Premier in Print

WESTERN Australia’s new Police Commissioner Barry Matthews will take up his appointment on 16 August.

Currently the New Zealand Deputy Police Commissioner, Mr Matthews has an impressive background as a police officer with 34 years experience and holds a Diploma of Criminology, a Bachelor of Law degree and Masters degree in Business Administration.

He has strong, strategic leadership qualities and is highly regarded by colleagues and rank and file officers in New Zealand.

Mr Matthews was selected from a very large field of competent people and it has been very encouraging that there was so much interest from people wanting to take on this challenge.

The recommendation that came from the selection panel was that Mr Mat-thews would be an outstanding person to handle the responsibility.

I look forward to welcoming him to his new role.

Mr Matthews replaces former Com-missioner Bob Falconer who, after five years and because of family reasons, chose not to renew his contract with the State Government.

Mr Falconer served this state well, helping the Police Service evolve into one of the, if not the most, professional services in Australia.

The management changes that have taken place in the Police Service are enabling more autonomy to go to senior police officers, helping them better manage and solve local issues as well as giving them more career opportunities.

We are also seeing a renewed emphasis on training, with retraining and development opportunities for existing officers as well as recruits.

The new police academy at Joonda-lup will be an Australian first with the police academy as part of the university campus.

Mr Falconer has overseen some very significant changes as the head of our police. He had a very difficult job and I thank him for the service he gave Western Australia.

ONE of the big celebrations taking part this year is to celebrate the centenary of the Perth Mint, Australia’s only operating ‘gold rush’ mint.

There was plenty of activity on 20 June, exactly 100 years to the day after the Perth Mint opened as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint.

In preparing for the celebrations, I was intrigued to read of the various struggles the mint has had over the past century, overcoming several threats of closure to become Australia’s oldest operating mint and precious metals refinery.

It is a fascinating history and an integral part of our state’s development.

Ownership of the Perth Mint passed to the State Government on 1 July 1970 and today it is recognised internationally as an innovator and a world leader in the specialised fields of both minting and refining.

Since the start of its precious metals coin program in 1986, the mint has generated more than $2.4 billion in gross revenue, 90 per cent of which was earned overseas.

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