Premier in Print

WESTERN Australia’s economy continues to perform strongly, with the release of end of year results for 1999-2000 showing a substantial improvement on budget expectations.

The budget bottom-line for the last financial year shows the total public sector achieved a net operating surplus of $303 million – a $218 million improvement on the budget estimate of $85 million.

The general government sector recorded a small net operating deficit of $10 million, compared to a budget-time estimate of a $286 million deficit – a $276 million improvement.

The strong turnaround, provided in more detail in the Government Financial Results Report available from State Treasury, was due to strong revenue growth, comprising mainly increases in mineral and petroleum royalties, and additional stamp duty from pre-GST conveyancing activity.

These results are good news for the State and show we are on track to achieve our expected positive results for this financial year – a $304 million surplus in the total public sector and a $42 million surplus in the general government sector.

IN RECOGNITION of the higher royalties from petroleum in the 1999-2000 financial year, we are working on an incentive package to encourage more vehicles to run on LPG.

LPG does not attract a fuel excise and I have received a personal assurance from the Federal Treasurer, that a Coalition Federal Government will not levy an excise on LPG in the future.

I believe the community is looking to governments to initiate practical ways to assist them in this time of high fuel prices.

We are having discussions with Australian car manufacturers and LPG producers and suppliers to develop an incentive package and I hope we can announce this very soon.

CONGRATULATIONS to the companies that were successful in last Friday night’s Western Australian Industry and Export Awards, both as finalists and award winners.

The accolades were shared by large export-focussed companies, including Austal Ships and Woodside Energy, and smaller companies, including Q-Mac Electronics.

It is very pleasing to see WA companies capturing such significant shares of world markets in a range of diverse export-oriented industries.

As a State, we now earn $25 billion each year in exports, and importantly, tens of thousands of people are employed in this sector.

LAST week’s parade of Olympic athletes, officials and volunteers through Perth’s city streets capped off two weeks of brilliant sporting action in Sydney.

We can all be very proud of WA’s nine gold medal and three bronze medal contribution to our Olympic success.

We can also be very proud of the efforts of the 1,100 Western Australians who gave their time to be part of an army of volunteers who made the Games run so smoothly and successfully.

Now it’s time to turn just as much enthusiasm to the strong WA contingent in the Australian team for the Paralympic Games next week.

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