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Matt Mckenzie

Matt Mckenzie joined Business News in June 2014 and reports on projects, energy, agribusiness, small business, employment relations, manufacturing and economics. He completed bachelor of arts and bachelor of economics degrees at the University of Western Australia, majoring in political science and international relations, economics, and money and banking. He was formerly president of the UWA Student Guild, where he introduced the first private catering outlets on campus, and has worked at a leading financial services company.

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If you need to get in touch with me anonymously or through an encrypted service, you can contact me on Wickr at mattmckenzie. I'd also like to declare that I'm a member of the Liberal Party.      

Whitebark in $5m Xanadu sale

A sluggish approvals process for seismic work at the Xanadu prospect in the Perth Basin has led Whitebark Energy to sell its stake in the project in a $5 million deal, with the money to head to Canada instead.

Role for business, unions as AI wave looms

Government and business must involve trade unions to develop plans to train Australia’s workforce for the increased presence of automation, according to Siemens Australia chief executive Jeff Connolly.

Production under way at GWF-2

Gas is flowing at Woodside Petroleum’s Greater Western Flank-2 project, an extension of the North West Shelf Venture, with the company saying costs came in 30 per cent under budget.

Suzuki drives Cisco from the bottom up

Global technology company Cisco is changing the way it operates in Asia and is positive about opportunities in Australia, its regional president told a Business News breakfast today.

Pathway to prosperity requires focus on strengths

Perth does not need to over emphasise economic diversification to revitalise the local economy, but rather embrace its competitive advantages, according to a report released by the Committee for Perth today.

Israeli players pursue ASX capital

Australian investors’ appetite for risk in the technology sector has attracted an increasing number of Israeli companies to the local exchange.

Agribusiness chews on challenges

SPECIAL REPORT: The state’s agriculture sector has been ruffled by falling exports and revenues, coupled with growing animal welfare concerns and international competition.

Mid-tier miners iron out positions

SPECIAL REPORT: Acquisitions and pricing discounts are shaking up the rankings of WA’s main iron ore exporters.

Exports jump as outlook improves

SPECIAL REPORT: Gold Corporation, Alcoa, Roy Hill and Chevron have all posted higher revenue numbers in Business News’ annual analysis of WA’s biggest exporters.

Woodside, ENN pursuing options

Woodside Petroleum has signed a cooperation agreement with Chinese gas company ENN, while it is continuing work on the Scarborough, Browse and Pluto projects.

Strike in $16m Perth Basin bid

Strike Energy will extend its position in the Perth Basin, announcing it will acquire UIL Energy in a deal valued at around $16 million.

ERA approves Pilbara power line

Alinta has received regulatory approval to build a transmission line linking the Roy Hill mine to Fortescue’s Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek mines, a move that would enable the iron ore miner to continue its shift away from diesel power.

Global links provide opportunity for Perth

SPECIAL REPORT: Western Australia is a place best known for what it does below ground level, but entrepreneur Chris Hill believes we should look to the stars for the state’s next big opportunity.

Julie Bishop on leadership, women and her future

Former foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop says it’s too early to speculate if she’d run for the Liberal leadership after the next election, but she believes the party needs to do more to recruit women and keep a broad base of talent, speaking at today’s Success & Leadership breakfast.

Pacific for Gwalia power job

Pacific Energy has been awarded a contract to install additional generation capacity at St Barbara's Gwalia gold mine as part of an expansion project.

Hydrogen role for nanocrystals

A Curtin University team has developed an improved, cleaner, technique to turn the sun’s energy into hydrogen, amid increasing industry interest in the opportunities.

Ellis to lead battery charge

Stedman Ellis has been picked as interim chief executive for the proposed Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre to be headquartered in Western Australia, and will leave oil and gas lobbyists APPEA on Friday.

Building blocks for tech evolution

A deal between manufacturing business Best Bar and tech hopeful Buildsort serves to highlight recent activity in Perth’s blockchain space.

Bechtel for Pluto train 2

Woodside Petroleum has picked Texas-based Bechtel as the most likely contractor to build a new LNG train at its Pluto facility near Karratha, but has hit a hurdle in approvals for an associated fly-in fly-out camp.

Entrepreneurs to dispatch coding shortage

Effective coders and developers are in such high demand in Perth that one local entrepreneur has inverted the conventional hiring process.

Brokers’ best business in mining services

Tighter lending conditions likely after the banking royal commission will be a hurdle for business brokers who are seeing a slow improvement in their market.

Norwest delay at Xanadu

West Perth-based oil hopeful Norwest Energy has said a delay in regulatory approvals has pushed back the targeted start of a seismic survey at its Xanadu prospect in the Perth Basin until at least March 2019.

Twigger goes for gold with $350m blockchain bid

PCF Capital founder Liam Twigger has revealed plans to raise up to $350 million for a cryptocurrency token that will back a new investment fund for gold mining juniors, in what would be the most significant Australian blockchain-related deal to date.

Retail reward for Quick Flick

A retail deal with Priceline Pharmacy is the latest win for local makeup business The Quick Flick, which was launched last year by Perth university student turned entrepreneur Iris Smit.

Rooftop bar growth a blue-sky opportunity

Growing investment in rooftop bars across Perth reflects a need to offer a point of difference in what has been a tough market, publicans say.

Mint chair warns of debt growth bubble

Gold Corporation chairman Don Mackay-Coghill has launched a broadside against the loose monetary policy of central banks in the past decade, warning it has inflated a big bubble.

Mark my words podcast

PODCAST: Mark Beyer and Matt Mckenzie discuss the possible revival of the Oakajee port project, WA’s strong jobs market, four vanadium projects, gold miner Eastern Goldfields saved from the brink, University rankings, the outlook for residential housing, and how apartment builders are outperforming house builders.

Budget boost as economy grows, feds give cash

Grants from the federal government and delayed dividend payments from state-owned enterprises have helped the state government report an operating deficit 73 per cent below forecast in the 2018 financial year, while the non-trade economy has grown after a sustained period of shrinking.

Executives perform for $38.7m share

Twenty local executives acquired $38 million of shares at no cost over the past 3 months, research by Business News has found.

Private builds for foreign students

SPECIAL REPORT: Accommodation groups are betting on international students returning to Perth.

Government sells WA to the world

SPECIAL REPORT: The state government is spearheading programs to build interest in WA as a preferred leisure destination within Australia and overseas.

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WA returns to growth as Australia avoids recession

GDP has bounced back from a poor showing in the September quarter with December quarter seasonally adjusted growth of 1.1 per cent, while Western Australia snapped a five quarter streak of shrinking state demand to grow 0.4 per cent.

Financial probe for student union

The University of Western Australia Student Guild has dismissed a staff member over financial irregularities after bringing in forensic accountants from BDO to undertake a special analysis of its 2013 accounts.

Warning to Uber moonlighters

Uber drivers using the service as a supplementary income should declare it to their primary employer, according to Minter Ellison partner Kathy Reid, after a driver who had worked during sick leave lost an unfair dismissal claim.

$130bn of major projects in WA

Nearly 140 major projects are either under way or planned for WA, new research by Business News has found. Click through to access the new list on the BNiQ Search Engine.

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McGowan to cancel Roe 8

The Roe 8 road project will be cancelled if the Labor Party wins the upcoming state election, opposition leader Mark McGowan said today, even though the government has already signed a contract for construction, with $236 million of funding to be re-allocated to three alternative roads.

Nalder makes fresh freight link pitch

Transport Minister Dean Nalder has highlighted the social benefits of Roe 8 and touted the minimal environmental impact of the project at a lunch today, adding that the link would need to be built regardless of any move to an outer harbour.

Green light for Kwinana lithium plant

A $400 million lithium processing plant to be built in Kwinana has got the green light, with West Perth company MSP Engineering to act as head contractor.

Feds back unconventional drilling

Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg said the federal government would be pushing states to remove moratoriums on unconventional gas extraction, including fracking, he told the LNG 18 conference today.