Premier in Print

THE State Government is keen to ensure the arrival of new airlines on the east coast is just the start of more competition in the skies around Australia.

The Western Australian Tourism Commission has been assessing all of the new start up airlines and of these, Virgin Blue has expressed the strongest interest in flying to Perth at the earliest time.

We have been having dealings with them virtually on a daily basis encouraging them to bring forward their entry into this market.

Impulse Airlines has indicated that it will be 2002 before they will be able to enter this market.

The long-haul routes between Perth and Melbourne and Sydney have been very profitable for the existing duopoly and over the years they have continually moved prices up with very limited discount fares available.

The sooner we have more competition the better.

THE latest unemployment figures show Western Australia continues to have one of the best job records in Australia.

The unemployment rate for July was 6.1 per cent, second only to New South Wales which is building up for the Olympics.

It is especially satisfying to see continuing improvements in youth employment with the July unemployment rate falling to 13 per cent, the lowest in Australia and well below the national average of 18.6 per cent.

It is also the lowest youth unemployment rate in Western Australia since October 1994.

IT WILL be interesting to see Perth’s new look taxis around the city in the coming weeks.

The 900 cabs in the Swan Taxi fleet will carry the distinctive BrandWA logo. Besides providing new visibility for the log, the move will also highlight the taxi’s important role in our State’s growing tourism industry.

The strong image of the BrandWA logo has been widely accepted since it was introduced and has just taken out the Australian Marketing Institute’s Public Sector Marketing Award in the category of leadership in marketing.

WITH the Spring Session of State Parliament now well under way, we have a full agenda including the introduction of six new pieces of legislation covering law and order issues.

These include widespread changes to laws relating to policing and punishment.

Among the changes are moves to broaden protection from criminal prosecution for householders who legitimately defend themselves against intruders.

We also want legislation passed to prevent offenders from taking legal action for injuries they sustain while committing an offence.

Parliament sits for 10 weeks during this session and it will be the final one leading into the next State election which must be held before May.

THIS weekend will see Government Ministers heading into the Gascoyne region for our 24th regional Cabinet meeting.

The Cabinet meeting will be held in Carnarvon on Monday but our schedule includes a range of other meetings and events in the area during the day.

Ministers will also be in Meekatharra on Sunday.

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