SOUTH WEST FORESTRY INDUSTRY TO BENEFIT FROM DEDICATED REGIONAL HUBS

Federal Member for Forrest, Nola Marino, has welcomed the announcement that WA’s South West has been selected as one of only four pilot Regional Forestry Hubs being rolled out across Australia.
“The Liberal National Government has committed $12.5 million to the Regional Forestry Hubs as well as research and development elements of the National Forest Industries Plan to further grow Australia’s forest industries and set the industry up for the future,” Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Senator Colbeck said.
“The Plan ambitiously aims to deliver a billion new trees to meet a projected quadrupling of global demand for timber products by 2050.
“This is all about delivering the right trees in the right places at the right scale.
“A billion trees with also allow the Liberal National Government to capture 18 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses per year by 2030.
“This plan will protect and grow the South West’s vital forestry industry, create more jobs, and open up opportunities to build new and improved roads, rail and port facilities.
“The hubs have been identified in regions with existing concentrations of forests available for harvest, processing plants, transport routes and a skilled forestry workforce and the work now begins to determine the size and make up of each hub.
“Funding will be available to support strategic planning, technical assessments and analyses that will contribute to infrastructure and other decisions by investors.
Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the South West’s Regional Forestry Hub has been welcomed by the forest and wood products industry as an opportunity to help better prepare for future challenges and opportunities.
“The assessments that come from the South West Hub will provide industry with regional data that is not currently available, bringing potential to support new investment in the sector,” Mrs Marino said.
“This will assist our region to identify future investment and other opportunities for the forest industries in rural and regional Australia.
“For the South West communities, the Regional Forestry Hub also has the potential to create rural and regional jobs.
More information on the National Forest Industries Plan is available here: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/forestry/national-forest-industries-plan.pdf

FAIRS HELP SMALL BUSINESS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS

The Liberal National Government is raising small business awareness of the range of incentives, funding and programs available to support them with the launch of its national Small Business Fairs
Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education Senator Michaelia Cash launched the first event on February 5 in Perth followed by an event in Bunbury on February 8.
The Small Business Fairs will help existing businesses tap into timesaving incentives and government initiatives, as well as give those looking to start their own small business a chance to talk to government representatives and officials from agencies including the Department of Jobs and Small Business.
Member for Forrest Nola Marino said there were thousands of small businesses in the electorate, so it was important to provide support to help foster growth within the community.
“Small business is the lifeblood of our communities, our industry and our economy. Our local small businesses are working 24/7 and don’t have time to come to us, so we are going to them,” Mrs Marino said. “Whether you’re in retail, hospitality, agriculture, trades and services, the Small Business Fair is an excellent opportunity for business owners, or those looking to get into small business, to know what support and initiatives out there for you to do what you do best – create more local jobs.”
Minister Cash said the Liberal National Government is investing in Australia’s small businesses to foster an environment of confidence, increased investment, economic growth and employment.
“The Government understands that when businesses grow, they create more jobs,” Minister Cash said. “We also understand the daily challenges of running a small business, so the Government has a number of programs to make it easier for Australian small business owners to get on with the job.
“Over the last 12 months we have delivered on tax relief, extended the instant asset write-off for assets costing less than $20,000 to 30 June 2019, made it easier for small business to access finance with the $2 billion securitisation fund, slashed red tape and streamlined GST reporting so businesses can easily and quickly lodge their business activity statements online.
“The Liberal National Government is also helping improve cash flow by committing to pay Government contracts up to $1 million in 20 days, requiring large businesses tendering for Government contracts to match the Government’s 20 day payment terms and has launched the Future Female Entrepreneurs Program focused on engaging 55,000 women and girls, particularly in rural and regional communities.”
The Bunbury Small Business Fair was held at the Quality Hotel Lighthouse on February 8.
For further information visit http://smallbusinessfair.jobs.gov.au.

Huge lithium investment to boost WA economy and create more jobs

Earthworks will now commence on a lithium processing plant in Western Australia that will create hundreds of extra jobs and provide benefits to thousands of local businesses.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the proposed lithium processing plant at Kemerton by US Company Albemarle would be a major win for Western Australia and for our lithium industry.
“A project of this scale is a major boost for Western Australia’s economy with over 800 jobs expected to be created and significant flow-on effects for local businesses,” Minister Birmingham said.
“We know there is growing demand for lithium around the world and also locally, particularly in areas such as energy storage and this presents huge future opportunities for Australia’s lithium industry.”
“We’re the world’s largest lithium producer and there is significant potential to grow investment in infrastructure at various stages within the value chain such as lithium processing.
“This is a welcome investment and vote of confidence in our local lithium industry that will help attract further investment into the future.”
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said the Government was focused on supporting development of the lithium sector.
“Our Resources 2030 Taskforce report highlights the importance of developing new strategies to develop competitive downstream industries, including value-adding for prospective battery and critical-minerals industries,” Minister Canavan said.
“It is a roadmap for how we can put Australia in the best position to make the most of investments in the lithium supply chain and today’s announcement is another step on that journey.
“This is a huge opportunity for us. With the right policies we can advance our industry further up the value chain to become the world’s leading supplier of high grade lithium components – creating new jobs and opportunities for Australians.”
Senator for Western Australia Linda Reynolds said the renewable energy storage industry offers the most exciting new resources opportunity for WA in over 50 years, with WA producing 62 per cent of the world’s lithium.
“In August I hosted a lithium and new energy industry delegation to Canberra where delegates briefed Federal Government Ministers and representatives from the European Union and US Embassy on why WA is the best place for Australia’s ‘Lithium Valley’.
“The Federal Government has embraced the opportunity lithium provides for our economy and I welcome the construction of the Kemerton processing plant in WA.”
Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the project would provide a significant economic boost to both people and businesses in the South West.
“It’s a great thing for my South West region, particularly in the jobs space,” she said.
“Albemarle will have access to a skilled workforce in my South West region and also have training options through South Regional TAFE.
“We’re going to see a greater development of opportunities and secondary processing opportunities from this industry particularly in my electorate of Forrest.”
Australia has now attracted investment from two of the world’s largest lithium producers — Chinese company Tianqi and now US Company Albemarle who are both investing in downstream lithium processing in Western Australia. There are also three other processing plants in the development phase in Western Australia.
This investment comes also after the release of a new strategy by the Liberal-National Government to help maximise Australia’s potential as a world powerhouse in lithium-ion battery manufacturing.
The Commonwealth Department of Environment has now provided the relevant approvals for the project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

NEW TV NETWORK CHANNELS GOOD HEALTH TO FIRST AUSTRALIANS

A new digital television network now rolling out across the nation aims to help Close the Gap in health equality by revolutionising the way hundreds of thousands of First Australians receive health information.

Today’s official launch of the Aboriginal Health TV (AHTV) network at the South West Aboriginal Medical Service in Bunbury, Western Australia, is backed by a three-year, $3.4 million commitment by the Liberal National Government, to ensure First Australian patients can access relevant health stories and advice at local treatment centres.

“The new network is an exciting step forward, built on local engagement, including local production of health and wellbeing stories, to reach the hearts and minds of our people and our families,” said Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt AM.

“AHTV is a truly unique, ground-up opportunity to connect at the point of care and build stronger, healthier communities.”

The TV programs will be broadcast at Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services around Australia.

Tonic Health Media (THM), the nation’s largest health and wellbeing network, is producing and commissioning targeted video content for AHTV, which is expected to be viewed by up to 1.2 million patients each month.

The programs on the new digital network feature issues including smoking, eye and ear checks, skin conditions, nutrition, immunisation, sexual health, diabetes, drug and alcohol treatment services and encourage the uptake of 715 health checks.

To ensure these important health messages reach as many people as possible content will also be repackaged for social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
“South West Aboriginal Medical Service has been chosen as one of AHTV’s initial trial sites,” said Member for Forrest Nola Marino.

“This will add to the fantastic range of services that SWAMS already provides for the local community here in the South West.”

AHTV will be installed and maintained at no cost to local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and plans to be self-sufficient within three years.

“It is expected the network will be broadcasting in 100 locations by May 2019, with the overall rollout planned for approximately 300 centres nationwide,” Minister Wyatt said.

“AHTV programming will also be available on Tonic Health Media’s existing platform which broadcasts in mainstream health services, meaning these important messages have the potential to reach the 50 per cent of our people who use non-Aboriginal medical services.”

Content licensing partnership agreements have been signed with ABC Indigenous and NITV and negotiations are underway with third-party production groups specialising in local Indigenous content.

The Liberal National Government’s AHTV commitment is part of the $3.9 billion dedicated to improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people announced in the 2018-19 Budget.

For more details on the new network, see aboriginalhealthtv.com.au

AUSTRALIAN HERITAGE GRANTS NOW OPEN

Local organisations in the South West can now apply for funding to help protect, conserve and raise awareness of Australia’s national heritage, Member for Forrest Nola Marino said today.

A total of $21.4 million will be available under the Australian Heritage Grants program over four years and from 2022-23 onwards this funding will increase to $5.7 million annually.
For the first time, the funding round includes Indigenous and natural heritage places as well as those with historic heritage values.

Applications are now open and will close on 19 December 2018.
Grants will be available to successful projects ranging from a minimum $25,000 to a maximum of $400,000 per project.
To be eligible local projects must:
o maintain, protect and conserve the National Heritage values of one or more listed places
o improve access to one or more listed places or
o improve engagement with, and awareness of, the National Heritage values of one or more listed places.

The National Heritage List protects more than 100 of Australia’s outstanding natural, historic and Indigenous heritage places, including ancient rock art sites, outstanding colonial buildings, beaches, and parks.

The Australian Heritage Grants program aims to strengthen recognition, management, and conservation of these sites, and encourage public appreciation of Australia’s National Heritage List places.

For more information on the program, including eligible grant activities, or to apply, go to
www.business.gov.au or www.grants.gov.au or call 13 28 46.