Government of Western Australia Official Site

Premier of Western Australia to travel to Japan to enhance bilateral relationship |

  • Premier to lead mission to Japan
  • Mission to enhance relationships with Japanese government and industry
  • Japan and South Korea among WA’s most significant trading partners

Premier Mark McGowan will travel to Japan and South Korea next week to reaffirm the State’s long-standing relationships in North East Asia and promote opportunities for investment, tourism, study and business in WA.

The mission, the Premier’s second official visit to both countries, will be an opportunity to promote two way trade and investment in a range of different sectors, including medical research and biotech, space, defence, and agriculture, with a focus on renewable energy, critical minerals, downstream processing

The Premier will travel to Japan on Sunday, 22 January to attend discussions with key government and business partners, meeting with the executives from Japanese trading houses, steel mills, airlines and power utility companies.

During the mission, the Premier will meet with Government officials including the Governor of Tokyo and the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture.

The Premier will also speak at the 4th Clean Fuel Ammonia Association International Symposium in Japan to promote WA’s green hydrogen and ammonia industries.

Japan is Western Australia’s 2nd largest trading partner with a two way trade value of $33.2 Billion AUD in 2021-22.

Media contact: Ai Nagamatsu

Western Australia – It’s Like No Other magazine |

We are delighted to present to you the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s Winter edition of our brand new magazine, Western Australia – It’s Like No Other.

Western Australia is home to a diverse range of industries, people and opportunities.

Our new magazine showcases Western Australia and the rich diversity that makes our State such an attractive destination to visit, study, invest and work.  

You will learn about the Reconnect WA package, the Diversify WA flamework as well as our thriving industry sectors which include international  education, space, energy, health and medical life sciences and tourism.  

Our Investment and Trade Commissioners, including the Commissioner for Japan, are introduced in the magazine. 

Please click here to read the magazine.

Ambitious interim target set for State Government emissions |

Date:- 23-Jun-2022

  • WA Government to cut its own emissions by 80 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030
  • Significant target shows leadership for business, industry and broader economy
  • Climate action is crucial to diversifying the WA economy and creating long-term jobs 

Please click here to see the full media statement.

AusBioInvest 2022 will be held in Perth at 27 October during AusBiotech 2022 |

During the AusBiotech 2022, 26 – 28 October, AusBioInvest 2022, Invest in Health will be held in Perth at 27 October.

At Australia’s premier and largest life sciences investment conference, AusBioInvest 2022, we want to build meaningful personal connections between innovative businesses and investors, helping great ideas get the funding they need to thrive in an extremely competitive market.

Australia has always been fertile ground for innovation, especially when it comes to healthcare and life sciences. Globally recognised for its ground-breaking research, our biotech companies have created solutions that have massively contributed to the development of the industry around the world.

With the wind in our sails, Australian and global investors are hungry for more breakthrough ideas that can be life-saving, or life-improving. Their knowledge and experience investing in this industry are valuable when establishing long-lasting relationships with worthy companies.

AusBioInvest 2022 is designed to foster growth and drive investment and collaboration, in what continues to be a significant time for life sciences and medical research.

This will be our first in-person event in over three years, and we want to reconnect the biotech community in Perth to reflect on what we’ve achieved, network face-to-face, and create relationships that will contribute to the advancement of the sector.

Please click here for more information and registration.

AusBiotech 2022 will be held in Perth, 26 – 28 October |

AusBiotech 2022 is a must-attend event as it is Australia’s largest life sciences conference which will come alive in person for the first time in three years.

Life sciences’ contribution is at the fore in light of COVID-19, and Australia’s biotech industry is world leading. We believe there has never been a more important time to bring people together, exchange ideas and propel the industry forward.

Join us as we gather with colleagues, old and new, for a week of networking and business opportunities. Championing our sector, AusBiotech 2022 is set to deliver an exciting line-up of speakers, programme sessions, and networking opportunities as we celebrate the return of meeting face-to-face.

We’re reconnecting the biotech community under the sunny Perth skies to reflect on what we’ve achieved, network face-to-face, and advance the sector.

This year’s programme gives local and international industry leaders the opportunity to recharge, re-energise, refresh and build relationships – old and new.

Please click here for more information and registration.

!The Event Date Change!2022 Indian Ocean Defence and Security Conference, 25 and 26 August in Perth |

The event date for below has been changed to 25 and 26 August 2022.

The other details including the venue have not been changed, you can attend the conference in person and online.

The Indian Ocean Defence and Security conference will be held at Perth Optus Stadium from Thursday 25h – Friday 26th August 2022, and will provide you a front row seat to discussions on future opportunities for Defence, the Defence industry and aligned research areas in the Indo-Pacific region.

You can attend the conference both in person and online.

Defence West is delivering the event in partnership with Perth USAsia Centre and the University of Western Australia’s Defence and Security Institute.

The Western Australian Government, through Defence West, is committed to growing our defence industry and ensuring the state harnesses its competitive advantages to maximise business opportunities and create more local jobs in the sector.

The program includes the Panel Discussion on AUKUS, QUAD, Japanese RAA: Implication of Strategic Relationships for the Indian Ocean and more. And the keynote speakers are a minister and key persons in Western Australia Defence industry if named a few, Hon Paul Papalia, CSC, MLA, Minister for Defence Industry, WA and Mike Deeks, CSC from Blue Ocean Monitoring, WA and etc.

Please see here for more information and the registration.

We look forward your participation.

WA’s domestic economy powers to strongest growth in a decade |

The 2022-23 State Budget confirms the McGowan Labor Government’s stable and responsible Budget management and safe handling of the pandemic has positioned Western Australia’s economy and finances to be among the strongest in the world.

Please see more details from here:

Media Statements – WA’s domestic economy powers to strongest growth in a decade

Investment Attraction Fund |

A future made in Western Australia

Western Australia is brimming with investment and trade opportunities, with a number of unique strengths and advantages, including an abundance of natural resources and industry capability, a low-risk operating environment and highly skilled workforce.

The Western Australian Government’s $100 million Investment Attraction Fund builds on the State’s existing strengths and leverages industry’s knowledge and expertise to bring further investment and jobs in new and emerging industries to Western Australia.

Expressions of Interest now open until 4 March 2022

EOI submissions are sought from a range of industries that align with Western Australia’s priority sectors including energy, mining and mining equipment, technology and services (METS), space industries, defence industries, health and medical life sciences, primary industries, international education, tourism, events and creative industries.

Businesses seeking financial assistance to establish and grow their future in Western Australia are encouraged to submit an EOI to the Investment Attraction Fund.

To submit a proposal and find out more, visit

Please contact at for any questions and more information.

We look forward to receiving your EOI.

New LNG Jobs Taskforce study underway |

LNG Jobs Taskforce commences WA carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and carbon capture and storage (CCS) study.

Commissioned by the LNG Jobs Taskforce, the study will help inform the future of the State’s existing gas industry and the development of new industries and projects.

CCUS and CCS has the potential to assist with decarbonising the gas industry and other emission-intensive industrial sectors, achieving the Western Australian Government’s Net Zero by 2050 target, regional development and future job creation.

Established by Premier Mark McGowan in 2018, the LNG Jobs Taskforce brings together industry, government and unions to collaborate on challenges and opportunities for WA’s existing LNG sector, with the aim of maximising local jobs and establishing WA as a global LNG hub.

For more information, please see here.

The latest information on travelling to Western Australia |

All travellers to WA must have a G2G Pass and be able to show proof of vaccination.

Registering your arrival is easy – simply scan the G2G Pass QR code available in the terminal.

Before your departure, ensure you have the latest version of the G2G Pass app on your phone (available in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store).

Once you arrive, open the G2G Pass app, ServiceWA app or your smartphone camera and scan the QR code. Tap ‘Done’ and you have successfully registered your arrival.

For more information about travel requirements visit here.

WA’s border opening from Thursday 3 March 2022 |

Please see here for more information on the international travel.

Webinar: 22 February 2022 “New Opportunities in Cyber Security in Australia” |

The AJBCC is supporting the Nichi-Go Global x J-Bridge Webinar series, a collaboration with five Australian state governments, JETRO, the Consulate-General of Japan in Sydney, and Innovation Dojo.

As the first in the 2022 webinar series, “New Opportunities in Cyber Security in Australia” – a showcase of Australian companies in the cyber security sector selected especially for their potential to grow and participate in the Japanese market. The companies featured will be:

Find out more about the speakers and companies

When: Thursday 24 February 2022, 4:00-5:15 pm AEDT / 2:00-3:15 pm JST

Where: Zoom Webinar

Registration: Required in advance from link.

Language: The event will be held in English with Japanese interpretation available.

Red Piranha, WA is founded in 2015, product launched in 2018. Red Piranha pioneered the integrated security service model, now known as XDR. Red Piranha is helping protect the world from cybersecurity threats by making enterprise-grade security available for every business. 

  • Government
  • Defence
  • Financial Services
  • Education
  • Health
  • SME

Study Australia Global Agent Week |

As Australia moves rapidly to decongest its borders, Western Australia is finalising its WA Safe Transition Plan to begin accepting international students from the new school term in 2022.

The overview of the plan, the employability programs and evolving student services that StudyPerth offers will be provided at the Study Australia Global Agent Week.

This year, for the first time, the Australian Government and Study Australia Partnership will host a free, virtual event designed especially for Australia’s global network of education agents.

The Study Australia Partnership is a collaboration between the Australian Government’s Trade and Investment Commission and all Australian state and territory government study destination agencies, supporting a comprehensive program of updates and insights through this special event.

From 29 November through to 3 December 2021, the inaugural Study Australia Global Agent Week will provide you, our valued education agent partners around the world, with all the latest policy information and an introduction to a range of new digital resources designed to support your activities. Our program has been designed to run in shorter session blocks each day, enabling you to continue your day-to-day business.

With 1.5 hour global sessions running across two time zones each day, complemented by interactive sessions and localised country briefings, the week-long event will feature federal, state and territory government updates, including sessions led by the Department of Home Affairs and Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE).

Registration – Study Australia Global Agent Week (

Launched the first Health and Medical Life Sciences Industry Strategy |

The Health and Medical Life Sciences Industry Strategy, will deliver economic benefits and improved patient and general health outcomes.

Western Australia’s first-ever Health and Medical Life Sciences Industry Strategy signals the State Government’s commitment to supporting digital health, medical technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and health and wellness sectors.

The strategy highlights the health and medical life sciences industry’s growth potential and builds on Western Australia’s existing comparative advantages to seize the opportunity this industry represents.

Western Australia has a world-class research base, entrepreneurial talent and commercialisation track record in the health and medical life sciences.

The implementation of the strategy will build on current initiatives to strengthen the industry over the next four years and position the health and medical life sciences sector in WA as a world-leading, sustainable and value-adding industry. 

Health and Medical Life Sciences Industry Strategy

Information Session on Hydrogen Fuel Transport in WA on Monday 8 November 2021 |

The WA Government has announced an initial $10 million to accelerate the uptake of hydrogen fuelled transport which is being delivered as part of the $61.5 million announced in the 2021-22 State Budget to drive renewable hydrogen development and demand stimulation.  This program forms part of the $750 million Climate Action Fund. 

The program will provide financial support to projects that include the procurement and operation of hydrogen or green ammonia fuelled transport and the installation of one or more refuelling stations.  The WA Government is encouraging transport operators, original equipment manufacturers and hydrogen producers to team up and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the program.

The program will provide financial support to projects that include the procurement and operation of hydrogen or green ammonia fuelled transport and the installation of one or more refuelling stations.  The WA Government is encouraging transport operators, original equipment manufacturers and hydrogen producers to team up and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the program.

Expressions of Interest for the Hydrogen Fuelled Transport Program are now open.

EOI applications will be reviewed by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.  Applicants who are shortlisted will be invited to submit a more detailed project plan.

Successful applicants from the EOI process will be announced in 2022.

Applicants are encouraged to review the following documents before commencing their EOI’s.

Applicants must submit an EOI via email to with subject mentioned as “EOI – [insert Applicant name] – [insert project name] – HFT Program”. All document attachments must be submitted in pdf format with a size no greater than 20 MB and 20 pages in total. Submissions are due by 4 : 00 pm AWST 13 January 2022.  Late submissions will not be considered.

Hydrogen Fuelled Transport Program Information Session 

The Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation will be hosting an information session on Monday 8 November for those interested in submitting an expression of interest, participating in a consortium, or learning more about the opportunities for hydrogen fuelled transport in WA.  

Tickets are available now.

Register for info session

Event details 

Hydrogen Fuelled Transport Information Session 

Monday 8 November, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm AWST 

Registrations close 5:00 pm AWST Friday 5 November. 


Tickets are available to either attend in person (limited to first 100 people), or online via webinar.   

The event will be hosted at: 

Level 2, 140 William St, Perth 

The Webinar will be hosted via Microsoft Teams.  A link to the event will be provided to registered participants. 


Attendance is free. 

Information Session Overview 

12:45 pm – 1:00 pm: Sign in 

1:00 pm – 1:05 pm: Introduction and Welcome to Country 

1:05 pm – 1:15 pm: Opening remarks from the Minister for Hydrogen Industry, the Hon. Alannah MacTeirnan MLA 

1:15 pm  – 1:45 pm: Industry showcase (presenters to be announced). 

1:45 pm – 2:05 pm: An overview of the EOI applications process (Department of Jobs, Science, Tourism and Industry). 

2:10 – 2:30 pm: Q&A session 

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Afternoon Tea / networking

New prospectus highlights investment opportunity in Collie |

The Western Australian Government has launched a new prospectus to promote the Collie region locally and internationally.

Collie has been the heart of Western Australia’s electricity production, making a significant contribution to our State’s economy for more than 100 years, and is now being showcased to the world through a new prospectus highlighting diverse investment opportunities.

The prospectus allows investors to easily access information on projects and illuminate new opportunities in low emission and job-rich industry sectors.

Opportunities in manufacturing, mineral processing, battery industry development and primary industries are showcased in the prospectus.

Collie is a large regional town, with a high-level of infrastructure capability that can support future industrial development.

The launch of the prospectus follows the State Budget 2021-22 announcement of an additional $20 million for the Collie Industry Attraction and Development Fund.

Recent infrastructure investments and funding committed by the Western Australian Government to attract and support private sector investment in the Collie region totals more than $100 million.

For more information visit Collie Future

Collie Investment Prospectus Collie Investment Prospectus (PDF 5.55MB)

WA State Budget 2021-22 |

@Department of Treasury

The 2021-22 Budget highlights that Western Australia’s recovery from the initial impacts of COVID-19 has been much quicker and stronger than expected, with the State’s economy now forecast to grow by 3.5% in 2021-22 – the fastest rate of growth since 2013-14.  The strong economic rebound has also flowed through to the State’s finances, with a record general government operating surplus estimated at $5.6 billion in 2020-21 and a $2.8 billion operating surplus forecast for 2021-22.  

The Government has used this fiscal capacity to continue to respond to COVID-19 and address current and emerging priorities, with substantial new investments in this Budget in the State’s health and mental health systems, climate action, social housing, digital capability, economic development and jobs creation, as well as a record $30.7 billion Asset Investment Program over the next four years.  Despite this record investment, total public sector net debt is forecast to remain relatively flat over the forward estimates period, at around 11.5% of Gross State Product.

The Budget Papers are available on the Our State Budget website.

$61.5 million boost for WA’s renewable hydrogen industry |

  • New $50 million fund to drive renewable hydrogen industry development in McGowan Government’s 2021-22 Budget
  • Budget delivers on $7.5 million election commitment to kick-start development of the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area as a renewable hydrogen hub
  • Additional $4 million to boost State Government Renewable Hydrogen Unit and to progress Mid-West hydrogen activation
  • $900,000 committed towards three industry-led feasibility studies

The McGowan Government will invest an additional $61.5 million to supercharge Western Australia’s growing renewable hydrogen industry to create 21st century jobs and move towards a low-carbon future.

A new $50 million fund, included in the McGowan Government’s 2021-22 Budget, will be used to stimulate local demand for renewable hydrogen in transport and industrial settings and to drive investment into renewable hydrogen.

The 2021-22 Budget includes funding to develop and upgrade infrastructure at the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (SIA) to establish a major renewable hydrogen hub in the Mid-West.

This delivers on the McGowan Government’s election commitment of $7.5 million for an access road into the Oakajee SIA to kick-start activation of the precinct.

An additional $4 million will be directed towards developing the plan for activation of Oakajee and for additional infrastructure requirements, and to bolster the Renewable Hydrogen Unit within the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

The new funding commitment comes as the McGowan Government progresses a $900,000 investment towards three industry-led feasibility studies into renewable hydrogen projects across the State.

The studies, supported by the McGowan Government’s existing $15 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund, include projects in metropolitan and regional WA to support industry development.

BP Australia will receive $300,000 to progress their Kwinana Clean Fuels Hub proposal, which would see BP’s existing Kwinana refinery facility used for green hydrogen and clean fuel production.

Two feasibility studies will examine technologies and capabilities to support the transport of renewable hydrogen.

APT Management Services will receive $300,000 to study the conversion of the Parmelia gas pipeline into a 100 per cent hydrogen pipeline.

Global Energy Ventures will receive $300,000 to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of exporting green hydrogen to the Asia-Pacific from the Gascoyne utilising a compressed hydrogen shipping solution.

The McGowan Government has already committed almost $30 million towards developing a job-creating renewable hydrogen industry in WA and is delivering on the WA Renewable Hydrogen Strategy targets.

More information on the Renewable Hydrogen Fund is available at

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“Hydrogen offers incredible potential for our State, with the capacity to sit alongside iron ore or LNG as a major export commodity – supporting local jobs and delivering wealth for all Western Australians.

“My Government is focused on making sure WA has every advantage to secure opportunities and investment in the emerging hydrogen industry.

“This $61.5 million initiative will attract investment, support work to grow a local hydrogen production industry and drive local demand for hydrogen – delivering local economic benefits and helping WA meet its emissions reductions targets.”

Comments attributed to Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

“This $61.5 million commitment will supercharge our renewable hydrogen industry, helping to stimulate local demand for hydrogen to get production projects get off the ground.

“Renewable hydrogen presents a big opportunity for industries right across WA to reduce their emissions and embrace a cleaner future, and our funding commitment to demand stimulation will help companies take that leap.

“This latest round of feasibility studies presents exciting opportunities for hydrogen across WA.

“BP’s proposal to convert the old Kwinana oil refinery into a green hydrogen hub will help to revitalise Kwinana and bring this facility into a low-emissions future.

“We’ve seen real success off the back of previously-funded studies – including our $375,000 investment into feasibility of ATCO’s Clean Energy Innovation Park in early 2020, which went on to secure a $28.7 million Australian Renewable Energy Agency grant.”

Comments attributed to Kwinana MLA Roger Cook:

“Renewable hydrogen will play an important role in our energy mix as we move to a lower carbon future.

“Western Australia’s strategic industrial land is well suited to developing the renewable hydrogen industry, particularly in the Kwinana Industrial Area.

“Today’s announcement will support work to grow a local hydrogen industry which will deliver economic benefits to Western Australia and grow local jobs.”

$2 million grant awarded to Perth metro renewable hydrogen project |

Image kindly provided by ATCO Gas Australia

The Western Australian Government is investing almost $2 million in a major renewable hydrogen project as part of the latest round of the WA Renewable Hydrogen Fund.

ATCO Gas Australia (ATCO) has been awarded a grant for a major capital works project valued at $2.6 million to assist with decarbonising the Western Australian (WA) gas distribution network.

Renewable hydrogen produced at ATCO’s Clean Energy Innovation Hub near Perth will be blended into isolated sections of the Mid-West and South West Gas Distribution Systems (GDS), lowering emissions for the WA community.

The project aims to blend up to 10 per cent hydrogen into the GDS, supplying up to 2,500 customers with renewable hydrogen blended gas, and will be the largest project of its kind in Australia.

Further announcements on Round 2 of the WA Renewable Hydrogen Fund  will be provided in the coming weeks. 

For more information: 

Economic Profile June 2021 |

The latest WA Economic Profile – June 2021 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile May 2021 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile and COVID-19 Supplement – May 2021 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Apr 2021 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile and COVID-19 Supplement – April 2021 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Mar 2021 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile and COVID-19 Supplement – March 2021 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Feb 2021 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile and COVID-19 Supplement – February 2021 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Jan 2021 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile and COVID-19 Supplement – January 2021 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Dec 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile and COVID-19 Supplement – December 2020 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Nov 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile and COVID-19 Supplement – November 2020 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Oct 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile – October 2020 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Sep 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile – September 2020 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Global call for EOIs to unlock Oakajee’s renewable hydrogen potential |

  • Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area identified for its world-class wind and solar energy potential to produce renewable hydrogen
  • Expressions of interest sought from overseas and national proponents to develop renewable hydrogen projects within the precinct north of Geraldton
  • Follows McGowan Government’s $22 million boost for the WA hydrogen industry 

A globally competitive renewable hydrogen precinct could soon become a reality in Western Australia’s Mid-West, as expressions of interest open for the greenfields Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (SIA) near Geraldton.

The McGowan Government is casting the net worldwide for EOIs from commercial groups looking to produce or use renewable hydrogen, and WA will use its international offices to promote the opportunity globally.

Located 23 kilometres north of Geraldton, Oakajee SIA is recognised for its world-class wind and solar energy potential, which is ideal for the production of renewable hydrogen for commercial uses including advanced manufacturing, energy storage and transport, and for future export of clean energy.

Initial assessments indicate the 4,070 hectare Oakajee SIA buffer area could generate up to 270 megawatts of wind power and 1,250 megawatts of solar renewable energy at internationally competitive prices.

This supply could be supplemented at large scale with abundant land throughout the Mid-West region suitable for wind and solar power generation.

Oakajee SIA is connected to the State’s major road network and existing Geraldton Port via the North West Coastal Highway, and there are provisions in place for the area to be linked to the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline.

The EOI will be targeted at international and Australian commercial groups including industrial proponents wanting to produce commercial quantities of hydrogen; hydrogen users such as transport, metals refining and ammonia-manufacturing companies; hydrogen industry component manufacturers; and power and other infrastructure providers.

The EOI process follows the WA Recovery Plan initiatives to bring forward the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy goals from 2040 to 2030, and the McGowan Government’s $22 million investment in developing WA’s hydrogen industry.

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

“Interest in renewable hydrogen is rapidly accelerating, and the State Government is putting in place the framework to make WA a world leader across the hydrogen supply chain.

“Renewable hydrogen has the potential to be a major economic driver for the State, and the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area could truly transform the Mid-West region.

“The State Government is keen to work collaboratively with industry through the EOI process, and understand exactly what it will take to transform the area into a globally competitive producer and user of renewable hydrogen.”

A significant opportunity within Western Australia’s unique renewable hydrogen landscape is the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area (Oakajee SIA) located 435km north of Western Australia’s capital city, Perth.

The Western Australian Government intends to transform this greenfields site into a globally competitive, multi-product renewable hydrogen industrial precinct.

The area has already received attention from forward thinking organisations that see the potential this region provides. 

The government is calling for Expressions of Interest from organisations across the world to identify the infrastructure requirements, operational frameworks and interested parties to activate Oakajee as a premium location to establish a hydrogen project.

The Expression of Interest guidelines and submission form is available on the Oakajee Renewable Hydrogen EOI page. 

Submissions close on December 24, 2020.

Other relevant links:

Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website

The Oakajee SIA webpage (on the DevelopmentWA website), which includes several research reports


Economic Profile Aug 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile – August 2020 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Feel Australia in Japan at Prince Hotel Australia Fair 2020 |

Prince Hotels & Resorts will hold Australia Fair from 1st September 2020 to 31st October 2020 at 8 metropolitan hotels in Tokyo.

This is the 6th year since the first Australia Food and Wine Fair has started.

Australia is a pioneering country of organic initiatives and the idea of sustainability is widely spread. The event is focused on sustainability and organic and offer a variety of special menus with Australian ingredients, accommodation package based on the concept and and items you will find them first time in Japan and can only purchase at the fair.

From Western Australia, herb teas from native plants are available in the desert menus and also for a souvenir to enjoy at home, special chocolate using Jarrah Honey, selected wines and gin at restaurants and bars to provide a wonderful experience to feel real Western Australia.

Please find more about the fair from this link.

$22 million investment to accelerate renewable hydrogen future |

Left to right:
Mr Yaz Mubarakai, MLA (member for Jandakot)
Ms Julie Shuttleworth, Deputy Chief Executive officer at Fortescue
Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC
Mr Pat Creaghan, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer, ATCO Gas Australia
  • Nine initiatives worth $22 million to fuel WA’s renewable hydrogen industry and create jobs as part of WA Recovery Plan
  • WA’s renewable hydrogen targets brought forward from 2040 to 2030
  • $5.7 million towards constructing demonstrator renewable hydrogen microgrid to power Denham
  • $2 million to support FMG H2’s $32 million renewable hydrogen mobility project in Pilbara
  • $1 million allocated to ATCO’s $2.5 million hydrogen refuelling station in Jandakot
  • $13.3 million for initiatives to accelerate hydrogen industry development 

The McGowan Government will bring forward the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy targets by a decade and invest $22 million to develop hydrogen supply, meet growing demand for the clean fuel and create jobs.

Part of the WA Recovery Plan, the accelerated targets and nine studies and projects will boost the State’s renewable hydrogen industry and position WA as a major producer, user and exporter of renewable hydrogen.

The McGowan Government’s investment, increased business interest and pace of technology development means the goals of the Western Australian Renewable Hydrogen Strategy are being bought forward from 2040 to 2030.

The strategy aims to boost the State’s hydrogen industry across four areas – export, use in remotely located industries, blending in natural gas networks, and use in fuel cell electric transport vehicles.

The McGowan Government has committed $5.7 million to an Australia-first renewable energy microgrid in the Gascoyne town of Denham, using a new solar power system to produce hydrogen from water.

The demonstrator microgrid will test the technology and feasibility of implementing microgrids incorporating hydrogen in regional areas across the State.

The State Government is committed to supporting the Denham project, subject to ARENA’s final consideration.   

Another $2 million has been allocated to FMG H2’s renewable hydrogen mobility project in the Pilbara, which will produce solar hydrogen for transport at Fortescue’s Christmas Creek iron ore mine, advancing vital decarbonisation technologies.

Fortescue plans to purchase 10 hydrogen fuel cell electric buses to replace its diesel bus fleet, and the lessons learnt from this project will support their plans to reduce reliance on imported diesel across a range of transport forms.

Another $1 million will be allocated by the McGowan Government towards ATCO’s hydrogen refueller project in Jandakot that will develop, deploy and operate the first green hydrogen refuelling station in WA.

The station will integrate with ATCO’s existing Clean Energy Innovation Hub in Jandakot, and service ATCO’s fleet of fuel cell electric cars and approved vehicles of other organisations.

The Jandakot H2-Fuel project is a key enabler to driving down the costs of refuelling infrastructure, and an opportunity to build the local skills and labour force required to support the industry.

Over time, the hydrogen refueller project could be expanded to target over 1,000 fuel cell electric vehicles in metropolitan Perth.

An additional $5 million in funding will be allocated to the State Government’s existing $10 million Renewable Hydrogen Fund for grants to support industry development.

Other initiatives in the WA Recovery Plan to boost the hydrogen industry include:

  • $3 million for a regulatory reform package to undertake and support a local hydrogen industry;
  • $2.7 million to expand the Renewable Hydrogen Unit in the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation;
  • $1 million towards identifying locations suitable for hydrogen storage;
  • $1 million towards developing a detailed supply chain model that promotes hydrogen and identifies bottlenecks and limitations affecting the hydrogen export industry; and
  • $600,000 to study blending hydrogen in the WA gas network and related technical, economic and regulatory implications.  

More information on the clean energy future initiatives is available at 

Economic Profile Jul 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile, WA Economic Profile – July 2020 is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

*Only word file version is available from this month.

Economic Profile Jun 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile May 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Apr 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Mar 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Feb 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Jan 2020 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Dec 2019 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Nov 2019 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Perth to increase in attractiveness for international students |

Image from StudyPerth

Perth will be a more attractive destination for international students, with the Federal Government reinstating Perth’s status as a regional city, helping to create local jobs.

In response to recent changes to visa and migration settings, the State Government requested for Perth to be re-classified as a ‘region’ for international students. This will come into effect on November 16.

The Federal Government, with the support of Western Australian businesses and universities, agreed to the change meaning international students will now be able to access incentives to undertake their study in Perth and will enable WA to increase its share in this market. 

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the State and Federal Government continued to work together to ensure that Australia’s migration system meets the needs of our cities and regions.

“As a regional city, Perth will be an option for international students who want to study here, as they will now be eligible for an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa,” Minister Cormann said. 

“That additional year of post-study work by international students who choose Perth will not only benefit students with work experience, income, and post-study financial stability, but also help drive stronger economic growth.”

Premier Mark McGowan said the changes would improve Western Australia’s capacity to attract international students and support the economy.

“Attracting more international students will help diversify and grow the State’s economy and also create employment opportunities for Western Australians,” Mr McGowan said. 

“Given WA has no main university campuses outside of Perth, the State Government has adjusted its policies to ensure we are not disadvantaged.

“I’d like to thank the Federal Government for working co-operatively with us to achieve this outcome, in the best interests of WA.”

WA Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said WA’s international education sector currently supports 14,600 full-time jobs. 

“Not only do international students enrich the social vibrancy and cultural fabric of our communities, their presence attracts thousands of visiting friends and relatives from overseas,” Ms Ellery said. 

The change will have no impact on the Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List (WASMOL), which remains the same.

The original Joint media statement can be found in this link.

Economic Profile Sep 2019 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Aug 2019 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

First direct flight from Japan touched down in Perth on 1 Sep 2019 |

The sold-out inaugural All Nippon Airways (ANA) Tokyo-Perth direct flight touched down in Perth in the evening of 1 Sep., bringing with it 184 excited passengers.

New route will increase visitor numbers, grow the tourism industry and create hundreds more jobs. 

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia is among the new flight’s first passengers, along with Australian Ambassador to Japan, the Hon. Richard Court AC. And the passengers will be greeted by Premier Mark McGowan and ANA VIPs on arrival, and traditional Aboriginal dancers will also be on hand to offer a warm welcome.

The Matagarup Bridge and Optus Stadium will also be lit blue to welcome the first ANA direct service landing in Perth. 

The aircraft left Tokyo’s Narita Airport at 10.10am today (WST). Ahead of take-off, a celebration was held to mark the occasion with Japanese drummers and a ribbon cutting ceremony. Mr Papalia and Ambassador Court handed passengers gifts which included a toy quokka and a free ticket to travel to Rottnest Island courtesy of Rottnest Express and the Rottnest Island Authority.  

As part of a campaign to promote the flights in Japan, the Keisei Skyliner – a high-speed train that transports passengers to Narita Airport – has been decked out with quokka imagery on the exterior. With the train reaching speeds of up to 160kmh, it has been dubbed ‘the fastest quokka on Earth’. 

ANA is the first airline to fly direct between Perth and Japan since 2011, with a travel time of about nine hours and service to operate seven days a week. The deal to secure the flights was struck with support from the McGowan Government, through Tourism Western Australia, Tourism Australia and Perth Airport.

The airline will operate daily services on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, which has a total of 184 seats including 32 business class seats, 14 premium economy seats and 138 economy seats.

The flights have been heavily promoted in Japan through a campaign featuring popular singer and actor, ‘Nissy’. The campaign, a collaboration between Tourism WA, Tourism Australia and ANA, features the Pinnacles, Kings Park, Rottnest Island, Fremantle and the Swan Valley and is currently running on ANA’s website and social media channels.

The introduction of the new service makes Perth the second only Australian city served by ANA, showing the airline’s commitment to the Western Australian tourism industry.

The daily flights depart Tokyo (NRT) at 11.10am and arrive in Perth (PER) at 8.15pm. The aircraft will then depart from Perth at 9.45pm, to arrive in Tokyo at 8.25am the next morning.

On this return flight from Perth to Tokyo, which also provides a direct freight route for fresh Western Australian produce, the underbelly of the plane will be filled with 2.5 tonnes of WA-grown avocados, 2.6 tonnes of fresh flowers and 1.5 tonnes of chilled meat. 

Return ticket prices between Tokyo and Perth start from $861 for economy, $1,561 for premium economy and $3,521 for business class, inclusive of taxes.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“As soon as we took office, my Government got on with the job to secure direct flights to Perth and resurrect WA’s tourism industry. 

“New direct aviation access like this is absolutely critical to unlocking the tourism potential of Western Australia as it helps attract visitors, drives investment and creates jobs. 

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved with making this direct flight between Tokyo and Perth a reality. 

“Earlier this year I returned to Japan to promote this new route and met with the President and CEO of All Nippon Airways to thank him for ANA’s collaboration and commitment to this new service. Today, we’re standing here together in Perth to meet the sold-out inaugural flight. 

“Over three years it is estimated the flights will bring about 76,000 new visitors from Japan to Perth, providing a $175 million boost to the State’s economy and creating hundreds of new jobs.” 

Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:

“It’s so exciting to be part of the inaugural flight, and to welcome the first load of passengers to Western Australia. 

“This service now makes it so much easier to travel between Tokyo and Perth and will be a very attractive prospect for Japanese tourists.

“This inaugural flight has coincided with the start of the wildflower season in Western Australia, which is a popular sightseeing activity for Japanese visitors.

“In fact, WA offers everything Japanese tourists are looking for in a holiday destination – good food, wine, local cuisine and produce, as well as world-class coastlines, nature and wildlife. 

“These direct flights have made it that much easier for them to access these wonderful experiences.”

Comments attributed to Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham: 

“ANA’s decision to expand its international footprint to Perth demonstrates huge confidence in Western Australia and opens the door to significant opportunity from what is one of Australia’s largest tourism markets.

“We’ve seen the Japan market bounce back strongly in recent years and the launch of this new service will undoubtedly maintain that momentum, providing valuable additional aviation capacity into WA and further cementing Perth’s reputation as Australia’s new western gateway. 

“The Federal Government recognises the huge importance that aviation development plays in driving a sustainable tourism industry. That is why we will continue to work together with the States, Territories and airports to work towards attracting crucial new international services such as this one.”

Economic Profile Jul 2019 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Jun 2019 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile May 2019 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Apr 2019 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Economic Profile Mar 2019 |

The latest WA Economic Profile is available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website.

Premier’s visit reconfirms strong tie with Japan |

Premier Mark McGowan visited Tokyo and Hyogo, Japan during 20 to 23 January 2019 to strengthen economic ties with some of Western Australia’s key trade and investment partners, promoting the new Tokyo-Perth direct flight and confirming the importance of the long-standing Sister-State relationship.

The Premier met with the President and CEO of All Nippon Airways to personally thank him for the company’s co-operation and commitment to the Tokyo-Perth service commencing from September 2019, the first time a direct service between Japan and Perth has operated in more than eight years. The service will operate seven days a week and will bolster visitor numbers, grow the tourism industry and create more jobs for Western Australians.

Discussions around resource sector engagement in Western Australia were held with senior representatives, from Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co., Tokyo Gas, Iwatani, JERA, INPEX Corporation, and key steel mills. During the mission, the Premier also met with government officials including the Australian Ambassador to Japan Hon Richard Court AC, and representatives of Tokyo City University.

Japan is the WA’s second-largest export destination. In 2017-18, Japan accounted for 15 per cent of the State’s exports. Petroleum and iron ore accounted for 93 per cent of Western Australia’s exports to Japan.

In Hyogo, the mission met with Governor Ido of Hyogo Prefecture and the Superintendent, Hyogo Board of Education to reconfirm the importance of the long-standing Sister State relationship. The Premier was also given a presentation by, and for of the Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster.

McGowan Government lands direct flights between WA and Japan |

Japan and Western Australia will once again be connected by a direct air service, with All Nippon Airways (ANA) on 26 December 2018 announcing it will commence a Tokyo-Perth service from September 1, 2019.

ANA will operate the Boeing Dreamliner 787 service seven times a week between Perth Airport and Narita International Airport, Tokyo.

The deal was secured after Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, together with representatives from Tourism WA, Tourism Australia and Perth Airport, travelled to Japan late last year to pitch for a direct flight. 

Following the initial meeting, the State Government hosted ANA executives in Perth in August this year in an extra bid to reach this important agreement. 

Japan is currently WA’s ninth biggest market in terms of visitors, with the State attracting 28,700 Japanese visitors in 2017-18. Those visitors spent $60 million during their stay in WA, making Japan the 11th largest market in terms of spend. 

Over three years it is estimated the flights will bring about 76,000 new visitors from Japan to Perth, providing a $175 million boost to the State’s economy and creating hundreds of new jobs.  

The increase in the number of Japanese people flying into Perth for a holiday, to see family and friends or for business will also help fill the State’s hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes.

Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia: 

“We launched a Two-Year Action Plan earlier this year which outlined how Perth would become the western gateway to Australia to grow visitor numbers, diversify the economy and create jobs.

“An important part of the plan is increasing aviation access into the State, particularly from markets such as Japan which hasn’t had a direct air service to Perth since 2011. 

“Securing a direct air link between Perth and Tokyo is a massive win for the State, which will bring more Japanese visitors to WA and help us grow this important market.

“Perth boasts the best hotels in Australia, with more than 3,000 new rooms opening in the past few years. It is also the perfect launching pad for Japanese visitors to explore our spectacular regions. 

“Congratulations to all parties for reaching this important agreement and connecting our extraordinary State to Japan with a direct flight. 

“I look forward to welcoming the inaugural ANA flight to Perth in September 2019.”



Narita Airport:

Murdoch ranked top Australian university for employment outcomes |



Murdoch University has been ranked the top tertiary institution in the country for undergraduate employability, emphasising the importance of a high quality university education for a person’s career prospects.

The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey — Longitudinal, Australia’s largest annual survey of higher education graduates in the workforce, shows that 96.7 per cent of Murdoch undergraduates secured employment after three years.

Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Eeva Leinonen applauded the strong employment outcomes achieved by students.

“University graduates bring many benefits not just for themselves but for society at large, as contributors to the economic and social wellbeing of our communities,” Professor Leinonen said.

“At Murdoch University we provide our students with an outstanding education experience and offer all our students the opportunity to learn both disciplinary knowledge and skills that are transferrable to the workplace.

“Through our innovative curriculum, advanced learning and teaching as well as impactful research, our graduates become the critical thinkers fully prepared for their future careers.”


Please refer to article for further information.




Landmark strategy launches new era for international education in Western Australia |


On Tuesday 23 October 2018, the Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister, Sue Ellery, launched the State’s plan to attract thousands more international students to Western Australia – Where bright futures begin: International Education in Perth, Western Australia 2018-2025.


The strategy, developed in partnership with StudyPerth, will guide future government and industry action focused on growing the number of students from around the world coming to study in Perth, Western Australia.


Click here to download a copy of the Strategy:





The best and brightest international graduates from Western Australian universities can now apply for skilled migration under the State Government’s new Graduate Occupation List.


The Graduate Occupation List has been established as part of the State Nominated Migration Program. International graduates – PhD, Masters, Honours, Bachelors and other university graduates from Western Australia – can now apply for Western Australian State nomination under the State Nomination Migration Program via the new Graduate Occupation List.


Detailed information about the Graduate Occupation List is available on the Western Australian migration portal:


Economy to benefit from new graduate migration stream |

Applications now open for Graduate Occupation List under the State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP)

  • New list will provide a pathway to skilled migration for Western Australia’s best and brightest international graduates
  • The initiative will attract the best global talent to boost the economy and create jobs for Western Australians 

The best and brightest international graduates from Western Australian universities can now submit an expression of interest under the McGowan Government’s new Graduate Occupation List.

Candidates who wish to be considered for State nomination under the graduate stream of the SNMP will need to submit an expression of interest using the Federal Department of Home Affairs’ SkillSelect database. Best and brightest graduates will be invited to apply each month.

It is expected the new Graduate Occupation List will attract an increased number of high-quality international graduates – with PhD, Masters, Honours, Bachelors and other higher degrees – to help grow WA’s share of the international education market and create jobs for Western Australians.

These graduates are essential to maintaining the competitiveness of WA’s universities, building capacity and strengthening the future workforce.

Information about eligibility and how to apply is now available on the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s migration portal.

The existing Skilled Migration Occupation List will not be affected.

The McGowan Government has also committed $2 million to develop a detailed and comprehensive International Education Strategy, which is expected to be announced later this year.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“The new Graduate Occupation List will provide a viable pathway to skilled migration for the best and brightest university graduates in an effort to increase the State’s share of the international education market.

“We are committed to developing and investing in an International Education Strategy to grow and diversify the knowledge economy, while creating jobs for Western Australians.”

Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery:

“We understand the importance of international students to the culture and economy of Western Australia – and we know WA is the perfect location for international students to study and work.

“The International Education Strategy, combined with the new stream for the best and brightest graduates, will ensure WA is well placed to grow our international education sector.”

WA Economic Profile for August 2018 |

Main updates this month

Labour market

  • Western Australia’s total employment rose 1 per cent (11,799) through the year to July 2018, with a rise in full-time employment (up 0.1 per cent or 1,219) and part-time employment (up 3 per cent or 10,580).
  • Western Australia’s unemployment rate of 6.0 per cent in July 2018 was below the 6.1 per cent in the previous month, but above the 5.4 per cent a year ago.
  • Western Australia’s wage price index rose 1.5 per cent in 2017-18, below annual average growth of 2.9 per cent over the past ten years.


  • The value of the Western Australia’s merchandise exports rose 8 per cent to $129.7 billion in 2017-18.
  • New capital expenditure in Western Australia’s mining industry fell 14 per cent to $19.1 billion in 2017-18, while new capital expenditure in other industries rose 17 per cent to $8.0 billion.
  • Residential building approvals in Western Australia rose 23 per cent to $1.6 billion in the June quarter 2018.


The latest WA Economic Profile will be available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s websitesoon.

Nigella Lawson to headline Margaret River Gourmet Escape |


Internationally-renowned food writer and television cook Nigella Lawson will be returning to Western Australia to headline this year’s Margaret River Gourmet Escape. Nigella is just one in a stunning line-up of 40 culinary stars including Rick Stein, Monica Galetti, Skye Gyngell, Tetsuya Wakuda and Matt Stone coming to the Gourmet Escape, for 45 events in spectacular venues across the region, including Feast in the Forest and the Gourmet Village at Leeuwin Estate.

This year’s festival line-up has something for every foodie with new events including: Guy Grossi Aboard Ocean Dream; the Amelia Park Spring Harvest Dinner and Chow’s Table Chinese Feast. The program also welcomes back iconic events such as the Gourmet Beach BBQ; Feast in the Forest; Sunset, Beats & Bites; Fraser Gallop Estate Long Lunch; Dining by Twilight at Margaret River’s Secret Garden and the Gourmet Village. 

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan commented:“We are thrilled to welcome back Nigella, who is no stranger to the delicacies of WA after her 2016 Gourmet Escape appearance. The culinary delights of Margaret River Gourmet Escape highlight the array of fresh produce, premium wines and artisan beverages that are on offer. The high quality of Western Australian produce makes it sought-after around the world and we are fortunate to have this event right on our doorstep. “

Acting Tourism Minister Bill Johnston commented:“Margaret River Gourmet Escape’s impressive line-up of returning and new talent will host over 45 events in more than 25 unique and breathtaking locations. The ability to attract the best chefs in the world is one of the keys to the event’s success.”

The Gourmet Escape runs from 16 – 18 November 2018. For more information and to get tickets, please see:

Heavy rare earths pilot processing plant opened |

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan officially opened Northern Minerals’ Browns Range Heavy Rare Earths pilot processing plant on July 27, marking the start of a new era for tech metals in WA. Located 165km south east of Halls Creek, the pilot plant will process 180,000 tonnes of heavy rare earths ore over the next three years.

Western Australia’s North West is home to some of the biggest deposits of high-grade dysprosium and terbium in the world – heavy rare earth elements that are critical components of emerging technologies, including those used in electric vehicles, wind turbines and industrial robots. Browns Range will be the first heavy rare earths producer located outside of China

The project has already created an additional 62 jobs in the Kimberley through construction, with another 33 positions to be created over the next three years through operation. The pilot plant project will allow Northern Minerals to learn more about the geology and processing characteristics of the ore, as well as producing mixed rare earth carbonates for off-take sales.  

The pilot plant can produce 15 per cent of the final full-scale production of the project and is expected to generate $20 million per annum in rare earth sales. Northern Minerals will be able to use its product to demonstrate Australian heavy rare earths to users throughout the world. This will enable the company to measure demand and more effectively assess the economic and technical feasibility of the planned larger full-scale development. The full-scale plant is planned to commence operations in 2020-21.

Northern Minerals is also exploring options for further downstream processing which will allow products to be sold to a greater range of markets globally. 

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan commented:“Tech metals are the minerals of the 21st century, and WA has some of the biggest deposits in the world. The Browns Range pilot processing plant is a major milestone for this industry and will be a major job creator for the Kimberley region and Western Australia.”


WA Economic Profile for July 2018 |

Main updates this month

Labour market

  • Western Australia’s total employment rose 1 per cent (14,101) through the year to June 2018, with a fall in full-time employment (down 1 per cent or 11,497) offset by a rise in part-time employment (up 6 per cent or 25,598).
  • Western Australia’s unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent in June 2018 was below the 6.3 per cent in the previous month, but above the 5.6 per cent a year ago.
  • Unemployment in Western Australia fell by 3,226 to 87,460 in June 2018.


  • The annual average price of iron ore fell 0.2 per cent to US$70 a tonne in 2017-18.
  • Western Australia had $6.4 billion of building activity in the pipeline in the March quarter 2018, below the $7.0 billion in the same quarter of 2017.
  • Perth’s median established house price fell 3 per cent to $500,000 through the year to the March quarter 2018.


The latest WA Economic Profile will be available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s websitesoon.

Kalgoorlie land to be activated for lithium facility |

Western Australia’s reputation as the world’s leading lithium producer continues to grow, with another facility in the pipeline. The WA Government is assisting the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder to activate a parcel of land for the new Kalgoorlie Lithium Hydroxide Facility.

The site on state land will be leased to the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder for 21 years with an option for a further 21 years after the first term of the lease to help secure the development of the lithium facility.

The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder continues to work with the project proponents to develop the site as the location of the Kalgoorlie Lithium Hydroxide Facility, with negotiations well-advanced for the proponents to start development in the short term.

State Government agencies, including the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage are working collaboratively with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder to facilitate the development of this strategic industrial site. The WA Government also recently committed provisional funding for the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia, to support development and manufacturing of technology metals and renewable energy sources.

Lands Minister Rita Saffioti commented:“The development of the Kalgoorlie Lithium Hydroxide Facility will put the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia at the forefront of this growing resource industry. When completed, it will produce a battery-quality lithium product suitable for use in the lithium-ion battery industry.”

Airbus to locate Zephyr aircraft in WA |

Premier Mark McGowan has welcomed the announcement by Airbus to establish the innovative Zephyr solar-powered unmanned aircraft at Wyndham airfield in Western Australia. The WA Government has been working with Airbus since February this year to support the implementation of Airbus Defence and Space’s High Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS) program to establish their development site at Wyndham Airport.

The Zephyr HAPS project is a solar-powered aerial platform that flies at more than 65,000 feet to provide a range of earth observation services and communications connectivity for people in remote areas, including for civil, military or humanitarian purposes. Airbus will begin flights in the second half of this year.

The choice of Wyndham due to the largely unrestricted airspace and reliable weather, together with the strong support provided by the Western Australian Government, provides both a job creation opportunity in the east Kimberley and a technology advancement opportunity for Western Australia, and Australia.

The State Government has been co-ordinating support for the Zephyr project, including with the Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley and the Kimberley Development Commission, to ensure that all arrangements are in place to support the operational start of the project at Wyndham. In March, the Premier and Defence Issues Minister Paul Papalia visited Airbus at Farnborough, while in the United Kingdom, to be briefed on the Airbus proposal and provide State Government support.

Premier Mark McGowan commented:“This is a major coup for Western Australia; I’m thrilled that Airbus has chosen Wyndham Airport as the operational and launch site for the Zephyr project. Our local economy will benefit from this decision, with up to 20 Airbus staff also earmarked to be based in the local area during operational phases. I am optimistic that early success of the project will lead to expanded job opportunities in the east Kimberley and elsewhere in Western Australia.

“From my meeting with the company in March, I was very impressed with the proposal and Airbus’ international reputation. The technically advanced nature of the project will also help build Western Australia’s profile in the aerospace, defence and innovation spaces. The Government looks forward to the operational success of Zephyr and to exploration by both local and other Australian government agencies and companies of opportunities to utilise such HAPS technology to improve economic, social and environmental outcomes in our region.”

BHP makes multibillion dollar investment in new Pilbara mine |

Resources giant BHP recently pressed the button on a new$4.59 billion iron ore mine in the Pilbara which it says will employ 2500 people during construction and 600 when operational. The announcement came as the WA jobs market shows the strongest growth in new positions in five years.

BHP’s South Flank project will operate for 25 years and will replace production from the 80 million-tonne-a-year Yandi mine, which is almost exhausted. “The project will create around 2500 construction jobs, more than 600 ongoing operational roles and generate many opportunities for Western Australian suppliers,” BHP’s head of Minerals Australia, Mike Henry, said.

Major construction work is expected to start next month, depending on when State Government approvals are granted. New train-loading facilities, a crushing and screening plant, and an overland conveyor system need to be built, with the company aiming to have first ore to market in 2021.

South Flank iron ore will help increase BHP’s average iron grade in WA from 61 per cent to 62 per cent, and the overall proportion of lump ore – which allows for more efficient steelmaking than smaller fine ore – from 25 per cent to approximately 35 per cent. Production is expected to start in 2021. “It will enhance the average quality of BHP’s Western Australia iron ore production and will allow us to benefit from price premiums for higher-quality lump and fines products,” Mr Henry said.

BHP has an 85 per cent stake in South Flank, with the remaining 15 per cent held by ITOCHU Minerals and Energy of Australia Pty Ltd (8%) and Mitsui Iron Ore Corporation Pty Ltd(7%). In addition to BHP’s investment of $A3.9 billion in the project, the Japanese corporations will also contribute, bringing the total cost of the project to $A4.59 billion. This is in addition to an initial funding commitment of $290 million in June 2017, primarily for the expansion of accommodation facilities to support current and future workforce requirements. 

Premier Mark McGowan commented:“It is a great day for WA jobs and a great sign for the State’s economy. I congratulate BHP and its joint venture partners on this significant announcement, which will provide thousands of jobs for Western Australians. The investment is welcome news for Western Australia, and yet another sign that the economy is turning the corner and jobs are being created for Western Australians.”

Wheatstone Train 2 starts LNG production |

Premier Mark McGowan welcomed Chevron Australia’s announcement of the start of liquefied natural gas production from the second train at the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project, located 12 kilometres west of Onslow. The project is expected to deliver more than 300 full-time operational jobs over the next 30 years.

The Chevron-operated Wheatstone LNG facility is a joint venture between Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (64.14 percent), Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) (13.4 percent), Woodside Petroleum Limited (13 percent), and Kyushu Electric Power Company (1.46 percent), together with PE Wheatstone Pty Ltd, part owned by JERA (8 percent).

Over $20 billion was spent on WA goods and services during the construction of the project, creating more than 7,000 local jobs. In nearby Onslow, the Wheatstone Project has been a catalyst for growth, transformed by the project’s $250 million plus contribution to local infrastructure and amenities, together with $455 million of spending with local Onslow businesses and services.

In keeping with the Western Australian Government’s domestic gas policy that aims to secure the State’s long-term energy needs by ensuring that LNG export project developers also make gas available to the domestic market, Wheatstone has the capacity to add another 200 terajoules a day into WA’s domestic gas network when the final phase of construction, the domgas plant, comes on stream later this year.

Premier Mark McGowan commented:“I congratulate Chevron Australia on this important milestone for the Wheatstone Project, which secures hundreds of jobs for Western Australians into the future. This achievement is yet another sign that WA is getting back on track – the economy is improving, confidence is up and jobs are being created. Oil and gas projects help drive our economy, generating jobs in the industry and revenue with flow-on effects to the rest of the economy.”

Chevron Australia Managing Director Nigel Hearne commented: “First LNG production from Wheatstone Train 2 is another remarkable achievement and testament to the collaboration of our partners, customers, contractors, governments, community, and the many thousands of people who worked to deliver this legacy asset. Working closely with our customers, we are committed to be a safe and reliable natural gas supplier for decades to come.”

Chevron reported 69 LNG shipments from Gorgon and Wheatstone in the March 2018 quarter.

WA Economic Profile for June 2018 |

Main updates this month

Labour market

  • Western Australia’s total employment rose 2 per cent (19,816) through the year to May 2018, with a rise in full-time (up 0.4 per cent or 3,820) and part-time (up 4 per cent or 15,996) employment.
  • The largest increases in employment through the year to the June quarter 2018 were in manufacturing (up 19,170) and healthcare and social assistance (up 17,527), while the largest falls in employment were in retail and wholesale trade (down 32,934) and construction (down 19,132).
  • Western Australia’s unemployment rate of 6.4 per cent in May 2018 was below the 6.5 per cent in the previous month, but above the 5.5 per cent a year ago.
  • Western Australia’s underemployment rate of 9.3 per cent in the June quarter 2018 was above the 8.8 per cent in the previous quarter, but below 10.4 per cent a year ago.
  • Western Australia’s participation rate of 68.6 per cent in the June quarter 2018 was above the 68.1 per cent in the previous quarter and 67.4 per cent a year ago.
  • Western Australia had 24,100 job vacancies1 in the June quarter 2018, 1,900 more than in the previous quarter and 5,000 more than a year ago.


  • Western Australia’s population growth of 0.8 per cent (21,395) in 2017 was below annual average growth of 1.9 per cent over the past ten years.


The latest WA Economic Profile will be available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s websitesoon.


New Kwinana lithium refinery to create more WA jobs |

Western Australia Lithium, a 50/50 joint venture between Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile and Kidman Resources, recently signed an agreement to enter into an Option to Lease with LandCorp for the selected site. Almost 400 jobs will potentially be created during the construction of the refinery, which is expected to start in mid-2019. In addition, the company’s lithium mine and concentrator will create about 300 jobs during construction and 150 jobs during the operational phase.

The refinery will produce about 40,000 tonnes per annum of lithium carbonate and/or lithium hydroxide from the mineral processed at the proposed mine and concentrator at Mt Holland, south-east of Southern Cross.

Premier Mark McGowan and Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston also announced the State Budget would include provisional funding of $5.5 million to the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), to support development and manufacturing of technology metals and renewable energy sources. MRIWA will invest the funds, if successful, in its bid to establish a New Energy Industry Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in WA with the objective of creating value, through industry-led research, and driving global demand for local products, services and solutions.

Premier Mark McGowan commented:“Creating and supporting jobs is my Government’s number one priority. A new lithium refinery will bring significant investment to the State and local economy, including construction and operational employment opportunities. The State Government will continue to support the development of renewable energy technologies, and the $5.5 million in provisional funds will be made available to the MRIWA if it is successful in the bid to establish a New Energy Industry Cooperative Research Centre in WA.”

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston commented:“Western Australia is the world’s largest producer of lithium, and the announcement today cements our State as an investment destination for downstream processing. Our reserves of lithium, nickel, cobalt and other metals, required for new energy technologies, combined with our technical skills and our close proximity to Asia, means WA is well-placed to capitalise on the growing battery market.”

FMG announce new Pilbara mine |

Premier Mark McGowan welcomed the announcement by Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) to develop the Eliwana mine and rail project in the Pilbara region. FMG made the Final Investment Decision on 28thMay to go ahead with the project which consists of a new mine and ore processing facility, and a 143-kilometre rail spur project.

The company is targeting a construction start in mid-2019, with production to start in December 2020. A definitive feasibility study has been completed by the company, and the approvals process is now underway.

The project could create up to 1,900 jobs during construction, with estimated capital investment of about $1.7 billion. Eliwana, which will replace Fortescue’s depleting Firetail mine, is expected to operate at 30 million tonnes per annum with capacity for up to 50mtpa over a mine life of at least 24 years.

Fortescue’s Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines said: “Development of the Eliwana Project will maintain Fortescue’s low-cost status, providing us with greater flexibility to capitalise on market dynamics while maintaining a minimum 170 million tonnes per annum production rate over 20 years.

This project allows us to commence the supply of Fortescue Premium product to the market from existing operations in the second half of FY19 with volumes increased as Eliwana ramps up to full production. Fortescue has now shipped over one billion tonnes of iron ore in just ten years, generating strong returns from our position at the lowest end of the global cost curve.”

Premier Mark McGowan commented:“FMG’s announcement is welcome news for WA jobs and our local economy. This project alone has the potential to create up to 1,900 construction jobs and provide 500 ongoing jobs once in operation.”


New Exploration Incentive Scheme enters 10th year |

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston has announced the successful applicants for Round 17 of the popular Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) co-funded drilling program. The announcement follows the Government’s recent State Budget decision, which secured the continuation of the $10 million per year scheme and provided certainty to industry.

Round 17 will provide $5.2 million to 42 projects to be drilled in the 2018-19 financial year. The successful applicants are targeting a range of commodities including copper, silver, lithium, base metals, manganese, graphite and heavy rare earth elements. The project locations are equally diverse with sites in the South-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions; the west Kimberley and remote eastern margins of the State.

Now in its 10th year, the co-funded drilling program has supported more than 430 ventures, which have drilled more than 630,000 metres and contributed to more than 25 discoveries. Co-funded drilling success stories include the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine east of Norseman and Rox Resources’ Camelwood nickel deposit.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston commented: “The WA Government is a strong supporter of mining and resources exploration, and I’m pleased the program will continue to provide assistance to the industry, especially as gold exploration expenditure in WA surged to a record $550.4 million last year. The EIS helps to increase the number of new mineral and energy discoveries, which will deliver jobs and strengthen the State’s economy for years to come.”

The next round will open in August-September for co-funded projects to be drilled in 2019.

For more information on the list of successful applicants, visit

TAP project to develop irrigated agricultural in the Pilbara |

The WA Government will turn on the tap to irrigated agricultural development in the Pilbara, with a $5.9 million project to lay the foundations for new businesses and jobs. The Transforming Agriculture in the Pilbara (TAP) project will ground-truth soil and water resources in the region for potential horticulture, fodder and field crop production for a range of development sizes.

The project will build on the recently completed Pilbara Hinterland Agricultural Development Initiative, which identified more than 10 areas with prospective land and water resources, including De Grey River, Shaw River, Oakover River, Robe River and Newman areas. 

Initial findings have identified a potential water supply in the Pilbara of at least 100 gigalitres, which if verified, equates to up to 12,000 hectares of irrigated land to add to the region’s current fledgling industry of 2,750 hectares

The three-year project will establish test production bores to assess water supply, quality and sustainability, as well as soil surveys to identify suitable areas for agricultural production. The project will work in partnership with industry on prospective irrigation systems research activities to optimise productivity from suitable land and water resources.

TAP will also investigate the potential for commercial production of native foods for premium markets, including Split Jack, native pear and northern sandalwood. 

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan commented:“There is great untapped agricultural potential in the Pilbara; we want to unlock those opportunities to diversify and build greater economic depth in the region. The TAP project will prove up the resources in the region, providing potential investors with the confidence to pursue opportunities to develop horticulture and fodder and possibly grain production.”

“The project will also work with existing landholders to assess the resource potential for smaller, intensive irrigated agricultural opportunities to be integrated into their businesses. Our Government is committed to working hand in hand with Pilbara pastoralists and traditional land owners on realising a shared vision that will produce benefits for future generations.”

Member for Pilbara Kevin Michel added:“This is an exciting new project that supports further economic diversification and growth for the Pilbara. This project complements the Government’s ongoing efforts in agricultural development for the Pilbara, and I particularly welcome the partnership with traditional owners to look at the potential commercial production of native foods.”

Photo: TAP project lead Chris Schelfhout with Member for Pilbara, Kevin Michel and Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan at the announcement in Newman.

Source: The West Australian

Perth Airport named best in country in ACCC Airport Monitoring Report |

Perth Airport has been rated by Australia’s consumer watchdog as Australia’s best major airport for the first time. The recently released Australian Consumer and Competition Commission Airport Monitoring Report puts Perth Airport in top spot for overall service quality – the first time the airport has taken out the title as Australia’s best.

According to ACCC Chairman Rod Sims Perth Airport overtook Brisbane Airport with the highest overall quality rating of the four major capital city airports. “It is clear that Perth Airport’s investment program over the past few years has significantly improved the quality of the airport in the eyes of both airlines and passengers,” Mr Sims said Perth Airport has spent just over $1 billion redeveloping and expanding facilities over the past five years and since the completion of these projects, passenger and airline ratings of the airport’s quality of service have increased.

While Perth is best overall, Brisbane was a clear winner with passengers rated just under the “excellent” threshold, whereas WA’s premier airport Perth was a stand out with airlines. Perth Airport chief executive Kevin Brown said the ACCC endorsement of the airport showed its investment program was paying off for both airlines and passengers.

“This report confirms we’ve really hit the mark. These results show we’ve really changed the way the Western Australian public think about their airport. They’ve seen the results of a sensible investment plan and they like what they see,” said Mr Brown.

He stressed however that the next round of investment of $2.5 billion which will see a new runway, a major expansion of the international terminal and the move of Qantas services to the Airport Central Precinct is essential to maintain the ACCC rating.

The airport has been boosted by the recent introduction of Qantas direct flights between Perth and London, one of the longest flights in the world.

At Perth Airport the ACCC said that total aeronautical revenue grew by 5.7 per cent in real terms to $225.7 million, despite a drop-in aircraft movements and passengers. It added that “revenue per passenger rose by 7.2 per cent in real terms to $15.79.

Chevron Australia announces Gorgon Stage Two |

Chevron Australia has announced the start of Gorgon Stage Two Project (GS2) at the Gorgon LNG project off Western Australia. The $A5.1-billion program will include 11 new wells, 7 in the Gorgon field 150 km north of Onslow and 4 in Janz-Io field another 70 km offshore. There also will be new subsea installations and pipelaying work.

The drilling program, which is expected to begin in 2019, is designed to maintain future gas supply to ensure the overall Gorgon project will maintain target production of 15.6 million tonnes/year of LNG for the life of the project, over the next 30 to 40 years.

The Gorgon project, the largest single resource project in Australia’s history, comprises offshore field facilities feeding gas and condensate into three LNG trains and a domestic gas plant on Barrow Island. It came on stream early in 2016 with the first LNG cargo departing in March of that year. Since then more than 250 cargoes have been shipped to Asian markets.

A domestic gas plant came on stream in December 2016, supplying 200 terajoules/day of gas into Western Australia through the Dampier-Bunbury trunkline. There are plans to increase output to 300 terajoules/day.

The operator, Chevron, has a 47.3% stake in the project. Partners include ExxonMobil Corp. 25%, Royal Dutch Shell PLC 25%, Osaka Gas 1.25%, Tokyo Gas 1%, and JERA 0.417%.

Premier Mark McGowan welcomed Chevron Australia’s subsea development at the Gorgon natural gas project – work that will create hundreds of Western Australian jobs, continued domestic gas supplies and provide a major boost to the State’s economy. The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs over several years in areas including drilling, subsea installation, pipe-laying and project management as well as ongoing operational jobs into the future. 

The WA Government will work with Chevron to ensure that local content is maximised on the project under Chevron’s policies in areas such as manufacturing, and that apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities are created. 

Last month, the WA Government announced plans to establish an LNG Jobs Taskforce to establish Western Australia as an LNG hub, and ensure industry and government work collaboratively to maximise benefits that flow from the local LNG industry.

Premier Mark McGowan commented:“I congratulate Chevron Australia on this next development phase at the Gorgon project, which will undoubtedly provide hundreds of new jobs for Western Australians. This is a major State-building project that will deliver a significant boost to our economy, and is another sign that WA is getting back on track – the economy is improving, confidence is up and jobs are being created. The Gorgon project off the North-West coast is one of the biggest resources projects in Australia’s history, delivering jobs to thousands of WA workers and big benefits to the wider economy.”



Fitzgerald Biosphere gains UNESCO listing |

The WA Government has praised the efforts of communities on the south coast, following the global recognition of the area as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. With Fitzgerald River National Park at its core, the new biosphere includes 1.5 million hectares of conservation estate, State waters, farmland, and industrial and urban areas.

Fitzgerald River National Park was originally listed as a biosphere reserve in 1978, but required changes to meet the zoning criteria of the contemporary UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. In 2010, as a result of strong community support, the decision was made to renominate an extended biosphere reserve.

The renomination was coordinated by the Biosphere Implementation Group comprising representatives of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions; the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development; the Great Southern Development Commission; the shires of Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe; the Ravensthorpe Agricultural Initiative Network; the Fitzgerald Biosphere Group; and the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council. 

Stephen Dawson, Minister for the Environment, commented:“Fitzgerald River National Park is the largest single national park in the south-west of Western Australia and home to 12 threatened fauna and 39 threatened flora species, and contains about 20 per cent of WA’s described plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.”

“The park’s iconic status and natural assets are again being recognised at an international level, thanks to community, government and industry partnerships. I am excited to see a renewed focus on environmental, economic and social sustainability, as well as attracting scientific research now that the area is part of an international network of biosphere reserves.”

Image: The Esperance Express

Online portal to support agrifood export services |

Accessing export-related services will be streamlined for Western Australian agrifood exporters with the launch of an online portal that brings together services offered by government and industry. The Agrifood and Fisheries Export Services Portal brings more than 100 State and national services into a central source, for ease of access and reference for agriculture and food businesses.

These bodies offer services including grants, market intelligence and export marketing strategy and financial assistance. Users can choose from a service category, delivery category or service provider to produce a bespoke list of export-related services.  

Alannah MacTiernan, the Minister for Agriculture and Food, commented:“The Government is committed to growing WA’s agrifood exports to drive new job opportunities across regional WA. While there are scores of support services available to WA businesses looking to grow their exports, they are spread across different tiers of government and industry; it’s hard to know where to look. This highly accessible online portal will help agrifood companies to access the services that best match their needs, driving the best possible outcomes for WA industry.”

The portal will be managed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and is available at

Western Australia’s resources industry shines in 2017 |

Western Australia’s resources industry reached several milestones in 2017 according to statistics released recently by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. Higher iron ore prices, strong growth in LNG volumes and the gold sector’s continued strength contributed to reported sales of $108.8 billion, a 16 per cent increase from 2016.

Iron ore sales were up 14 per cent to nearly $63 billion; gold sales exceeded $11 billion for the first time, more than twice what it was 10 years ago; and LNG volumes increased by 38 per cent to a record 32.7 million tonnes. Sales of spodumene, the primary lithium-bearing mineral produced in the State, increased by 166 per cent to reach $780 million in 2017.

Bill Johnston, Minister for Mines and Petroleum, commented: “2017 was a positive year for Western Australia’s resources industry and it was encouraging to see record production across key sectors. The statistics reflect the industry’s strong economic performance in 2017, despite facing global demand challenges and geopolitical instability.The WA Government continues to support the resources sector and creating jobs for Western Australians, and it is pleasing to see that employment in the mining sector continues to increase.”

The average number of people directly employed in WA’s minerals sector also increased by six per cent to more than 111,000. 

For more information, visit

Image: Wheatstone Project. Source: Chevron

Agtech accelerator program launched |

Nine Western Australian agtech companies have been given the opportunity to take their technology development to the next level by participating in the State’s first agtech-focused accelerator program. The HARVEST Agtech Accelerator program will support companies developing new and innovative technologies with the potential to help WA’s agriculture and food industries, providing solutions to support increased production, drive efficiencies and support food security and traceability.

The nine-week program will focus on accelerating the development of business to prepare for commercialisation and investment, culminating with a pitch event where each company will pitch their concept to a panel of experts. 

The program will be delivered by Agristart, with local and international experts to mentor and provide advice and valuable networks to participating companies. It is supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan commented: “We want to create an environment to support businesses to develop their ideas, technologies, business models and commercialise their products in global markets. Advancing technology and innovation is essential to support the State’s food producers, processors and distributors to increase the value of our food production.”

“Our local agtech companies have the opportunity to come up with innovative technology-based solutions to make our agriculture and food industry more efficient, and capitalise on opportunities in growing export markets.”

Companies participating in the HARVEST Agtech Accelerator program:


Convergio is applying the latest technologies in computer vision, machine learning and data analytics to develop next generation solutions for virtual simulation and economic modelling to enable farmers to improve yields, extend capacity, diversify products, enter new markets and create employment in regional areas.


GeoMoby technology provides cost effective solutions to several problems in agriculture by coupling of real-time data with accurate position information, leading to efficient analysis of large amounts of geospatial data to enable several applications including livestock tracking, fencing automation, lone worker tracking and farm mapping.

Grubs Up

Grubs Up is WA’s first edible insect farm, providing an alternative to beef and lamb as a protein source for human food and animal feed. Grubs Up aims to scale up insect farming that is sustainable with a zero waste system, with minimal environmental impact.


Identification of rhizobia, the critical soil bacteria needed for legumes to provide nitrogen to the soil, can be expensive and time-consuming. The MALDIID technology provides rapid and efficient rhizobia identification without the need to culture the bacteria, allowing farmers to manage their legume crops and pastures more effectively.


Mapizy’s machine learning platform can rapidly process satellite, drone and terrestrial imagery data and create accurate inventory of crops, trees, weeds, pests and diseases. Equipped with this new type of information, agriculture businesses can make better decisions and improve performance.

P&A Pan

P&A Pan are a second generation, family run business that has traditionally grown fruit and vegetables. Their new venture involves soilless micro herbs grown in a sea container within a controlled environment, with the goal to be chemical free and use less water.

Precision Agronomics Australia

Precision Agronomics is focused on improving agricultural practises by developing customised soil mapping, data processing and machinery control solutions that help solve the practical problems for the world’s farmers, such as reducing input and labour costs, optimising crop yield and quality, while minimising adverse environmental effects.

Scientific Aerospace

Scientific Aerospace is focused on designing and producing world-leading high precision aerial surveying solutions. Aerial surveying of soil and crop health will support farmers to identify plant vigour, pests, diseases and soil water content.


Windturbine seeks to solve issues with remote water pumping requirements for agriculture using renewable energy sources. The Windturbine solution combines wind and solar along with battery storage to provide a 24-hour pump on demand solution to remote irrigation.

Western Australian tourism businesses record winners at national awards |


A record number of Western Australian tourism businesses were recognised at the 2018 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, which were hosted at the new Optus Stadium in Perth in late February.

Out of the 25 national categories, eight gold medals were awarded to WA businesses for showcasing excellence in the tourism industry. In addition, four WA businesses took home silver medals and two were awarded bronze medals.

The awards, which have been operating for more than 30 years, recognise and celebrate Australia’s best tourism businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence. More than 800 people from across the country, including Federal and State tourism ministers, CEOs of tourism bodies and tourism industry leaders, attended the awards gala dinner.

WA Tourism Minister Paul Papalia commented: “It is a massive coup for Western Australia to not only host the 2018 national awards in Perth at the new world-class Optus Stadium, but also to win the most medals for WA in the awards’ 30-year-plus history. I would like to congratulate all of WA’s outstanding winners and finalists, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to the State’s tourism industry.”

“Our tourism sector is vital to the growth of our State and I continue to be impressed by the dedication and passion of the 27,000 businesses that make up the industry.”

The Western Australian gold medal winners were:

For a full list of winners, visit

Dedicated jobs taskforce set to turn WA into a global LNG hub |


Announcing plans to establish a LNG Jobs Taskforce at the 2018 Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference on March 14, WA Premier Mark McGowan said the government aims to establish Western Australia as a global LNG hub, helping to create new long-term job opportunities focused on servicing, maintaining and improving existing operations. The taskforce will consist of members from both industry and government working collaboratively to maximise the benefits that flow from the local LNG industry.

Premier Mark McGowan commented: “WA jobs are my number one priority, and the creation of this jobs taskforce will make sure we build on our existing LNG industry to create more long-term local jobs. Australia is set to have the world’s largest LNG export capacity by mid-2018, surpassing Qatar, so now is the time for our State to act and become a global hub.”

“As we build on our existing LNG operations, courses could be provided by education and training providers that align with the needs of industry, ensuring young Western Australians get the skills required for future job opportunities. Oil and gas projects help drive our economy, generating jobs in the industry and revenue with flow-on effects to the rest of the economy.”

Western Australia’s share of the nation’s LNG export capacity by late 2018 will be about 57 per cent, or close to 50 million tonnes, with LNG volumes having increased by 84 per cent in the past five years. LNG is WA’s second most valuable commodity with sales of $12.7 billion in 2016-17. 

The taskforce will focus on harnessing the job opportunities the LNG industry can provide the WA community, including new technology, education and maintenance services. Further details and the members of the taskforce will be announced in coming months.

Pilbara Minerals looks to ramp up lithium capacity at Pilgangoora |

Pilbara Minerals says it can more than double the capacity of its Pilgangoora lithium tantalum project south of Port Hedland by spending just $207 million. The company recently morning released the findings of a pre-feasibility study on boosting the mine’s production rate from 2Mtpa to 5Mtpa and improving the overall economics of the mine.

Pilbara is targeting first production with its stage one 2Mtpa operation by the middle of the year, but hopes to complete a definitive feasibility study into the 5Mtpa ramp-up and make a final investment decision on the expansion in the third quarter.

Under the plan, construction on stage two would begin in the fourth quarter with commissioning in the final quarter of 2019. The expanded operation will enable production of as much as 800,000tpa of 6 per cent spodumene concentrate, up from the 330,000tpa planned in the $274 million stage one development.

Managing Director Ken Brinsden said the logic behind the company’s accelerated expansion strategy was underpinned by growth in the lithium-ion supply chain and exploration which had boosted Pilgangoora’s reserve base to a minelife of more than 40 years at the 2Mtpa production rate.

“An expansion to 5Mtpa was deemed to be the optimal production rate to unlock further value in the deposit and maximise the financial returns to shareholders,” he said.

The expansion is supported by Pilbara’s Chinese customers General Lithium, Ganfeng and Great Wall Motors. The pre-feasibility study shows the 5Mtpa operation would deliver about $11.5 billion in revenue over an estimated 17-year minelife with life-of-mine EBITDA of $6.5 billion.

Source: The Western Australian

Lynas expanding rare earths production |

Rare earths miner Lynas Corporation expects its workforce will continue to grow at the Mt Weld mine and concentrator near Laverton as it embarks on a project to double the capacity of its processing plant.

Lynas’ stunning turnaround over the past two years under former Telstra executive Amanda Lacaze has seen it re-enter the ASX200 and push the button on a $35 million program to ramp up production of its most valuable product, neodymium-praseo-dymium, from 500 to 600 tonnes a month between April and January next year.

This will involve a $14 million outlay to expand its processing capacity from 242,000 to 443,000 tonnes a year at Mt Weld.

A Lynas spokeswoman said it had already increased its workforce from 70 to 79 full-time employees ahead of construction, slated to begin in mid-March and take three months to complete. “As Lynas continues to ramp up production at Mt Weld, we expect to have incremental job increases.”

Lynas is also spending $15 million on exploration and mining at Mt Weld, with its second mining campaign under way. Mt Weld is the first port of call for Lynas’ product, which is shipped to a downstream processing facility in Malaysia.

The market is tightly controlled in China, and as demand for products that use rare earths, such as electric vehicles, increases, Lynas is looking to lock in long-term contracts to manage supply and underpin production estimates. It has already locked in one deal with German multinational Bosch.

Source: The Western Australian

WA Economic Profile for February 2018 |

Main updates this month

Labour market

  • Western Australia’s total employment rose 2 per cent (24,276) through the year to January 2018, with a rise in full-time employment (up 1 per cent or 11,829) and part‑time employment (up 3 per cent or 12,447).
  • Western Australia’s unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent in January 2018 was unchanged from the previous month and below the 6.4 per cent a year ago.
  • Average annual adult full-time total earnings in Western Australia rose 1.5 per cent to $94,890 in 2017.
  • Western Australia’s wage price index rose 1.5 per cent in 2017, below annual average growth of 3.1% over the past ten years, and below Australia’s wages growth of 2.1% in 2017.


  • The value of Western Australia’s merchandise exports rose 16 per cent to $123.2 billion in 2017.
  • In the December quarter 2017, approvals rose for residential building (up 3 per cent to $1.5 billion) and non-residential building (up 14 per cent to $1.3 billion) in Western Australia.    


The latest WA Economic Profile will be available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website soon.

Infrastructure WA will grow the economy, generate jobs and support communities |

A blueprint for the establishment of Infrastructure WA (IWA) released on February 6, sets out a new approach to long-term infrastructure planning in Western Australia. Focused on ensuring investment is made in the right projects, at the right time, and generating a pipeline of jobs in WA, Premier Mark McGowan invited industry groups and the public to provide feedback on the proposed model.

IWA will be an independent board tasked with providing government expert advice on the State’s infrastructure needs and priorities, maximising the value to Western Australia from every dollar spent on major proposals developed by government agencies.

Infrastructure WA’s other main roles will include:

  • Developing a 20-year strategy for infrastructure and industry investment
  • Applying more rigour and transparency in evaluating infrastructure plans, business cases and decision-making
  • Providing advice on alternative funding and financing options
  • Improving collaboration with government, community and industry on infrastructure planning and delivery

The model, which recommends that IWA be enshrined in legislation to provide certainty and help foster a bipartisan approach, proposes the board is made up of government and non-government representatives reporting directly to the Premier.

The six-week public consultation period closes on March 20, 2018. Industry stakeholders are also invited to register for an information forum at

Premier Mark McGowan commented: “My Government’s commitment to Western Australians is to create a strong, diverse and resilient economy and a pipeline for secure, long-term jobs. Investment in infrastructure is critical in growing the economy, generating jobs and supporting sustainable and vibrant communities. 

Infrastructure WA will provide expert, independent advice to government on the State’s needs and priorities, ensuring taxpayers’ money is invested wisely. By developing a 20-year strategy, IWA will identify the infrastructure needed to keep growing the economy and create jobs, providing certainty to industry and encouraging private sector investment.

We need to get this right in order to plan for the State that we would like to leave our children and grandchildren. I encourage the public to consider the proposal and provide feedback during the consultation period.”

EF Education opens ELICOS college in Perth |


EF Education First to Open in Perth

EF Education First, the world’s largest private education company, will open a new campus in Perth on 1 April 2018.

The directly-managed EF Education First is a first-rate provider of English Language Courses that is able to accommodate a younger cohort of students from around the world.

The Perth campus will offer two English-language courses, the EF Intensive Course and EF General Course, introducing curriculum through interactive lessons conducted by professional teachers and state-of-the-art online study tools to enable students to rapidly improve their English Language proficiency.

The new campus is located in the heart of CBD in Perth surrounding by shops, restaurants, cafes and cinemas. This convenient and vibrant location will provide students with a great environment to put their learning into practical use outside the classroom.

Established in Sweden in 1965 with the motto “Education is First,” EF Education First  has grown into world’s largest education company, with more than 500 offices and directly-managed schools in over 50 countries.


WA Economy ‘turns the corner’ |

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has declared the WA economy has turned the corner, saying self-sustaining growth is underpinning the State. Dr Lowe talked up the WA economy during his appearance before a parliamentary committee in Sydney on February 16th, in some of his most upbeat comments about WA, which has been the nation’s worst-performed State or Territory for the past three years.

Since the end of the mining boom the State has suffered a sharp contraction in overall economic activity, a big increase in unemployment plus an overall decline in average wages for most workers. Median house prices in Perth have fallen more than 10 per cent in the past two years.

But Dr Lowe said while the national economy was gaining strength, WA was not being left behind, with signs of a lift in mining investment through the State. “We’re not going back to the boom days, obviously, but after a number of years of very high levels of investment, the firms need extra investment to replace the depreciation of the capital stock,” he said.

“So we’re starting to see more self-sustaining investment growth in WA in the mining sector and that’s picking up conditions in Perth. It’s not a boom again but there’s more sustainable investment going on and that’s helping the WA economy, which I think now has turned the corner.”

Outside the mining sector, Dr Lowe cited the lift in public infrastructure projects as one of the reasons the economy generally is improving. West Australians are likely to benefit from the RBA’s reluctance to increase interest rates.

Dr Lowe said while the next move in rates was more likely to be up, given slow wages growth and low inflation, it would be some time off.

Source: The Western Australian

WA Economic Profile for January 2018 |

Main updates this month

Labour market

  • Western Australia’s total employment rose 4 per cent (49,900) through the year to December 2017, with rising full-time employment (up 3 per cent or 28,400) and part‑time employment (up 5 per cent or 21,500)
  • Western Australia had 19,800 job vacancies in the December quarter 2017, 500 more than in the previous quarter and 2,100 more than a year ago.
  • Western Australia’s unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent in December 2017 was below the 6.6 per cent in the previous month and 6.5 per cent a year ago.
  • Western Australia’s underemployment rate of 9.2 per cent in the December quarter 2017 was below the 9.6 per cent in the previous quarter, but above the 9.0 per cent a year ago.


  • Western Australia had $6.6 billion of building activity in the pipeline in the September quarter 2017, below the $6.8 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Western Australia’s building approvals fell in the September quarter 2017 for residential building (down 4 per cent to $1.5 billion) and non-residential building (down 14 per cent to $1.0 billion).


The latest WA Economic Profile will be available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website soon.

Fast fashion chain Uniqlo to open Perth store |

Japanese fast fashion casual wear chain Uniqlo is to open its first WA outlet, Uniqlo Plaza Arcade, in the Murray Street mall by mid-year. News of the 1290sqm flagship store, with its LifeWear clothing for men, women, children and babies, coincides with this week’s profit turnaround in Australia. 

The clothing retailer declared it had notched up a $7.57 million profit for the year to August, from a $5.8 million loss in 2016. The Perth shop will be Uniqlo’s 15th since it entered Australia in 2014. Fast fashion labels Zara and Topshop arrived in Perth in 2014, with H&M in 2015.

Uniqlo Australia chief operating officer Kenji Tsuji cited product, personnel and the locale of its “bricks and mortar” as the key to Uniqlo’s Australian success. “We’ve been growing our Australian operations steadily since opening in Melbourne in 2014,” Mr Tsuji said. The Plaza Arcade store, 185-191 Murray Street, is owned by Starhill Global Real Estate Investment Trust and spokesman Jonathan Kuah said Uniqlo would add to Perth’s international retail flavour. 

Colliers International retail specialist Ben Tana brokered the long-term lease deal between Starhill and Uniqlo. Uniqlo is owned by Fast Retailing Co, a Japanese clothing designer, manufacturer and retailer that also owns brands GU, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam and Theory.

Port Hedland iron ore shipments reach record high |

Iron ore cargoes from Australia’s Port Hedland, the world’s largest bulk export terminal, jumped to an all-time high of almost half a billion metric tons in 2017, offering fresh evidence of burgeoning global supply at a time when bearish forecasts for the commodity are stacking up.

Exports from the port, which handles material for BHP Billiton Ltd., Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. and Roy Hill Holdings Pty, climbed 5 percent to 46.1 million tons in December to set a monthly record, according to Pilbara Ports Authority figures on Tuesday. For all of 2017, shipments were 497 million tons, up from 479 million in 2016, according to Bloomberg calculations.

While iron ore rallied into a bull market last month amid speculation demand will remain robust, especially after China eases steel output curbs imposed this winter, there’s been a flurry of forecasts that gains aren’t sustainable. “Iron ore’s latest advance indicates expectations for a springtime recovery in steel production,” Everbright Futures Co. said in a note, referring to the expected demand revival when the curbs end. “Even though port inventories in China are very high, prices can probably be sustained for a while.

Port Hedland is the main gateway to Australia’s Pilbara, center of the nation’s mammoth iron ore industry, the world’s largest. Roy Hill is seeking to boost annual exports to 60 million tons from 55 million, The Australian newspaper reported, citing documents submitted to the state government.

Cargoes from Port Hedland to China were a record 39.1 million tons in December 2017, compared with 37.4 million a year earlier, according to the authority. That’s helped to boost port stockpiles in China to unprecedented levels of more than 150 million tons, according to Shanghai Steelhome E-Commerce Co.

In its resources outlook, the Australian government said free-on-board prices will average $52.60 this year and $48.80 in 2019. Exports from the top shipper and Brazil will increase to 1.32 billion tons next year from 1.22 billion in 2017, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science estimates.

Source: Bloomberg

Federer quokka selfie boost WA tourism’s global advantage |

A simple selfie by Roger Federer, the world number two men’s singles tennis player and 2018 Mastercard Hopman Cup winner, has attracted the world’s eyes to WA. The Swiss tennis star flew to Rottnest Island by helicopter on December 28 on a promotional visit for Tourism WA, one of the tournament’s sponsors. He explored Parakeet Bay, before heading inland to find a quokka to achieve his ‘bucket list’ goal of mingling with the marsupial.

He subsequently posted a shot on his Instagram account with the message ‘nice to meet you’, and referenced his furry friend with the hashtags #newpal, #westernaustralia, #rottnestisland, and #happyquokka.

His Instagram post attracted 525,000 likes, 5,000 comments and was shared 2,500 times, reaching 5.3 million people across Facebook and Twitter – a personal Instagram record for the sporting superstar. 

It also made headlines in newspapers and on news websites around the world, appearing in 239 publications in the United Kingdom, 53 in Switzerland, 45 in Colombia, 30 in the United States and 41 across Australia, with the post reported on in 13 different languages.

Media monitoring agency Meltwater calculated that the selfie had generated 619 online news articles in 45 countries that had been viewed 581 million times.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia commented: “2018 Hopman Cup proved to be another huge success for Perth and Western Australia attracting a record attendance of 106,424 at Perth Arena and providing extraordinary exposure for Perth and Western Australia. Having champion Roger Federer in town, and taking him to see some of the best tourism hotspots we have to offer, has paid off by showcasing our wonderful State to more than half a billion people around the world.”

“Judging the reaction to Roger’s quokka selfie, we can expect a lot more visitors to WA and Rottnest in coming months and years, providing a much-needed boost to local jobs and our local economy.”


WA Economic Profile for December 2017 |

Main updates this month

Labour market

  • Total employment rose 2.7 per cent (34,900) through the year to November 2017, with rising full-time employment (up 3 per cent or 27,500) and part‑time employment (up 2 per cent or 7,400).
  • The largest increases in employment through the year to the December quarter 2017 were in education and training (up 23,700) and healthcare and social assistance (up 18,600), while the largest falls in employment were in manufacturing (down 16,000) and mining (down 8,700) over the same period.
  • The unemployment rate of 6.6 per cent in November 2017 was above the 6.0 per cent in the previous month, but below the 6.7 per cent a year ago.


  • Population growth of 0.8 per cent (21,400) in 2016-17 was below annual average growth of 2.1 per cent over the past ten years. Natural increase (20,000) and net overseas migration (up 13,100) offset falling net interstate migration (down 11,700) in 2016-17.
  • Services exports fell 1 per cent to $6.8 billion in 2016-17. The largest increase in services exports in 2016-17 was in education‑related travel (up 12 per cent), while the largest decline was in personal travel (down 6 per cent).
  • Perth’s median established house price fell 3 per cent to $500,000 through the year to the September quarter 2017. Perth rents fell 8 per cent over the same period.


The latest WA Economic Profile will be available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website soon.


Perth to trial new driverless cars in 2018 |

Perth is one of three cities in the world to be chosen to host a trial of a new type of electric-powered autonomous vehicle. Run by RAC WA (Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia) in partnership with the State Government, the trial will involve several vehicles called Autonoms produced by French company NAVYA. The vehicles are expected to arrive in Perth in April 2018 and will be trialled in a closed and controlled environment. The State Government and the RAC will work together to explore potential locations for the initial trial, and potentially for a limited on-road public trial with a trained chaperone as part of future stages.

The Autonom cab can carry up to six passengers each, and has a maximum operating speed of 90km/hr, with a likely recommended operating speed of 20 to 50km/hr during the trial. The vehicles are fitted with the latest state-of-the-art multi-sensor technology, providing a 3D perception that enables them to map the environment, detect obstacles and make decisions which allow them to operate autonomously. They also feature two Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) antennae to determine the precise position of the vehicle at any given time, and are linked to a remote supervision service.

Since August 2016, RAC WA has been one of the first organizations in the world to trial an autonomous shuttle in real conditions in South Perth. The Autonom Shuttle, called the RAC Intellibus, is the longest running trial of a self-driving vehicle in Australasia.

Having travelled more than 7,000kms in autonomous mode, the learnings are being documented and shared with industry and government. More than 10,500 people registered to take part in the trial, which allowed industry practitioners and the community to use and experience a driverless vehicle in a complex traffic environment. 

While the private sector is developing driverless cars, one of the roles of government is to ensure that it is undertaken safely. The future benefits of driverless vehicles include increased efficiency, safety and reduced costs in road transportation. There are also job creation opportunities attached to the autonomous vehicle industry.

Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly commented: “The autonomous vehicle revolution is coming and WA has the potential to be at the cutting edge of this new technology. High-tech new industries such as autonomous vehicles will be a source of the jobs of the future and I want to ensure this State is well placed to take advantage of these opportunities.”

Japan business sentiment hits 11-year high |

Business confidence among Japan’s big manufacturers improved for the fifth straight quarter in the three months through December as global economic sentiment picked up, according to the Bank of Japan’s quarterly Tankan survey, released on Friday.

The key index for large manufacturers’ sentiment stood at 25 in December, up 3 points from the September survey’s 22 and hitting its highest level since December 2006 when the index marked 25.

The index is calculated by subtracting the percentage share of enterprises responding “unfavourable” from those responding “favourable.” The Tankan survey was conducted from Nov. 14 to Dec. 14, and surveyed 10,645 companies.

This is the longest streak of positive business sentiment since the March 2013 survey through the March 2014 survey, the last time corporate sentiment improved for five quarters in a row. With the global economic expansion underpinning exports and corporate profits, sentiment has been boosted at both small and large firms. Small manufacturers’ sentiment rose from 10 to 15, while that of small non-manufacturers rose from 8 to 11. Both of these figures were the highest since 1991.

A better-than-expected improvement in sentiment – most striking among small firms – underlined solid growth momentum, according to Bloomberg Economics’ Yuki Masujima. The drivers, a weak yen and stronger external demand, are fuelling the profits of big manufacturers. Buoyed by a favourable outlook, firms say they plan on average to boost capital spending by 10.2 percent year-on-year, according to the survey.

“Companies that are more upbeat on business conditions are more likely to increase wages. If that’s not incentive enough, a tightening labour market may eventually force their hand, as they compete for scarce workers – the Tankan showed the labour shortage grew even more severe.”

Sources: BOJ, Nikkei Asian Review, Bloomberg

Premier McGowan receives Honorary Doctorate from Tokyo City University |

The Honourable Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia, and a delegation that included the Honourable Richard Court AC, Australia’s Ambassador to Japan, visited Tokyo City University (TCU) on 16 November 2017. Since 2015, TCU has sent more than 400 students to Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Perth as part of its TAP (Tokyo City University Australia Program), contributing to the friendship between Australia and Japan.

The Premier extended warm greetings to the students who have studied in Australia, and commended TAP on a very innovative program. He commented: “We hope to welcome more students from TCU and grow deeper relationships between Australia and Japan among students.”

At the Welcoming Ceremony, Professor Miki Chitoshi, President of TCU, conferred an Honorary Doctorate on Premier McGowan, and said: “we look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Government of Western Australia as well as the Australia Federal Government.”

Currently, nearly 24,000 students are studying at Edith Cowan University, three times the number of students at Tokyo City University, including 3,600 international students from over 100 countries who contribute to an international environment.

In 2015, TAP started a unique Intensive English Course for teaching English, with students learning “pronunciation and conversation” in depth during their first year at TCU, and then studying at ECU for five months in the second year in a group of 100 TCU students. To date, 430 TCU students have experienced studying at ECU. Their average score in TOEIC tests has improved by 100 points, and at the same time they have gained an international perspective and improved their communication skills.

Next year, nearly 300 first-year students currently in the Intensive English Course at TCU will spend time at ECU. Tokyo City University aims to expand the program to other universities in Australia, with the goal of sending approximately 500 students a year to study in Australia after 2020.

Source: OVO

2017 Mitsubishi Corporation WA Innovation awards announced |

An innovative method for prolonging the freshness of fruit and vegetables, developed by Curtin University, has taken out top prize at the 2017 Mitsubishi Corporation WA Innovator of the Year awards.

The awards, which are in their eleventh year, acknowledge and reward exceptional Western Australians who have developed an outstanding innovative product, technology or service. The innovation must be at the emerging or growth phase of development and demonstrate an economic, social or environmental benefit for the State.

Semi-finalists and finalists in the awards program receive mentoring, presentation training, and advice on business development and finance to help commercialise their innovations.

Curtin University won the overall Mitsubishi Corporation WA Innovator of the Year award for its ethylene blocking compounds that extend the storage, transport and shelf life of horticultural products.

Other winners at last night’s event were:

  • Mitsubishi Corporation Emerging Innovation Category: Safescape
  • Mitsubishi Corporation Growth Category: Rocks Gone Pty Ltd
  • Woodside Oil and Gas Encouragement Award: Picosat Systems Pty Ltd
  • South32 Designing for Excellence Encouragement Award: Onesun Pty Ltd
  • Young Innovator of the Year: TOLKA from Como Secondary College

Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly said: “The WA Innovator of the Year program recognises companies and ideas that are reshaping our economy and creating new jobs for Western Australians. Our Government is committed to supporting the innovation sector through initiatives such as this, which has a great track record supporting companies from idea to commercialisation.”

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the program this year, patron Professor Fiona Wood and major sponsors Mitsubishi, Woodside and South32.”

Winners from this year’s award category share in $145,000 prize money. For more information, visit


Perth Festival 2018 program announced |

The Perth Festival has announced its 2018 program, which schedule to run from February 9 to March 4, 2018. From the free opening event Siren Song, which serenades the sunrise and sunset along St Georges Terrace for the first 10 days of the 3½-week festival, it will welcome more than 700 local, national and international artists to Western Australia.

Nine national exclusives, two world premieres and five Australian season premieres are among the dizzying array of more than 230 music, theatre, dance, literature, film and visual art events – many of them free.

Celebrating 65 years as Australia’s oldest international arts festival, Perth Festival brings the community closer together and is a key attraction for tourists looking for special experiences. The many highlights of Artistic Director Wendy Martin’s third annual festival program include Michael Clark Dance Company, French circus Compagnie XY, Robert Lepage’s Ex Machina, Inua Ellams, Jordi Savall, Helen Garner, Tim Winton, Dizzee Rascal and Neil and Liam Finn.

Showcasing the world’s best artists alongside WA’s own world-class talent, Perth Festival is expected to attract more than 360,000 people. Lotterywest has been a supporter of the Perth Festival since 1992 and is providing a grant for $7.55 million to support the 2018 Festival.

Perth’s premier cultural event again promises to be an essential summer experience. Visit to find more information on events and how to book.

Business confidence rising in WA |

Western Australia’s economy is on the rebound, with business confidence rising to levels not seen since the mining boom and a growing number of companies looking to hire more workers. The latest survey of business conditions by WA Super and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry has found that almost half of respondents expect the State’s economy to grow or stay the same in the short term. The figure is the highest recorded by the survey since 2014 when WA was still basking in the afterglow of the China-fuelled mining and resources boom.

There was even more bullishness about the medium term, with 60 per cent of respondents saying they expected an improvement in the economy. There has also been a big recovery in employment sentiment among bosses. From an all-time low in June 2015, the number of businesses expecting to keep their workforce steady has risen to 57 per cent, while 23 per cent anticipated the need to hire extra staff.

Despite the growing confidence, 61 per cent of businesses said wages would remain flat over the next quarter, suggesting most workers faced a longer wait for a pay rise. Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief economist Rick Newnham said the weakness in wages carried on a trend, but the signs for a turnaround were encouraging. “With both consumer and business confidence at a near three-year high, the WA economy is well on the way to recovery,” he said.

“There are continued encouraging signs for business investment, with 19 per cent of businesses expecting to increase capital expenditure over the next quarter, up 8 per cent. “Business investment creates jobs in WA — for business investment to grow WA businesses must feel confident that the investment climate will improve.

The buoyant mood was strengthened by recent credit rating announcements. On 3 November, ratings agency Moody’s Investors Services confirmed the State’s credit rating remains unchanged at Aa2 (‘stable’ outlook). This follows an announcement by S&P Global Ratings to also reaffirm the State’s rating (AA+ ‘negative’ outlook).

Treasurer Ben Wyatt: commented: “The recent reports by both Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings have shown a welcoming change in tone, specifically highlighting this Government’s resolve for Budget repair.”

Source: The West Australian

WA avocado pioneer Jennie Franceschi named Telstra Australian Business Women of the Year |

WA avocado pioneer Jennie Franceschi was named the Corporate and Private Award winner at Telstra Australian Business Women of the Year 2017 awards ceremony in Melbourne in late November, for her groundbreaking agriculture company, Fresh Produce Alliance. Last month she was named the WA Telstra Business Woman of the Year.

Telstra executive Joe Pollard said Ms Franceschi had a strong understanding of the generational challenges of farming in Australia, and her goal to turn agricultural waste into growth.

Jennifer Franceschi has been in the avocado industry since her first summer job in 1974, working in her family’s commercial orchard. After opening her own orchard in Pemberton, getting involved within the state association and the industry board for avocado growers, Jennifer and her husband launched their own packing facility – Advance Packing and Marketing Services – together with two other growers.

In 2016, they launched the Fresh Produce Alliance (FPA), a processing facility that champions a sustainable agriculture ecosystem. Using innovative technology, such as high-pressure processing and individual quick freeze, FPA sources fresh, non-GMO and slightly imperfect avocados from growers and family farms all over Australia, ripens them until they’re at the peak of perfection, then processes them to produce “naturally healthy, delicious, real food that people love”. Jennifer and her team have developed an avocado range, a baby food range, and will soon bring a low-GI range to market. Products are sold in the domestic market as well as internationally. 

Fresh Produce Alliance began shipping its Avovita (100% pure Avocado puree) frozen avocado pods to the Japanese market in October 2017, and they are currently being sold in high-end supermarket chains. These convenient packs contain 100% pure, ripe Australian avocado with no dairy, additives or preservatives, thanks to Fresh Produce Alliance’s unique HPP technology, which locks in the avocado’s natural colour and taste.

Versatile, ready-to-use and loaded with natural goodness, Avovita 100% pure Avocado is the perfect substitute for dairy in smoothies, spreads, baking, dips and desserts. FPA is also looking for the opportunity to export HPP fresh juices, sustainably made from fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be discarded, into the Japanese market. 

For more information on Avovita, please see:

Photo: Jennifer Franceschi at the Telstra awards ceremony in Melbourne.

First Wheatstone LNG shipment arrives in Japan |

Chevron recently marked the first shipment of LNG from its US$34 billion Wheatstone Project, located 12 kilometres west of Onslow in Western Australia, on the vessel Asia Venture, one of six new state-of-the-art LNG carriers recently added to the Chevron operated fleet. Shipped by one of Chevron’s foundation buyers, JERA, it left the Port of Ashburton on October 31 and arrived at the TEPCO Fuel & cargo Power Futtsu LNG Terminal in Chiba Prefecture, Japan on 12 November 2017.

JERA will be the largest buyer of LNG from the Wheatstone Project, after concluding a long-term sales and purchase agreements for 5.2 MTPA of LNG. JERA also contributed to the launch of the Wheatstone Project as a participant in the project through PE Wheatstone Pty. Ltd., an Australian subsidiary of Pan Pacific Energy K.K., which is jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corporation (“MC”), Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (“NYK Line”) and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (“JOGMEC”). The Kyushu Electric Power Company is also part of the Wheatstone Project joint venture.

The start of LNG exports from the Wheatstone Marine Terminal within the Port of Ashburton triggers the handover of the new port facilities from Chevron Australia to the Pilbara Ports Authority. Under the State Development Agreement for the Wheatstone Project, the proponents have funded the full construction of the State-owned port. The multimillion-dollar port development includes 312 hectares of common user area, an infrastructure corridor and 250 square kilometres of port waters.

Pilbara Ports Authority will have full responsibility for the shipping channel, including the turning basin, and within the next 12 months, will take over all remaining areas that are not leased to Chevron.

The Wheatstone Project includes two LNG processing trains with a total capacity of 8.9 million tonnes per year, plus a 200 terajoules per day domestic gas plant. Once Wheatstone is fully operational, Chevron is expected to be Australia’s largest liquefaction owner with 15.8 million tonnes per annum. At full capacity, Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities have the capacity to produce 500TJ/d of domestic gas, around 50 percent of the current supply in WA.

WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said: “This is a major milestone for the Wheatstone Project, following on from first LNG production just a few weeks ago. It is also an important milestone for Western Australia as we enhance the State’s portfolio of port infrastructure with the new Port of Ashburton facilities. In time, I hope to see other projects and companies making use of the port to export their goods to the world, supported by the ready supply of land at the nearby Ashburton North Strategic Industrial Area.”


WA Government welcomes gold sector growth |

Treasurer Ben Wyatt has welcomed more positive news from the gold sector with reports of over 600 jobs expected to be created over the next 18 months, as two major gold projects, Dacian’s Mount Morgans project and the Gruyere Gold Project go into production in the Goldfields.

This continues the strong signs from the ASX, with St Barbara Pty Ltd seeing a six-month high in their share price on September 18 which followed gold explorer Echo Resources’ doubling of their share price on September 16.

Exploration and drilling works have also continued, with Egan Street Resources announcing on September 14 a heavily oversubscribed $4 million placement to fund further drilling at its Rothsay Gold Project in the Mid-West.

The strong gold price has also encouraged private investment in a number of small mining projects, including the Rose Dam Gold Mine which opened just a fortnight ago.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt commented: “It has been so pleasing to hear the positive jobs news coming out of the WA gold industry. Following the State Budget and the announcement of our plans for a $20 per ounce gold royalty increase, it seems not a day goes by that I don’thear about a new plan to expand, more capital raising and a plan for more jobs. Everyone involved should be congratulated and it’s always encouraging to see an industry in such robust health.”

The price of gold has remained over $1,630 per ounce since the State Budget on September 7, 2017.


European Space Agency visit shines a spotlight on WA space skills |

Science Minister Dave Kelly welcomed the recent visit to Western Australia by the Director General of the European Space Agency, Professor Jan Woerner, and the opportunity to highlight WA’s potential to be the home of the proposed Australian space agency.

The Minister and WA’s Chief Scientist, Peter Klinken AC, joined Professor Woerner as he visited the ESA’s ground station at New Norcia, one of only three deep space ground stations operated worldwide by the agency.

The New Norcia station has played a pivotal role in communications for major space missions such as Rosetta and Mars Express. The visit emphasizes the crucial role WA plays in the global space industry, and showcases the State as a leading contender to be the base of the Federal Government’s proposed national space agency.

Currently, WA participates in ground-based satellite and deep space tracking, tracking and monitoring of space debris, defence testing, optical and radio astronomy, space research, ‘big data’ management and processing, geospatial data, and precision engineering.

In August, the WA Government made a submission to the Federal Government’s review of Australia’s Space Industry Capability. This submission highlighted the many areas of the space sector in which Western Australia is a key contributor.

Science Minister Dave Kelly commented: “Western Australia has been involved in the space industry for nearly 60 years and we believe WA is the perfect fit to be the home of the proposed national space agency. A space agency would build on our strong capabilities in areas such as radio astronomy, remote sensing, and big data management and our growing international reputation. WA already has existing relationships with global space agencies, such as NASA, ESA and Japan’s national space agency, which the State and nation can leverage off.”


Wheatstone project produces first LNG |

Premier Mark McGowan has congratulated the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project as it begins producing liquefied natural gas (LNG). Wheatstone has been under construction in the Ashburton North Strategic Industrial Area, near Onslow, since December 2011. One of Australia’s largest resource projects, at full capacity the US$34 billion project’s two LNG processing trains will supply 8.9 million tonnes of LNG per year, plus 200 terajoules per day for a domestic gas plant.

The Wheatstone Project is a joint venture between Australian subsidiaries of Chevron (64.14 percent), Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) (13.4 percent), Woodside Petroleum Limited (13 percent), and Kyushu Electric Power Company (1.46 percent), together with PE Wheatstone Pty Ltd, part owned by JERA (8 percent).

The joint venture participants have also committed more than A$250 million to critical and social infrastructure in Onslow, including a new hospital, airport, power and water service upgrades, a new shire administration centre, swimming pool, housing, and road improvements.

Eighty percent of the Wheatstone Project’s foundation capacity is fed with natural gas from the Wheatstone and Iago fields, which are operated by Chevron Australia in joint venture with Australian subsidiaries of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) and Kyushu Electric Power Company, together with PE Wheatstone Pty Ltd (part owned by JERA). The remaining 20 percent of gas will be supplied from the Julimar and Brunello fields. Around 85 percent of Chevron’s equity LNG from the Wheatstone Project has been committed to premier LNG buyers.

Shipment of the first LNG cargo is expected in the coming weeks.

WA Economic Profile for October 2017 |

Main updates this month

Labour market

  • Total employment rose 3.6 per cent (48,066) through the year to September 2017, with rising full-time employment (up 6 per cent or 50,349) offsetting falling part‑time employment (down 0.5 percent or 2,283).
  • The unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent in September 2017 was below the 5.9 per cent in the previous month and 6.0 per cent a year ago.
  • The decrease in the unemployment rate in September 2017 was due to higher full-time employment (up 4,465) and part-time employment (up 3,831) and lower unemployment (down 2,271).
  • The participation rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 68.2 per cent in September 2017, increasing the size of the labour force by 6,024 people.


  • The value of construction activity fell across all broad sectors in 2016-17, including:
  • Residential building down 26 per cent to $6.6 billion;
  • Non-residential building down 5 per cent to $4.5 billion;
  • Heavy industry engineering down 35 per cent to $17.5 billion; and
  • Other engineering down 24 per cent to $7.0 billion.
  • Western Australia had $6.5 billion of building activity in the pipeline in the June quarter 2017, below the $7.0 billion in the previous quarter.


The latest WA Economic Profile will be available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website soon.