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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 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.      

Forecasting complicates Westport planning

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harbour reaching its container capacity, while other scenarios might accelerate traffic, according to previously unpublished economic modelling by Deloitte.

$50m Harvey Beef expansion plan

Andrew Forrest’s agribusiness portfolio is set for a big expansion, with his Harvest Road Group planning a 60,000 head per year cattle development worth up to $50 million in the wheatbelt.

OECD keeps tax reform agenda alive

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.

Pluto gas enters domestic orbit

Domestic gas has started flowing from Woodside Petroleum’s Pluto plant near Karratha today, around six years after LNG exports from the facility got under way.

Activation, targeting key to build tourism

Opinion: Los Angeles and Miami should inspire Western Australians hoping to ignite tourist attention, but our state needs to consider how to generate the most value from the industry.

Humm in tune with brain waves

Perth startup Humm is setting its course for the next year after participating in Berkeley’s eminent Skydeck accelerator program.

Woodside moves forward in Senegal

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.

Scott, Coleman, Ellison make their marks

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.

McGowan hits targets, Cormann prominent

SPECIAL REPORT: Mathias Cormann has been deeply entwined in the federal government’s fortunes this year, while a win on GST distribution has boosted standing for Mark McGowan and Ben Wyatt.

Signs point to coal closures

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.

Mark my words podcast

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.

Baker Hughes, McDermott for Equus

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.

Freight links still key for Freo port future

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.

Alcoa locks in gas supply

Alumina producer Alcoa of Australia has signed three supply deals with BHP Group, Woodside Petroleum and Chevron to provide about 23 petajoules of gas between them annually from 2020 for its Western Australian refineries.

Lobster intervention a spiny issue

The state government has assured fishing industry representatives it has no plans to change how it determines catch limits across the sector after a surprise move last week to create, and take control of, new licences for local lobsters.

Housing, red tape focus as state budget lifts

The state budget will be in surplus in 2019/20, according to Premier Mark McGowan, while a $421 million expansion of the Keystart program for first homebuyers and a move to reduce red tape will be two new policies to support the local economy.

Blockchain innovators kicking goals

A collaboration led by Curtin University and including local blockchain business Power Ledger has started its latest peer-to-peer trading trial in Fremantle, funded by the federal government's Smart Cities Initiative, while DigitalX has launched a new incubator for blockchain technology in Kings Park.

Business investment boosts WA performance

A 10 per cent surge in the level of business investment in machinery and equipment has helped Western Australia’s state final demand grow 0.4 per cent in the September quarter, as national economic data surprised on the downside.

Costs make gas game a play for the long term

ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: Foreign investment, free trade and a skilled workforce have helped WA tap its enormous oil and gas reserves, to the benefit of the entire country. This article is part of a special series to mark Business News' 25-year anniversary.

Investment sets economic growth agenda

ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: The growth in household disposable income provides a graphic illustration of the effect of 25 years of technological change and investment in WA. This article is part of a special series to mark Business News' 25-year anniversary.

NWQ making volatility work

SPECIAL REPORT: A new, more aggressive fund and the international expansion of its existing conservative strategy will be key to the growth of boutique investment manager NWQ.

Ibaera filling a funding niche

SPECIAL REPORT: West Perth-based fund Ibaera Capital is hoping to plug a funding gap for metals juniors with big projects.

Funds grow as dynamic shifts

SPECIAL REPORT: A diverse group of successful wealth management businesses in Perth have good stories to tell in a market likely to face increasing uncertainty.

Report finds battery-making debate overcharged

A new report has cast doubt on Western Australia's suitability as a lithium battery-making hub, claiming low labour productivity, distance from major markets and difficulties sourcing the necessary material as barriers to any potential development.

Revenues rise on agribusiness opportunities

Seven of WA’s most prominent agribusinesses have grown their revenue by about 30 per cent, with increased demand from Asia the main driver.

Sprawl costs public transport

A national study by Infrastructure Australia has found that Perth residents are among those least likely to use public transport for their daily work commute, despite good accessibility in outer suburbs and subsidies covering about 70 per cent of the cost of a trip.

Kailis posts profit after tough decade

Fremantle-based seafood wholesaler and jewellery manufacturer MG Kailis Group has achieved its second consecutive year of profits, after a decade of losses, despite a 14 per cent fall in revenue.

State to develop Henderson master plan

Dredging a second channel into Garden Island and major road upgrades could be priorities in a Henderson precinct master plan to be drafted by the state government in 2019, while Defence Minister Chris Pyne today announced a new $200 million vessel will be built at the yards.

Whitebark in $5m Xanadu sale

A sluggish approvals process for seismic work at the Xanadu prospect in the Perth Basin has led Whitebark Energy to sell its stake in the project in a $5 million deal, with the money to head to Canada instead.

Role for business, unions as AI wave looms

Government and business must involve trade unions to develop plans to train Australia’s workforce for the increased presence of automation, according to Siemens Australia chief executive Jeff Connolly.

Production under way at GWF-2

Gas is flowing at Woodside Petroleum’s Greater Western Flank-2 project, an extension of the North West Shelf Venture, with the company saying costs came in 30 per cent under budget.

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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.

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.