Monday, 23 October 2017
The Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program provides $4.2 million over four years to enable regional visitor centres to transition towards financial sustainability. A funding pool of $1.05 million was offered in 2017-18 as part of the third and final round of the grant program.
Projects supported include a new fit-out and touch screen technology at the Bunbury Visitor Centre; development of a new website for the Derby Tourist Bureau; website development, IT upgrades and new signage at the Kalgoorlie Boulder Tourist Centre; and development of a business plan and training at the Geraldton Visitor Centre.
Since the launch of the scheme, more than 100 grants have been provided to regional visitor centres across WA, helping to boost tourism and employment.
For more information including a list of the successful 2017-18 funding recipients, visit http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:
"Visitor centres are an important part of our tourism industry as they add $117 million into the State's economy and generate more than 900 jobs.
"Research also shows that people spend more time and money in an area when they use a visitor centre, therefore it's vital that we help them become more financially viable.
"Tourism contributed $10 billion to WA's economy in 2016, including $4.7 billion in regional areas, and is a key pillar of the Government's plan to diversify the economy, create jobs and develop business opportunities."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Regional visitor centres provide important local knowledge for visitors to WA, whose spending generates job opportunities for local people.
"With a changing tourism environment and the influence of online booking, this program has helped to make significant changes in the way WA regional visitor centres operate."
Monday, 23rd October 2017
Premier Mark McGowan, Planning Minister Rita Saffioti and Perth MLA John Carey were joined by City of Vincent Mayor Emma Cole at the site - the first visit since the McGowan Labor Government confirmed funding for the project in the State Budget.
With the funding in place, community consultation has since been completed and the tender process for design, documentation and project management is currently underway.
The project will establish a vibrant public space at the corner of Fitzgerald and View streets, to encourage people to the area and attract more foot traffic to local businesses.
It will also provide the opportunity to attract more events to the area, following the lead of the Angove Street Festival.
A working group comprising Mr Carey, Mayor Cole and community group North Perth Local are spearheading the project.
The North Perth Common construction is expected to be completed during the 2018-19 financial year.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This funding will create a beautifully designed urban space that people will want to visit - driving more foot traffic to local businesses.
"We want to build on the lively community that already exists in North Perth and ensure it continues to attract visitors and create more job prospects for the area."
Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:
"We know well-managed and comfortable public squares draw people into the area and make them stick around, in turn providing a boost to local businesses and jobs.
"Congratulations to the working group who have committed their valuable time to progress the project to this stage. It's starting to take great shape and I look forward to watching it develop over the next few years."
Comments attributed to Perth MLA John Carey:
"Great cities around the world embrace the idea of a central public space as a meeting place for locals, a place for community and arts and to attract visitors to retail and café strips.
"This is a fantastic initiative which is all about drawing more people to the area, and encouraging them to shop and socialise locally, and in doing so, support local small business."
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Police Minister Michelle Roberts has congratulated the State Graffiti Taskforce which has been recognised with an award at today's Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards.
The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory governments and recognise good practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.
Led by the Western Australia Police Force, the taskforce is a co-ordinated government response aimed at reducing graffiti vandalism.
An independent evaluation found the taskforce had achieved a significant reduction in graffiti offences across WA, improvements in clean-up rates and a reduction in the number of offenders.
Since 2011, police have charged 1,580 vandals with more than 4,300 offences.
The WA Police Graffiti Team have also incorporated a successful proactive approach which includes early intervention strategies to educate and raise awareness to reduce graffiti in the community.
Comments attributed to Police Minister Michelle Roberts:
"The annual cost of cleaning up graffiti in Western Australia is estimated at more than
"But aside from the financial cost, there is the social cost - graffiti is unsightly and shows a fundamental disrespect for people's property.
"All Western Australians deserve to feel safe living in communities which are free from graffiti vandalism.
"Partnerships like this one play a key role in reducing the incidences of graffiti vandalism and help restore the community's sense of safety and security.
Nature Play WA has an unlikely new weapon in the battle to get kids away from too much indoor screen time - launching an app to encourage outdoor play, learning and exploring.
The Nature Passport app looks to engage technology-obsessed kids in the kinds of outdoor activities their parents and grandparents enjoyed when they were children.
The app works in such a way that children are encouraged to look up at the world around them outside and engage with nature in creative ways. It also promotes social connections and fun, outdoor family time.
Launched today by Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray, the app is a collaboration between Nature Play WA and leading non-profit environmental education centre Islandwood.
Founded in 2010 by the then Department of Sport and Recreation, Nature Play WA has been so successful it has become an independent not-for-profit organisation, and has spawned South Australian and Queensland branches.
The McGowan Government renewed Nature Play WA's funding for a further four years in the 2017-18 State Budget.
Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:
"The smart thing about the Nature Passport app is it is not trying to compete with kids' love of technology - it is working with it to get them off the couch and into the great outdoors.
"When many of us were kids, playing outside was normal. Younger generations haven't grown up with unstructured, outdoor play as part of their lives.
"The idea of being shuffled out of the house and told to go find some fun and adventure out in the open is not something a lot of today's kids relate to. The Nature Passport app embraces how technology has changed how kids play nowadays.
"Nature Play WA is a local non-for-profit that has expanded to great success - not only inspiring branches in other States, but working alongside environmental education leader Islandwood."
The McGowan Government has moved to improve fishing safety for Western Australia's unique West Coast Zone recreational abalone fishery.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development conducted a review into the fishery after the deaths of four people since 2012.
Following consultation with Recfishwest and Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA), Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has approved changes to the management of the fishery, in a bid to help improve the safety of recreational fishers and lifeguards.
The West Coast Zone season will now run over summer to reduce the risk of rough weather conditions and fishing days will be on four specified Saturdays, with the first fishing day scheduled for December 9, 2017, instead of Sundays, between 7am and 8am. However, if severe weather conditions are forecast, the department will take action on the advice of local councils, SLSWA and Recfishwest to close the fishery.
Throughout the season, the recreational abalone catch will be closely monitored to ensure the fishery's sustainability and that this season's total catch is between 18-22 tonnes, with options to reduce, or extend, the number of fishing days to keep the catch within this range.
Almost 18,000 licences are issued annually in this highly valued fishery on Perth's doorstep.
More details are available in the new abalone fishing guide at http://www.fish.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
"This year the abalone fishing season along Perth's coast will be changed in an effort to prevent any more deaths.
"It is not worth risking a life for an abalone, so we urge licensed abalone fishers to embrace these important safety changes.
"Importantly from now on if poor weather conditions are forecast, we will close the fishery - we won't put fishers or SLSWA volunteers' lives at risk.
"The aim of moving to Saturday fishing days in summer is to reduce the potential of encountering bad weather, which puts fishers' lives at risk.
"Changing the fishing day from Sunday to Saturday will also help free up SLSWA resources from competing activities, ensuring they can help make the early one-hour fishing windows safer in the new season.
"These new arrangements were developed in consultation with Recfishwest and SLSWA and provides a balance between fisher safety and sustainability.
"We want to ensure this rare and unique fishing opportunity remains safe and available to recreational fishers in the long term."
Outstanding young Western Australians were honoured at the WA Youth Awards last night, with Matthew Bill, 22, from Swan View, named WA Young Person of the Year.
Matthew, an outreach worker in the Shire of Mundaring, was recognised for his work with local families to encourage positive engagement in their children's lives.
Matthew works directly with school students in his community, particularly those at risk of disengagement. He was also named the winner in the Community Leadership category of the awards.
Other WA Youth Award winners included Habiba Asim, 19, from Huntingdale who used her experience of bullying for wearing a hijab to school as a way of engaging with and working with young people deemed at risk. Through her role as a mentor, speaker and contributor on a number of youth committees, Habiba is a wonderful role model for migrant youth.
The WA Youth Awards showcase the achievements and contributions of young Western Australians aged 12 to 25, as well as organisations that work with and support WA youth.
The awards are delivered through a partnership between the Department of Communities and Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia (YACWA), and are supported by Lotterywest.
Comments attributed to Youth Minister Peter Tinley:
"The WA Youth Awards are a fantastic reminder of the positive contributions made by young people in WA and this year's remarkable group of finalists represent the diversity of WA's youth.
"These inspiring young people have contributed more in their lifetimes than many people twice their age. I hope they will inspire other Western Australians to ask themselves how they can make a difference to their own communities.
"If the calibre of young people awarded tonight are anything to go by, then I strongly believe that we are in very capable hands for the future."
Vincent Pettinicchio, 12, Kallaroo
Vincent is a Year 7 student who helps improve the quality of life of homeless people in Western Australia. In February 2013, at just seven years of age and after being bullied at school, he started Vincent's Project for the Homeless.
His idea was to provide homeless people with packs of toiletries and comfort items, inspired by homeless people he saw on his walks with his grandparents. In 2014 he set his target at 300 packs and delivered 364 packs to St Vincent de Paul.
In 2015, targeting 500 packs, he delivered 642, with the help of students from nine different schools on packing day. This number has increased annually since then, with an estimated 4,000 people assisted to date. Vincent's 10-year plan is to help 14,000 people.
Lily Purser and Alyssa Wong, Shenton Park
Lily Purser and Alyssa Wong are Year 10 students who participated in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics class at Shenton College. Students were challenged to use design-thinking principles to create a solution for a local or global issue, with the pair choosing to address the community issue of food waste.
Thinking globally but acting locally, they engaged with the St Patrick's Community Support Centre to develop a solution to provide unused food to those who need it.
The girls' solution was to create a website to link businesses with excess food to charities which could distribute food to support people at-risk in their local area. Named Conneativity, the site also addresses the issue of getting the food to the charities.
Matthew Bill, 22, Swan View
Matthew Bill is a 22-year-old Aboriginal, Youth Outreach Worker employed by the Shire of Mundaring, who works with families in the community to encourage and assist them to be actively involved in their children's lives.
He works across four primary schools and one high school re-engaging students who truant from class, are suspended from school or are at risk of disengagement in the education system. This includes spending his personal time to mentor young people.
This year, he developed a 'Yarning Circle' at a local primary school, which provides an opportunity for younger students to interact with older boys from the nearby high school, to help the high school transition become easier.
George Foulkes-Taylor, 24, Kalgoorlie-Boulder
George is a local producer and business manager born and raised in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, who is heavily involved in developing the local arts scene.
George was the producer for Kalgoorlie Fashion Week 2017, co-ordinated a group of 14 local artists to participate in a pop-up gallery showcasing a huge range of artworks from the Goldfields region, developed and managed a local film project that taught local young people about film and technology, and participated in the National Young Rural Women's Muster 2016 - a week of leadership training in Canberra.
Lynn Crasto, Hamilton Hill
After graduating from Edith Cowan University's Youth Work Studies in 2005, Lynn began his youth work career assisting highly marginalised and disengaged young people.
Since then he has developed experience in outreach, case management and intensive support and recreation as well as school-based youth work. He now works with some of the most marginalised young people in WA, delivering street-based outreach in Anglicare WA's Street Connect program.
He is an innovative practitioner, having developed and delivered the 'Up and Running' project, which engaged highly marginalised and disengaged young homeless people in regular exercise appropriate to their needs.
Habiba Asim, 19, Huntingdale
Born in Pakistan, Habiba and her family moved to Perth as migrants when she was 11 years old, and faced racism and discrimination almost daily. She used her experience of bullying for wearing a hijab to school as an opportunity to work with young people deemed at risk.
Habiba is a positive role model for migrant young people, is an Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience mentor, a youth consultant with the City of Belmont, an inspirational speaker with the City of Stirling's Youth Empowerment Program, a youth advocate with YACWA's Youth Engaged in Policy Project, and a soccer coach with children 10 years and under.
Curtin AHEAD, Bentley
Curtin Addressing Higher Educational Access Disadvantage (AHEAD) is an innovative outreach program that fosters the potential of groups and individuals that are underrepresented in higher education.
Their vision is to enable positive change by overcoming the challenges of access and embracing the opportunities of participation in higher education. The team run a range of programs, including Year 12 camps with students from regional and remote schools, and AHEAD in Prison ,designed to enhance participants' transition, access, participation and retention in higher education.
Since 2014, AHEAD has supported more than 1,000 high school students into university, and 41 prison residents through the Curtin UniReady (enabling) program, of who 10 have transitioned into university.
Millennium Kids, Yokine
Millennium Kids is a youth-led environmental organisation with young people aged 10-25 years, co-designing practical action projects in their local, regional and global communities. Established in Western Australia in 1996, 2017 marks 21 years of the organisation.
Millennium Kids works with individuals, community groups and government entities to develop collaborative, environmental and sustainability-based education and action programs, and projects that provide leadership and citizenship opportunities for young people.
Recent projects have included Wetland Warriors, a social media-based holiday program designed by young people to create awareness of the plight of waterbirds in wetland areas, and the Willy Wagtail Project, a social enterprise developed to take waste destined for landfill and create bags to reduce plastic bag use.
Letitia Busniak, 22, Geraldton
Letitia is a 22-year-old journalist from Geraldton. She first began working for Geraldton Newspapers at the age of 16 before completing a three-year cadetship program with West Australian Regional Newspapers.
Her winning story was a two-page spread focused on four young women who had opened successful businesses in Geraldton. These young woman, all aged under 22, are smashing stereotypes surrounding the work ethic of their generation and are also breaking down barriers for women in the business industry - who sadly still remain under-represented in business ownership.