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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.      

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.

WA car sales continue to stall

Western Australian new vehicle sales are down 10.2 per cent for the month of August, according to a report from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

Developers lift earnings

Property developers have reported substantial earnings growth during the 12 months to June as low interest rate settings foster a transition from resources to dwelling investment.

BCP lowers Nido hurdle

BCP Energy International has altered its conditions in its takeover of Nido Petroleum, making the offer nearly unconditional upon 50.1 per cent acceptance.

Record grain rebate: CBH

Western Australia’s grain handling cooperative CBH Group has announced a record $4.55 per tonne growers’ rebate after a year of strong harvest last financial year.

Education leaders call for reform

Vocational education and training needs more funding and recognition according to business leaders in the sector, who met in Perth this week.

Katana achieves stellar year

Sharp timing on commodities stocks has helped drive a strong result for investment manager Katana Capital, with a 187 per cent increase in revenue to $8.3 million, from $2.8 million the previous financial year.

Silver Lake sees red ink in gold

Silver Lake Resources continues to be buffeted by a low gold price, with operating losses at its Murchison operation and impairments dragging it to a $170 million loss.

Market upheaval spurs innovation at HHG

The GFC and new technology have put increasing pressure on law firms, but local firm HHG Legal Group is taking the opportunity to tailor a new service for the middle segment of the market.

Monkey’s business is child’s play

What started as a hobby is developing into something Funky Monkey Bars creator Shane Roberts calls “Ikea, but for playground equipment”.

Perseus in the red

Movements in the US dollar and Ghanaian Cedi relative to the Australian dollar have combined with lower gold production and higher costs to drive Perseus Mining into losing territory.

Mirabela faces uncertain future

Mineral explorer and developer Mirabela Nickel still faces uncertainty as a going concern after coming out of administration in June, on the back of lower than expected nickel prices.

Fleetwood net profit down 99%

Caravan and accommodation manufacturer Fleetwood Corporation has revealed a 99 per cent fall in net profit to $76,000.

WAFarmers to tap milk

Agricultural lobby group WA Farmers will be releasing its own milk brand in November, with proceeds used to support market development in the farming industry.

Swick net profit down 83%

Drilling services provider Swick Mining Services has released its earnings and dividend for the 12 months to June 30, with net profit after tax down 83 per cent year-on-year to $1.5 million.

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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.

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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.