Study shows a curfew at Perth Airport could cost WA’s economy $46 billion, BHP approves the $4.7 billion South Flank project, and a cut to Sunday penalty rates that will hit WA workers hard; all in our WA monthly news briefs.

Curfew at Perth Airport Could Cost $46 billion

The economy of Western Australia would lose about $46.1 billion and 27,000 jobs by 2040 if the authorities introduced an airport curfew according to a recently released report.

The report found that Perth’s isolation meant it heavily relied on air travel for both cargo and passengers – more than any other city in Australia. The 11pm to 6am curfew, if implemented, would affect about a third of the airport’s international flights.

Efforts by the government aimed at attracting new routes and airlines from Japan and China to bring in more tourists would also be thwarted by the move to implement a curfew, the report showed. It would also make it difficult for fly-in, fly-out work arrangements that are crucial for supplying labour to the states resource industry.

Passengers looking to catch connecting flights in hubs such as Doha, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong would also be affected as airlines operating from them would face challenges in flight scheduling – services into and out of these hubs are highly dependent on timing. So would live lobster exports, which are sent out during the night for Chinese markets.

The report by the Jacobs Group states that a curfew would result in the cancellation of flights, a reduction in aircraft sizes and subsequently, an increase in fares.

Currently, only Adelaide and Sydney airports have curfews in place.

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BHP greenlights $4.7 billion South Flank project

BHP’s board has approved the construction of a new $4.7b mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. According to the company’s estimates, the South Flank project would see about 2,500 jobs created during the construction phase and another 600 created once the mine is up and running.

The new mine will replace the Yandi mine which will be decommissioned soon. Construction works are scheduled to be completed by 2021 while the mine is expected to run at least until 2046.

The commitment by BHP comes at a time when two other companies, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), are floating their proposals for new iron ore mines in the same region of Pilbara. Treasurer of WA, Ben Wyatt, welcomed the BHP project terming it a vote of confidence in Western Australia’s long-term economy.

train for labour work



Hard hitting Sunday penalty rates cuts take effect

Pharmacy, hospitality, retail and fast-food employees will lose between 10% to 15% of their Sunday and public holiday penalty rates as an existing wage policy takes effect this July. The cut comes after last year’s decision by the Fair Work Commission to phase in Sunday penalty reductions over the next couple of years.

Unions put the figures of affected employees at about 700,000 for the entire nation with 60,000 of those affected being Western Australians.

Pharmacy workers are hit the hardest with an estimated loss of $3,082 in their annual salaries. Retail and hospitality sector workers will miss out on about $2,307 annually while fast-food workers take a hit of about $1,511.

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