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Still riding high following March’s election landslide, Premier Mark McGowan today handed down his first Budget in his dual role as the State’s Treasurer. While most of the country remains in lockdown, and Western Australia may be locked to them, we’re anything but down. The surplus is in a word, up, and all economic indicators have improved since the 20-21 Budget.  In handing down the Budget, Premier McGowan took the opportunity to remind us, that ours is not only the strongest economy in Australia, but one of the strongest in the world.   With this Budget, he outlined his plans to reinvest some of the windfalls of the past year in the State’s future services and infrastructure.  An ironclad result  WA reported a massive surplus of $5.6 billion in 2020-21, $4.4 billion more than forecast in the previous Budget.   Everyone knows money doesn’t grow on trees, but as every Western Australian does know, it is dug out

Splitting the bill isn’t what it used to be.   Not so long ago, the end of a dinner out with friends would be a cue to scramble for an ATM, dig deep for notes and coins, and write an IOU to settle the evening’s expenses.  Now it is more likely one person will pay the bill and the rest will send their share through an online banking transaction that might land with the payer in a few days.  And it’s not just restaurants.  Australians are well versed with electronic money, with most people familiar with online banking, e-commerce and tap-and-go – and thanks to COVID-19, many of us don’t carry any physical cash at all.    So what if we did away

The resource sector is set to have a significant bureaucratic burden lifted, as the Western Australian Government shapes reforms to the Mining Act 1978 (WA) to streamline its approvals processes. The Streamlining (Mining Amendment) Bill 2021 (WA) (Bill) was initiated to cut red tape and encourage economic activity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only does the draft legislation aim to save the need for reams of documentation, it also seeks to: Provide a system for instantaneous approvals for ‘low impact’ mechanised ground disturbance activity; Create greater clarity for tenement holders and government officials regarding the relevant approvals and conditions

We all know how Western Australia has become one of the safest places to live and best performing economies in the world because of our competent handling of the pandemic and being able to keep our resources production going. But we now have the chance to move from being predominantly a mining and resource state – at the mercy of volatile commodity prices – to becoming an advanced manufacturing centre, and even key decision makers in government are seeing this as our once in a generation opportunity. Yes, the way we have managed the pandemic is certainly a plus when global manufacturing

“It was the first time I felt respected” – the words of a 60-year-old Aboriginal man who had spent many years living on the streets of Perth. He made the comment after he and other residents at a transitional accommodation centre in Perth had the opportunity to have a yarn with Premier Mark McGowan following an announcement of additional funding for homelessness at the start of the election campaign last year. Aboriginal people make up about 40 per cent of the street homeless population, so as the organiser of an event for this transitional accommodation centre, I wanted to ensure that some

Josh Frydenberg’s third Budget dropped this week with all the hype of a new record. In musical circles artists tend to branch out creatively on their third album, diverting from the mainstream and even their own genre to try new things. The Treasurer appears to be doing just that with the 2021-22 Budget. More funding has been directed to social policies rather than economic policies and this Budget shuns the traditional Liberal pursuit of surplus to focus on spending, job creation and stimulus. Politically, it has captured traditional Labor policy space, making it hard for the Opposition to attack it in the

WA continues to lead the COVID-19 recovery - with all jobs lost due to the pandemic now recovered and a further 20,000 jobs created. There are more than 1.4 million Western Australians now employed - the highest result on record. Employers need skilled workers  They are searching for sous chefs in Kununurra. They can’t get enough mechanics in Kal. And in the Great Southern, there’s a desperate need for farm workers, labourers, carpenters, waiters — anyone, really.   The fears of an economic depression and mass unemployment a year ago suddenly seems overblown as WA enters a skill-shortage not seen since the days of the last mining boom.   The reasons behind

In the unusual setting of the Parliament House Dining Room, Premier Mark McGowan gathered his re-elected and newly minted, parliamentary Labor colleagues yesterday. It was not a post-run kebab on the menu, but the first caucus meeting’s main task was to decide the make-up of Mr McGowan’s new Cabinet. Smiles all round as Labor held its first caucus meeting since its election win (ABC News: Hugh Sando) Obviously, Mr McGowan remains at the head of the table as Premier, with Roger Cook staying at his right hand as Deputy. The special of the day was the Treasurer’s role with Roger Cook and Rita

Waking up yesterday I needed to remind myself of the occasion, as it has been a remarkably calm lead-up to political decision day 2021. There has been comparatively little tension in the contest this time around on all fronts – the policy debate, the personal attacks and even the politically engaged media have all lacked energy. A quick drive around suburbia on Saturday morning did nothing much to excite me either, the usual sign positioning battles over night must have also been a weak affair, as volumes of paraphernalia and rusted on volunteers appeared to have scaled to match the downsized turnout. A

There’s an African proverb that when elephants fight, it’s the grass that suffers — and that’s been abundantly clear for Australian media in the past few weeks.   Facebook vs News Corp In the blue corner is Facebook, market capitalisation of USD $741 billion, with as many daily users as the entire populations of all of North America, Europe and Latin America combined.   In the red corner is News Corp, a mere $10 billion in market capitalisation, but in charge of a sprawling international TV, news, digital and magazine empire that in Australia extends from Sky News to The Australian to the Fremantle-Cockburn Gazette.   Alongside are Australia’s other big news houses: Nine, which owns

For many, the idea of stepping on to a stage or standing before a group of peers to make a presentation is nearly worse than death. Some might even believe it really is worse than death! And to heighten anxiety and frustration, seeing someone else standing there, seemingly relaxed and delivering with certainty and clarity to a completely captivated audience, just makes your own shortcomings so much more real. Where are their nerves? How is this person so calm, while I am struggling the get even the simplest sentence out? A duck in a pond Delivering a presentation or speech is a little like

Facebook has made the unprecedented move of banning Australian news publishers (and users) from sharing or viewing any news articles on the platform. It’s a response to the Federal Government’s bargaining code which has passed through the House of Representatives, and which will require social media companies to pay news organisations if their content appears on the platform. For many Australian users, this means their main source of daily news - their Facebook newsfeed - will look very different, with only content appearing from friends and family, and non-news organisations. It’s a bold, even aggressive action, on Facebook’s part. If you look at

Google is threatening to shut down its search engine in Australia over a proposed media law. Google said last month that it may stop delivering search results in Australia after the government introduced a new media bill that requires digital platforms to pay publishers to link their content in news feeds or search results. Essentially, Australia wants internet giants like Facebook and Google, to pay to display and link to news generated by Australian journalists. If Google does exit from Australia, it would deny more than 25 million people access to the world's most popular search engine, which handles almost 95% of the country's daily

In between her very busy schedule, heading our organisation and its teams, Cannings Purple’s Managing Director, Annette Ellis takes a break to tell us who she is when she's not working. In our ‘Purple Conversations’ series, you’ll find out about the Cannings Purple team – what led them to their careers; what they do in their spare time and even what their favourite apps are. Meet Annette With more than 25 years experience in corporate communications, reputation management, crisis communications, change management and stakeholder relations, Annette is an accomplished corporate editor, speechwriter and a highly regarded coach in executive presentation skills. Annette gained her

With January now behind us, the WA State election is squarely in view. As candidates from all political persuasions prepare for the final push towards the March 13 finish line, executive government is gearing up for a different shift - the transition into caretaker mode. What is caretaker? Caretaker government starts when the parliament is dissolved and lasts until the election result is clear. During this period, the government is bound by a number of conventions to uphold responsible government. In particular, these rules govern some key aspects of our government. One eye on the horizon Key contracts and commitments, as well as

As we eagerly leave 2020 behind and cautiously step into 2021, Senior Consultant, Sarah-Jane Dabarera, reflects on the themes in community relations for the year ahead. Culture and heritage   2020 has set the scene for an increased focus on culture and heritage in 2021. The Black Lives Matter movement, Australian deaths in custody and the destruction of sacred sites at Juukan Gorge have resulted in increased focus and scrutiny on genuine engagement with Traditional Owners. The recently released amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act, issued by the WA Government, will require renewed effort in making agreements and strengthening relationships with Traditional Owners. Black

For the McGowan State Government, WA’s economic recovery from COVID-19 is all about infrastructure. Accelerated programs to build roads, rail and bridges are expected to bring about jobs and assets for the future. But what will these expedited projects mean for the communities where they will be built?   Our stakeholder engagement experts explain why avoiding tick-box engagement, and developing a strong consultation program, is more important than ever when timeframes for delivery are crunched. How many projects have been fast tracked? More than 80 major rail, road, coastal and cycling projects over the next two years. A streamlined process for contract awards

As we embark on 2021, the world finds itself at a major turning point – politically, economically, technologically and socially. What’s next? It’s never easy to predict, and especially so this year! For businesses and communication experts, the best way forward is to reflect and learn from the year that was – the lockdown; the economic and social impacts; the devastating bushfires; the disruption of everyday life. The events of 2020 transformed how we communicate. We asked some of Perth’s best communication experts to look back on 2020 and give us their predictions for 2021. A purpose-driven focus With lots of social justice issues

Engaging – it’s the word most often used to describe great content on the internet. Readers who are engaged keep their eyes on website pages for longer, and engaged customers feel compelled to act and purchase products. Length of time on site and customer conversion are two of the most common goals for content strategies. Video and podcasts have become popular ways of creating content, but the written word remains an important pillar of content strategies. Writing for the web, or indeed any public medium, can feel intimidating for those unfamiliar with it – but the best strategy is to prepare and keep

Zak Leading the WA Liberal Party First-term MP, Zak Kirkup is the new leader of the WA Liberal Party, after being elected unopposed following Dean Nalder pulling out of the contest. Mr Kirkup is the party's youngest leader since Matt Birney's short stint in the mid-2000s. He was elected as Dawesville MP in 2017, and replaces Ms Liza Harvey, who resigned as Leader on Sunday morning. Mr Kirkup assumes the role just 109 days out from the March State election. Ms Libby Mettam Voted as Deputy Leader Former Journalist turned Vasse MP, Ms Libby Mettam, was also voted in unopposed as Deputy Leader. The Bench

Unfiltered, unguarded and sometimes unconventional, The Bench shows WA’s politicians as you’ve never seen them before. Cannings Purple’s Peter Klinger caught up with the Member for Mount Lawley, Simon Millman to discuss a wide range of topics, including his childhood in Melbourne, moving to Perth, getting involved in UWA’s Student Guild and taking his first steps into the legal world. Who Is Simon Millman? Simon Millman is a proud long-term resident of Mount Lawley, where he lives with his wife, Tara and their two sons. Simon shares a brief summary of his life, including his life before politics - heading legal firm, Slater and Gordon's Industrial Relations

As Australia faces record levels of debt and deficit in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Australian Treasurer Ben Wyatt today bucked the trend to post a $1.2 billion surplus in the State Budget, followed by surpluses in the range of $363 million in 2021-2022 to $1.5 billion in 2023-2024. Buoyed by high iron ore prices, which enabled Western Australia to bank $8.4 billion in royalties in 2019/20, the coffers are well placed to support the State’s economic recovery and combat the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. The Budget assumes that Western Australia’s borders will remain closed until April 2021. Importantly,

International Access to Information Day is held on 28 September every year and recognises the community’s right to access government-held information. This year, the focus will be on the right to information during times of crisis and on the advantages of having constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information to save lives, build trust and help the formulation of sustainable policies throughout and beyond the COVID-19 crisis. The community’s right to access government-held information is a multi-faceted and complex issue, so we have enlisted Cannings Purple's Director, Design and Digital, Jamie Wilkinson and Associate Director, Government Relations, Jennifer Kirk