Search

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.

Passing Comment

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.      

Onslow marine base set to expand

The state government has signed off on a $16.8 million Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility loan for the stage two expansion of Onslow Marine Support Base, located at Beadon Creek and operated by Kuwait-based Agility Logistics.

Solar deal takes Badgingarra project to 148MW

Sydney-based utility APA Group will expand its 130-megawatt wind farm project at Badgingarra to include a 17.5 megawatt solar farm, after extending a power purchasing agreement with Alinta Energy.

Second irrigation project gets EPA tick

A project to irrigate and run cattle on 650 hectares of pastoral land south of Broome has become the second such plan recommended for approval by the Environmental Protection Authority this year.

$210m coal extension for NRW

A subsidiary of Belmont-based NRW Holdings has secured a $210 million extension of its mining services contract at the Curragh coal mine in Queensland.

McGowan sets up lithium taskforce

Moves to encourage downstream lithium processing in Western Australia continued today, with the state government announcing a taskforce to develop a strategy for the sector.

Company tax holding Australia back

High company taxes are one of the biggest impediments to Australia’s economic success, according to the latest global competitiveness index by Swiss business school IMD, although improving infrastructure and government efficiency have helped boost the country’s overall rating.

Battery plant rumoured for Wesfarmers

Interest is growing in Kwinana as a possible battery manufacturing hub, with Wesfarmers mooted to be considering a move into the sector and representatives from US electric car manufacturer Tesla in Perth to meet with Premier Mark McGowan today.

Resources tech ripe for startups

The startup space supporting the resources sector is Australia’s game to lose, according to Unearthed director Justin Strharsky, but vision and wise investment are needed amid growing competition.

Perth crypto innovators crack the code

A series of new blockchain plays and a growing assortment of associated businesses highlight how the new asset class is sparking entrepreneurship in Perth.

Buru, Roc in $84m Canning Basin oil deal

West Perth-based Buru Energy has sold a 50 per cent share in its Ungani oilfield to Chinese-backed Roc Oil for $64 million, as part of a broader deal the company hopes will unlock its assets in the Canning Basin.

Pilbara Ports moves on Lumsden Point facility

A long-mooted port development at Lumsden Point adjacent to existing operations at Port Hedland has taken a step forward with the Pilbara Ports Authority opening expressions of interest for potential investors in the project.

Confidence in China relationship

Australian businesses can be confident that strong personal relationships with their partners in China can help overcome any short-term problems between the governments of the two countries, according to two local business executives with close ties to the Asian powerhouse.

Future tech drives network investment

Telstra is spending about $140 million annually on upgrading and expanding its network in Western Australia, as it seeks to enable the uptake of new technology such as the internet of things in mining, agribusiness and other industries.

King of Queen Street lifts veil on new Moroccan bar

With the outlook for the small bar sector becoming more positive, hospitality entrepreneur Andy Freeman has embarked on a $2 million Moroccan-themed venue in Perth’s east end.

Steps forward for two lithium projects

A plan to redouble capacity at Talison Lithium’s Greenbushes mine was lodged with the federal government’s environmental regulator last week, while US-based Albemarle Corporation has updated its timeframe for a Kemerton refinery.

Austal out of patrol vessel build

The German company contracted to build Australia's new offshore patrol vessels has concluded negotiations with its build partners, but Henderson-based Austal will not be participating, with Civmec being the big local winner.

Tax shift may improve ledger

Western Australians paid federal taxes of $16.5 billion in the year to June 2017 that were spent outside the state, according to WA Treasury data, with the latest numbers suggesting WA would be the biggest winner from federal moves to cut company and income taxes.

Trade war unlikely, former US speaker says

A trade war driven by the Trump-administration’s protectionist policies is probably unlikely, former US House of Representatives speaker John Boehner told a Perth audience last night, words that may offer some comfort for those in WA’s export industries.

Curtin at coalface on Indian emissions

With carbon emissions in India expected to double in the years to 2030, research by a Curtin University team could have a dramatic environmental impact by helping improve the efficiency of the country’s coal-fired generators.

Spending restraint, jobs growth support budget

The state’s net debt will peak at a level $2 billion lower than previously forecast, at $40.9 billion, with Treasurer Ben Wyatt forecasting an operating surplus in the 2021 financial year.

Lounge offers business connections

The Small Business Lounge on Mount Hawthorn’s Oxford Street is just the first step for founder Brooke Arnott, who plans to take the advisory concept nation wide.

The Growth Box shuts after nine months

Startup hub The Growth Box has shut its doors in recent weeks, less than a year after opening, with project proponent the Malaga & Districts Business Association facing an uncertain future after 26 years in operation.

Battery hopefuls pick up $50m

Two Western Australian mining juniors focused on battery-related commodities have secured $50 million to advance their projects in Africa.

ACCC, milk producers at odds

Milk production in Western Australia has recovered to levels approaching those before the industry’s deregulation nearly two decades ago, a recent report has found, while the number of milk-producing farms in the state has fallen significantly.

Labor likely to phase out live sheep exports

Federal Labor has effectively committed to end live sheep exports with its agriculture spokesman, Joel Fitzgibbon, telling an Adelaide radio station the party does not believe there is a future for the sector.

ATO dissects business tax take

Less than 1 per cent of businesses paid half of Australia’s corporate tax take in the year to June 2016, according to ATO data, while the financial services and resources industries were the biggest contributors.

ERA tightening to reduce power price pressure

State-owned Western Power will need to trim operating costs by about $100 million more than planned over the next five years under the Economic Regulation Authority’s latest draft access arrangements released last night.

MinRes to sell minority Wodgina lithium stake

Applecross-based Mineral Resources is looking to sell a 49 per cent stake in its Wodgina lithium project, as work to investigate the feasibility of a lithium hydroxide or carbonate processing plant at the site continues.

Big spenders mining wealth

More than $12 billion of mining projects are in the pipeline for WA and likely to proceed, with major iron ore developments the biggest contributor.

Battery boom has a way to run

Few projects are more meaningful for WA’s economic direction than the Greenbushes lithium mine expansion and the new lithium refinery in Kwinana.

Shift in sands drives project optimism

Eight mineral sands projects are either under construction or consideration as the sector finally enjoys some pricing relief.

Pages

Most-read

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.

most commented

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.