Matt Mckenzie

Matt Mckenzie joined Business News in June 2014 and reports on projects, energy, agribusiness, infrastructure, small business, 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. In 2018, Matt won a WA Media Award for business reporting.

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.      

Jobs can’t match WA population influx

More Western Australians were employed in February than ever before, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, but that was not enough to stop a 0.2 per cent rise in the state’s unemployment rate to 5.8 per cent.

Wood Group runs razor over costs

Australian employees of oil and gas service provider Wood Group PSN can expect a salary freeze while contractors will experience rate reductions, a move the company said was in response to cost and efficiency challenges affecting the sector.

Stochastic in $5m software buy

Oil and gas modelling software provider Stochastic Simulation has entered into a $5 million deal to acquire modelling technology from Predrill Stresses International.

Sheffield sells Oxley potash

West Perth- based explorer Sheffield Resources will sell its Oxley potash project, near Geraldton, to South Australian Centrex Metals for $2.5 million.

Tax compliance costs SMEs

The annual cost to small business owners of complying with the GST is upwards of $13 billion, according to a recent survey, adding to calls for the federal government to address business taxation in its tax review white paper this year.

West not best in index reshuffle

Listed companies from Western Australia are on the outer in the most recent quarterly reshuffle of the S&P Dow Jones ASX Indices, with high-profile absentees including Iluka Resources, Mineral Resources and Monadelphous Group.

Ag sector needs investment, rationalisation

The state’s agricultural industry will require almost $600 billion of investment by 2050 to improve productivity and rationalise production in a bid to access Asian markets, according to a new report released by KPMG for the state Department of Agriculture and Food.

WA budget delayed one week: Nahan

The delivery of the state government’s budget will be delayed one week to account for uncertainty in the distribution of the GST, Treasurer Mike Nahan announced today.

Petrol fall hasn’t fuelled vehicle sales

Lower petrol prices have not accelerated new vehicle purchases in Western Australia, with sales down 6.1 per cent in February on the same period in 2014.

Research tax cap modified

The federal government has watered down planned changes to the research and development tax incentive scheme, which industry players say will improve its impact on productivity.

Nahan determined to balance the books despite few tools in his kit

Treasurer Mike Nahan, who is coming up on a year in the job later this month, spoke to an audience of nearly 500 at a Business News Success & Leadership breakfast last week.

Iluka MD in share incentive purchase

Iluka Resources managing director David Robb has acquired around $2.5 million of shares in the mineral sands producer under the company’s incentive plans.

10 union officials before courts: FWBC

Ten Western Australian Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union officials are among 72 nationally before the courts for alleged workplace law breaches, according to the Fair Work Building Commission.

Cricket giants gear up for Perth matches

The world’s two top ranked one-day cricket teams, Australia and India, are set to head to Perth’s WACA Ground for World Cup games against minnows Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates in the coming week.

Poor government procurement costs $239m: Deloitte

Poor procurement practices cost Australian governments around $239 million annually, according to a new study from Deloitte Access Economics.

Atlas Pearls loses some shine in half-year report

A fall in pearl sizes has dragged down revenue for Atlas Pearls and Perfumes, with the company confirming a loss for the first half of the year flagged in a restructure last week.

Grain industry plans to capitalise on dining boom

Western Australia's grain production could be valued at $10 billion annually by 2025, under a new strategy launched today by the Grain Industry Association of Western Australia.

State govt won’t slam on brakes: Nahan

Treasurer Mike Nahan has reiterated the state government’s commitment to return to surplus by 2016-17, but has pledged not to do it by hitting families or businesses, at today’s Business News Success and Leadership breakfast.

India may change iron ore fortunes

A depreciating currency and encouraging demand over the medium term spells good news for the state’s mining juniors, if they can ride out short-term fluctuations.

Business borrowing back at pre-GFC peak

Western Australian businesses borrowed more last year than at any time since the GFC, with commercial finance up 14.9 per cent to $44.8 billion on the previous year’s figure, according to recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Spud king takes a stand

The regulation of potato production in WA has the business community bemused at how such an anachronism can survive.

Warning on visa changes

Planned federal government reforms to the ‘significant investor visa’ program risk making the scheme unpalatable to potential migrants, according to 888 Fund managing director John Garland.

Nomad rebuilds with $10m acquisition

Shares in Nomad Building Solutions were up 26 per cent today, after the company announced it would acquire privately-owned Bloomer Constructions Qld for up to $10.4 million, which offset news of an expected loss in its McGrath Homes business.

State won’t pay for tier 3 rail: Nalder

The state government has stuck to its position that maintenance of leased railway infrastructure is the responsibility of the private sector, in its response to the 2014 parliamentary committee report into the management of the state’s freight rail network.

Atlas Pearls in restructure

Shares in Western Australian aquaculture player Atlas Pearls and Perfumes fell dramatically today as the company announced a restructure, including the resignation of executive chairman Stephen Birkbeck.

Youth unemployment helps case for IR reform

Western Australia has one of the highest engagement rates of people aged 15-19 in employment or study, according to the Productivity Commission’s report on government services.

Strong December lifts retail spend

WA outperformed most states in December’s retail spending results, and with an interest rate cut and falling petrol prices, there are hopes of a retail revival.

State, feds focus on childcare

Western Australia has shifted its focus to early childhood education in what might be the start of a national trend, with the federal government dumping its paid parental leave scheme in favour of childcare policy reform.

Commodities Group buys land for $1.5bn prawn farm project

Perth-based company Commodities Group has signed an access and option agreement for a 180,000-hectare cattle station, to continue its pursuit of an industrial scale prawn farming operation.

Orinoco secures Brazil project funding

West Perth gold explorer Orinoco Gold is aiming to become a gold producer in 2015, after announcing a $14 million package to commence production at its Cascavel project.

Year of two halves for investment players

Western Australia’s listed money managers had a strong 12 months to June 2014, but face a challenge to repeat that performance in 2015.



Green light for Bechtel Pluto camp

A $180 million project to house up to 2,500 fly-in, fly-out workers for the expansion of Woodside Petroleum's Pluto LNG plant was approved by the local joint development assessment panel in December.

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.

EC&M into administration

Henderson-based electrical contractor EC&M has entered administration this morning, with about 400 staff to be temporarily stood down.

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.

most commented

St Barbara recruits new CEO

Former Rio Tinto executive Bob Vassie has today been announced as the incoming managing director of ASX-listed gold miner St Barbara.

Coalspur announces strategic review

Coalspur Mines has announced a major strategic review, including the potential sale of its flagship Vista project in Canada, or sale of the company as a whole.

Clough awarded Rio power contract

The collapse of Forge Group has opened up new opportunities for engineering contractor Clough, which has won a design and procurement contract for a power station that was previously awarded to Forge.

Schammer, Hasleby pitch online footy venture

Former Fremantle football stars Byron Schammer and Paul Hasleby have teamed up to launch what they hope will be the AFL equivalent of Facebook.