Premier in Print

This year’s $8.3 billion State budget is a responsible plan for the future of Western Australia.

While it will continue to provide benefits for all Western Australians, it is not a big-spending, pre-election Budget.

Instead it blends sound financial management with a commitment to addressing people’s needs in key social areas including education, health, disability services and law and order.

And, there are no increases in State taxes.

A key element of the Budget includes a record $3.3 billion capital works program to develop infrastructure that is essential in a growing State.

Compared with a number of other forecasters, we’ve taken a conservative approach in determining the State’s level of economic growth, with Treasury predicting it will be about 4 per cent for 2000-2001 – rising to 5 per cent over the medium term.

Details of the Budget are available on the Internet at

The banks of Lake Monger, with the skyscrapers of Perth in the background, made a great setting for the launch of the new five-year vision for the State’s tourism industry.

The plan, Partnership 21, aims to generate more than $5 billion in visitor expenditure for the State by 2004-2005.

It also includes a target of creating 8,500 new jobs in that time.

Industry representatives right across the State contributed to the development of Partnership 21 which focuses on three key areas – new technology, strong support for regional areas and a new nature-based edge to tourism attractions.

With the increasing capabilities and use of new technology, it is especially exciting to see the excellent opportunities it is providing in tourism.

This includes establishing a Western Australian Tourism network that takes full advantage of information technology to make it easier for tourists to find out more about our State and manage their travels.

Western Australia’s advantages in nature-based tourism are also being highlighted as part of the plan. This includes developing special projects so visitors can enjoy highly interactive experiences with the environment.

A part of the new approach is a series of ‘touch packages’ being developed in different areas around the State. One of the first of these will be at Lake Monger where visitors can learn more about the State’s black swan and its habitat.

Great news too, with the success of Perth Glory in finishing the regular season on top of the National Soccer League.

Glory fans have established an amazing reputation as supporters and I have no doubt there will be an extraordinary atmosphere when the second semi-final match is played in Perth at the end of the month.

Congratulations to everyone involved in winning the minor premiership and best wishes for all the finals matches.

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