Politics & the Economy

Renewable shift for Onslow

More than half of the electricity used in the Pilbara town of Onslow will be sourced from renewable sources by 2020, with the state government today announcing it will be home to Australia's largest distributed generation microgrid.

Investment drop hits construction

Falling private sector investment in heavy industry and electricity generation were major contributors to a big drop-off in total construction and engineering work in Western Australia in June, down 21.7 per cent quarter on quarter to $6.75 billion.

Bank buys $1.35bn Keystart loan book

The state government has sold $1.35 billion of Keystart housing loans to Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, but the divestment wasn't as big as it had hoped.

Site for western suburbs high school secured

The state government has locked down a site for a new public secondary school in Perth's western suburbs that will open its doors in 2020.

Backpacker tax reduced, travel fees to rise

Western Australia's hospitality and agricultural industries have welcomed the federal government's decision to amend its planned backpacker tax, but the tourism body says it will cost the state jobs nevertheless.

Porter opens conversation on data-driven welfare

Two reports last week took quite different approaches to welfare reform, but both were a move away from the approach undertaken in the 2014 budget.

Australia set for years of low rates: economist

Australia's interest rates are likely to stay low for years, perhaps even decades, a top global economist warns.

Liberals facing election traps

Uncertainty about the direction of the government and its leadership is likely to persist despite the premier's win last week.

Hughes Drilling enters administration

The parent company of Perth-based mining services company JSW Australia has entered voluntary administration, with representatives of McGrathNicol appointed yesterday.

State's debt, deficit better than anticipated

The state's budget position for the 2016 financial year has come in nearly $700 million better than was initially forecast when it was released in May last year, but still in the red to the tune of $2 billion, with revenue $915 million down on the previous year.

Marmion takes transport in reshuffle

Bill Marmion will pick up the transport portfolio in a minor cabinet reshuffle that also includes the introduction of two new ministers; Paul Miles and Mark Lewis.

WA still attractive despite downturn: Brickworks boss

Brickworks managing director Lindsay Partridge says Western Australia remains an attractive market despite setbacks during the year, when it undertook a major restructure of its Austral Bricks WA and Auswest Timber businesses.

BHP renews attack on Nationals

BHP Billiton's top Australian executive has stepped up the company's criticism of the WA Nationals' planned iron ore tax hike, two days after an opinion poll found high support for the proposal.

Uncertainty in US, Europe put gold in driver’s seat

ANALYSIS: A convergence of geopolitical and political events is causing widespread concern across Europe and the US, and WA's gold sector could offer some stability for investors.

Beazley warns on consequences of US isolationism

Australia has a greater reliance on its economic and financial relationship with the US than at any time since World War II, former Labor leader Kim Beazley told a Business News breakfast, but a Donald Trump presidency could mean a big shift in the superpower's relationship with its allies.

US law firms to continue Bell Group saga

The state government has muscled up for the renewal of legal battles over the $1.7 billion Bell Group dispute, appointing a US law firm that promotes itself as being tougher and scarier than its peers to handle the matter.

$23m in funding for incubators

Atomic Sky chief executive Andy Lamb hopes Western Australian incubators will be taken into consideration when the federal government carves up $23 million in grants to support startups across the nation.

Team united after ‘therapeutic’ meeting: Barnett

Colin Barnett has seen off an attempted spill motion at today's party room meeting by 31 votes to 15, emerging with what he claimed was a united Liberal team after a 'therapeutic' exercise.

Melbourne deal adds to lucrative port sales

Victoria's Labor government has reaped a bumper price of $9.7 billion from the sale of the Port of Melbourne, suggesting the WA government could potentially raise in excess of $2 billion from the sale of Fremantle Ports.

Historical echoes haunting Barnett

Whether Premier Colin Barnett stays or goes is a political decision, but it would be unwise for anyone to imagine that a change at the top of government will not have a significant effect on the way business is conducted in Western Australia.