Saskia Pickles

Saskia Pickles worked as a journalist at Business News from June 2013 to March 2016. 

Surveyors charting new territories

Several surveying firms have responded in one of two ways during the past year in response to slowing work opportunities in Western Australia – they have consolidated operations, or cast the net wider

Uranium explorers play the long game

Western Australia’s uranium explorers are in somewhat of a holding pattern as they wait for a significant lift in prices for the controversial commodity.

Building better connections

A SURVEY of the state’s corporate and not-for-profit sectors has uncovered some key strategies for achieving better engagement and more productive outcomes between the two groups.

Pacific Energy rides mining sector up, and down

Power generator Pacific Energy has reported record earnings for FY2013 but revised down its earnings guidance for the current financial year after being hit by project closures and the general slowdow

Synergy merger to increase competition: Nahan

Energy Minister Mike Nahan is positive the remerging of energy retailer Synergy and generator Verve will lead to increased competition in the marketplace, but acknowledges the details of how the ‘reco

Cedar Woods points to further growth

Property development group Cedar Woods says it expects to grow its profits further in 2014, after recording a record net profit for the year to June 30.

Farmers average just 1% return

Western Australian broadacre farmers only averaged a “fairly miserly” 1.07 per cent return on capital for their 2012 harvests due to variability in grain prices, low rainfall, higher costs and lower y

Hitachi to build $100 million facility in Armadale

Mining and construction equipment provider Hitachi will develop a $100 million facility at Forrestdale business park, providing a boost for several other commercial developments in the Armadale area.

Road project top winner in contracting awards

The industry alliance that managed the upgrade of the Great Eastern Highway has been recognised for excellence in construction and environmental management at this year's Earth Awards for civil infras

Miner fined for damaging sacred ground

OM Holdings subsidiary OMM has been fined $150,000 for desecrating a sacred site in the Northern Territory.

Slater & Gordon acquires Gibson & Gibson

Law firm Slater & Gordon has acquired Perth-based law firm Gibson & Gibson, growing the national firm's Western Australian operations by a third.

Strike Energy raises $9.2m for gas project

Oil and gas producer Strike Energy has raised $9.2 million through the sale of new shares to fund the next phase of drilling at its gas project in the Cooper Basin and received its first pre-payment f

Perth house sales down but capital growth up

Two property groups – Real Estate Institute of Western Australia and RP Data, working with Rismark International – have produced widely different estimates about housing prices in Perth.

PS Structures to build state netball centre

PS Structures has won an $18.6 million contract to build the state netball centre, which will be part of the Matthews netball centre in Jolimont.

Pan Asian snares WD Moore

WD Moore & Co is set to resume trading two months after it went into administration, after its major Singaporean shareholder bought most of its assets in a liquidation sale and registered a new co

Ramelius likely to record $70m loss

Gold producer Ramelius Resources has flagged it is likely to record a before-tax loss of approximately $70 million for the financial year, mainly as a result of big write-downs.

HBF to call Kings Square home

Health insurer HBF has completed a deal, foreshadowed earlier this year, to purchase and move into one of the new Kings Square office towers, relocating its 600-strong staff from its existing office i

Northern Star Resources tips a record

Western Australian gold producer Northern Star Resources has shrugged off a falling gold price to report record production and predicted a record profit this financial year.

Gryphon Minerals cuts three quarters of its staff

Gold explorer Gryphon Minerals has slashed costs and retrenched most of its employees, as it seeks to preserve cash ahead of the development of its West Africa gold project.

Cooper & Oxley to extend Osborne Park hospital

Cooper & Oxley Builders has won a contract worth more than $14 million to build the Osborne Park Hospital surgical centre development and outpatient department.

Enerji’s first power fires up shareholders

Low emissions power company Enerji is in discussions with four potential new clients after announcing its inaugural pilot plant had produced electricity for the first time, its new chief executive say

ADAMS Group named WA Business of the Year

Bus and coach business ADAMS Group was named the Telstra Western Australian business of the year at an awards ceremony held last night.

MAK Water acquires Clearmake

A Perth supplier of industrial water systems backed by local executives Peter Hood, Andy Byk, Gary Steinepreis and Tom Henderson, has continued its rapid growth with an acquisition in Queensland.

Hames resigns as tourism minister

Deputy Premier Kim Hames resigned his tourism portfolio today after admitting to wrongly claiming more than $1,000 in accommodation allowances.

WA cattle producers welcome live export announcement

Western Australian cattle producers have welcomed today's announcement that Indonesia will significantly increase imports of live Australian cattle immediately, taking 25,000 animals over the next thr

Phylogica appoints chief scientist as new CEO

Perth-based biotechnology company Phylogica has appointed Richard Hopkins chief executive officer as part of wider management changes aimed at pursuing work opportunities with other research companies

Fortescue recognised for contributions to China

Fortescue Metals Group has been recognised as one of six Australian companies for its contributions to the growth of commercial ties between Australia and China.

Finbar to review ABC site options

Apartment developer Finbar Group is reassessing plans for a $175 million, 31-storey residential tower on Adelaide Terrace after being told it could not demolish a heritage-listed former ABC building.

Money issues cloud Mid West solar thermal project

Funding issues may jeopardise a renewable power station proposed for the Mid West town of Morawa, which continues to suffer from an unreliable power supply.

Austal upgrades profit guidance

Ship builder and defence contractor Austal has upgraded its after-tax profit guidance for the 2012-2013 financial year to between $35 million and $40 million.

Silver Lake defers gold project

Silver Lake Resources has deferred the development of its underground Caustons mine at its Murchison gold operations for approximately 12 months due to a tumbling gold price.



Karratha gas plant breakdown

Western Australia’s biggest and most productive gas production facility suffered an equipment failure early this morning.

Unpoliced safety statistics questioned

The resource sector’s safety record has been brought into doubt after a contractor was crushed while working at a liquefied natural gas plant and hospitalised, but the incident was not recorded as a lost-time injury.

Perth businessman to run for lord mayor

Engineer, entrepreneur and restaurateur Michael O’Hanlon has declared he will run for the position of Perth lord mayor at the October election, based on an ambitious three-point economic plan for the city.

City of Perth axes CEO

City of Perth chief executive Gary Stevenson has been sacked, three years into a five-year contract, following a horror year for the council.

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Synergy boss ups ante on energy reform

Synergy chairman Lyndon Rowe has mapped out a detailed agenda for energy market reform, saying there would be catastrophic consequences if the government did not tackle market players with vested interests.

Perth gets modular building factory

A UK company has joined forces with a Perth projects and contract management group to set up the state’s first manufacturing business dedicated to modular building.

Coles, IGA complete store swap

Independent grocery group Metcash is set to finalise its first store swap in Western Australia with supermarket giant Coles.

Female tradie business to expand to Perth

An all-female plumbing business, the Plumbettes, is set to expand its operations from its Brisbane base into Western Australia.