Saturday, 28 January 2017
Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan said the Liberal National Government supported this year's $1 million expanded Chinese New Year program with a focus on developing tourism and education links with China and neighbouring countries.
"The Lunar New Year has always been one of the most popular celebrations on WA's cultural calendar and this year's festivities will be even bigger than ever," the Minister said.
"There will be something for everyone with performances, activities and exhibitions for the whole family across the city, Elizabeth Quay, Northbridge and Bunbury.
"As part of the program, Western Australia will also welcome delegations from China of key opinion leaders, students and teachers to experience the best of our State's education and tourism offerings. Forums and conferences will bring together leaders and innovators in the creative, fashion, science and technology industries, building on already significant collaborations between Western Australia and China in these sectors."
This year's festivities will have special significance as 2017 marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and China and the 30th anniversary of WA's Sister State relationship with Zhejiang Province.
"I would like to thank the army of local bilingual volunteers who have put their hands up to ensure the expected 8,000 extra visitors from China get the most out of their visit, including those at Perth Airport who will personally greet these important arrivals," Dr Nahan said.
"I also thank the Chung Wah Association for its strong support of this year's expanded program and encourage everyone to visit http://www.cny.wa.gov.au to find out what's happening and join in the celebrations. I'd like to wish everyone Gong Xi Fa Cai for the Year of the Rooster."
Saturday, 28 January 2017
Sport and Recreation Minister Mia Davies said the money would go towards a number of improvements at the motorplex, including a track extension and upgrade, construction of a footbridge and upgrading spectator and competitor facilities.
"Upgrading these facilities at Collie Motorplex will dramatically improve the spectator and competitor experience, and this improved track will be a tourism drawcard for the people of Collie," Ms Davies said.
"The State Government has been working with the Collie community on this project for a number of years and I am pleased to announce that the funding is confirmed for the upgrades to proceed."
The Liberal National Government is committed to delivering quality sport and recreation facilities to all West Australians as they are an important part of regional life, which is why the Liberal National Government has spent more than $169 million across more than 1,000 projects to improve sport and recreation facilities across the State.
The upgrade has been made possible through $1.57 million from the State Government's Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund and $1 million from the Royalties for Regions' Country Local Government Fund.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said he was pleased to see Royalties for Regions contributing to sporting complexes, which delivered great social benefits to regional communities.
"Infrastructure such as this provides opportunities for community engagement and interaction which are critical to building sustainable communities in regional Western Australia," Mr Redman said.
The project is scheduled for completion by December 2017.
Saturday, 28 January 2017
The Bureau of Meteorology has committed to support the initiative and agreed to install a Doppler radar to replace the existing radar at the Esperance weather station.
Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the coastal upgrade would complement a $23 million investment to provide Doppler radar coverage across the Grainbelt.
"The Doppler radar coverage, combined with data from the Department of Agriculture and Food's network of 175 weather stations, will provide agricultural producers with the most comprehensive weather network in the southern hemisphere," Mr Lewis said.
"The radars generate valuable data on rainfall intensity and a map of wind speed towards or away from the radar, updated every six minutes on the Bureau's and the department's websites, which will assist crucial farm management decisions, saving businesses time and money.
"The department is working on integrating the Doppler radar information into new technology and applications that will enable agribusinesses to boost productive capacity."
The State's previous investment in Doppler radar coverage, through Royalties for Regions, included the new Newdegate site and another at South Doodlakine that will be operational by early March 2017. Construction of another new facility at Watheroo has commenced with the radar due to be operational in April 2017. All three Doppler radars will be fully operational and ready for the 2017 growing season.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Doppler radar coverage would also boost the emergency response capacity of regional communities.
"Radar coverage will provide invaluable information to emergency services, especially when confronted with severe bushfires or impending storms, when real-time data is crucial to response strategies," Mr Redman said.
"This is another example of how Royalties for Regions investment is helping to secure our State's future by continuing to provide opportunities for growth that will provide long-term benefits to regional communities."
The coastal Doppler radar upgrades are expected to be operational in 2019.
Friday, 27 January 2017
The Community Chest Fund provides voluntary organisations, schools and community groups with grants of up to $50,000 to support local projects.
Mr Redman said hundreds of diverse projects and organisations across regional Western Australia had significantly benefited from the fund in recent years.
"Included in this round of funding is $22,550 to St John Ambulance to fund the expansion of the Boyup Brook Sub Centre and $30,000 to the Treehouse Childcare Centre to fund the expansion of Donnybrook Afterschool and Vacation Care," he said.
"Doors Wide Open will receive $30,000 to establish a Crisis Care Centre in Bunbury and $15,000 will go to Yarloop Workshops to assist with the refurbishment and repair of historical artefacts from Yarloop Workshops Steam and Timber Museum, damaged in the 2016 bushfire.
"These projects will help to attract investment, increase job opportunities and improve the quality of life for communities in the South-West region.
"Royalties for Regions is about strengthening and growing our regions and these investments will help regional communities realise their economic potential for the benefit of all West Australians."
Royalties for Regions will invest $10 million over four years into the Community Chest Fund. WA's nine regional development commissions will oversee the projects.
Friday, 27 January 2017
The Regional Grants Scheme is an initiative of the State Government's Royalties for Regions, supporting region-specific priorities that are driven by local communities to assist the development of infrastructure, services and community projects.
Mr Redman said the State Government had invested $30 million in the scheme from 2016-17 to 2018-19 offering grants between $50,000 and $300,000.
"This funding will help community, public and not-for-profit organisations fund smaller, community-driven projects that make a real difference in the regions," he said.
"Royalties for Regions is committed to supporting local projects that attract investment, increase job opportunities and improve the quality of life for regional West Australians; the Regional Grants Scheme enables this to happen.
"The Regional Grants Scheme is yet another example of how Royalties for Regions is helping to deliver small projects that make a big difference in the lives of regional West Australians."
This round of grants will provide a total of $1,536,667 towards 11 projects for the Great Southern region including $200,000 for the first stage of the Shire of Cranbrook's Regional Motocross Facility, which will help relocate the existing club from Rockwell Flats to the more suitable Sukey Hill site and $220,806 for the Albany Agricultural Society to fit-out its two new pavilions.
The scheme is administered by each of the nine regional development commissions.
Friday, 27 January 2017
Health Minister John Day congratulated the graduates, who were among 320 junior doctors welcomed into the WA public health system for 2017.
"This is the latest example of the Liberal National Government's health care leadership," Mr Day said.
"Both Albany and Bunbury hospitals will benefit, with five interns each, but experience shows that regional Western Australia will be the big winner because doctors trained in the country are more likely to practice in country areas.
"I am also pleased to see a record number of Aboriginal graduates this year, with six interns starting their careers at Royal Perth and Sir Charles Gardiner hospitals."
The Minister said the country intern project dovetailed with the Liberal National Government's $500 million Southern Inland Health Initiative.
"Research shows that the Southern Inland Health Initiative has driven a 37 per cent increase in country GPs and almost doubled the number of doctors staying longer than four years in southern inland locations," he said.
"Importantly, our new junior doctors in Bunbury and Albany will get to experience a fulfilling regional lifestyle.
"There are some exciting opportunities in our hospitals across the State and the skills they will bring to our services will help us continue to deliver safe, quality care to those who need it most."
The 320 junior doctors accepted for internships in WA this year include all 307 domestic graduates from WA medical schools, plus 13 who were trained interstate.
"The interns based at Perth's tertiary hospitals will be offered rotations to WA country hospitals as well as other metropolitan hospitals including St John of God Midland Public Hospital and Ramsay Health Care campuses," Mr Day said.
Friday, 27 January 2017
Health Minister John Day has issued the warning as amendments to the Health (Asbestos) Regulations 1992 come into effect, including on-the-spot infringement notices for specified asbestos-related offences.
"If not handled properly, asbestos products present a significant public health risk and can have potentially deadly consequences," Mr Day said.
"Unfortunately, previous penalties for asbestos-related offences were failing to deter people from such risky practices."
Under the amended regulations, a person convicted of an offence will now face a penalty of up to $10,000. Corporations can face up to five times this amount under section 40(5) of the Sentencing Act 1995.
"This represents a 10-fold increase in the current penalties but I am sure people will agree these changes are justified, given the dangerous nature of asbestos products under certain conditions," the Minister said.
"We have also introduced on-the-spot infringements, meaning anyone mishandling asbestos -from a homeowner doing a minor renovation to an experienced builder on a construction site - can be issued by local government-authorised officers with a penalty of up to $2,000 for a specified offence."
In recent years, about 100 new cases of mesothelioma have been diagnosed in WA annually, with an increasing proportion developing as a result of building activities around the home.
Wednesday, 25 January 2017
Seniors and Volunteering Minister Paul Miles today joined 2016 WA Senior of the Year and Ambassador for Positive Ageing Jenny Davis to officially launch the 'Life in Pictures' short film competition, to be held in partnership with the Revelation Perth International Film Festival.
"Society often values youth and beauty, while messages about ageing can focus on the negatives of getting older," Mr Miles said.
"Research shows these negative attitudes can often lead to social isolation and have significant impacts on seniors' health and wellbeing. People who view their own ageing negatively also tend to live on average 7.5 years less than people with positive attitudes.
"This competition will encourage everyone, the film makers and the viewers, to stop and think about how we view getting older. It will stimulate discussion about ageing in a positive way that values and shows respect to older people."
The Minister said the new initiative had received the endorsement of the International Federation on Ageing and World Health Organisation as a way of challenging existing social norms and creating more prosperous, equitable and healthier societies.
"Competition entries should highlight how older people add to WA's communities, including their contribution to families, culture, the economy, volunteering and tourism," Mr Miles said.
A total prize pool of $20,000 is available across three categories, including the option to attend film industry events and for film industry short courses and training.
Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said winners in each category would have their entries screened at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival, and the films used to help raise awareness of ageing in the community.
"This is a massive boost for any emerging filmmaker in Perth," Mr Day said.
Wednesday, 25 January 2017
Racing and Gaming Minister Brendon Grylls today announced the Trust, which derives funds from unclaimed gaming winnings in Western Australia, will provide $283,569 to Huntington's WA for its new Early Intervention for Youth Project.
"The three-year project will serve as a helpful resource for parents, fund health professionals to work with families affected by Huntington's disease and support the needs of children impacted by other neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease," Mr Grylls said.
"As a non-profit organisation seeking funding for a disease that affects a small proportion of the general population, Huntington's WA have limited funding options. However, the effect of the disease on family members is profound, particularly for young people, due to the complexity of the factors associated with the disease.
"This grant money will help reduce the sense of isolation young people experience by connecting them with others in the Huntington's community, while providing positive role models and support."
Huntington's disease is a fatal, inherited disorder that leads to uncontrolled movement, loss of motor functions and personality changes. There is no cure and no proven therapy for altering the disease's progression which leads to incapacitation and eventually death.
The Minister said the Early Intervention for Youth Project would have a specific focus on providing education and support to young people impacted by Huntington's disease in remote areas.
"Sufferers of rare diseases are often most disadvantaged when they live outside the metropolitan area," Mr Grylls said.
"I am pleased that regional West Australians who are affected by Huntington's disease will stand to benefit from extra resources funded by this new project."
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