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Premier in Print

IT IS just on seven years since the Coalition Government was elected on a platform of bringing sound financial management to the State.

The latest mid-year review of WA’s public sector finances again highlights the benefits of our ongoing commitment to that.

On an accrual basis, the total public sector surplus is expected to increase by $41.9 million to $213.2 million.

This year’s total net debt outcome for the public sector is now expected to be $5.5 billion – compared with $8.5 billion when the Labor Government was voted out of office.

As a percentage of Gross State Product it has dropped from 20.5 per cent in 1993 to an expected 8.2 per cent this year.

Under a Coalition Government we expect it will be down to under 6 per cent in three years, without taking into account any further asset sales.

These are positive results being achieved at the same time as we are dealing with the strong demand in key areas including health, eduation, law and order.

The money being saved on interest payments on debt is being used to help provide these essential services.



IT IS particularly encouraging to see other commentators are also recognising the work being done and

forecasting WA is heading into a very positive time.

Some of the latest indicators include:

• Business investment. The latest Access Economic Investment Moni-tor indicates there are almost $62 billion worth of projects under consideration in WA. This is about a third of the national total

• Commodity prices. On average, the price of WA’s five largest mineral and energy commodity exports (alumina, gold, nickel, oil and iron ore) rose by 5.2 per cent in December 1999 and by 64.7 per cent over the past year

• Non-residential building approvals. These grew by 56 percent in the three months to November 1999 and WA is expected to outstrip the rest of Australia in the next twelve months. The outlook for home construction also remains strong, at least in the short-term, both in our State and nationally

• Unemployment. WA’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1 per cent in December from 6.8 per cent in Nov-ember. It is the lowest in Australia and the lowest in the State for ten years.



IT IS also good to see the continuing success of the extraordinary range of international events in the Best on Earth in Perth calendar.

In particular, congratulations go again to everyone involved in the Telstra Rally Australia that has just been announced the international ‘Rally of the Year’.

The Perth-based rally has only been eligible for the title since 1995 – and this is the second time since then it has been voted the best in the world.

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