Premier in Print

WESTERN Australia’s continuing strong economic position is highlighted again in the latest international trade figures.

These show a 54.7 per cent increase in exports from Western Australia in the June quarter this year compared with the same period last year. That is more than two and a half times the growth in exports from any other State.

The strong performance follows a similar result in the May quarter when exports grew by 47.8 per cent.

Increases in commodity prices and stronger demand from our major export destinations such as Japan and the US contributed to the rises.

RESULTS such as these reinforce the Government’s commitment to sound economic and financial management.

Our focus on this over seven years in government has involved extensive changes in a number of areas, including workplace reform.

Alongside the strong economic performance, there has been some very positive feedback from business and industry groups for the industrial relations changes.

Companies have made it quite clear that much of the new investment they are making would not go ahead without flexibility in the labour market.

There are now about 250,000 workers in Western Australia on workplace agreements.

The numbers are continuing to grow steadily as employees negotiate improved wages and conditions in return for greater flexibility and competitiveness for employers.

The success of workplace agreements is having benefits around Western Australia and it is quite fascinating to now see some of our staunchest opponents recognising the advantages of having this flexibility.

IT WAS great to see the David Jones’ board meeting in Perth last week.

We are heading into a new phase of development in the Central Business District and the revamp of what we know as the Aherns store will be a central part of that for Perth shoppers and visitors – their confidence in our State is appreciated.

The revamp also coincides with the start of a range of other developments in the city.

These include major constructions such as the convention centre and soccer-rugby stadium and conversion of the Old Treasury Buildings into a hotel.

These new developments and the new vitality that goes with them present a great opportunity to take a new look at our city.

We have much to offer but there is also much we can do to make sure it is always at its best.

The State Government and Perth City Council must work together on this.

WESTERN Australians have until August 18 to pre-register their interest in investing in AlintaGas and be among he first to receive a public offer document.

This follows the announcement of Utilicorp United Inc and United Energy Ltd’s successful bid of $319.5 million, including stamp duty, for the right to become the 45 per cent shareholder and cornerstone investor in the gas utility.

The float is expected to be completed by mid-October with the complete sale of AlintaGas totalling $950 million.

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