Boat owners across WA will soon enjoy the benefits of nine projects that were successful in securing funding in the latest round of the Recreational Boating Facilities Scheme.
The City of Melville secured the biggest allocation of the funds with a $700,000 grant to enhance the popular Deepwater Point boating facility by replacing the existing ramp with two new ramp lanes and incorporating a new central finger jetty.
Meanwhile, the Shire of Harvey will receive $278,570 to upgrade The Elbow boat ramp and finger jetty to make it suitable for power boat use.
This year's round of grants was split evenly between metropolitan and regional projects.
Boating facility managers can apply for grants up to 75 per cent of the estimated project cost, with the maximum amount limited to $750,000.
Applications can be made for the planning, construction or upgrade of boat launching ramps, jetties, moorings and new channels that are directly related to a public boating facility.
Eligible land-based infrastructure at public boating facilities include trailer parking, toilets, fish cleaning stations, lighting and signage.
More information about the scheme is available at http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/rbfs or by contacting the RBFS Grants Officer on 9435 7612.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"Once again, RBFS funding has been keenly sought this year, with a total of 22 eligible applications seeking total grant funding of nearly $6 million.
"The upgrade of facilities at Deepwater Point will significantly improve efficiency and ease waiting times at the very busy ramp - especially during peak periods.
"The scheme, established in 1998 to assist in the planning and development of public boating facilities including upgrades to existing infrastructure, allows boat owners to directly contribute as it is partly funded from boat registration fees."
Community legal centres were facing a funding shortfall after being notified last year that there would be no distribution from the Legal Contribution Trust from July 1, 2017.
Community legal centres are an essential component of the legal assistance sector framework in WA, providing assistance to more than 27,000 Western Australians each year.
They are situated throughout the State, in the metropolitan area and in most major regional centres.
In regional centres, where legal services are scarce, community legal centres are particularly important as an alternative source of legal assistance to Legal Aid and the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA.
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"Providing access to justice services for all Western Australians is a high priority for the State Government.
"Community legal centres provide practical legal assistance for the most vulnerable in our community.
"I welcome the Federal Government's announcement to restore funding to the community legal sector.
"Community legal centres across Western Australia have endured years of uncertainty and I am delighted that they have certainty concerning future funding arrangements from both State and Federal governments.
"This week's announcement will relieve the immediate pressure on centres looking at closing or reducing their services."
Western Australian Trade and Investment office in Indonesia celebrates 25th anniversary
Trade office focused on opportunities in agriculture, tourism, education, oil and gas
Western Australia is celebrating a quarter of a century of trade ties with Indonesia this weekend, with the 25th anniversary of its Trade and Investment office in Jakarta.
The trade office was officially opened by the then Prime Minister of Australia Paul Keating in 1992.
It was originally located in Surabaya and was responsible for managing WA's Sister State relationship with East Java.
In 2003, the office moved to the Indonesian capital and now manages the State's broader relationship with Indonesia.
The office expanded to include dedicated agriculture and tourism officers in 2015.
WA's exports to Indonesia rose 14.9 per cent in 2015-16, to $1.9 billion.
The Western Australian Government maintains a network of other trade and investment offices in South Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, India, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Comments attributed to Asian Engagement Minister Bill Johnston:
"Indonesia is Western Australia's closest neighbour and we were one of the first Australian States to open an office there to further our cultural and economic relationship.
"Indonesia is the State's largest wheat export market, accounting for 28 per cent of our total wheat exports, with petroleum another key export commodity.
"There is plenty of scope for growth in our trade relationship, particularly in areas like international education, tourism, mining and petroleum technology and services, and agriculture.
"The Western Australian Trade and Investment office in Jakarta will continue to play a vital role in the ongoing development of our relationship with Indonesia."
Mr McGowan met with Red Cross CEO Judy Slatyer and Acting State Director Linda Crumlin to discuss the work of the Red Cross in the Western Australian community.
The Red Cross Calling Appeal has been held for almost 70 years. In 2016 the annual appeal raised more than $4.9 million with the help of more than 2,450 volunteers across Australia.
The Red Cross has been operating in Australia since 1914 and delivers emergency services and humanitarian assistance both domestically and internationally.
In Western Australia, the Red Cross provides a range of community services including mental health support, assistance in finding safe and secure housing and support services for vulnerable people in the community.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The Red Cross is an important organisation that provides assistance and support for many Western Australians.
"Today I met with the CEO of the Red Cross, Judy Slatyer, and the Western Australian Acting Director, Linda Crumlin, to hear about the important work the Red Cross does in the community.
"I was pleased to present a donation of $60,000 for the annual Red Cross Calling Appeal to assist the Red Cross in continuing their work."
Western Australia will not participate in an online trial of the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) this year.
Testing of the NAPLAN Online platform during the school holidays identified several issues that could impact on students' ability to complete the tests.
All Western Australian students will sit pen and paper tests this year.
This decision will allow the additional time required for the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training to make improvements to the NAPLAN Online platform, so the project can continue in 2018.
Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory also withdrew today. South Australia and Queensland had previously withdrawn from NAPLAN Online.
The three-year transition period to NAPLAN Online started this year.
Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:
"The advice I have received means I am no longer prepared to commit Western Australian students to participate in NAPLAN Online in 2017.
"My primary concern is to ensure students are able to demonstrate their literacy and numeracy skills without experiencing IT issues.
"Contingencies for this decision have been put in place by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority and all schools affected have been contacted.
'We will work closely with our partners across Australia to ensure a successful rollout in 2018 and 2019."
Science Minister Dave Kelly today announced the opening of applications for round two of the State Government's Agriculture and Aquaculture Entrepreneurship Program.
The program forms part of the Science and Agribusiness Connect initiative's suite of programs designed to build the capability of the Western Australian agrifood sector.
Three scholarships of up to $30,000 are available this round to enable farmers and individuals engaged in the agriculture or aquaculture sectors to develop and pursue their idea or invention through exposure to international best practice and leaders in their field.
Successful applicants will have an innovative concept or idea within the fields of agriculture or aquaculture that has the potential to broaden the economy and to modernise the agrifood sector.
The program awarded $55,202 in scholarships in its first round to four WA farmers and innovators from across the sector.
These individuals are now travelling interstate and overseas to learn from the world's best on a range of innovations including lime application for the management of sub-soil acidity, boosting productivity in marron farming, using drone technology in agriculture and investigating ways to establish a log-grown shiitake industry in the South-West.
They will be returning to Western Australia and sharing their knowledge within their industries and
regional WA later this year.
Applications for round two of the program close at 12pm AWST on May 31, 2017.
Comment attributed to Science Minister Dave Kelly:
"The McGowan Labor Government is committed to building the capability of the agrifood sector to further improve its long-term competitiveness and diversification in Western Australia."
Comment attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"We already have some of the brightest thinkers in agriculture here in WA and these scholarships will provide an opportunity for our innovators to learn from the very best."Science Minister's office - 6552 6100
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200
The Manjimup CRC staff hope everyone has safe and happy Easter holiday break filled with positive vibes and of course chocolate! Drive safe everyone and enjoy this four day weekend, we will be for sure!
The Manjimup CRC will be closed on the Friday the 14th of April and Monday the 17th of April due to the Easter Public Holidays! We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers.
From our Manjimup CRC family to yours we wish you a happy Easter long weekend, and safe travels!
The Easter holiday period is a bad time for road fatalities - so police will be cracking down on motorists over the holiday period.
Double demerit points apply from midnight Wednesday until midnight on Monday. (Thursday 13 April to Monday 17 April 2017 inclusive.)
The following offences are subject to Double Demerits: Drink or drug driving, speeding, failing to wear a seat belt and child restraint, running a red light and illegal use of a mobile phone while driving.
We can't wait to see you all back at the MCRC on Tuesday the 18th of April!