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.      

Synergy, stamp duty reform to reignite economy

Opinion: Abolishing stamp duty and shaking-up energy markets to cut power prices are two policies that could form a powerful campaign platform for a state election in 2021.

Wheatstone domgas gets pumping

Chevron has announced its Wheatstone domestic gas plant is ready to begin regular supply, two months after successful test flows into the market and two years after the first LNG shipment.

Warburton's Coolgardie into administration

Coolgardie Minerals has appointed Pitcher Partners’ Daniel Bredenkamp and Bryan Hughes voluntary administrators six months after the Neil Warburton-chaired gold hopeful was added to the ASX.

WA mining innovations win federal funding

A project to automate the Roy Hill iron ore benefication plant, predictive analytics for equipment in copper and nickel mines, and sensors to detect rocks to big for crushing were among the local initiatives to receive $2.2 million of federal innovation funding today.

Trade war a $2.5bn threat

A worsening of the trade war between the US and China could nearly halve Western Australian growth next financial year, according to Treasurer Ben Wyatt, but he believes a worst-case scenario will be avoided.

Technology focus for Johnston’s power plans

The federal government should offer Western Australia funding for power storage projects in proportion to its spending in the east, Energy Minister Bill Johnston says, while moves to introduce reserve capacity auctions and retail contestability locally are off his agenda.

Election a prelude to sovereign risk questions

Major changes to government policy after the federal election could risk future investment in backfill gas projects, some of which are already quite marginal, according to Shell Australia chair Zoe Yujnovich.

Alinta approves $400m wind farm

Alinta Energy has given the green light to the $400 million Yandin wind farm development north of Perth, with the company saying it will dial down production from its gas portfolio to make room for the new capacity.

Getting up to speed on Metronet rollout

SPECIAL REPORT: Costs and a local skills shortage are among the challenges facing the state as it seeks to develop a local train car manufacturing sector.

Smart solutions lifting exports at Port Hedland

SPECIAL REPORT: Big data has helped the Pilbara Ports Authority to dramatically increase throughput, in contrast to other ports.

Driver, skills shortage not great for freight

SPECIAL REPORT: WA could be about 1,000 truck drivers short at a time the industry believes there are signs of an upswing.

Supply chain, environment key port considerations

SPECIAL REPORT: WA will be waiting until at least 2030 before an outer harbour development is needed, and in the meantime work is being done to evaluate the best ways to extend the life of Fremantle Port.

Rates forecast of 0.5%

There will be a big reduction in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s official cash rate in the next year or two, according to investment analysis Jonathan Pain.

Prominent Perth fashion label to close

One of Perth’s most prominent fashion designers has announced the closure of an internationally successful label, but hinted at plans for something big in the pipeline.

DPWorld and Patrick stay on at Freo

The two main operators at Fremantle Ports container terminal look set to stay until at least 2026, with the state government flagging discussions about infrastructure for container movements into the port to be a key priority in its negotiations.

Business, investors count down to key poll

SPECIAL REPORT: Elections always bring uncertainty for business, but in 2019 the difference between the major parties is among the starkest in decades.

Project pick-up puts pressure on skills

SPECIAL REPORT: Western Australia may not be ready with the workforce and skills needed for the next boom.

All eyes on China amid slowing global trade

SPECIAL REPORT: Trade battles, high Chinese debt and slowing global growth are among the biggest threats to the WA economy.

Altura to raise $30m

Lithium producer Altura Mining has entered a trading halt, with a plan to raise about $30 million for working capital, a day after it reported production at its Pilgangoora processing plant was improving.

APA's Badgingarra wind farm producing power

Electricity has started flowing from APA Group’s Badgingarra wind farm in recent days, while two of the state’s major coal generating units have been powered down due to low demand.

Sumitomo moves on growing solar market with Infinite buy

Sumitomo Corporation has grown its presence in Western Australia’s retail power market with the acquisition of Infinite Energy, its first investment in a distributed grid business and a move beyond its local coal and gas-focused portfolio.

Calls for faster approvals

About 5,000 exploration, tenure and mining approvals were sitting in the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation And Safety’s pipeline at the end of the September quarter last year, according to the department’s latest approvals performance data.

$1.7m to accelerate Perth tech hopefuls

A tech business that supports power provision in rural areas and a company developing a laser robot to remove damaged tissue and bones have won a combined $1.7 million of federal Accelerating Commercialisation grants.

Feds grant Agristart $485,000

Perth’s Agristart accelerator program has won $485,000 of federal government funding to run three startup incubation programs in regional Western Australia, in Northam, Albany and Busselton.

BHP in $300m tax deduction dispute

Treasurer Ben Wyatt has said he does not think BHP Group has been a bad corporate citizen after it was today revealed the iron ore miner might owe up to $300 million to the state in royalties, the company’s third such battle in recent years.

Clough for civil works at $4bn Snowy 2.0

Perth-based contractor Clough has been chosen in collaboration with Italian business Salini Impregilo as preferred tenderer for civil works at the Snowy Hydro 2.0 pump storage project.

Report reveals further details of Kelly, fishermen's feud

Lobsters were sold for as little as $30 per kilogram under an initiative to encourage domestic supply, according to an unpublished government report which found the Local Lobster Program at least partially met two major objectives but also raised numerous concerns.

Investment drives optimism in CEO Survey

Leaders interviewed for the annual Business News CEO survey suggest that forward-looking decisions on energy policy and tax will be vital for WA’s future prosperity.

BP refining gas plans

BP is planning to drill its first well in WA in decades next year as it hopes to develop a Carnarvon Basin portfolio.

Kelly softens tone on lobster takeover

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has signalled he may well walk back plans to take control of about 17 per cent of an enlarged local lobster catch, saying his priorities would be an International Lobster Festival in Perth and a domestic quota.

Case for renewables, but coal will power on

Wind and solar generation backed by storage are competitive with coal and gas, according to a recent report by the CSIRO, but that does not mean coal-fired generation will be out of the picture.



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.

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.

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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.