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INVESTOR confidence in Western Australia has been reinforced again with the announcement of the $1 billion West Angelas iron ore project in the Pilbara.

North Limited, the major shareholder and development manager for the project, expects to boost its production by twenty million tonnes a year when the project reaches capacity.

This will take its production to fifty million tonnes from Western Australia, confirming it as one of the world’s major iron ore traders.

The project is being developed by North Limited in conjunction with the Robe River Iron Associates Joint Venture and has had strong expressions of support from Japanese steel mills and other customers in Asia and Europe.

The project also means good news for jobs in Western Australia.

The initial development will take just over two years with up to 1,500 people employed at the various construction sites. About 300 full-time jobs are expected when production reaches full capacity.



I HAVE seen some wonderful examples recently of Western Australian companies embracing new technology.

Among these are a new independent electricity retailer, WA Consolidated Power, and Honeywell who have signed an agreement to introduce a world-first application of Internet-based technology for the energy industry.

The technology is called an energy management system – or EMS.

The system drives a ‘virtual control room’ at WA Consolidated Power’s headquarters in Burswood where electricity sales to customers are monitored and managed.

By using the latest Internet technology, the virtual control room allows constant monitoring of electricity customers’ loads and usage patterns.

This enables both the company and its customers to better analyse, assess and manage power consumption.



OUR mining industry is also taking advantage of the opportunities being offered by the technology era and already more than 60 per cent of the world’s mines are supplied with mining-related software from Australia.

The phenomenal growth in this area means we can expect to see mining-related intellectual property move up to be our fifth biggest mining export by 2005.

These achievements are just some of the examples of how industries that once might have been considered part of the ‘old economy’ are embracing the exciting world of information technology.

Western Australia is also moving forward with the bid to supply liquefied natural gas to China.

As part of this, I will be leading a delegation visiting China in the first week of April to hold talks with Chinese authorities.

The delegation, which will include the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Denis Burke, will visit Beijing, Guangdong and Shenzhen.

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