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

BN30 stocks end year on high

An improved performance by some of the state’s miners boosted the Business News index of listed Western Australian companies, the BN30, to finish almost 19 per cent higher over the year (2016).

Feds firm on Roe 8 funds

The federal government will be sticking to its guns on the Roe 8 project, Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher affirmed today, saying the $1.2 billion committed by the Commonwealth to the project would not be reallocated.

Westoz, Ozgrowth to pay $4.8m dividends

Two listed investment companies controlled by Euroz Securities will pay out nearly $5 million in half-year dividends, with Westoz Investment Company announcing a 3 cent per share payout for investors while Ozgrowth will distribute 0.25 cents per share.

London calling for Po Valley

Perth oil and gas hopeful Po Valley Energy is heading to London, with the company planning to list its Sillaro gas asset in northern Italy on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market in a bid to raise up to $3.7 million.

Trade numbers point north

A lift in Western Australia's merchandise exports to China of nearly $700 million from October to November helped Australia record its first trade surplus in three years, but more could be on the way this year.

Atlas pays off $54m of debt

Mid-tier iron ore miner Atlas Iron has repaid $54 million of debt to reduce its term loan to $118 million, amid expectations in will be in a net cash position by the middle of the 2017 calendar year.

Marindi raises $3.2m for lithium exploration

Lithium exploration at Forrestania, north of Ravensthorpe, will be a priority for Marindi Metals after the company completed a capital raising worth nearly $3.2 million.

BMD in $13m Australind bridge

BMD Constructions has won a $13.6 million contract from Main Roads for a new traffic bridge in Australind, creating a third crossing over the Collie River.

Brainchip in casino deployment

West Perth-based technology company Brainchip Holdings has announced it has deployed its card game monitoring technology at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, US.

Threat Protect eyes $6m acquisition

Security services provider Threat Protect Australia is considering a move to acquire assets from east coast player Apollo Security for around $6 million, after tying up an option for its two business units.

Toyota WA's most popular auto brand in soft market

A fall of 5.6 per cent in new vehicle sales for the past year in Western Australia, to 100,234, takes to nearly 22 per cent the reduction in annual sales since 2012.

Board appointments at Galaxy, Atrum

Peter Bacchus and John Turner have joined the board of Galaxy Resources, while Perth-based Craig Burton has been appointed to the board of NSW company Atrum Coal.

Alexium in US pillow contract

ASX-listed manufacturer Alexium International Group has signed an initial agreement to supply chemicals to a US homewares company for a new line of cool-touch pillows, in a move the company said could eventually generate revenues of $US10 million per annum.

Grant, Keystart moves drawing interest: Harvey

Acting Premier Liza Harvey has spruiked the government’s recent move to relax the eligibility criteria for Keystart and increase the first homebuyers grant, saying it had received more than 1,100 enquiries.

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.

BC Iron secures Iron Valley approvals

Environmental approvals to allow mining below the watertable have been granted for BC Iron's Iron Valley mine site, in a move that will give the company potential to extend the life of the project.

$52m Warro impairment for Alcoa

A $52 million impairment has been taken by Alcoa World Alumina Corporation on its share of the Warro gas project in the Perth Basin, after the company determined exploration results by project operator Transerv Energy did not support the existing carrying value.

Wellard working on breached covenants

Livestock exporter Wellard has confirmed it has again breached banking covenants, and expects a loss for the first half of the 2017 financial year.

Quest Minerals trial date set

A number of board members have joined the list of substantial holders at Quest Minerals as the company seeks to raise money amid ongoing court battles, while Steve Formica has been appointed to the board.

Birimian in $107m lithium deal

Chinese chemical company Shandong Mingrui Group will buy a lithium project in Southern Mali from ASX-listed Birimian Resources in a $107.5 million deal.

Homsany to head Toro

The appointment of Richard Homsany as executive chairman at West Perth-based uranium hopeful Toro Energy ties up leadership changes at the company with chairman John Cahill resigning today just a month after managing director Vanessa Guthrie.

Hunt, Fitzpatrick in CEO moves

Two local not-for-profit groups have announced changes to their leadership today, with UnitingCare West appointing Amanda Hunt as chief executive from March next year while St Vincent de Paul Society WA chief executive Mark Fitzpatrick will leave that role in February.

Private investors shape utilities

The proposed part sale of Western Power is not the only move towards increased private investment in the utilities sector.

Alcoa in bauxite export deal

Alcoa World Alumina Corporation has locked in a contract to directly export 400,000 tonnes of bauxite from the Huntly mine in Western Australia, as the company continues a move towards shipping of the commodity in unprocessed form.

Belgiorno-Nettis to join Tempo board

Shares in contractor Tempo Australia were up 24 per cent in morning trade after the company announced a $9.5 million placement to a vehicle controlled by Transfield Holdings co-managing director Guido Belgiorno-Nettis.

Ironbark in Greenland zinc permit

Ironbark Zinc has been awarded a mining permit for the Citronen zinc-lead project in Greenland, and will now commence advanced development and financing activities.

Agribusinesses beef up numbers

A period of strong cattle prices has boosted Western Australia’s largest pastoral companies, with the state’s four biggest cattle-focused plays increasing revenue about 9 per cent to $1 billion in their most recent annual reports.

Renewables drive energy shift

The growth of solar power over the next decade could cut the price of energy in WA, according to a man involved in one of the latest projects to take a step forward.

Mod in $5.5m raising

A Botswana copper mine is one step closer for Mod Resources after the company completed a $5.5 million institutional raising to accelerate the possible T3 development.

Decmil in Silvergrass win

Osborne Park-based contractor Decmil has won a $40 million contract from Rio Tinto for work on the Silvergrass greenfields iron ore mine.

Gas pipeline owner to build storage facility

A $69 million gas storage facility will be built near Onslow by Duet Group subsidiary DBP Development Group to help producers and consumers smooth production profiles and cover planned outages.

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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.

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.

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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.