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.
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.
More than a third of Australian risk management experts believe legislative and regulatory changes are the biggest threat to local businesses this year, ahead of a federal election and growing economic protectionism overseas.
Processing plant problems at Altura Mining’s Pilgangoora lithium mine have slowed output ramp-up, with about 24,000 tonnes of lithium shipped so far from the 220,000tpa facility, nearly six months after production began.
The national petroleum industry regulator has responded to media reports that Inpex’s Icthys LNG operation is unsafe, saying it gave the all clear for gas to flow at the $US45 billion ($62 billion) facility.
Plans for a kaolin mine and low level nuclear waste storage facility in the Shire of Coolgardie have taken a step forward, after Sydney-based Tellus Holdings received approval from the federal environmental regulator for the project.
Crayfishermen will consider paying more in royalties to the state government as an alternative to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly’s planned takeover of new licences, while concerns continue about the fragility of price premiums in the Chinese export market.
Shares in Bentley-based Quantify Technology were up as much as 14.3 per cent today after the business signed a deal with Taiwanese company Foxconn Technology to progress towards manufacturing of its intelligent building management gadgets.
Proponents of a $400 million waste to energy facility to be built in East Rockingham are hoping to get construction under way within months after finalising a waste supply deal with utilities giant Suez.
Opponents continue to blast government changes to lobster licensing arrangements as it emerges that, despite the state potentially pocketing nearly $70 million annually from the moves, a cost benefit analysis of the major policy shift unveiled in December was not undertaken.
The state’s financial outlook has improved since the May budget by about $3 billion across the next four years, with iron ore royalties and federal grants doing the heavy lifting, but the domestic economy will again shrink this year.
A Chinese banking crisis that leads to a significant economic downturn might considerably delay Fremantle harbour reaching its container capacity, while other scenarios might accelerate traffic, according to previously unpublished economic modelling by Deloitte.
Reform to cut the government’s dependence on income and company taxes remains a high priority for Australia, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, while contingency plans are urgently needed in case of a sustained fall in house prices.
Front end engineering and design work for Woodside Petroleum’s SNE oil development in Senegal has been awarded to Subsea Integration Alliance, with a final investment decision penciled in for mid-2019, after a long dispute among the project’s partners.
SPECIAL REPORT: Three businessmen will have more impact than most on the state’s economic future, with Peter Coleman leading an oil and gas revival, Chris Ellison building a lithium empire, and Rob Scott reshaping Wesfarmers.
Older coal fired power stations such as Synergy’s Muja C&D could begin closing in 2023, driven by changing market dynamics, while harsher carbon policies would accelerate shutdowns, according to a recent report by the Australian Energy Market Operator.
PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Matt Mckenzie discuss Stan Perron, our update on major WA projects — some going ahead, some not — Westport, the space agency, lobster quotas, and our person of the year feature.
GE subsidiary Baker Hughes and McDermott International have been picked for front end engineering and design work on Western Gas’s Equus project, under a contract arrangement whereby they will see the project through to commissioning.
Fremantle’s port has room to grow container trade, possibly for three decades, according to a new report by the state government’s Westport taskforce, but freight infrastructure improvements are needed in the short term at Fremantle, Bunbury and Kwinana.
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.
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.
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.
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.