the Committee for Perth.

WA industrial disputes up

Disputes over public sector pay rises have contributed to a significant increase in the number of working days lost to industrial action in WA.

Nido acquisition successful: BCP

BCP Energy International has successfully reached its revised target of 50.1 per cent relevant interest in its takeover of Nido Petroleum, and has made the offer unconditional.

China in $3bn agricultural investment

The Australian agribusiness industry received a boost today with a major deal signed with China for the establishment of a multi-billion dollar investment fund.

Mining subsidies over-estimated

The size of state and territory subsidies to the mining and resources sector has been dramatically overstated, according to a report released today prepared by Michael Schur of global firm Castalia Strategic Advisors.

Resources future beyond the boom

With up to $17 trillion of resources investment likely to be needed by 2030, Western Australia has an opportunity to capitalise on its strengths as a resources sector hub, according to a report from the International Mining for Development Centre.

Water Corp announces dividend

The Water Corporation has announced a net dividend of $245 million to the state government, in a year when the corporation completed work on the state’s first joint public private partnership water facility.

Henderson plan for world's biggest trimaran yacht

Design work is nearly complete for the world’s largest trimaran yacht, to be built at the Australian Marine Complex in Perth’s southern suburb of Henderson.

Govt ticks another box as MRRT goes, with conditions

The federal government has had to accept some significant amendments to its bill to repeal the mining tax, including a review into the creation of an ‘Australia Fund’ and changes to superannuation increases legislated by the previous government.

Commodity prices down: HSBC

The continuing strength of the Australian dollar and flat-to-falling commodity prices remain concerns for the economy.

Mushroom sale sees significant interest

Receivers have said there are more than two dozen potential buyers in the sale of WA’s largest locally owned mushroom farm, Jongro, with expressions of interest closing this week.

BCJ moulds strategy to client needs

Osborne Park-based BCJ Plastics has survived four decades of change in the local manufacturing industry, but sales and research manager Tim Hartung said it was a move into boutique production that helped the company flourish.

Agrifood skills key to exports: Baston

The state government today launched a two-year project to increase the supply of labour to the agrifood industry through migration, workforce development and training.

Squire ups Perth corporate practice

Global law firm Squire Patton Boggs has grown its Perth corporate practice division with the addition of Simon Rear, who is moving from Allion Legal.

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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.