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 mattmck0. I'd also like to declare that I'm a member of the Liberal Party.      

Exports to China boost trade surplus

Western Australian merchandise exports were up 36 per cent in February compared to the same month in 2016, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, while the national trade surplus reached the second highest level on record.

Oil price albatross weighs on marine logistics players

Offshore oil & gas: The marine logistics sector is yet to significantly rebound from the lower oil prices of the past few years, although positive signs are emerging.

Gas demand a blue sky opportunity for Woodside

Offshore oil & gas: Woodside Petroleum’s February launch of a new supply ship that can use liquefied natural gas as a fuel is an early move in what could be a larger focus on driving new market demand.

Greater Enfield project a positive for contractors

Offshore oil & gas: Three international players are among those to have won work for Woodside Petroleum’s Greater Enfield oil project since it was given the go ahead in the middle of last year.

Chopper crew rides above turbulence

Offshore oil & gas: The lack of new construction projects is not too much of a headwind for one helicopter operator.

Tax uncertainty, competition cloud decision making

Special Report- Offshore oil & gas: First gas at the final train of Chevron's Gorgon project and two potential significant Woodside-led brownfields LNG projects are positives for an offshore energy industry under pressure. Click through for four related articles on the sector.

Contracts awarded for Gold Road project

A suite of contract announcements has been made for Gold Road Resources' $507 million Gruyere project, including for GR Engineering Services, Maca and Civmec, while Macmahon Holdings said today it had been selected as preferred contractor for a new Queensland coal mine.

Paladin, Avira deal falls over at final hurdle

Paladin Energy’s planned $US10 million sale of a 30 per cent stake in the Manyingee uranium project to Avira Energy has been thwarted, with Avira unable to secure financing in time.

State to keep eye on mine rehab fund

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston says the McGowan government will keep a close check on usage of the industry’s mine rehabilitation fund to ensure unscrupulous operators don’t shift costs onto honest players, while also confirming the existing state exploration incentive scheme will continue operation.

BHP says tax defeat a win for new projects

Investment plans for BHP Billiton’s South Flank project can proceed with greater certainty following the defeat of the Nationals WA's proposed iron ore levy hike at the ballot box earlier this month, according to the company’s asset president of WA iron ore, Edgar Basto.

WA solar take-up drives major energy storage need

A lack of battery storage across the electricity network in Perth and surrounds is the most significant energy problem facing the state, according to recent research from the University of Western Australia.

Automic seeks efficiencies in the cloud

Perth-based share registry business Automic Registry Services wants to double its market share this year after making a substantial investment in a new cloud-based platform.

Agri-researchers testing growth

Agribusiness consultancy Kalyx Australia will pursue growth opportunities in horticulture research following its recent merger with Peracto WA, the local franchise of the Tasmania-based Peracto research brand.

Exploration spend up 13 per cent: BDO

Exploration spending among ASX-listed resources juniors increased about 13 per cent in the December quarter, the third consecutive uptick, according to recent research by professional services firm BDO.

NWQ in US expansion, appointment moves

West Perth-based hedge fund NWQ Capital Management has revealed it will be targeting the huge US financial sector with a new offshore fund, on the same day it announced former Bennelong Funds director of consultant relationships Tara Bell would be appointed managing director of research.

Mitsui in the frame after Walsh appointment

The appointment of Sam Walsh as a director of Mitsui & Company this week has brought attention to the usually low-profile Japanese multinational, which according to BNiQ Search Engine data has been a major investor in Western Australia’s resources industry and is one of the state’s largest exporters.

Chains serve up $40m stores push

A big increase in takeaway spending in WA may not be flowing through to the big players, but they are still investing in market share.

Long-term potential for biogas, hydrogen as domgas

Biogas and hydrogen could be injected into distribution networks to partially replace natural gas for use by industry and households within decades, according to a report released today b

WA regional travel down

Air travel from Perth to Broome and Perth to Karratha fell dramatically in January compared to the same month in 2016, according to the latest data by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.

OECD calls on China to cut steel capacity

Almost 500,000 workers would need to be laid off in China’s steel industry by 2020 under a plan to reduce excess capacity, according to a report released by the international Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development this week.

Chevron boss warns against political threats

Chevron managing director of Australasia Nigel Hearne has confirmed a fourth LNG train at the Gorgon project won’t be happening in the near term, while calling on governments not to buckle to calls for higher taxes and increased regulation that will reduce competitiveness of the industry.

Three developments keen for Quantify device

Quantify Technology Holdings has announced it is likely to win contracts for its internet of things services to be rolled out on three projects, including at the University of Western Australia’s Medical and Dental Library.

Better news on unemployment for WA

The unemployment rate dropped 0.4 percentage points in Western Australia in February, to 6 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, as the state jumped from last place on that metric to be better than Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

Ore dust costs Port Hedland economy up to $60m a year

Iron ore dust in Port Hedland has cost the local economy around $60 million per annum, with an additional $216 million in one-off capital costs, according to a report released today commisoned by a local hotel opposing further expansion of BHP Billiton's port operations.

WA players set to battle Elon Musk for SA battery project

Australian Vanadium has joined fellow Perth company Carnegie Clean Energy in hoping to help solve South Australia’s energy crisis, today committing to tender to build a battery storage facility in that state.

Slow return for retail sales

A recent report by professional services firm Deloitte Access Economics suggests retail spending could be slowly picking up in Western Australia, with recent official data finding sales grew 0.3 per cent in January after seasonal adjustment.

Ecocentric sharpens green edge

Improving accuracy in measuring electricity consumption could provide benefits from the office block to the mine site.

Modern spin on laundry load

Two Perth entrepreneurs are looking to clean up in the laundry business with new offerings that bring technology and style to an often thankless household chore.

Post-election wave for some businesses, rainy day for others

Shares in Carnegie Clean Energy jumped 23 per cent today, with the company likely to receive financial support for an Albany wave project from the newly elected state government, while environmental activists are already putting pressure on uranium miners.

Port planning transfer could cut costs

Trans-shipment has been floated as a solution to capacity constraints at bulk export ports in the state’s north.

Azimi works to plant positive seeds

40under40: Welcomed to Australia after fleeing his home country, Akram Azimi hopes to pay it forward by working to improve education standards for disadvantaged children.



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.

Property player tops 40u40

Blackburne managing director Paul Blackburne was last night named the 2016 Business News 40under40 First Amongst Equals, ahead of a talented and diverse field of candidates.

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.