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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 leading 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.      

Strong national job growth continues

Western Australian unemployment was up 0.2 per cent in February to be 6 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, while Australia-wide employment grew by a record amount.

Fall tipped for iron ore price

Iron ore prices will fall more than 10 per cent to be about $US60 per tonne next year, partly driven by increased scrap metal availability, according to Citigroup Asia commodities strategist Tracy Liao.

Step forward for Barossa gas project

Plans to use the Barossa gas field in the Timor Sea as backfill for the Darwin LNG plant received a boost today, with the project getting a tick of approval from the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority.

Strengthening business ties

Two new business groups plan to strengthen Western Australia’s economic links with innovative overseas economies, with the Swedish Australian Chamber of Commerce and WA Singapore Business Connect opening Perth chapters.

Labour leads mine cost concerns

Cost pressures are starting to return to the mining sector, according to BHP Billiton WA Iron Ore boss Edgar Basto, as the company continues preliminary work with potential contractors ahead of a decision on the South Flank development in the next few months.

Labor workplace shake up on horizon

Domestic violence leave and a capacity for court-made equal remuneration orders look more likely after an interim report of the state government’s industrial relations review recommended some significant changes to the current workplace relations system.

Project to protect subsea equipment

A costly problem that dramatically shortens the life of subsea equipment used offshore of Western Australia is the focus of a collaborative project backed by some of the state’s biggest energy producers.

Plan for 60 standalone power systems

Batteries and solar panels will be rolled out at 60 locations on the edge of the state’s electricity grid throughout the Wheatbelt and Goldfields as part of a plan to improve reliability and cut capital costs across the Western Power network.

McGowan to establish LNG jobs taskforce

Technology, maintenance and education will be the key areas of focus for a new state government taskforce targeting job opportunities in the LNG sector.

Corrigan’s docks win a bonus for business

Next month will mark 20 years since stevedoring business Patrick dismissed its workforce at the apex of what became one of the most significant, and contentious, industrial relations battles in a generation.

Woodside, BHP in Scarborough JV

Woodside Petroleum has taken a small step on the potential Scarborough LNG project, signing an agreement with co-owner BHP Billiton to become the operator of any future development and granting the miner an option to increase its share of the project by 10 per cent.

Power reform delayed to appease unions: Nalder

A move that could dramatically reduce power bills for Perth residents is on the backburner, despite a similar process taking place in other parts of the state, so the government can appease unions, according to shadow energy minister Dean Nalder.

$21bn work on offer as fields fade

SPECIAL REPORT: Hundreds of oil and gas fields to be decommissioned in the next decade across the Asia-Pacific region will create billions of dollars of opportunities for contractors, with a number of initiatives already under way.

Tide turning for contractors

SPECIAL REPORT: A maintenance hub for LNG vessels in WA is one of numerous opportunities for oil and gas services businesses.

Energy deals spur hopes for new projects

SPECIAL REPORT: China’s rising LNG demand has coincided with a flurry of deals, highlighting potential for a turnaround in WA’s oil and gas sector.

TPP signed in win for jobs

Australia was one of 11 nations that signed on to the successor to the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal in Chile last night, just more than a year after the United States pulled out of the original deal.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall and Matt Mckenzie discuss 40under40, international student market, road infrastructure, rich list, US steel and aluminium tariffs, Yagan Square, rugby union, and our special report on oil and gas.

Devlin tunes up for growth

40under40: Richard Devlin’s business is poised to ride a new wave of development in agricultural research tech.

Negative gearing changes could raise $1.7bn

Modelling by the Curtin University’s Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute has proposed a capped rental deduction for investors using negative gearing, arguing it will be a a budget saver that will have minimal impact on the less well off.

Consultants’ positive environment

Renewables, railways, and a pick-up in the resources sector are providing work for local environmental services businesses, which have become increasingly optimistic after taking a hit amid the slowdown in mining construction projects.

Shift in sentiment on native title

Concerns over the issue of native title were most keenly felt in the nation’s west and north in the late 1990s.

US drives strong Austal half year

Shipbuilder Austal reported a big jump in profit for the first half of the financial year, while it is still unsure of what its exact role will be in the upcoming $3 billion offshore patrol vessel build program.

Sunrise treaty to be signed next week

The Woodside Petroleum-led Greater Sunrise gas project is a step closer to going ahead, with the federal government to ink an agreement with Timor Leste about revenue sharing, more than 40 years after it was originally discovered.

Contractors call for rethink on procurement

Local contractors have expressed concern that work on the next two Metronet rail projects, worth about $1 billion, could be packaged together for tendering purposes.

MMA buoyant as losses cut

Marine logistics business MMA Offshore has cut its net loss in the half year to December as conditions in the oil and gas market stabilised.

Joyce resigns after fortnight of pressure

Barnaby Joyce will step down as deputy prime minister and from cabinet on Monday, three weeks after it was revealed he had had an affair with a former media adviser.

Licensing reform a cost saver

Hundreds of occupational licences and permits are to be reviewed by the state government’s key economic regulator, with the potential to save consumers tens of millions of dollars.

GTE governance in sights for McGowan

Clamping down on the governance of state-owned enterprises such as Synergy is just one major promise the McGowan government has made in response to the Langoulant special inquiry into government projects in the Barnett era, released yesterday.

No Joyce for WA Nationals in federal scandal

Deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader Barnaby Joyce’s position has been further weakened today after the Western Australian branch of his party called for his resignation.

Big savings in mutual merger

Almost $100 million could be saved through a merger of health insurance mutuals HBF and HCF, while Western Australian customers would benefit from better services in dental and optometry, according to HBF managing director John van der Wielen.

Green China opportunity for WA

Opportunities will grow in the environmental protection and energy efficiency space for Australian exporters as China looks to go greener, according to Chinese deputy consul general Anlin Sun.

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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.

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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.