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Local rest stop project honours gallant Western Australian servicemen

The service and sacrifice of WA's Victoria Cross (VC) and George Cross recipients will be remembered with each recipient being commemorated at rest stops along the Albany and South Western highways.

According to Local Member Terry Waldron MLA, the project is similar to Remembrance Driveway on the Federal and Hume highways, between Sydney and Canberra and will see plaques honouring WA's 17 VC and two George Cross recipients placed at the rest areas.

Mr Waldron said the rest stops would be located on Albany Hwy between Perth and Albany, and along SW Highway between Pinjarra and Kirup.

“I am delighted that our Victoria Cross and George Cross recipients will be honoured at rest stops throughout the southern part of our State,” he said.

“This is a fitting tribute to these gallant WA servicemen. And one of these servicemen was a local man – Private Percy Gratwick – who was born in Katanning. He was actually awarded his VC posthumously, after sadly being killed in the same World War II battle he was cited for showing exemplary ‘brave and determined action’ in.”

VC recipient Lieutenant Alfred Gaby, although born in Tasmania, was labouring in Katanning (WA) when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), during World War I, and Private James Woods VC also worked in the Katanning region as a labourer prior to enlisting in World War I.

Mr Waldron said the commemorative plaques would be installed in chronological order, starting with Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Bell VC on the SW Hwy. Each will contain a short biography of the recipient and part of their citation as gazetted.

"The series of plaques will be called Commemoration Way and will be rolled out between ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day, this year," Mr Waldron said.

“I often drive along the Albany Highway, which runs through the Wagin electorate, and not only will these plaques provide a lift to the rest stops but they will also provide a history lesson to locals and tourists to this part of the State.”

While the Victoria Cross is awarded for extreme gallantry in the face of the enemy, the George Cross - open to service personnel and civilians - was in recognition of extreme bravery that did not involve contact with the enemy. Further, in 1975 the George Cross was replaced by the Cross of Valour and to date, no WA servicemen or servicewomen have been awarded it.

The Department of Corrective Services will provide a work party of minimum security (Section 95) prisoners to install the plaques.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said he was pleased to have Main Roads Western Australia involved in the Centenary of ANZAC initiative.

Please visit https://anzac.dpc.wa.gov.au/CommemorativeActivities/Documents/This-Gallant-Company-of-Brave-Men-VC-GC-Recipients-May-2015.pdf

For media enquiries please contact Terry Waldron on 9881 1225 or email terry.waldron@mp.wa.gov.au

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Report into the Mining Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 tabled

The Standing Committee on Legislation tabled its report on the Mining Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 in the Western Australian Legislative Council today.

Committee member Dave Grills MLC said the report contained a number of recommended changes to the Bill designed to meet the needs of government, the environment and the mining industry.

“The Committee received 33 submissions and also heard evidence at public hearings in Perth and Kalgoorlie-Boulder,” Mr Grills said.

“We have taken this feedback into account and put forward 18 recommendations aimed at addressing a number of issues of importance to the mining industry.”

The Mining and Pastoral Region MP said the Committee’s report reaffirmed the contribution that the small-scale mining sector made to industry, the community and the wider economy.

“The Committee acknowledges the vital role that small miners play in the State and the importance of protecting the interests of those in the sector,” Mr Grills said.

“One of the recommendations put forward by the Committee is the introduction of a tiered approach to the mining industry in WA, with a specific set of provisions to apply only to small-scale miners.

“Such reforms would reduce the compliance burden on small miners and prospectors in places like the Goldfields and keep them in the industry.”

Other recommendations in the report include the introduction of a template environmental management system for use by small-scale miners, both paper and online options for lodgements and the itemisation of those mining activities considered minor enough to not require a low-impact notification or programme of works.

The report and the full list of recommendations can be found at www.parliament.wa.gov.au/leg/reps

“I thank those who contributed to this process and I urge all stakeholders to carefully read the recommendations in the final report,” Mr Grills said.

For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 9071 500 or email dave.grills@mp.wa.gov.au

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New $16 million film fund puts regional WA in the picture

Communities across the Mining and Pastoral Region are set to benefit from a new $16 million Western Australian Regional Film Fund, designed to drive production investment and job creation in regional Western Australia.

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC said the innovative initiative, made possible through funding from Royalties for Regions, aimed to give WA the edge in a highly competitive international industry.

“This is about putting regional WA top of the list for producing Australian and international feature films, television series and documentaries,” Mr Grills said.

“There are significant potential benefits for communities in places like the Kimberley and Goldfields-Esperance regions, which boast some spectacular and unique scenery.

“This Royalties for Regions-supported initiative will promote our evocative locations, talent and expertise across the world.

“I’m confident the fund will quickly resonate both nationally and internationally, and drive production in regional WA to new heights.”

Mr Grills said funding from Royalties for Regions and ScreenWest had already chalked up significant achievements, with the highly anticipated feature films Jasper Jones (shot in the South West), Red Dog:True Blue (Pilbara) and Breath (Great Southern) due for release over the next 12 months.

“The new fund will consolidate and build on these successes,” Mr Grills said.

“For instance, the current production of Breath in the Denmark area has generated more than 250 jobs and boosted business in the local community.

“There is no doubt this fund will help support regional economies and contribute to their vibrancy.”

Jobs are expected to flow from local purchasing, the development of a skilled workforce to support film and television production and tourism.

ScreenWest will manage the Fund on behalf of the Department of Regional Development for the benefit of regional communities.

For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 9071 500 or email dave.grills@mp.wa.gov.au

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New $16 million film fund puts regional WA in the picture

Communities across the Mining and Pastoral Region are set to benefit from a new $16 million Western Australian Regional Film Fund, designed to drive production investment and job creation in regional Western Australia.

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC said the innovative initiative, made possible through funding from Royalties for Regions, aimed to give WA the edge in a highly competitive international industry.

“This is about putting regional WA top of the list for producing Australian and international feature films, television series and documentaries,” Mr Grills said.

“There are significant potential benefits for communities in places like the Kimberley and Goldfields-Esperance regions, which boast some spectacular and unique scenery.

“This Royalties for Regions-supported initiative will promote our evocative locations, talent and expertise across the world.

“I’m confident the fund will quickly resonate both nationally and internationally, and drive production in regional WA to new heights.”

Mr Grills said funding from Royalties for Regions and ScreenWest had already chalked up significant achievements, with the highly anticipated feature films Jasper Jones (shot in the South West), Red Dog:True Blue (Pilbara) and Breath (Great Southern) due for release over the next 12 months.

“The new fund will consolidate and build on these successes,” Mr Grills said.

“For instance, the current production of Breath in the Denmark area has generated more than 250 jobs and boosted business in the local community.

“There is no doubt this fund will help support regional economies and contribute to their vibrancy.”

Jobs are expected to flow from local purchasing, the development of a skilled workforce to support film and television production and tourism.

ScreenWest will manage the Fund on behalf of the Department of Regional Development for the benefit of regional communities.

For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 9071 500 or email dave.grills@mp.wa.gov.au

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NEW $16M FILM FUND PUTS REGIONS IN THE PICTURE

Regional Western Australia is set to benefit from a new $16 million Regional Film Fund, designed to drive production, investment and job creation across country WA.

Member for Kalgoorlie, Wendy Duncan MLA, said the innovative initiative, made possible through funding from the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, aimed to give WA the edge in a highly competitive international industry.

Funding from Royalties For Regions and ScreenWest has already chalked up significant achievements, with the highly anticipated feature films Jasper Jones (shot in the South West), Red Dog:True Blue (Pilbara) and Breath (Great Southern) due for release over the next 12 months.

“This additional Royalties for Regions funding will enhance regional Western Australia’s presence in producing Australian and international feature films, television series and documentaries,” Ms Duncan said.

“The Goldfields region offers a spectacular backdrop for such projects and I look forward with great anticipation to the investment and exposure that this will attract.”

Western Australia film producer, Roderick McKay, also welcomed the announcement. His company is working on a film about the Afghan Cameleers in the Northern Goldfields.

Mr McKay said "Film is ideally suited to place making, emotionally and aesthetically exploring who we are, who we were and ultimately enriching the Western Australian identity, so much of which has been formed in the regions. Considering the highly unique and deeply rich history of the Goldfields, which is yet to be explored in film, this is truly exciting."

Ms Duncan said that ScreenWest will manage the Fund on behalf of the Department of Regional Development for the benefit of regional communities.

More information can be accessed by visiting www.screenwest.wa.gov.au

For media enquiries contact Wendy Duncan MLA on 0438 782 034 or Roderick McKay on 0439 735 399.

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Senate Candidate condemns Backpacker Tax decision

The Nationals WA Senate Candidate Kado Muir has condemned the Federal Government’s decision to push ahead with its damaging Backpacker Tax, warning increases to tax rates on working holidaymakers to 32.5 per cent would have disastrous implications for regional WA. 

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New $16m film fund puts Albany region in the picture

The Albany region is set to benefit from a new $16 million Western Australian Regional Film Fund, designed to drive production investment and job creation across country WA.

Nationals Member for the South West Region, Colin Holt, said the initiative, made possible through funding from the State Government’s Royalties For Regions program, aimed to give WA the edge in a highly competitive international industry.

“This is about putting regional WA top of the list for producing Australian and international feature films, television series and documentaries,” Mr Holt said.

“We’re talking significant potential benefits for the Albany area and WA as a whole.

“I’m confident the fund will quickly resonate both nationally and internationally, and drive production in country WA to new heights.”

“This is about promoting our spectacular and evocative locations, talent and expertise across the world.”

Mr Holt said funding from Royalties For Regions and ScreenWest had already chalked up significant achievements, with the highly anticipated feature film Breath, shot in the Great Southern, due for release over the next 12 months.

“The new fund will consolidate and build on this success,” Mr Holt said.

“For instance, the current production of Breath in the Denmark area has generated more than 250 jobs and boosted business in the local community.

“There is no doubt this fund will help support regional economies and contribute to their vibrancy.”

Job are expected to flow from local purchasing, the development of a skilled workforce to support film and television production and tourism.

ScreenWest will manage the Fund on behalf of the Department of Regional Development for the benefit of regional communities.
For more information, visit www.screenwest.wa.gov.au

For media enquiries please contact Office of Colin Holt MLC on (08) 9724 1181

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Budget proves WA Senators not doing their job: Kado Muir for Senate

The Nationals WA Candidate for the Senate, Kado Muir, has hit out at WA’s senators for failing to stand up for their state as the Federal Budget was revealed last night.

Mr Muir said a paltry GST return, no new regional infrastructure projects and a failure to back away from the controversial Backpacker Tax painted a poor picture for Western Australia at the Federal Budget.

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Wheatbelt tours will be music to locals’ ears

Wheatbelt audiences will be able to enjoy a series of music tours and workshops, thanks to the State Government’s Regional Touring Boost program, funded through Royalties for Regions.

Local Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA said the Western Australian Music Industry Association had received $62,400 towards visits to Bencubbin, Nungarin, Quindanning, Kellerberrin, Dowerin, Narrogin, Wongan Hills, York, Beverley, Toodyay and Merredin.

“Tours like this are important in enriching local lives and inspiring musicians, young and old,” Ms Davies said.

“The touring circuit will involve 10 visits by professional contemporary WA musicians, presenting 90 performances and four workshops.

“All up, we expect more than 3000 people to see the shows and participate in the workshops, with performances at local clubs, hotels and performing arts centres.”

Ms Davies said the tours were especially important in encouraging and providing a platform for regional musicians to develop their skills.

“Each visit will include performances over a three-day weekend, with the touring groups joined by local acts during the shows,” she said.

“While in the Great Southern, the WA Music Industry Association will link up with the Narrogin Musicians Association to run a series of community workshops.”

WAM’s performances and workshops will be held from 19 November 2016 through to 18 June 2017.

For further information visit http://www.dca.wa.gov.au/funding/grants-programs/regional-touring-boost/

For media enquiries please contact Mia Davies MLA on 9041 1702 (Merredin Office), 9622 2871 (Northam office) or email mia.davies@mp.wa.gov.au

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Nationals WA MP calls for rejection of Cashless Welfare Card in Geraldton

Nationals WA Member of Parliament Paul Brown MP, is calling on Federal Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge to remove Geraldton from consideration as a trial site for the Cashless Welfare Card.

I was initially happy to consider the benefits of implementation of a trial and the investment in community services that it might have delivered,” Mr Brown said.

“However, I have been speaking and listening to many advocacy groups from across the Geraldton community. The overwhelming opinion has been that the welfare card is not welcome. There is a feeling that the federal government has not done enough to convince our community of its merits.”

Trial sites in Ceduna, South Australia and in the East Kimberley have already been established by the federal government. Significant investment into these communities has been delivered by the federal government with Ceduna ($1mill) and East Kimberley ($1.7mill) each seeing social, rehabilitation and mental health services being expanded.

“The Geraldton community obviously faces a range of recognised issues such as domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction and a lack of resources in rehabilitation services,” Mr Brown said.

“As a state government representative of Geraldton I was hopeful that the Human Services Minister would seek to partner with the community and the state government to invest in the services needed to make the trial a success.”

“Unfortunately that has not been the case and I believe there is a lack of understanding at the federal level about the growing concerns of the community, and a lack of commitment to invest in the services that would be impacted if the trial went ahead,” Mr Brown said.

Nationals WA Federal Senate candidate Kado Muir supports Mr Brown’s stance.

“Initially, I too was very supportive of the Cashless Welfare card but after consideration of the potential impact, I feel it is far too early for Geraldton to be a trial site. The Cashless Welfare Card focuses on some of the most vulnerable members of our community and we really need to be sure that we have fully funded and resourced wrap around services to ensure they are supported if things go wrong.” Senate candidate Muir said.

For media enquires please contact Paul Brown MP: paul.brown@mp.wa.gov.au

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