Politics & the Economy

Amalgamation cuts port costs

The state-owned Southern Ports Authority has cut its annual operating costs by about $7 million since its three component ports were amalgamated in 2014, according to its annual report.

L3 Oceania wins $2.9m defence contract

Defence contractor L3 Oceania, formerly known as Nautronix, has won a $2.9 million innovation contract from the federal government’s Defence Innovation Hub.

Hopes for GST ‘floor’ misplaced

OPINION: It will be every state for itself when the Productivity Commission’s report into the GST distribution is released in January.

WA unemployment down, still up on national figure

Western Australia’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points last month, putting it among the top performing states for annual employment growth, according to new data.

New order not to everyone’s taste

OPINION: It has been three decades since I lost my first job, almost before I had started it, as the implications of the Black Monday stock market crash became clear to my employer.

Public servants strike deal with state govt

Western Australian public servants have accepted a two-year pay deal with the state government, despite it breaking a pre-election promise for a 1.5 per cent a year deal.

Payroll tax hike set to proceed

The Western Australian opposition will not block the Labor government's proposed payroll tax increase, despite describing it as a broken election promise and predictions it will cost over 1,300 jobs.

Fed energy change creates a new reality in the west

Western Australian Energy Minister Ben Wyatt has opened the door for a potential state-based renewables target after the federal government confirmed a major change in energy policy today.

Industry backs Landgate sale

The state government has been encouraged to follow the lead of NSW and South Australia and privatise its land registry agency, Landgate, which posted a net profit of $20.1 million last financial year.

Flat year at Fremantle Ports

The volume of freight through Fremantle Ports has remained static for the third year running, raising further questions about when the proposed outer harbour development at Cockburn Sound will be needed.

Shorten commits $700m to Perth rail line

Opposition leader Bill Shorten confirmed today that $700 million of federal money will be provided for a train line to Ellenbrook in Perth's north-east if Labor wins the next national election.

UWA receives $1m for Fifo mental health research

The state government has committed funds to the University of Western Australia for research into the mental health and wellbeing impact of the fly-in, fly-out working lifestyle.

McGowan angry at opposition over gold

Premier Mark McGowan says the Liberal Party has been grossly irresponsible by voting to block the gold royalty hike and is urging them to reverse the decision.

Cole appointed Synergy chair

Outgoing Synergy chairman Lyndon Rowe said today he was disappointed he could not continue at the energy utility after the state government announced oil and gas executive Rob Cole would take the role.

Liberal opposition kills gold royalty hike

Treasurer Ben Wyatt has lashed the opposition for not backing the proposed gold royalty hike, which is now set to fail in parliament, claiming the Liberal Party has opposed more than $1 billion in budget repair measures.

Federal cash for Onslow shipping base

The Turnbull government's Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility has agreed to issue its first loan, but the project still needs Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's tick of approval.

Morrison calls for GST carve-up fix

The way GST revenue is carved up among the states needs a proper fix, rather than more "band-aids and bolt-ons", federal Treasurer Scott Morrison says, but politicians from states winning from the existing distribution are set to oppose change.

Porter goads Saffioti over rail project

Federal minister Christian Porter has traded barbs with Transport Minister Rita Saffioti after the pair attended a press conference to promote the start of a joint Commonwealth and state funded road project.

WA exports surge, but retail stagnates

Western Australia’s exports are continuing to grow, with $122.5 billion shipped overseas in the past 12 months, up 22 per cent from the same period to August 2016, but retail sales data shows that it is too early to call a recovery.

Gold miners put heat on Libs

Ten gold sector leaders spoke in unison today about the damage they believe will flow from the state government’s hike in royalties, and also made clear they are targeting the Liberal Party to block the change.