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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

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

For media enquiries please contact Mia Davies MLA on 9041 1702 (Merredin Office), 9622 2871 (Northam office) or email

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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:

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Royalties for Regions delivers new weather stations for Wagin electorate

Eleven new weather stations have been installed across the State, including three new stations in the Wagin electorate providing more accurate information ahead of grain season, thanks to Royalties for Regions (RfR).

Member for Wagin Terry Waldron MLA said the 11 new stations would complement the State’s existing 145 weather station network.

“These new weather stations will provide real-time information including rainfall, temperature, humidity, evaporation rates, and wind speed and direction,” Mr Waldron said.

“Local stations provide grain growers with valuable, localised information, helping them to understand the weather in their region and help their crops reach their maximum potential.”

Soil moisture probes will also be installed in coming months to complement the weather stations, as part of the $10 million eConnected Grainbelt Project funded by RfR.

Mr Waldron said the installations would be located on eDemonstation sites hosted by local grower groups, which would provide feedback to the project on how weather data could be better applied to help growers to deliver more productive and profitable crops.

“These eDemonstration sites provide a unique opportunity for growers, consultants and industry to get together and learn about, compare and contrast all of the decision support tools, systems and technologies available for on-farm decision making.”

The eDemonstation sites in Wagin include:

  • Facey Group, Wickepin
  • Sourthern DIRT, Kojonup and West Arthur Trials Group, Darkan
  • Stirlings to Coast Farmers, Mount Barker and Gillamii Centre, Cranbrook

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the eConnected Grainbelt project would enable the agricultural sector to meet growing demand and strengthen regional communities where agriculture was a major economic activity.

“The project is connecting growers to the information they need to make appropriate decisions that are tailored for their paddocks, their business, and the variable conditions they face each season,” Mr Redman said.

The weather data is available on the Department of Agriculture and Food WA’s website online at or through the department’s Weather app.

The $10 million eConnected Grainbelt project is part of the $300 million Royalties for Regions funded Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture Initiative.

For media enquiries please contact Terry Waldron on 9881 1225 or email

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Visitor Centres within the Goldfields region are invited to apply for State Government funding towards initiatives that will help them stay viable and adaptable in the changing tourism landscape.

The Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program, worth $4.2 million over three years, recognises the vital role that visitor centres play in boosting regional tourism and employment. The current round of funding under the program is more than $1 million and is made possible by Royalties for Regions.

Member for Kalgoorlie, Wendy Duncan MLA, said that Visitor Centres in the Goldfields shared in just over $91,000 in funding under the first round, with The Great Beyond Visitors Centre in Laverton receiving $75,000 and the Kalgoorlie Goldfields Visitors Centre receiving $18,808.

“As more travellers go online for information and bookings, visitor centres are looking to adapt their traditional business models to stay relevant and viable,” Ms Duncan said.

“The Grant Program supports our regional Visitor Centres to become more sustainable for the long-term in line with the growing trends of how local tourism information is accessed.”

Ms Duncan said that the tourism is a significant economic contributor for our regional areas and supporting this ongoing business through programs such as the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Program is essential to regional growth and development.

Accredited visitor centres or local government authorities can apply for grants between $5,000 and $100,000. A business plan must be included to support applications for amounts that are more than $40,000.

Grants between $5,000 and up to $40,000 are available to non-accredited visitor centres, where it is demonstrated the visitor centre is working towards achieving ATAP accreditation as part of their application.

To apply for the 2016-17 round of grants, please read the program guidelines and complete the application form and budget template, which must be returned to Tourism WA by 5pm on Friday, June 17, 2016.

For media enquiries contact Wendy Duncan MLA on 0438 782 034

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Brown wins preselection

At last weekends State Council meeting the assembled delegates of The Nationals WA unanimously endorsed Paul Brown MP to contest the seat of Geraldton at the 2017 state election.

Mr Brown said, "I am extremely humbled by my party’s overwhelming endorsement this weekend, and I am now looking forward to gaining the support of the Geraldton community to ensure that we have a strong voice in the WA Parliament."

Mr Brown has chosen to shift from what many consider to be a safe spot in the Upper House, to represent the people of Geraldton in the Lower House in a move that many would consider to be a risky move.

"It has been suggested to myself and others that I am risking my political future by running for the seat of Geraldton.  I think that the greater risk is that Geraldton is not represented by a member of the Nationals WA, who will sit at a decision making table that is focused solely on increasing investment and diversification in regional WA."

"The major city-based political parties are dominated by metro focused policies that ensure the growth of the metro area rather than recognising the overwhelming contribution that our community makes to the states economy, “ Mr Brown said.

"I am not just asking that the people of Geraldton consider the benefit to our community by voting for a Nationals WA member to represent them, but I am also asking the people of Geraldton to ensure that the Royalties for Regions program is protected so that all of regional WA can continue to grow and build the diversified economy that our state needs."

For media enquiries contact Paul Brown MP –

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Second round of Royalties for Regions Visitor Centre grants now open

Regional visitor centres are invited to apply for funding towards initiatives that will help them stay viable and adaptable in the changing tourism environment.

Centres can apply to share in more than $1 million in the latest round of the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program made possible by Tourism WA and Royalties for Regions. This initiative, worth $4.2 million over four years, was a key commitment by The Nationals WA.

Member for Warren-Blackwood, Terry Redman encouraged regional visitor centres to take advantage of the funding which will help support regional tourism, employment and skills development.

“The first funding round in 2015-16 supported 39 visitor centres across regional WA, delivering more than $1 million for a range of projects including website development, improved signage, accreditation and a mobile visitor centre,” Mr Redman said.

“Who better to help visitors to regional WA than the people who already love living and working in regional tourism? Mr Redman said.

"Visitor centres have a wealth of local knowledge that enhance the tourism experience and help visitors discover the many attractions on offer in the regions," Mr Redman said.

"Improving visitor experiences is key to creating opportunities and jobs for local communities, and contributing to stronger regional economies. This is why support for tourism is an important Royalties for Regions investment."

Accredited Visitor Centres and local government authorities are eligible for grants between $10,000 and $100,000, while non-accredited centres working towards accreditation will receive grants up to $40,000.

Applications close 5pm, Friday June 17, 2016. For more information, visit

For media enquiries please contact Terry Redman on 9848 3171 or

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Locals invited to discover estuaries initiative in Albany

Interested people in and around Albany are encouraged to attend a community meeting on 4 May to learn more about upcoming projects to improve the health and understanding of Oyster Harbour.

Under the $20 million Regional Estuaries Initiative, made possible by Royalties for Regions, $2 million will fund on-ground actions and science in the catchments feeding Oyster Harbour.

Member for South West Region Hon Colin Holt MLC said this historic initiative would invest in the science and targeted actions needed to support the long-term health of Oyster Harbour.

”The Regional Estuaries Initiative is about building the information we need to better manage our valued estuaries," Mr Holt said.

“The Initiative will build on local knowledge and monitoring to deliver a targeted on-ground actions, supported by strong partnerships between State and local government, catchment groups and the community.

“Oyster Harbour and the land surrounding it support a diverse range of industries, including agriculture and tourism.

The Initiative will fund new science and modelling, regional capacity, and a range of on-ground works, spanning soil and water testing, fencing and revegetation and drainage siteworks.

At the event, scientists from the Department of Water will outline local actions planned as part of the Regional Estuaries Initiative in Oyster Harbour and its associated waterways.

Community members are invited to attend the event to discover more about upcoming partnerships, local waterways restoration, planned monitoring and opportunities to get involved.

The Regional Estuaries Initiative – Oyster Harbour meeting will be held at 7pm, Wednesday 4 May 2016 at the South Coast Natural Resource Management, Mercer Road Albany.

For any questions and to RSVP, please contact the Department of Water South Coast team on (08) 9841 0100 or

For more information on the Regional Estuaries Initiative visit

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

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