CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved in the organisation of last week’s Diggers and Dealers Forum in Kalgoorlie.

It was an extraordinary event that certainly merits recognition as one of the top mining industry conferences in the world, attracting companies of all sizes from junior investors to the biggest Australian and international names in the industry.

Talk at the forum during my time there was very positive with the upbeat feeling in the industry reinforced by some exciting new mineral discoveries.

Delegates made no secret of the fact that they believe Western Australia offers some excellent opportunities for investment.

Western Australia’s Liberals also came together on the last weekend in July for our annual State conference.

Unlike the Labor Party, which holds its ‘annual’ conference every four years, the Liberal Party conference is held every year, bringing together members from all over the State to discuss wide-ranging issues.

With law and order a major issue for people around the State, we discussed a number of proposals on topics ranging from mandatory sentencing to making parents liable for the criminal and civil wrongdoings of their children The discussions and the motions from the conference guide Liberal Members of Parliament’s policy priorities in government.

Another key element this year was a business observer’s program that gave ministers the chance to meet representatives from the business community and hear their ideas and priorities for business development in Western Australia.

Western Australian company Kailis and France Foods Pty Ltd is leading the way as a major Australian manufacturer of frozen prepared food.

The company has invested more than $15 million in rebuilding and expanding its factory at Osborne Park, doubling its capacity for production and making it the most modern manufacturing plant in the southern hemisphere.

The recent opening by Prime Minister John Howard gave visitors to the factory a fascinating look at the work that goes into producing prepared meals and sauces for sale overseas as well as around Australia.

The company employs 300 people and relies on local produce and services in its production, working closely with key suppliers of horticultural, dairy and meat products to ensure quality throughout its supply chain.

Seeing the processes in this successful business highlighted again why it is so important for Western Australians to guard our ‘clean, green’ image.

It was a pleasure to visit Geraldton recently for the opening of their new $8.5 million District Police Complex – the 27th police facility the Coalition Government has built since 1993.

The new facility is part of the continuing focus we have put on improving police services around the State since taking office.

This has resulted in us now having an extra 800 police officers on the ‘front-line’ compared with seven years ago.

We are also spending $120 million on overhauling the police technology and communications network.

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