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THE World Economic Forum in Melbourne, where I spent a few quiet days last week, delivered some strong messages on future policy directions.

This included the recognition of China as an economy that will continue to grow strongly and become a more dominant force in the Asian region.

Fortunately, WA is well placed with our very close partnerships with China on a number of fronts.



MICROSOFT chief Bill Gates also delivered a very strong message on the digital revolution and the need to have maximum competition in the delivery of the communications highway.

He highlighted that there was a considerable contrast in pricing and access to broadband services in countries where the phone companies were separate from the cable companies, such as in the US and Britain.

He also highlighted that with the current technological revolution, empowering people to use computers is essential and there has to be a focus on getting the communications infrastructure in place.

In WA, we have already taken up the challenge to make sure all Western Australians have access to new technology and can learn how to use it.



FOLLOWING the anger and violence of the World Economic Forum I am sure the Olympic Games will be the exact opposite. This is an outstanding opportunity to showcase our nation.

Western Australians will be able to enjoy a special sense of pride when any gold medals are presented, regardless of where the winner is from.

The gold medals for the Olympic Games and the silver and bronze medals for the Paralympics, have all been made by the Perth Mint.

The Mint has also set new Olympic records with its Sydney 2000 Olympic coin program. Even before the start of the Games, five million gold, silver and bronze coins from the collection had been sold in 50 countries.

Compare that with the coin sales for the Atlanta Games, when 2.4 million coins were sold.



IT IS impressive to see the way in which the developments taking shape in Perth’s northern suburbs are coming together.

One of the newest projects to get under way is the $30 million Ocean Keys Shopping Centre at Clarkson for developer Coles Myer Property Developments.

Western Australian company, Keywest Constructions, is building the centre and will have more than 150 people working on the site. More than 250 retail jobs and another 150 ancillary positions will be created when the first phase of the shopping centre opens in the middle of next year.



THE latest employment figures for Western Australia show an extra 6,100 people in work in our State in August.

A big number of people have entered the labour force and we now have 930,700 people employed in the State – the best result since the Australian Bureau of Statistics started recording employment levels in 1978.

That is an extra 109,400 jobs since the Coalition Government came into office in 1993 and put renewed focus on sound financial management and creating job opportunities.

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