Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk has today tabled the statutory review of the Children and Community Services Act 2004 in State Parliament.
The review was undertaken on behalf of the Minister by a committee and a legal working group comprised of key stakeholders from government and the community services sector.
Following an extensive four-month period of community consultation, 37 submissions were received from a wide range of contributors.
The review makes 70 recommendations which include:
Comments attributed to Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk:
"As Child Protection Minister, I am committed to ensuring a safe, supportive, and stable environment is provided to the State's most vulnerable children and young people.
"The Children and Community Services Act 2004 has worked well but following extensive consultation and review, certain areas have been identified where it can be strengthened.
"The recommendations in this report provide an opportunity to enhance the legislation and I look forward to working with the department, stakeholders, foster carers, and Aboriginal communities to discuss the next steps in improving outcomes for Western Australian children."
The McGowan Government is shining a light on the State's horrifying family and domestic violence statistics, reminding all Western Australians they can play a part in stopping the violence.
To highlight the issue, Premier Mark McGowan, and WA's first Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister, Simone McGurk, today launched the State Government's '16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women' campaign at Parliament House.
Family and domestic violence survivors Mary Chetcuti and Judith Congrene stood with the Premier and Minister McGurk today to share their stories of courage and endurance.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of violence against women in WA and encourage communities to take an active role in making change.
Some of WA's recognisable landmarks, including private sector and government properties, will be aglow in orange, serving as a visual reminder about the need to change the conversation and how stopping violence against women is everyone's responsibility.
During the 16 days, the campaign aims to educate - raise awareness of the impact of violence on women, children, and communities; motivate - through positive actions; and advocate - by highlighting organisations working to support victim safety and perpetrator accountability.
16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women - lighting up schedule:
For more information, visit https://www.communities.wa.gov.au/about/projects-and-programs/
The Women's Domestic Violence Helpline (9223 1188 or free call 1800 007 339) is a State-wide, 24-hour service. It provides support for women facing family and domestic violence.
1800RESPECT (free call 1800 737 732) is a national online sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"It's great to see a diverse range of private sector and government organisations supporting the 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women campaign in such a visible way.
"To stop family and domestic violence our message must be this violence is not acceptable.
"Here in WA, more than 50,000 family and domestic violence incidents were reported to police in 2016-17, and more than 4,500 calls were made to domestic violence helplines.
"This campaign demonstrates the whole of government, whole of community approach we are adopting to challenge the unacceptable levels of family and domestic violence in WA.
"My government has introduced a raft of measures to reduce domestic violence and has confirmed vital funding in the current Budget, including funding two new women's refuges."
Comments attributed to Women's Interests and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
"WA has the second highest rate of reported physical and sexual violence perpetrated against women in Australia, second only to the Northern Territory.
"The sad reality is that women and their children are overwhelmingly over-represented as victims of family and domestic violence.
"In Australia, one woman is killed each week at the hands of her current or former partner. The statistics are unacceptable and it's time to end violence against women and children.
"As the first appointed Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister in WA, I am here to say this issue remains a priority for the McGowan Government.
"We need to hold perpetrators to account, but we also need to change the conversation in our homes, communities and workplaces to end violence against women and children. 16 Days in WA to Stop Violence Against Women is our opportunity to do just that."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Women's Interests and Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister's office - 6552 6600
The State's premier food and wine event will be back in the South-West for 2018, as the State Government looks to expand Western Australia's culinary event tourism in the future.
The sponsorship contract with event owner IMG Culinary has been renewed for 12 months, with the seventh Margaret River Gourmet Escape to go ahead in November next year.
However, with the current agreement coming to an end, the Government will review the State's investment in food and wine event tourism, with a view to expanding the festival to feature not only Margaret River but also the Swan Valley.
The review will involve stakeholder consultation followed by a Request for Proposal process.
The consultation, involving the food and wine industry; tourism operators; local producers and the community, will help determine the final specifications for the new event.
A list of companies with a track record in culinary events will then be invited to submit proposals to run an annual international food and wine festival across the State's two premier wine destinations in 2019 and beyond.
The successful proponent is expected to be announced in the first half of next year.
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
"Margaret River Gourmet Escape has helped grow the brand of our beautiful South-West and cemented the State's reputation as a culinary destination.
"With the current three-year agreement ending, the State Government decided it was the right time to explore opportunities to grow efforts in food and wine event tourism and maximise outcomes for the State.
"It gives us the chance to look at expanding and extending the festival to feature not only the South-West but also the Swan Valley.
"The McGowan Government understands the value of events in supporting the State's tourism outcomes, but we need to ensure these events drive interstate and international visitation in order to fill our hotel rooms, grow the economy and create jobs.
"We also want a clear strategy for food and wine festivals that enhances our trade and agricultural export outcomes. We want to ensure that the high-quality local food and wine at these events is readily available to be served on tables in China, Singapore, Japan and other key markets."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Our reputation for having fresh produce, premium wines and high-quality boutique beverages makes WA a foodie's paradise.
"Margaret River Gourmet Escape has helped cement that reputation.
"We are keen to extend the festival over a longer period and spread activities across other food and wine destinations to attract higher interstate and international visitation."
Unique investment opportunities in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne have been on show to international investors at the three-day Northern Australia Investment Forum in Cairns.
Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan led a delegation of Western Australian government and industry leaders, focused on attracting investment to drive economic growth and job creation across the north.
The Northern Australia Investment Forum is a joint event between the Commonwealth Government, and the Western Australian, Northern Territory and Queensland governments.
It positions northern Australia as an investment destination, with a focus on agribusiness and food, resources and energy, and tourism infrastructure sectors. It aims to encourage key investments that will support the creation of jobs and economic diversification.
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne all offer tremendous growth opportunities in agriculture, horticulture, tech metals, gas processing, renewable energy and tourism.
"We are at the forum to tell the story of WA's north and attract the best investors needed to create regional jobs.
"As a Government, we are re-engaging with the national agenda on developing the north, a space where Western Australia has been far too passive in recent years.
"WA's north has huge potential to grow if we get the investment climate right. We are committed to tackling the challenges of the north to create job opportunities and grow regional economies in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne."
The McGowan Government has allocated $93,000 for upgrades to the Limelight Theatre in Wanneroo, allowing for the installation of new stage curtains, foyer furniture and a new storage area for the theatre's equipment.
The Limelight Theatre, run by Wanneroo Repertory Inc, is a not-for-profit organisation established more than 40 years ago, which hosts six theatrical productions a year.
It recently released its five-year strategic plan to extend the use of their facilities for other activities and events outside of the organisation and to strengthen its relationships with local schools, other theatre organisations, the City of Wanneroo and the local community.
Comment attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"As part of this Government's commitment to a Creative WA, our programs will continue to invest in the unique and talented creative people of this State."
Comments attributed to Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton:
"The Limelight Theatre is a fantastic local organisation that has played an important role in developing and promoting the arts in Wanneroo.
"It's exciting that the theatre is determined to expand the use of their facilities for other activities and further engage with local schools, the City of Wanneroo and the local Wanneroo community.
"This allocation will assist the theatre in achieving its aim and strengthening the arts in our community."
If you live in a bushfire risk area, you need to understand the Fire Danger Rating for your area.
This will help you make decisions about what you will do if a bushfire starts.
The Fire Danger Rating is based on the weather forecast and gives you advice about the level of bushfire threat on a particular day.
Catastropic: The worst conditions for a fire. Homes are not designed or built to withstand a fire in these conditions. The only safe place is away from the bushfire area.
Extreme Severe or Very High: Seek out information and be ready to leave or stay and actively defend your property if a fire starts. Only stay if you are 100% prepared.
High or Low to Moderate: Be vigilant. Check your fire plan and continue to monitor conditions as they can change quickly.
The deadline for the McGowan Government's interim Sustainable Health Review report has been extended, following a strong level of interest in the community forums.
To date, more than 300 submissions have been received from individuals and organisations sharing their insights on developing a sustainable future for health.
The review panel began an extensive consultation program in August 2017 with a wide range of stakeholders, including patients and carers, clinicians, community members, non-government organisations, peak bodies and private industry.
An open public submission process and a total of 19 public and clinical forums, as well as other sessions, have been held across the State in metropolitan and regional locations.
The panel's interim report will be presented to the Government in January 2018.
This will be supported by further engagement to support the development of the panel's final report, due to Government in November 2018.
Public submissions consented for publishing will be made available on the review website following release of the interim report.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"This review is critical to the future of health and I am confident that this additional time will ensure that all Western Australians can continue to be involved as the review progresses.
"It is vital that as many people in the community and health sector are heard and contribute to the process of shaping our future health system.
"I have been advised by the panel's chairperson, Robyn Kruk, that there has been a huge response to the community forums and, like me, I know Robyn is incredibly grateful for the contributions.
"We will continue to drive the changes to make our health system stronger and more sustainable for the future."