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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 leading 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 mattmck0. I'd also like to declare that I'm a member of the Liberal Party.      

Sports bar brings the world to WA

A Victorian sports bar franchise has opened its second pub in Western Australia, part of a planned $10 million expansion in Perth.

Solar/crypto project for Collie

Collie could soon be home to a 20 megawatt solar farm and cryptocurrency 'mining' operation, after the Southern Development Assessment Panel recommended approval for a project led by energy entrepreneur Ben Tan.

Perth inflation just 0.1% in March

Perth's inflation rate was just 0.1 per cent in the March quarter, bringing the total increase in consumer prices in the past 12 months to just 0.9 per cent, well below the national inflation rate of 1.9 per cent.

Mining for local talent

The WA School of Mines should include new disciplines and postgraduate degrees to insulate it from the cyclical resources economy, and help it become a global leader in its field, according to three former students who are now industry leaders.

Sunrise secures $7m solar win

A solar power company founded by former Western Power manager Neil Danby and olympic basketballer Andrew Vlahov has picked up its first contract, winning $7 million of work for Image Resources’ Boonanarring mineral sands project.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Pownall, Matt Mckenzie, and Katie McDonald discuss Gorgon stage two, corporate tax debate, defence contracts, employment data, fracking ban, tourism, and our building and construction feature.

Further consultation for energy guarantee

State governments have approved more detailed design work on the National Energy Guarantee to proceed at a Council of Australian Governments energy ministers meeting today, although Labor state leaders still have objections.

Live export ban cost up to $150m

The cost to Western Australian farmers of a ban on live sheep exports could be more than 10 times previous estimates, as much as $150 million, according to a report released today.

LNG drives demand for mercury treatment

A Dutch company will soon begin work on a nearly $10 million large-scale mercury waste treatment facility in Kwinana, as increased LNG exports lead to higher volumes of the toxic metal.

Chaney says benefits of tax reform clear

Woodside Petroleum chairman Michael Chaney has said there’s a risk that major energy players may be dissuaded from investing into Western Australia if company tax reform is stalled, as the business closes in on a tolling deal for gas from the Browse field.

Waste, cost cuts key for better health outcomes

The costliest and most wasteful parts of the healthcare system are often the most frustrating for customers, according to Sustainable Healthcare Review chair Robyn Kruk, so they should be the top targets for future reform.

Cafes close in ATO battle

Perth venues The London Court Cafe and Black Tie Co have closed their doors in recent weeks, as the holding company controlling the two brands enters liquidation following a dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.

NT frack ban lift gives LNG option

A move by the Northern Territory government to allow fracking by next year will increase pressure on the McGowan government, after a series of scientific and political inquiries gave the drilling technique the tick of approval.

Gorgon build will mean workflow for contractors

Chevron’s decision to build stage two of the Gorgon LNG project, announced on the weekend, takes the total value of petroleum industry investment committed or under construction in Western Australia to around $55 billion, according to state government data.

Alinta unveils $45m Pilbara battery

A new utility-scale battery launched in the Pilbara by Alinta Energy today will be Australia’s second biggest, behind Elon Musk’s Tesla battery in South Australia.

'Monster' power reforms to boost growth: Wyatt

Treasurer Ben Wyatt's ambition for increased private participation in the electricity sector remains, despite a slow start, touting it as part of a microeconomic reform program designed to lift productivity.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: In this Business News podcast Mark Beyer, Matt Mckenzie, and Tori Wilson discuss Synergy and renewable energy, the Atlas Iron takeover, live sheep exports, Bill Shorten’s Perth visit, a new report on Kwinana, and the debate over training and apprenticeships.

Labor pledges $241m for Byford line

Opposition leader Bill Shorten today pledged $241 million to extend the Armadale suburban rail line to Byford, bringing federal Labor’s infrastructure commitments in the state to $1.2 billion.

Kwinana development highlights intervention debate

At a time when debate about a potential outer harbour project south of Perth is building momentum, a look at the history of development in Kwinana’s industrial zone provides an illustration of the impact of government intervention in the state’s economy, for better or worse.

Johnston in defence export role

Former defence minister and senator for Western Australia David Johnston has been appointed Australia’s first defence export advocate, after the federal government committed to spend an additional $20 million every year to support the sector.

Haulage hits red tape roadblock

A new regulatory system for heavy haulage movements on the east coast is costing the Western Australian economy millions, according to local trucking players, who are warning that the introduction of a similar model here would cause major problems.

Recovery gains momentum: Deloitte

Western Australia’s economic upturn is gathering momentum, according to the latest report from Deloitte, with business investment beginning to recover and exports continuing to perform.

Lift in WA's GST share, but only to 47%

The state government’s parlous budget position received a small boost today, with Western Australia in line to receive $225 million more in GST revenue next financial year than had previously been estimated.

Lower prices hit revenue

SPECIAL REPORT: Western Australia’s five biggest agribusinesses are earning about $5.5 billion in revenue annually, according to the latest BNiQ Search Engine data, down from $5.8 billion when the list was last published 18 months ago.

Energising options to give farmers power

SPECIAL REPORT: Increasing energy costs and ongoing reliability issues are two major challenges for farmers with moves afoot to provide relief on both fronts.

Agribusiness seeks global growth solutions

SPECIAL REPORT: The increased use of technology in one family-owned WA agribusiness is an example of many changes happening in the industry more broadly.

Resources sector hits jobs record

Employment in WA's resources sector hit a record level in 2017, while revenue lifted 16 per cent to $108 billion, according to the latest data from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

Thriving market for modest fashion

The market for modest fashion in South-East Asia is attracting attention as a potential export destination for a range of local designers, with dramatic growth expected in the next decade.

Northern suburbs congestion ranked top issue

A rail line to Yanchep and freeway expansions in Perth's north are the two highest priority initiatives for Western Australia, according to Infrastructure Australia’s latest project update, which has indicated a third runway at Perth Airport will likely be needed before a new harbour development.

Cape in $20m of contract wins

CFC Group subsidiary Cape has won three new jobs worth a combined $20 million, focused on gold mining, lithium and electricity infrastructure.

Rothwell reflects on Austal journey

John Rothwell remembers some of the most significant deals made in the early days of shipbuilder Austal, in the latest instalment in our series to celebrate Business News' 25th anniversary.

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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.

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.

Warning to Uber moonlighters

Uber drivers using the service as a supplementary income should declare it to their primary employer, according to Minter Ellison partner Kathy Reid, after a driver who had worked during sick leave lost an unfair dismissal claim.

Property player tops 40u40

Blackburne managing director Paul Blackburne was last night named the 2016 Business News 40under40 First Amongst Equals, ahead of a talented and diverse field of candidates.

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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.