A new anti-litter campaign has been developed in Western Australia to discourage the dumping of items such as food and beverage containers and cigarette butts.
The campaign, developed by Keep Australia Beautiful WA and launched today during Keep Australia Beautiful Week, sends the message that littering not only has environmental, economic and social impacts, but is also illegal.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson announced the campaign aims to change people's behaviour and targets those who discard some of the most regularly littered items including flavoured milk cartons, beer bottles, plastic bottles, fast food containers and cigarette butts.
The campaign is part of the McGowan Labor Government's commitment to waste and litter reduction across the State.
While many Western Australians do the right thing with their rubbish, there is still a section of the community who are carelessly littering.
Litter statistics, measured by the National Litter Index, show WA has high levels of litter. The 2015–16 index shows that takeaway food and beverage containers and cigarette butts make up 61 per cent of the littered items found across 151 sites audited throughout the State.
Such litter can result in significant clean-up costs, negative environmental impacts, fires from discarded cigarette butts, toxic materials getting into waterways and plastics being ingested by wildlife.
Throughout the past 12 months, more than 2,500 litterers were fined between $200 and $500 each for not putting their litter in the bin.
Keep Australia Beautiful Week runs until August 28. To participate, visit the Keep Australia Beautiful website
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The fact that some Western Australians are still littering in 2017 is shameful.
"The scourge of litter is a serious issue for everyone in our community - and one the McGowan Government takes very seriously.
"Each year, State and local governments, businesses and the community spend millions of dollars cleaning up litter. We also lose the opportunity to recycle when waste ends up as litter.
"This campaign reminds us all to do the right thing with rubbish."
The McGowan Government has asked Tourism Western Australia to immediately reprioritise $2 million of its current budget to help fill empty hotel rooms in Perth.
A downturn in business travel, coupled with more hotels coming into the market, saw hotel occupancy rates in June 2017 hit 75.6 per cent - one of the lowest levels seen in seven years.
Tourism WA will work with its co-operative marketing partners - including airlines, travel agents and travel websites - to offer incentives for people to travel now and take advantage of the great choice of hotels at very reasonable rates.
These partners will add to Tourism WA's financial commitment, bringing the total campaign value well above $2 million.
Since 2012, an extra 1,611 hotel rooms have been added to the Perth CBD hotel stock including Crown Towers, Peppers Kings Square, Tribe Hotel, Fraser Suites, and Quest Adelaide Terrace. Another 1,851 rooms are scheduled to open by 2020.
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
"The hotel sector is hurting and we need to focus on direct campaigns that drive visitation to fill planes, get visitors to Perth and fill our hotel rooms.
"Tourism WA has been working hard to get the message out there that Perth is no longer expensive and there are plenty of quality accommodation options to choose from.
"This campaign will target markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, China, Sydney and Melbourne where we know people are open to making the decision to travel at short notice.
"Visitor attraction remains the State Government's number one tourism priority - everything we are doing is about growing visitor numbers to create jobs, develop business opportunities and diversify the economy.
"The $2 million campaign, coupled with the introduction of a Tourism WA East Coast advocate, will lead to a direct increase in visitors."
21 July 2017 – TERM 3
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A Lotterywest grant of $250,000 will help Scitech engage and educate Western Australia's youngest budding scientists.
Science Minister Dave Kelly visited Scitech today to announce the grant, which will contribute to the refurbishment of the early childhood zone.
Discoverland is designed and built exclusively for infants to five year olds, and is a key strategy to help parents and children develop positive attitudes towards science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects from an early age.
Scitech plans to upgrade and modernise the area, as well as building a new 'iconic' early childhood exhibit.
The grant will also go towards creating a new catalogue of take-home and support material for parents and carers to support their child's ongoing learning.
Lotterywest's contribution makes up more than half the budget of the $402,000 refurbishment, which is part of the broader 'Revitalising Scitech' project.
Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly:
"The State Government is proud to support Scitech and its work in educating the next generation of Western Australian researchers and innovators.
"Today's children are the STEM professionals of tomorrow, and Scitech plays a central role in connecting children and families to science from a young age
"This grant will assist Scitech in its work to inspire the very youngest of visitors, introducing them to vital STEM building blocks such as counting and scale through play and fun.
"In Australia, 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations require STEM skills. Engaging young people in science is a key priority of the McGowan Government as we look towards creating future job opportunities and diversifying our economy through the science industry."
The State Government, through Tourism WA, has secured the BMX National Championships for 2018 and 2021, which are expected to attract thousands of visitors to Western Australia.
BMX is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia, with the country attracting the second biggest number of participants behind the USA.
More than 2,000 interstate competitors and supporters are expected for each event, making a significant contribution to the State's economy, which in turn creates jobs.
The championships will be held over six days in March/April and feature warm-up sessions, heats and finals. All riding classes are represented by divisional male and female riders aged five to over 50.
The BMX National Championships will be held at the Bunbury BMX Track in 2018 and returning in 2021 to the Perth metropolitan area.
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
"Events such as the BMX National Championships encourage high levels of visitation, which provides a boost to the economy, adds further vibrancy to WA and attracts national media attention.
"Supporting mass participation events such as this will showcase our transformed city to thousands of people and help spread the word about the significant changes taking place.
"Tourism contributed $10 billion to WA's economy in 2016 and is a key pillar of the State Government's plan to diversify the economy, create jobs and develop business opportunities."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The 2018 event will provide a fantastic opportunity to promote Bunbury as an exciting and vibrant regional city to thousands of visitors, and provide a boost for the local economy.
"The State Government's goal is to see the contribution of regional tourism increase to $4.75 billion by 2020, and supporting regional events such as this will help us achieve that goal."
Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
"BMX racing has a massive following, becoming an Olympic sport in 2008 and according to BMX Australia, it was the second most watched sport at Rio 2016.
"Riders of all ages can compete in BMX race meetings throughout Australia, making it a great family friendly pursuit.
"The event will also help to activate community operated infrastructure, such as the BMX tracks in the South-West and Perth."
The National Rugby League's State of Mind Program will be made available to Western Australia's 4,000 local rugby league players to destigmatise mental health issues and encourage young men and women to improve their mental health.
The program aims to give the community tools and strategies to manage mental health, increase social support for young people and their families, and provide links to support services.
The program includes educating senior players, coaches and staff on mental wellbeing, connecting support services to clubs and identifying actions to support mental health in clubs.
Expanding prevention programs aimed at reducing mental illness in young people is a key strategy outlined in the Western Australian Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan 2015-2025.
This program builds on similar efforts made by the Mental Health Commission with AFL and netball in previous years.
NL Ambassador Clinton Toopi said the program was helping local rugby league clubs across Australia and New Zealand to educate their players and members on signs and symptoms of mental illness and how best to connect with local service providers.
For more information, visit http://www.nrlstateofmind.com.au/
Comments attributed to Mental Health Minister Roger Cook:
"This program will help to give young people the tools and strategies they need to understand and acknowledge mental health, and mental illness, and to know what to do if they, or someone they know, needs help.
"Young people experience the highest prevalence and incidence for mental illness across the lifespan, so it is critical we give them support and information early.
"Grassroots sporting and community organisations can play an important role in helping communities to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, and I thank the NRL for their support."
Science Minister Dave Kelly today invited Western Australians to take part in Australia's biggest celebration of science, technology and innovation as part of National Science Week.
Tonight, Mr Kelly will officially launch National Science Week in WA at an event at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
The week aims to acknowledge the contributions of local scientists and educators, encouraging an interest in science among the public, and inspire young people to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Hundreds of events will take place across WA, including the Perth Science Festival to be held at the Perth Cultural Centre on August 12-13. More than 25,000 took part in last year's festival.
The Premier's Science Awards ceremony will also take place on August 14.
For more information, visit http://www.scienceweek.net.au
Comments attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly:
"National Science Week provides the ideal opportunity for the community to engage with science and learn more about how it relates to our lives, with events focused on topics such as gardening, sustainability, space, the weather and genetics.
"Despite our small population, WA has a strong history of scientific achievement, particularly in the fields of medical research, agriculture and environmental management, radio astronomy, and resources.
"Science and technology are central to diversifying the State's economy and creating the jobs of the future, with about 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations requiring STEM skills.
"A State STEM Advisory Panel, chaired by the Chief Scientist, has been tasked with coming up with a State STEM strategy to ensure our local workforce is equipped with the skills needed by the modern economy."
People living with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions in the South-West have a new state-of-the-art support facility with today's official opening of the MSWA Community and Health Services Centre.
MSWA is a not-for-profit organisation providing supports and services for people living with a range of neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, motor neurone disease and acquired brain injury.
MSWA provides direct care services, supports research projects and educates the community about neurological conditions. The organisation is a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme provider and receives State Government funding via the Department of Communities, Disability Services.
The $1.5 million facility opened in December 2016 and was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony today. The accessible centre includes a physiotherapy gym with specialised equipment, massage rooms, consulting rooms dedicated to counselling, nursing and allied health teams as well as a large activity area.
Comments attributed to Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson:
"MSWA has been supporting Western Australians living with neurological conditions for more than 45 years. The organisation has a proven record of providing a wide range of supports and services to meet each person's individual needs.
"The new purpose-built centre provides the South-West with superior facilities and enables MSWA to continue their important work assisting people living with neurological conditions."
Western Australia has tendered its first formal submission to the Commonwealth Grants Commission's (CGC) current review of its methods for allocating GST between the States and Territories, which is due to report in 2020.
The submission argues that the CGC's principles are implemented in a misguided manner and are not adhered to in practice. As such, the commission's aims are not being achieved.
WA proposes a reformed framework that:
This will ensure the Federal Treasurer is accountable for giving the CGC a clear task to do, and that the commission is in turn accountable for its performance in this task.
Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
"It became clear during their trip to WA that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison are keen to put the onus of leadership on GST reform onto the States and assume a position on the sidelines.
"That is disappointing but we will continue to fight for our fair share and use this review and every other available forum to press our case for reform. I hope the commission understands the issues at play and has a greater appetite for reform.
"The methods used to distribute the GST are impenetrable, which disguises that they do not achieve their aim.
"Despite four years of domestic recession and very significant revenue write downs, WA's GST relativity is still very low at only 34.4 per cent of our population share.
"The current methods contain serious flaws, such as an assumption that differences in States' economic strengths are purely luck, rather than influenced by States' policies.
"I look forward to hearing the CGC's views on WA's proposed reforms when I meet with the commission this week."
Housing Minister Peter Tinley has challenged architects to put their vision to the test in a design competition that will see redevelopment of public housing in Hilton.
The Hilton Design Competition is a partnership between the Department of Communities, the Australian Institute of Architects, the Office of the Government Architect and the City of Fremantle.
The Department of Communities has a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Fremantle to promote heritage conservation of post-war homes, deconcentrate public housing in Hilton and increase the diversity of social housing through subdivision and redevelopment.
The competition brief calls for a unique concept design for two public housing dwellings up to 80 square metres each on a single lot in Hilton behind a heritage street-front property. The estimated construction cost for the project is $200,000 per dwelling, with landscaping costing about $20,000.
The competition will be in two stages. Up to four shortlisted entries from Stage One will receive an honorarium of $10,000 each and the winning entry at Stage 2 will be offered a contract to apply its model to the design of 14 new public dwellings in Hilton.
Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
"In our search for a new kind of public housing, we are inviting innovative ideas for infill development that will challenge expectations and generate variety, equity and affordability.
"Well-designed public housing helps promote social diversity, reduces maintenance costs of public housing for taxpayers and improves the quality of life for its residents. Without it, many vulnerable Australians would be unable to access affordable shelter.
"The designs we are calling for will exhibit a considered relationship with Hilton's unique cultural heritage and also demonstrate a thoughtful approach to environmental sustainability and landscaping.
"From the current level of interest, I expect the competition will attract a high calibre of both emerging and experienced architects."