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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 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.      

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.

City of Perth expands, but not to Burswood

The state government will legislate to include the University of Western Australia, Kings Park, the QEII Medical Centre and the City of Vincent in the City of Perth, but will not include the Burswood Peninsula after that proposal was rejected by the independent Local Government Advisory Board.

Feds push innovation agenda

Encouraging employee share ownership, reform in vocational education and training, increasing skilled immigration, and the establishment of industry growth centres will be key planks in the federal government’s new industry innovation and competitiveness agenda, released last week.

Report critical of retail restrictions

The state government has further incentive to loosen retail trading restrictions after a Productivity Commission report found current regulations are of no benefit to business, but impose a major cost on consumers.

Dairy monopoly 'won't work'

The Australian dairy industry would not benefit from adoption of a Fonterra-style ‘national champion’, as in New Zealand, and suggestions otherwise are not consistent with market realities, according to a recent Productivity Commission report.

Kibaran in positive graphene results

Subiaco-based graphite player Kibaran Resources has achieved some preliminary success in developing a process to convert the carbon-based mineral into graphene.

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.

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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.

Liquidation as pressure builds at Yagan Square

Two businesses at Yagan Square have shut up shop in recent weeks, with warnings more may follow as tenants grapple with low foot traffic.

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.

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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.