Premier in Print

WESTERN Australia is in a prime position to make the coming years a global decade of economic and social development.

As a State we no longer rely on a narrow base of products. Instead we have a diverse economy with industries ranging from primary industry to mining and processing minerals and tourism to technology.

On top of that, we have the opportunity for enormous developments ahead in energy and education.

Handled well, this decade will be a unique period in Western Australia’s economic and social development.

We will have sustainable economic growth and the ability, if the State’s finances are managed properly, to deliver on a social agenda that will be the envy of countries around the world.

ASIA will play a big part in what is ahead, continuing as our major market and the driving force for our future development.

The opportunities for us with Asia will be even greater as countries there introduce widespread changes after the financial crisis of recent years.

The previous philosophy in Asia of development at any price is now being replaced by a recognition that everyone should share in the benefits of the economic development of their countries.

This includes improving their environment and Western Australia is well placed to help with this.

A clean environment is top of the agenda in countries including China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and India.

Gas is the cleanest option for meeting their future power generation requirements and Western Australia can supply that gas competitively.

We are aggressively tackling the new markets and we will see some very significant contracts coming through the system.

CLOSER to home, we are also seeing the results of some of our own commitment to community developments, including the Government’s pledge to improve our State’s road system.

Among these is the $374 million Graham Farmer Freeway, the biggest single road project ever tackled in Western Australia – and it’s on budget and two months ahead of schedule.

Most importantly, the freeway will be toll-free when it opens on 23 April.

In other States, governments have gone down the path of funding major road programs with road tolls.

That is not happening in Western Australia where we recognise people are already paying for the use of roads through their petrol taxes and their registration licence fees.

Wherever you go in this State, you can see that money being put back into bringing our roads up to a standard to fit our growing economy.

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