29/06/2017 6:05 AM
The Government is developing a mandatory code of practice to give consumers greater consistency, clarity and certainty when investing in prepaid funeral plans - bringing WA into line with other States.
Currently the industry is governed by a voluntary standard set out by the Australian Funeral Directors' Association, though the level of compliance to that standard is unclear.
There are also other organisations in the community without funeral director certification offering prepaid funeral plans.
The mandatory code of practice will be designed, under the Fair Trading Act, to cover all sellers of prepaid funeral packages to protect Western Australians from fund mismanagement.
Comments attributed to Seniors and Ageing Minister Mick Murray:
"Unfortunately there is the potential for unscrupulous operators in the prepaid funeral market to take advantage of vulnerable people, especially seniors.
"By introducing a mandatory code of practice, we will make sure companies selling prepaid funeral plans are held to a high standard and our seniors and their families are protected.
"Seniors and other interested parties will have the opportunity to contribute to a consultation process later this year to guide the development of the code."
Comments attributed to Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:
"The future financial risk for prepaid funerals is high. About 1,000 packages are sold each year in WA, and the amount of money being held is expected to rise significantly.
"It's imperative that such large amounts of money are managed and invested properly and professionally, while keeping the financial risk to consumers as low as possible."
29/06/2017 6:00 AM
Keith Hunter, of Bidyadanga; Clinton (Minty) Sahanna, who covers the Dampier Peninsula communities of Beagle Bay, Lombadina/Djarindjin and Ardyaloon; Robert Hassett, of Kalumburu; and Brendan Walters, of Yungngora, are Australia's first Remote Community Utilities Workers after completing an apprenticeship created by Horizon Power.
The employees, who live and work in their communities, maintain electrical networks in these towns and power stations in Kalumburu and Yungngora, and have just received their trade qualification after years of study and on-the-job training.
Before the apprenticeship program began, it could take a day for crews based in Kununurra just to get to towns such as Kalumburu if there was a power outage and even longer during the wet season.
The State Government supports all efforts to create training positions and employment in Aboriginal communities, and is encouraging procurement policies which support Aboriginal-owned businesses and create jobs.
Comments attributed to Energy Minister Ben Wyatt:
"It has been a long journey for the four men who graduated today and I wish them the very best of success in their future roles. These positions will be significant for their communities and they should be very proud of their achievements.
"The staff at Horizon Power should also be congratulated for creating this apprenticeship scheme. I hope it produces graduates for many years to come."
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
The plant was commissioned by the Gallop Labor Government and opened by the Carpenter Labor Government in 2007, in response to the impacts climate change was having on Western Australia's dams and groundwater. It was the first large scale plant to be built in Australia.
In the last 10 years, it has produced about 475 billion litres of drinking water for Perth and has the capacity to provide 45 billion litres of drinking water each year from the ocean.
The Perth Seawater Desalination Plant is one of two seawater desalination plants in WA that supplies 47 per cent of water for Perth and the Integrated Water Supply Scheme.
Investment in desalination forms part of the Water Corporation's long-term Water Forever plans - to secure water supplies in response to climate change.
For more information, visit https://watercorporation.com.au
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"The McGowan Labor Government, just like Labor governments of the past, understands the impacts climate change is having on our dams and groundwater supplies.
"As we face the water challenges of the future, we will draw on the vision and innovative thinking that Labor governments are renowned for.
"Over the past decade, the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant has taken seawater from the Indian Ocean and produced about 475 billion litres of fresh drinking water - which is enough water to fill Sydney Harbour.
"Ten years on, it is great to see the plant continues to provide a reliable, climate independent source of water.
"However, climate change is continuing to impact our precious water supplies - so it is important we all do our bit, whether it be at home or at work, to be more water efficient."
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Premier Mark McGowan this week wrote to all Ministers to request they speak with their departments and discuss implementation of this updated policy as an issue of high priority.
The updated policy, developed by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, is supported by guidance and tools that will help public sector agencies protect themselves against cyber threats.
It requires agencies to continuously improve their security practices and aligns with an internationally established standard for creating Information Security Management Systems (ISO 27001).
The updated policy follows eight annual Auditor General reports which found weaknesses in government agencies' ICT practices. For more information, visit https://audit.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly:
"The McGowan Labor Government understands the rising threat cyber security attacks pose to the public sector and community, and are working with government agencies to address them.
"For eight years, the previous Liberal National Government failed to address damming Auditor General reports which demonstrated many government agencies had insufficient security governance and procedures.
"In May 2017, the 'WannaCry' malware outbreak affected an estimated 200,000 computers across 150 countries worldwide. As we release this policy today, there has been another major cyber security attack from the 'Petya' ransomware, affecting businesses and governments around the world.
"So far this morning there have been no known successful attacks on the WA Government, but it is still early.
"WA avoided a serious breach last time, and the security updates put in place by government agencies should also protect against this new 'Petya' ransomware.
"These ongoing attacks demonstrate the seriousness of the situation and the importance of ensuring WA Government agencies are on the front foot in preventing successful attacks.
"We are committed to building a capable public sector that manages risk and delivers benefits."
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
The scholarships were awarded to percussionist Euphina Yap of the northern Perth suburb of Darch; and viola player Kathryn McKay of North Fremantle.
The scholarships are administered by the Department of Culture and the Arts and enable artists up to 29 years old, the opportunity to study overseas.
The scholarships enable young WA artists to develop world-class skills by providing them with the opportunity to undertake a course not available in Australia.
Ms Yap's scholarship will enable her to study for a Master of Music in percussion performance at the internationally renowned Boston Conservatory in Massachusetts.
Ms McKay will undertake a one-year, post-graduate performance course at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with acclaimed viola player Daniel Avshalomov of the American String Quartet.
Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"I congratulate these two gifted young musicians on being awarded Young People and the Arts International Scholarships.
"The McGowan Government believes that fostering talented artists and developing a strong arts sector is important if WA is to continue to be a vibrant State.
"The creative industries sector has an important role to play in diversifying the State's economy and creating jobs."
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
In a rare moment of fiscal responsibility as part of its 2016-17 Budget process, the then Liberal National Government made a decision to discontinue the motor vehicle licensing concessions granted to local government authorities and the WA Local Government Association, effective from July 1, 2017.
As part of this decision, local governments would also no longer be exempt from stamp duty for motor vehicle purchases. These combined measures were expected to deliver savings of almost $10 million per year, as well as additional savings in ongoing administration.
However, in a staggering move by the Liberal and National parties, Opposition members voted to support a Disallowance Motion moved by Agricultural Region MLC Rick Mazza, to reverse these measures and reinstate these concessions for local governments.
The reversal of this decision would cost the State:
"Mike Nahan is clearly not content with his vandalism of the State's finances while Treasurer and has directed his party to continue their attack on WA taxpayers from Opposition.
"To defy their own savings measures, destroys any remaining credibility of fiscal responsibility that the Liberal and National parties may have had.
"It is hard to fathom that the Opposition will no doubt celebrate blowing another $10 million black hole in the budget. I can assure you that the budget will not wear this act of fiscal irresponsibility.
"The McGowan Government is determined to fix the budget disaster left to us by the previous government."
28/06/2017 6:30 AM
It follows the appointment of Amanda Forrester SC to the role of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), WA's first female DPP, in April this year.
Ms Barbagallo was admitted into practice in 1991 after completion of articles of clerkship at MacDonnells, Barristers and Solicitors in Queensland.
Ms Barbagallo worked as a solicitor in general practice until 1995 when she commenced at the DPP in Queensland in the criminal prosecutions area.
From May 1996 to December 2000 she was a Crown Prosecutor at the DPP in Queensland and then a State Prosecutor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Western Australia (ODPP WA) from 2001 to 2005.
While at ODPP WA, Ms Barbagallo was Senior State Prosecutor from October 2005 until January 2008 and Crown Prosecutor from January 2008 to October 2010.
She has been Consultant State Prosecutor at ODPP WA since November 2010.
Ms Barbagallo's appointment is for a term of five years.
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"Ms Barbagallo has more than two decades of experience in a variety of criminal prosecutions in the Supreme and District Courts both in Western Australia and interstate.
"Through the course of her legal career, she has case managed a variety of criminal prosecutions from the least serious to the most serious.
"Ms Barbagallo was appointed Senior Counsel in December 2016.
"Ms Barbagallo is a voluntary mentor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions' mentoring program and has compiled and presented training packages to WA Police to assist its officer training.
"In her current role as Consultant State Prosecutor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Barbagallo is responsible for the case management and prosecution of the most complex criminal prosecutions in Western Australia.
"She is leading the prosecution team in the criminal trial of the alleged Claremont serial killer.
"Ms Barbagallo has been the Chair of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions WA's Training and Professional and Development Committee since 2015, and she is a member of the Professional Development Committee of the Legal Practice Board of WA."
Hello community friends,
I am delighted to introduce our most recent staff member, "Heavenly Partington" who joins the team as our Trainee Receptionist, studying Certificate III Business Administration.
She will be learning all aspects of of customer service, other than Department of Transport, which is deemed as a Customer Service Officer level of service delivery.
We have already nicknamed our beautiful Heavenly as "Tiger" as she is so excited about all that she is learning, that she literally jumps around!
We look forward to supporting her on her learning journey, and thank you for making her feel appreciated.
Greater training required for new driversFriday, 23 June 2017
From October 9, 2017, the State Government will be introducing changes to the provisional licence process to better prepare applicants and ultimately produce safer drivers.
One of the major changes is re-sequencing the Hazard Perception Test to occur before the Practical Driving Assessment.
Under the new system, learners need to complete both the Hazard Perception Test and 50 hours of supervised driving before being eligible to attempt the PDA to get their driver's licence.
The 50-hour log book also needs to include five hours of supervised night-time driving to ensure greater learner experience prior to attempting the PDA.
Changing the sequence will reduce the complexity of the provisional licence process, align Western Australia with other States and streamline the Department of Transport's service delivery.
Updated and modernised HPT clips will also be delivered as part of the changes taking place on October 9.
The reforms are aimed at developing the necessary skills to drive a vehicle safely and build the experience learner drivers need, to cope with potential hazards and distractions while driving.
Existing learner's permit holders will automatically transfer to the new process from October 9, 2017.
For more information, visit http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/gdtl
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"The State Government has listened to industry and community feedback about the provisional licence process and we will ensure applicants have greater driving experience and cognitive maturity when attempting their driving tests.
"The provisional licence process has seen a reduction in road crashes involving novice drivers.
"It is hoped that the re-sequence will increase the current practical driving assessment pass rate, resulting in more assessment slots being vacant, which will reduce customer wait times for PDA availability.
"Current provisional licence applicants will receive a letter with information explaining these changes in detail."
Tuesday, 27 June 2017
Plastic Free July was developed by the Western Metropolitan Regional Council in 2011, commencing with 40 participants.
The campaign has since been adopted globally with more than a million participants in more than 130 countries.
Participants can choose to refuse single-use plastics for 31 days in July or accept the challenge for a week or a day.
For more information or to register, visit http://www.plasticfreejuly.org
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"There are a number of ways we can all help reduce waste every day including bringing your own reusable shopping bags, remembering reusable coffee cups and water bottles, and avoiding pre-packaged fruit and vegetables.
"Plastic Free July is a fantastic homegrown challenge and is a great way to avoid landfill, reduce our eco-footprint and protect the ocean from plastic pollution."
Comments attributed to Plastic Free July co-founder Rebecca Prince-Ruiz:
"A staggering 100 kilograms of plastic packaging - including plastic containers, water bottles, plastic bags or disposable coffee cups - are used by householders every year.
"Those plastics break up not break down, are mostly down-cycled and end up in landfill or worse 'escape', with scientists predicting there will be more plastic than fish in the world's oceans by 2050.
"Plastic Free July is creating conversations and education around the issues of plastic pollution and more importantly has resulted in a wave of community action."