Thursday, 22 September 2016
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the spring baiting, under the Liberal National Government's Western Shield wildlife recovery program, covered an area of more than 1,700 square kilometres.
"At Kalbarri National Park, this baiting directly assists the repopulation of black-flanked rock wallabies, which were rediscovered in the park last year after being considered locally extinct for 20 years," Mr Jacob said.
"With numbers boosted by the arrival of 23 Wheatbelt black-flanked rock wallabies in May, it is important to support this work by using the specially developed Eradicat bait to reduce predation risk. It will also help to safeguard populations of chuditch and malleefowl in the park."
The baiting in Kalbarri National Park is part of $1.7 million in Australian Government National Landcare Programme funding to integrate Eradicat into Western Shield baiting programs.
The Minister said the State Government's overhaul of WA's environmental laws, including the new Biodiversity Conservation Act, would further protect threatened species.
"The new critical habitat provisions of the new Act will allow the Minister for Environment to specially protect areas of threatened species habitat that are critical for their survival," he said.
Eradicat is also protecting vulnerable malleefowl and fairy tern populations in Nambung National Park, about 200 kilometres north of Perth. Funding from Western Shield sponsor Tronox helps in controlling foxes and feral cats and monitoring native wildlife in the park.
"Nambung National Park and surrounding nature reserves also support a number of priority species including quenda, tammar wallaby and western brush wallaby, so this wildlife recovery work is particularly important," Mr Jacob said.
The baiting is conducted by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, which developed the Eradicat bait after more than 10 years of testing in regions across WA.
Thursday, 22 September 2016
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the zoo had recorded its highest annual attendance on record, welcoming 695,091 people in 2015-16, an 8.2 per cent increase over the previous year.
West Australians make up most of the zoo's attendance with 76 per cent of visitors from metropolitan Perth and another 10 per cent from regional areas.
Mr Jacob said he was pleased with the growth in numbers because there was huge competition for the family dollar and the attention of children.
"Perth Zoo has always had a special place in the hearts of the Western Australian community, but this year thanks to new events and behind the scenes opportunities to get up close and learn more about wildlife, we've seen a surge in visitors," he said.
"The Zoorassic Park dinosaur exhibition, which recently wound up, was also a popular experience. It met the goal to educate people about the threat of species extinction while delivering a great day at the zoo. It contributed to visitation numbers increasing by 25 per cent over the same period last year.
"This is consistent with tourism research which shows more West Australians are taking domestic holidays and making more visits to local attractions. Perth Zoo shows it is still a great destination for a family day out."
The zoo is preparing for the school holidays with spring planting activities, the emergence of wallaby joeys, the birth of critically endangered ring-tailed lemurs and opportunities to get up close to rhinos, giraffes, elephants and native Western Australian species during daily encounters.
During the school holidays from September 24, 2016 to October 9, 2016, visitors can use a free park and ride service from 10am to 5pm. Free parking is available on Lamb Street, South Perth, with a shuttle bus running every 15 minutes between Lamb Street and Perth Zoo.
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Water Minister Mia Davies said the tank benefited communities in the Wheatbelt shires of Mt Marshall and Trayning.
"The six million litre tank stands at an impressive six metres high and holds the equivalent of 2.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water," Ms Davies said.
"The new tank improves water quality and water pressure for Water Corporation customers in the towns of Bencubbin, Trayning, Kununoppin and the surrounding areas.
"The tank is located about 85 kilometres north of Merredin and replaces the existing water storage reservoir in Waddouring, which is to be decommissioned.
"Construction of the tank started in July 2015 and was completed ahead of schedule."
The Minister said the new tank was in addition to the three-year $32 million farmlands water supply improvement program that began in December 2015.
"This project will improve the performance of the farmlands water supply network across the Wheatbelt," she said.
"More than 64km of pipeline will be replaced, 7,500 pipeline joints will be repaired and smart water meters will be installed across the farmlands scheme to help save water."
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Water Minister Mia Davies said the Drainage for Liveability Program was a collaboration between the Water Corporation and the Department of Water that would assist providing increasingly urbanised communities with more areas for recreation.
"While drains and drainage basins serve a vital purpose in protecting our homes and businesses from flooding, we should make the most of their capacity to provide attractive green spaces for our communities," Ms Davies said.
"Opening up areas previously inaccessible to the community is possible by developing drains into appealing local assets that make our communities better places to live.
"This is especially important where growing urbanisation means green space is at a premium."
The first project for the Drainage for Liveability Program is a 'pop up' park proposed by the City of Bayswater, off Russell Street in Morley.
"The City of Bayswater council is keen to create more green spaces and the reserve next to the Water Corporation compensating basin off Russell Street was thought to be an ideal location," the Minister said.
"Russell Street Pop Up Park will be a temporary use of open space while the City of Bayswater investigates a longer-term plan for a network of green spaces, linking key parts of the suburb including the bus port, shopping centre and residential areas."
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Launching the Pilbara Ear Health Model of Care today, Health Minister John Day said it would build on the Liberal National Government's 2013 Otitis Media Model of Care, by targeting prevention, early identification and treatment of hearing loss.
"The lifelong impacts of childhood deafness can be devastating. It has a profound effect on communication, education, literacy, socialisation and the ability to obtain employment," he said.
"Aboriginal people experience some of the highest levels of ear disease and hearing loss in the world, with rates up to 10 times more than those of non-Aboriginal people.
"The major challenges regarding the delivery of ear health services in the Pilbara and all remote locations are the high incidence of otitis media, especially among Aboriginal children, and access to specialist care including tertiary medical and remediation services."
Otitis media infection of the middle ear is a common childhood illness that, without appropriate treatment, leads to temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Strongly supported by Chevron, the Pilbara Ear Health Model of Care is a comprehensive guide to improving ear health outcomes, with 10 Principles of Best Practice ranging from disease prevention and targeting of at-risk groups, to specialist training and education services.
"I commend Chevron for providing funding for this invaluable work and to all the agencies involved in the development of the model," the Minister said.
"This ear health blueprint is the culmination of significant work, with the one purpose - to forge a better future for Pilbara communities through better hearing.
"The Pilbara Ear Health Model of Care is a very exciting achievement for Western Australia and showcases the work of the WA Country Health Service, Telethon Speech and Hearing and other health providers in the Pilbara."
Finance Minister Bill Marmion said the initiative would ensure businesses which benefited from State Government contracts were good corporate citizens.
"This is about government business units working together to ensure the best outcome for taxpayers," Mr Marmion said.
"Prior to a business being listed to supply to the Government, they will now be checked to ensure all taxation commitments are being met.
"This sharing of information, with the consent of the business applying for Government work, is designed to reduce the risk of the Government contracting with businesses which are not meeting their taxation obligations."
Although in its early stages, the policy change has already demonstrated its effectiveness in managing risk, with an improvement in the payment timeliness of outstanding taxation obligations by suppliers being documented.
"The Liberal National Government is continuing to pilot innovative practices to ensure those businesses paying their fair share of tax and doing the right thing are being rewarded," the Minister said.
The Department of Finance is also exploring the possibility of expanding the program to the building and construction industry, for those businesses tendering for Government work with the Building Management and Works.
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
The State Government awards recognise the outstanding contribution of owners, volunteers, professionals and organisations which work tirelessly to promote and conserve WA's cultural heritage.
Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said the awards showcased the work being done to revitalise State Registered heritage places, setting standards in interpretation, heritage tourism, conservation and adaptive reuse.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to recognise the passion and commitment of the many volunteers, professionals and organisations whose work has helped build WA's heritage scene into the vibrant, innovative and highly professional sector it is today," Mr Jacob said.
In 2016, regional projects that were recognised include the Kukenarup Memorial and Information Site near Ravensthorpe, the Sisters of St John of God Heritage Centre in Broome and the Donnelly River Mill and Townsite Precinct.
Metropolitan winners included Fremantle's National Hotel, the State Buildings and the Fremantle Prison YHA. The adaptation of the women's division of Fremantle Prison into a world-class hostel has attracted international and local visitors to Fremantle.
"When the awards program was established in 1992 it featured just one category," the Minister said.
"The Heritage Council has grown the program into WA's premier heritage event, with this year marking its 25th year.
"Each year the awards give us the opportunity to applaud the many people who are dedicated to supporting and enhancing our cultural heritage. I encourage all West Australians to get behind their communities and nominate a worthy candidate or project."
The awards also showcase Western Australian heritage projects on an international stage with outstanding conservation projects being shortlisted for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Since 2012, five Western Australian heritage projects have received an honourable mention at the UNESCO awards.
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
The festival is part of the celebrations for the Hindu Navratri festival, which celebrates the nine different forms of the Goddess Durga.
Navrang Navratri is presented by Sweet Melodies, a 13-piece musical band of volunteers which was formed in 2011 to support local charities while celebrating Hindu religious festivals.
Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan said Sweet Melodies offered outstanding entertainment while raising much-needed funds for important causes.
"Western Australia's culturally and linguistically diverse communities play a key role in raising money for charities and national disaster funds," Dr Nahan said.
"Spectacular community festivals like Navrang attract large numbers of people and are just one of the many advantages of living in a highly successful multicultural State such as WA.
"Over the last few years, the Sweet Melodies volunteers have raised funds for the Cancer Council WA, Ronald McDonald House Perth, Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, Ear Science Institute Australia, Lions Outback Vision, Diabetes WA and the Nepal earthquake disaster.
"Their fundraising work, while promoting their culture in our community, is invaluable."
This year's Navrang is raising funds for Wheelchairs for Kids, a charity which makes wheelchairs for impoverished, disabled children in under-resourced countries.
Monday, 19 September 2016
Announcing the extension, Health Minister John Day said up to 200 Western Australian stroke victims were expected to benefit each year, greatly enhancing the existing stroke service with a world-leading treatment.
"This will be life-changing for hundreds of people. Stroke is our leading cause of disability and one of WA's biggest killers, with rapid treatment crucial to recovery," Mr Day said.
"Establishing a round-the-clock service is the culmination of two years of planning, with hundreds of paramedics trained in early diagnosis and protocols to fast-track patients to expanded stroke treatment services at Sir Charles Gairdner (SCGH) and Fiona Stanley hospitals.
"Additional specialist trained staff will be employed to extend the existing service, which will help reduce stroke's devastating impact on Western Australian families and the economy.
"It will be only the second service of this type in Australia enhancing our existing stroke service, following the expansion of a similar service in Melbourne earlier this year, and is one of just a handful worldwide."
The majority of strokes are caused by a blood clot blocking a major brain artery, starving part of the brain of oxygen. An endovascular intervention, known as a thrombectomy, involves a tiny device inserted through the femoral artery in the thigh and navigated into the brain to remove the clot before it causes further damage, including paralysis and loss of speech.
"So far this year, our highly skilled neuroradiologists, working with our neurology and rehabilitation teams, have conducted more than 60 procedures but that figure is expected to rise sharply with the 24 hour service," the Minister said.
"At present, the service operates at SCGH, with the Fiona Stanley service expected to be open early in the New Year."
Sunday, 18 September 2016
Lands Minister Terry Redman said the State Government, through LandCorp, would work with the City of Joondalup to help deliver a precinct incorporating commercial, retail, residential and marine facilities.
"The Government taking on this role will provide the required momentum to this long-awaited project and assist the City of Joondalup in bringing its goal of developing a marina to fruition," Mr Redman said.
"Ocean Reef Marina represents a rare opportunity for coastal land to be developed into a significant facility that encompasses high levels of environmental, economic and social sustainability."
The proposed marina precinct will feature public open spaces, boardwalks, tourist accommodation and a range of retail, commercial and food and beverage outlets to stimulate tourism and job opportunities.
The project will deliver about 600 boat pens, as well as ramps and stackers to help address a shortage of boating infrastructure in the Perth metropolitan area.
"It is also envisaged the development will provide a range of accommodation options and deliver about 1,000 residences, bringing a greater diversity of housing choices and density not previously seen in the area," the Minister said.
The State Government and the City of Joondalup will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise the partnership.
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