Seasonal work incentives offer fresh approach for Pearce

The Liberal Government’s Seasonal Work Incentives Trial offers a range of incentives for unemployed people to undertake seasonal horticultural work to help them gain experience and improve their skills.

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said the trial will support those looking for work and businesses keen to give workers a start.

“This is a win-win for local workers and growers in the horticultural industry as they often are in need of short-term labour during peak times,” Mr Porter said.

“Horticultural work offers excellent practical opportunities for people keen to build their skills and gain work experience.

“I am excited by the opportunities this Trial presents for both the local horticultural industry and people seeking work.”

The Seasonal Work Incentives Trial offers financial incentives to support unemployed people to take up work opportunities for up to six weeks. The $27.5 million trial will commenced 1 July 2017 for two years and is capped at 7,600 participants.

The trial’s incentives are available to eligible Newstart and Youth Allowance (Other) recipients who have been receiving those payments continuously for at least three months and are participating in jobactive, Transition to Work or Disability Employment Services.

The incentives include:

• Participants being able to earn up to $5,000 each year from qualifying seasonal horticultural work without it being assessed under the social security income test.
• Eligibility for a Seasonal Work Living Away and Travel Allowance of up to $300 each year, if they undertake qualifying seasonal horticultural work more than 120 kilometres from their home.
• Employment service providers will receive a Provider Seasonal Work Incentive Payment of $100 per week for up to six weeks a year for each eligible person that they place with eligible farmers.

For further information about the trial, please visit

Media Contact: Ella Cahill – or 6296 7255

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Viticulture/Horticulture | Leave a comment

Farmgate grape prices up 7 per cent


Australian wine growers are toasting a healthy jump in the money they are paid for their grapes.

The average farmgate price paid to grape growers increased seven per cent to $565 a tonne in the past year, while the amount of grapes crushed to make wine rose five per cent to 1.9 million tonnes, new figures from Wine Australia show.

“The increases reflect excellent seasonal conditions in many regions as well as the growing demand for Australian wine, both in export and domestic markets,” Wine Australia chief executive Andreas Clark said on Wednesday.

SkyNEWS link…

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Viticulture/Horticulture | Leave a comment

From today Ellenbrook Police Station is open 24/7

twitter –

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Community | Leave a comment

New Housing Authority project for Brabham (old Caversham Airfield)


THE McGowan Government has selected Peet Limited as the preferred proponent to partner with the Housing Authority in developing a 220ha site at Lot 800 Youle-Dean Rd, Brabham.

Housing Minister Peter Tinley said the Brabham project, 22km from the city centre, would be a major transit-oriented development linking the Swan Valley to Perth.

Mr Tinley said the Brabham development expected to provide for schools, neighbourhood shops, recreational areas and more than 3000 dwellings was part of the McGowan Government’s Metronet transport project.

“This is a significant boost to the stock of affordable housing and aligns to the government’s plans for Metronet, with plans for a station at Whiteman Park by 2022,’’ he said.

Read more…

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Community | Leave a comment

Draft Ellenbrook Local Area Plan

The City of Swan values your comments and feedback to help form the Ellenbrook Local Area Plan.

Following on from the Community consultation workshops held in November 2016, the City invites you to comment on the draft Ellenbrook Local Area Plan to contribute to the strategies and actions planned in your local area.

Comments received will be considered for inclusion in the final draft document and presented to Council for their endorsement.

Hard copies of the plan will be available at the Ellenbrook Library and the City’s Administration Centre.

The draft plan will be available for comment for four weeks from July 10, 2017 with submissions closing on August 7, 2017.

If you wish to comment, please use the online form or address comments to Sam Gebremaskel at or PO Box 196, MIDLAND, WA 6936.

City of Swan link…

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in City of Swan, Community | Leave a comment

City of Swan reduces rates increase for 2017/18

The City of Swan Council resolved to implement a lower rates increase than first proposed when it adopted the 2017/18 Budget on Wednesday evening.

City of Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright said Council had listened to the concerns of ratepayers, and had found budget savings to enable the initial proposal of a 3% rate increase to be reduced to 2.5%.

“Before we set our rates, we take into consideration economic conditions and the needs of our community,” he said.

“This allows us to create a practical budget, keeping rates rises to a minimum while still being able to provide the services and facilities needed for our rapidly growing community.

“Considering the growth and the increased needs of our community, this year’s budget includes a rate increase of an average of 2.5 per cent with no increase to minimums.

“Using the Rating and Budget Methodology adopted by Council, the total rates revenue per differential rate type was calculated on the proposed 2.5 per cent increase to the 2016/17 rate in the dollar. 

“The State Government’s decision to not implement the withdrawal of stamp duty and license fee concessions on Local Government vehicles, along with other additional savings, will allow the City to continue to deliver essential infrastructure, services and programs at the lowest possible cost to our ratepayers.”

Mayor Wainwright said the City’s budget was focused on boosting infrastructure, creating community hubs and providing quality services.

“In 2017/18, more than $135 million has been set aside for essential services and $104.6 million is budgeted for capital works projects across the City,” he said.

“This includes an investment of $20.4 million into building construction and works around our City, $11.1 million towards our parks and reserves, and $42.5 million on road reserve infrastructure.”

City of Swan link…

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in City of Swan, Community, Shire Rates | Leave a comment

Jobs boost as construction begins on new water tank in Ellenbrook

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

  • ​Work begins in Ellenbrook on biggest tank ever to be built by the Water Corporation
  • The new tank will cater for growth in the north-east metropolitan corridor

More than 200 Western Australians will be employed to fabricate and construct a new 80 million litre water tank in Ellenbrook.

The $44 million project will cater for growth in the popular north-east metropolitan corridor and provide a more consistent water pressure for Ellenbrook residents.

Work on the tank, which is located north of Gnangara Road near the Hanson sand quarry, began recently and is expected to be completed in early 2018.

The Water Corporation plans to build three tanks at the site over the next 40 years, which will be built in stages as the population grows.

About six kilometres of water main will also be constructed to connect the tank to the Integrated Water Supply Scheme.

For more information, visit

Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:

“This important project will improve the water supply to Ellenbrook and the rapidly growing north-east metropolitan corridor.

“The new tank will also provide a more consistent water pressure to Ellenbrook, with water to gravity feed down to households and businesses.

“It is great to see the Water Corporation using the expertise of local contractors throughout the fabrication and construction of the tank.  More than 200 Western Australian workers will be involved in the project.

“The tank will be fabricated as 80 precast concrete panels in Hazlemere, before being transported to site and assembled.

“When completed, the tank will be an impressive 91 metres in diameter and 13 metres high, holding enough water to fill more than 35 Olympic-sized swimming pools.”

Minister’s office – 6552 6100

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Community, Water | Leave a comment

Agile, smart, inclusive. Review to transform WA local government

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

  • Election commitment honoured with commencement of Local Government Act review
  • Review to reduce red tape, modernise local governments and deliver for communities
  • Election participation, online reporting and gift disclosures first to be targeted

A major review of Western Australia’s outdated Local Government Act is under way, with community participation in elections, online reporting and gift disclosures first to be targeted.

The shake up of the Local Government Act 1995 is a McGowan Government election commitment, which will modernise local government operations and identify ways to reduce red tape.

Local governments, residents, business people and workers will be invited to participate when a discussion paper is released by the State Government later this year.

A second phase of the review, set to take place next year, will look at increasing community participation in local government decision-making, improving behaviour and relationships, enabling local government enterprises and improving financial management.

The review will be supported by a reference group with representation from the Western Australian Local Government Association, Local Government Professionals Australia WA, Western Australian Electoral Commission, Western Australian Council of Social Service and Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Comments attributed to Local Government Minister David Templeman:

“The 1995 Act provides for the system of local government in Western Australia, but it has not kept up with changes in technology or, more importantly, with community expectations.

“WA communities expect their local governments to be both efficient and effective, and strengthen and support local democracy.  This review, which is the first major review since the Act was introduced more than 20 years ago, will make local government more agile, smart and inclusive.

“It will provide a contemporary legislative framework to enable local governments to deliver quality services and good governance for all of WA’s communities.”

Minister’s office – 6552 5400

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in City of Swan, Community | Leave a comment

Initial test results back from Whiteman Park water

Friday, 16 June 2017

  • ​First results back from water testing at Whiteman Park show no contamination in water supply system
  • Taps being examined as potential source of contamination
  • All public water outlets to remain closed until taps are replaced and further testing undertaken

Initial water test results taken from Whiteman Park have indicated there is no elevated lead contamination in the water distribution system at the park.

The Department of Planning started testing water outlets in Whiteman Park following recent media reports of elevated lead levels.

While testing indicated the water supply is clear, elevated levels of lead were found in three water outlets, indicating that the contamination may lie within the taps.

Representatives from the Building Commission have been on site to undertake an assessment of the affected water outlets.

Under methodology advice from the Department of Health, samples were taken from seven outlets and provided to an accredited laboratory for testing and analysis.

These included the Whiteman Park public drinking water outlets that showed elevated lead levels in the media report (with the exception of the Motor Museum garden tap).

Using Australian Standards methodology, two samples were taken from three outlets; a ‘first flush’ sample which tests water within the tap assembly; and a second sample, taken after running off eight litres of water, which tests for contamination within the distribution system.

An eight litre flush sample was taken from four outlets including the water supply bore and the pump house.

All of the samples taken after the eight litre flush had no elevated lead levels, as determined by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

The three ‘first flush’ samples indicated elevated lead levels. However, these same taps returned lead levels below the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines following the eight litre flush. This indicates that the contamination may be within the tap assembly.

Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:

“We take water quality very seriously and acted immediately to respond to reports of contamination in the Whiteman Park fountains.

“We will continue testing and will monitor the situation very closely.”

Minister’s office – 6552 5500

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Community, Tourism | Leave a comment

Whiteman Park taps shut off in lead scare

perthnow – 

TODAY TONIGHT EXCLUSIVE: A special investigation into Perth’s drinking water found high lead levels in the taps at Whiteman Park.
We’ll have an update on tonight’s show, 6.30pm on Channel 7

Posted by Today Tonight on Tuesday, June 13, 2017


DRINKING fountains have been shut off at one of Perth’s most popular family and tourist spots, after the discovery of dangerous lead contamination.

In one case, a tap in Whiteman Park village labelled as filtered drinking water contained lead at 18 times the limit set by health authorities.

Testing of 10 drinking fountains and taps in and around the park by Channel 7’s Today Tonight found more than half contained elevated lead levels.

The State Government, which owns the park, took swift action after being alerted to the problem, placing warning signs on taps and digging up pipes to stop the flow.

The water sources were all found near playgrounds and picnic areas.

Independent testing to verify the results was tonight under way.

The Department of Health said it would take any action needed to ensure the water supply was safe.

“The levels as currently reported do exceed the health risk values,” a spokesperson said.

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti, whose department manages the park, has advised visitors to bring bottled water.

Interim arrangements have also been made to provide bottled water to all park employees and volunteers.

University of WA water researcher Anas Ghadouani said parents of children who played at Whiteman Park were right to be concerned.

“It (lead) is very toxic and it also accumulates in the system,” he said.

“It stays there and it is particularly toxic to children.”

read more…

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Community, Tourism | Leave a comment

NBN rolls out across east

Eastern Reporter – 

About 5300 premises in Ashfield, Caversham, West Swan and remaining parts of Bassendean and Lockridge are expected to be able to connect in coming months.

NBN WA spokeswoman Ebony Aitken said the community would join more than 500,000 premises across Australia that had access to NBN.

“Access to fast broadband is designed to provide a range of benefits such as improved opportunities to work from home, better access to online education tools and more options for on-demand entertainment,” she said.

read more….

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in National Broadband Network | Leave a comment

Swan Valley to become major tourism precinct

Media Statement – 

  • ​Strategy to see visitor spend in region grow by $132 million by 2020
  • Marketing partnerships, experience trails and tourist transport to encourage growth

The Swan Valley is set to become one of Western Australia’s premier tourism precincts thanks to a co-ordinated approach from Tourism Western Australia, the City of Swan, local businesses and the tourism industry.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia today met with wine producers, restaurateurs and representatives from tourism attractions, transport businesses and government to discuss the future of tourism in the Swan Valley.

The meeting follows last month’s announcement that the previous government’s plans to replace the Swan Valley Planning Act 1995 would be put on hold and the Act reviewed, with consideration given to supporting vital industries such as viticulture and tourism.

The review will include a more co-ordinated and sustained tourism strategy to be overseen by Tourism WA.

Mr Papalia’s meeting with industry is the first step in that process and will look at ways Tourism WA and local industry can build on the City of Swan’s Tourism Development Strategy 2015-2020.

The council released the strategy in 2015 with an aim of attracting an additional 120,000 visitors by 2020 with an extra spend of $132.4 million in visitor spend.

Some of the opportunities identified to grow visitor numbers include developing a marketing strategy for the Swan Valley in partnership with local industry, developing new and upgrading existing experience trails, trialling a hop-on, hop-off bus service for tourists and building capacity in existing tourism businesses.

Comments attributed to Tourism Minister Paul Papalia:

“The Swan Valley is one of Western Australia’s premier visitor destinations. It is recognised for its gourmet food and beverage, events and nature-based and heritage experiences.

“Tourism WA is already working with the City of Swan on parts of the strategy, particularly around developing and promoting food and wine trails.

“The region is home to more than 150 tourism businesses and getting the conditions right to see tourism grow, will be important in our plan to grow jobs in the State.

“Visitor attraction remains the State Government’s number one tourism priority – everything we are doing is about growing numbers to create jobs, develop business opportunities and diversify the economy.

“Every $106,000 in overnight visitor spend supports one tourism job, with the industry already supporting 97,000 jobs in WA.”

Comments attributed to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti:

“Reform to legislation overseeing the Swan Valley is critical to the region’s future success.

“We have been seeking local input and expertise to ensure the Swan Valley continues to grow as a tourism region while respecting the needs of the local community.

“The area is the second oldest wine region in Australia and is well positioned to leverage its close proximity to Perth, to capture more of the tourist market.”

Tourism Minister’s office – 6552 5600
Planning Minister’s office – 6552 5500

Media Statement link…

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Tourism | Leave a comment

City of Swan Financial Health and Councillor Remuneration

The Financial Health Indicator (FHI) is a measurement of a local government’s overall financial health. It is calculated from the seven financial ratios that local governments are required to calculate annually. An FHI result of 70 and above indicates sound financial health. The maximum result achievable is 100. The FHI is one factor to consider in assessing overall performance. Other factors include: the range of services offered; efficiency of services delivered; and community satisfaction. A very high or low FHI may be a prompt for questions to be asked by the community about a local government’s revenue, expenses and service delivery.

Councillor Remuneration 

Councillors, including Mayors and Shire Presidents, receive meeting fees and may receive allowances or have certain council-related expenses reimbursed. The Local Government Act 1995 describes the types of fees, allowances and reimbursable expenses that council members are entitled to claim. The Salaries and Allowances Tribunal sets council member meeting fees and allowances payable. The Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 1996 requires that local governments report the fees, allowances and reimbursed expenses paid to council members. This table shows the remuneration paid to council as a whole by payment type. This amount does not include interstate and overseas travel paid for by local government or third-parties undertaken on council business.

ICT – Information and Communication Technology allowance

Source – MyCouncil

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in City of Swan | Leave a comment

Middle Swan set to be the site of new aged care facility

The Liberal Government is providing an additional $649 million per year to create 9911 new residential aged care places with Pearce set to benefit. 

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, welcomed the news that a residential aged care facility will be established in Middle Swan. The facility will be funded through the 2016-17 Aged Care Approvals Round and will provide a new aged care service in the area.

“With our rapidly ageing population, the Government is committed to providing a sustainable aged care system that meets that needs of our older Australians,” Mr Porter said. 

“There is already a significant supply of residential aged care in Ellenbrook, Guildford and Midland and the need for further residential aged care investment was identified in the Urban Growth Corridor.

“The new aged care facility in Middle Swan will have 120 residential care places with places reserved to cater for people with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

“There are also a number of places allocated in the new Middle Swan facility to focus on the care of our veterans.

“This is an estimated investment of nearly $8 million to ensure that our older Australians live in the best possible environment in their later years.”

The new residential aged care places follow the announcement of 475 Short-Term Restorative Care places made available through the 2016-17 Aged Care Approvals Round in February 2017. 

These Short-Term Restorative Care places, worth an estimated total expenditure of up to $34.7 million a year, provide flexible aged care options that will help older people remain in their own homes for longer after injury or illness.

“Australians want greater choice and control over the care they receive and these changes do exactly that,” Mr Porter said.

Information about the 2016−17 Aged Care Approvals Round outcomes, including details of the successful approved providers, is available at

Media Contact: Ella Cahill – or 6296 7255

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Community | Leave a comment

A YEARLING sales complex planned for Middle Swan

Ellenbrook Advocate –


A YEARLING sales complex planned for Middle Swan will bring tourism and business to the area, says Magic Millions Perth manager David Houston.

Mr Houston said the venue, proposed for a Dale Road property bought by the company last month, would include about 300 stables and a selling auditorium.

He said they were now working on rezoning the land in the hopes of completing the development in 2018.

“Once we are certain of that then we can proceed with all the works,” he said.

“Some of the stuff we can have ready to go anyway, but obviously you can’t do any building and that sort of thing until we’re sure we’re going to be able to go ahead.

“But it would be lovely to have our own complex sooner than later; with the proposed redevelopment of Belmont (Racecourse) we have to move anyway, and that facility is old and not of the standard we required or the industry requires so we need to have our own going.”

Mr Houston said the Swan Valley was an iconic, ambient region that was ideal for the venture. Magic Millions’ David Houston at the site of a planned yearling sales venue.

“Racehorses and wines I think go together,” he said.

He said the property was conveniently located off the Great Northern Highway and accessible to those coming from the city.

“Local businesses, the accommodation places whether they be bed and breakfasts or some of the bigger places like Mandoon and The Vines, they’ll all get some sort of a spin-off,” he said.

read more…

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Equine, Tourism | Leave a comment

Distillery to draw tourists

Eastern Reporter –

THE Swan Valley will soon be home to an Australian first, with plans approved this month to build a one-stop shop cellar door and cafe. The craft distillery, which also produces craft beer, wine and cider, will open its doors early next year, with plans to encourage more people into the Swan Valley and promote its produce on an international level.

Onebar Distillery co-founders Armando Formica and Brodie Butler said the cellar door was an Australian first and possibly even a world first.

read more…

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Community, Tourism | Leave a comment

Life Penalties for Methamphetamine Traffickers

WAtoday – 

The WA government stuck to its word, introducing the Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Methamphetamine Offences) Bill 2017 on Tuesday, which will see the maximum sentence for meth trafficking increased from 25 years to life imprisonment.

The bill will also see the maximum fine for meth traffickers lifted from the current maximum of $10,000 to an unlimited penalty.

“Thousands of families across WA are battling against the scourge of meth,” Mr McGowan said in a release.

“Every day they endure its impacts – violence, arrests, losing houses, jobs and businesses. This needs to stop.

“Meth is an epidemic which is destroying communities. The community expects meth traffickers to be locked up for a long time.

“They are evil people and are responsible for tearing families apart and destroying lives.”

read more…

tweet –

click on play button to listen to the Premier, Mark McGowan…

Please share:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone
Posted in Community | Leave a comment