Unlimited China flights to boost tourism


A landmark aviation deal between Canberra and Beijing could let the genie out of the bottle and boost Chinese tourist numbers to Australia.

Capacity restrictions for Chinese and Australian airlines were lifted late last year allowing carriers to offer unlimited flights to and from any points in both countries including international airports in regional Australia.

It was the first time China signed such an agreement with any country.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will lead a tourism delegation to Beijing and Shanghai early next week which will include airport representatives.

Read more…

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Premier Colin Barnett has made Disaster Relief available


I recently joined my fellow Swan Valley ward Councillor and President of the Grape Growers Association, Darryl Trease, to discuss the tragic flooding that has hit our Swan Valley community.

Premier Colin Barnett has made Disaster Relief available – affected farmers are welcome to contact me at Rod.Henderson@wa.liberal.org.au for more details.

Posted by Rod Henderson – Liberal for West Swan on Wednesday, 15 February 2017

email: Rod.Henderson@wa.liberal.org.au

Posted in Community, Viticulture/Horticulture | Leave a comment

Swan Valley grape growers – disaster assistance following recent floods

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, welcomed the announcement that disaster assistance has been made available in response to the recent floods in Pearce.

Mr Porter said funding would make sure affected individuals, families, primary producers, and councils have the support they need to recover from the impact of the floods, as quickly as possible.

“My thoughts are with all those that have been affected and I stand ready to assist the local community get back on its feet,” Mr Porter said.

“Swan Valley grape growers are facing multimillion dollar losses as hundreds of tonnes of wine and table grapes have been ruined.

“Wine producers are also facing the same fate with some losing a whole year’s work.

“Some roads in Northam, Beverley and Toodyay remain closed and the damage bill to these towns is yet to be determined.

“This funding will support the clean-up and recovery of affected areas and I will do whatever I can to keep our local community strong.”

Information on disaster assistance available for this natural disaster can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Western Australian Office of Emergency Management website at www.oem.wa.gov.au.

If you require help in applying for disaster assistance you can contact Christian Porter’s office on 6296 7255 or email him at christian.porter.mp@aph.gov.au

Media Contact: Ella Cahill – ella.cahill@aph.gov.au or 6296 7255

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Swan Valley grape growers left with sour taste after floods

West Swan Road Bridge

Bells Rapids…

Grape growers are facing multimillion-dollar losses after floods inundated vineyards across the Swan Valley today.

Hundreds of tonnes of wine and table grapes were wiped out after the Swan River burst its banks, drowning vines and infrastructure.

Grape Growers Association of WA president Darryl Trease said he expected losses across the region to run into the tens of millions of dollars.

Mr Trease said he was “gutted” yesterday after his entire crop in Herne Hill, due to be harvested next week, was ruined.

“Anything that has gone under the flood has gone,” he said. “If the water hasn’t touched it, it will still rot with the humidity.

“Every grower who is growing grapes would have been affected in one way or another.”

The West – read more…

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Ellenbrook rail link back in transport plan but 30 years away

perth now

THE timing for the on-again, off-again Ellenbrook rail link has been brought forward but could still be more than 30 years away.

The final version of the Barnett Government’s long-term transport plan was released online yesterday and has shifted the timing for the link — which is a spur line to Marshall Road in Malaga — so it will be ready before Perth’s population hits 3.5 million in about 2050.

The plan, released for public comment in July last year, features new train lines and freeways, an inner-city subway and new bridges across the Swan River — including some for bikes.

But after receiving almost 700 submissions, some major changes have been made. The subway plan has been expanded to include South Perth and to go further west to the University of WA and QEII Medical Centre.

Perth Now – read more…

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Swan Valley FREE Family Movie Night

The Swan Valley Rotary Club in partnership with the City of Swan are hosting a FREE family movie night! 

Date :           Friday 17th February
Time:           Gates open 5.30pm – Movie start at Approx 7pm
Location:    Baskerville Oval, Memorial Ave
Movie:          Finding Dory – PG

There will be a sausage sizzle and drinks for sale on the night! Bring along your low backed chairs and picnic blankets and enjoy a movie under the stars in the beautiful Swan Valley!

Please share with your friends, family and neighbours!

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CPB Contractors has won a $175 million contract to deliver the northern section of the NorthLink WA project between Ellenbrook and Muchea

The West

CIMIC Group’s CPB Contractors has won a $175 million contract to deliver the northern section of the NorthLink WA project between Ellenbrook and Muchea.

The contract win represents the third and final stage of the $1.12 billion State and Federally funded road project, linking Morley and Muchea.

The design and construct contract involves construction of a free-flowing dual carriageway between Ellenbrook and Muchea, with new intersections at Stock Road, Neaves Road and Brand Highway, bridges built over local roads, railways and Ellen Brook as well as separate cycling and pedestrian paths.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the middle of the year and be completed in 2019.

The West read more…

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Selling wine online

Echo News

THE president of the Swan Valley Winemakers John Griffiths has welcomed new laws that allow producers to sell their wines online and also at farmers’ markets.

The new laws will let winemakers sell their product online without a storefront. Producers can also sell wine at a farmers market anywhere in Western Australia but customers will be capped to buying a maximum of one case, which is 12 bottles.

Racing and Gaming Minister Brendon Grylls announced changes to liquor regulations which includes a new category of special facility licence.

That licence allows a business to sell wines produced by the holder of a WA producer’s licence, online. He said currently no licence category existed to let a business sell liquor online without having a physical premises available to the public.

“The amendment will allow for this growing consumer need to be catered to and allow for increased exposure for WA wine producers to sell their products to the public.

Read more…

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Park Street residents in Henley Brook and Brabham call for speed reduction, claiming street is truck route

The Advocate Community News

RESIDENTS of Park Street in Henley Brook and Brabham claim their street has become a truck route in recent years and are calling for the speed limit to be reduced.

RESIDENTS Anthony Lumney, Murray Severn, Sylvain Haass, Matthew Campbell and Cr Rod Henderson  Picture: David Baylis

Henley Brook resident Murray Severn, who has owned a property on the street for 33 years, said locals felt frustrated by heavy haulage trucks constantly traversing the 70km/h street.

“The trucks are being used by developers to accommodate the landfill requirements for their project sites on Woollcott Avenue,” he said.

“I have been advised that up to 100 trucks are being used for these projects, which are all making multiple pick-ups and deliveries during the day, starting at 6am.

“The trucks are shaking the foundations of our homes, causing damage, and we are in fear for our lives just to go for a walk, cycle or horse ride.

“I’ve got video footage of trucks whizzing past and knocking over bins.”

The Advocate read more…

related posts:

Entrapped by developer trucks – Park Street, Henley Brook

Way Overdue New Temporary Footpath – Park Street, Henley Brook

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Way Overdue New Temporary Footpath – Park Street, Henley Brook

As an outcome of community complaints in relation to the truck nightmare on Park Street, Henley Brook a new temporary footpath has been laid by the City of Swan. The new footpath now joins the Avonlee and Whiteman Edge estates along Park Street which has been a very dangerous location for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists for several years.

People living in Avonlee and Brooklands can now feel much safer walking to the bus stop on Lord street and walking to the new fantastic Whiteman Edge playgrounds with their children. The footpath is already being used frequently by people (myself included) on their daily walk/jog making it a much safer and enjoyable experience.

Special thanks to Councillor Rod Henderson for his input into this matter and arranging an onsite meeting with City of Swan officers and local Park Street residents.

Truck nightmare on Park Street

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Water Corp to pump 147.6 billion litres from the Gnangara groundwater system this year

The West

The Water Corporation will take an extra 10 billion litres — enough to keep Perth watered for 10 days in summer — from the city’s aquifers this year.

WA’s water regulator has confirmed it will allow the Water Corp to pump 147.6 billion litres from the Gnangara groundwater system this year, up from 135.5 billion in the 12 months to June 30.

Average groundwater levels of the Gnangara Mound (Superficial aquifer).

The State-owned utility will also be given wriggle room to take a further 13.5 billion litres as a “contingency” if rainfall continues to be below average or if demand spikes.

However, the increased allocation will account for seven billion litres the Water Corp is expected to pump into the Gnangara system as part of its landmark wastewater recycling scheme.

The Department of Water’s decision comes after years of dwindling dam and groundwater levels in Perth as southern WA’s declining rainfall takes a toll on drinking supplies.

Despite recording its wettest winter in three years last year, Perth’s rain total for the 12 months was about 130mm short of its long-term annual average of 845mm.

The West read more…

Posted in Viticulture/Horticulture, Water | 2 Comments

Northlink WA (Reid Highway to Ellenbrook) – BGC, Laing O’Rourke JV wins $417m Main Roads WA contract

The West

A joint venture between BGC Contracting and Laing O’Rourke, Great Northern Connect (GNC), has won a $417 million Main Roads WA contract.

The State Government says the project will create about 100 jobs.

The contract is for the central section of the so-called $1.12 billion Northlink WA project, linking Guildford Road to Muchea. The central section represents the Reid Highway to Ellenbrook component of the project.
Construction is expected to start in the middle of the year and be completed by mid-2019.

The GNC team will design and construct more than 20km of highway, four interchanges, including 14 road bridges, three footbridges and new cycling and pedestrian facilities.

The West read more…

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North-East Sub-Region Planning Framework delayed another 6 months!

Department of Planning have just advised that the finalisation of the North-East Sub-Region Planning Framework has been delayed for another 6 months at least due to the WA state elections. It was meant to be released in the latter half of last year!  

Posted in Community, North-East sub-regional planning framework, Perth and Peel Green Growth Plan for 3.5 million | Leave a comment

‘They can’t be a part of modern society’

PERTH’S internet speeds are so bad that only five per cent of residents consider their home connection “fast”, a poll has revealed.

The survey, taken across eight marginal seats, found 47.4 per cent of Perth locals thought their speed was slow or very slow compared with the small amount who thought they had a fast connection.

Of those polled, 28.2 per cent said their connection was “moderately fast”.

Former iiNet executive Steve Dalby said there were many stories about poor speeds.

“I have friends who can’t get broadband — they’re on dial-up and even their mobile reception is poor,” he said.

“They can’t be a part of modern society, they can’t be a part of the online community in a digital sense, they can’t buy and sell and participate in online activity the way you would expect them to be in the 21st century.”

Mr Dalby said the figures were not surprising because technological expectations were not being met.

“If it’s 5 per cent this year, it will be 4 per cent next year and 3 per cent the year after because as our expectations increase the pace of improvement of broadband technology is appalling,” he said. “Our expectations ought to be met. In 2017, in a wealthy Western country, we should all be having access to the same sort of speeds people in Singapore and other Asian countries are enjoying.”

Mr Dalby also criticised the rollout of the National Broadband Network in WA, saying the State had been at the “tail end” of the exercise.

Ellenbrook resident Troy Wyatt said despite signing up for his service provider’s fastest connection, he and others were now forced to use their smartphones for internet.

“Just about everybody in the area complains about their internet speeds — quite a few of them have dropped and have just been using their mobile phones because it’s quicker,” he said.

“If you’ve got a decent plan and you can get 5GB from your mobile and it’s performing two or three times better than your internet, it sort of becomes ‘Why really have the separate line?’”

The poll, commissioned by Labor-aligned Campaign Capital, polled 876 voters in the electorates of Balcatta, Belmont, Bicton, Forrestfield, Morley, Mt Lawley, Perth and Swan Hills.

Perth Now link…

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Porter backing our local wine industry

The Liberal Government has enhanced the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate to better assist grape growing, winemaking, associated tourism and local jobs in regional Australia.

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said the Government had undertaken extensive consultation with senior representatives from the wine industry, with specialist knowledge, to ensure the design of the WET Rebate scheme was right.

Photo Information

From left to right: Larry Jorgensen, CEO of Wines of WA; Barry Scrivenor, owner of Black Swan Winery; MHR Christian Porter; Chris Furtado, Wines of WA Board Member and GM of Voyager Estate in Margaret River.  Photo taken at Black Swan Winery, 8600 West Swan Road, Henley Brook.

“I was pleased when Mr Larry Jorgensen from Wines of Western Australia was appointed as a consultative group representative as it ensured that the interests of our region were properly represented,” Mr Porter said.

“The changes to the WET Rebate, which tighten the eligibility criteria to prevent exploitation of the scheme, will be of significant benefit to our local wine industry.”

The key changes to the Government’s eligibility criteria to protect the integrity of the WET Rebate scheme include:

  • eligible producers must own 85 per cent of the grapes at the crusher used to make the wine and maintain ownership through the wine making process;
  • the Rebate is limited to branded packaged wine, in a container not exceeding 5 litres and branded with a registered trademark for domestic retail sale; and
  • the Rebate claims must be better linked to the WET being paid.

The new eligibility criteria will apply from 1 July 2018.

The Rebate cap will be reduced from $500,000 to $350,000 effective from 1 July 2018, which is a year later, and a higher cap, than announced in the 2016 Budget.

The Government is also announcing a new Wine Tourism and Cellar Door grant scheme to provide up to $100,000 per annum to producers who exceed the $350,000 Rebate cap.

“The eligibility criteria to quality for the Wine Tourism and Cellar Door grant will be finalised following further consultation with the industry,” Mr Porter said.

“The Government listened carefully to industry and the package has now been tailored to ensure that the local wine producers, who build brands, invest in the community and create local jobs, gain the benefit of the Rebate and not the traders and major retailers.

“These reforms along with our Budget commitment of $50 million to promote Australian wine internationally and domestically will be a spring board for growth.”

The final WET Rebate reforms will be introduced into Parliament next year.

Media Contact: Ella Cahill – ella.cahill@aph.gov.au or 6296 7255

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More than six times as many Australian fresh table grapes were sent to China in 2016 than in the previous year

Sky News

Australian mangoes, cherries, grapes, rock lobster and abalone are finding their way onto at least twice as many Chinese plates a year after a free trade deal began.

The federal government is celebrating the first anniversary of Australia’s landmark trade deal with China, which came into effect on December 20, 2015.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo says the tariff cuts in the most favourable deal China has done with any country have meant many Australian businesses have been able to increase their exports massively, leading them to hire more staff.

‘The results we’re seeing one year in are fantastic,’ he told AAP.

‘Business is booming for those who have taken advantage of the preferential access the agreement offers to the world’s second largest economy.’

More than six times as many Australian fresh table grapes were sent to China in 2016 than in the previous year.

The number of fresh Australian rock lobsters brought into China almost tripled over the past year.

SkyNEWS link…

Posted in Viticulture/Horticulture | 1 Comment

WA in for ‘congestion election’: details emerge on Metronet transport plan


The head of RAC WA has called “crunch time” for the state’s transport systems, as Labor outlines an overall timeframe for its priority projects, which include light rail.

“As a state we simply can’t afford to be complacent. Without change WA will buckle under the congestion,” Terry Agnew said at a panel event on Thursday held by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

“It’s four years on since the 2013 state election was dubbed by many as the “congestion election” and congestion is still one of the top issues that needs to be addressed by our state.

“Now more than ever, the political parties seeking to reform WA need to set a clear agenda by outlining the timing and confirming the funding.”

The event was intended as a debate between Labor transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti and Transport Minister Bill Marmion, though Mr Marmion declined the opportunity citing prior engagements.

Ms Saffioti announced that Labor could deliver the stage 1 projects of METRONET in six to eight years if it won government, outlined its delivery method and revealed some details of a suburban light rail vision.

Following the 2013 election, Ms Saffioti said she had reworked the costings of the plan, held 16 community forums across Perth and sought industry feedback.

At an August relaunch, Labor announced the stage 1 projects:

  1. Complete the Forrestfield-Airport line
  2. Morley-Ellenbrook line
  3. Yanchep rail extension
  4. Thornlie-Mandurah connection
  5. Byford extension
  6. Karnup station
  7. Level crossings removals on the Armadale, Fremantle and Midland lines
  8. Inner suburban light rail
  9. Improved bus and train connectivity
  10. Improved cycling infrastructure

WAtoday read more…

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