Premier in Print

WE ARE continuing to see good news on the export front for Western Australia with the value of our exports nearly double that of any other State.

Western Australia’s exports grew by a strong 42.8 per cent in the three months to August, 2000, compared with the same period last year.

This follows on from a growth of 48.6 per cent in the three months to July, 2000 and 53.9 per cent in the June quarter, the strongest quarterly increase in export values since the data series began in 1989.

In dollar terms, the value of exports in the three months to August was $2.22 billion higher than in the corresponding period last year.

Japan is still our largest export market and our exports to Japan rose by 56.5 per cent in the three months to August, relative to the same period last year.

The strong growth in exports has contributed to a massive rise in Western Australia’s trade surplus, ensuring we continue to be the State with the largest trade surplus in the nation.

WE ALSO have one of the nation’s best employment records with the latest figures showing our unemployment rate was down to 5.9 per cent in August.

This was the same as in June this year and is the best recorded since November 1989.

WA has done well to achieve these big improvements and we need to continue with the initiatives that have made them possible if we want to go ahead with a healthy economy and strong job opportunities.

Pivotal to this are the changes made by the Government in our State’s industrial relations with workplace agreements that provide benefits for both employers and employees.

It would be disastrous for all of us if the progress we are seeing from these initiatives was stymied by the Labor Party’s desire to return to the days of the centralised, union-dominated industrial relations system.

GRAFFITI has to be one of the most senseless and frustrating forms of vandalism affecting our community.

To help counter the problem, the State Government has set up a call centre to which people can report graffiti vandalism.

It’s the latest move in a range of continuing activities we’ve been working on with a number of local governments as part of the State’s Graffiti Program.

The call centre, which will help ensure there is a rapid response to graffiti vandalism, gives everyone a chance to make a stand against graffiti and send a clear message to offenders that graffiti will not be tolerated.

The centre’s number is 1800 133 443.

SEVERAL police districts will soon have extra officers following the transfer of some court duties from the Police Service to the Ministry of Justice.

The changes will free up 64 police officers to go back on the beat for areas including Perth, Cannington, Rockingham, Joondalup, Midland and South Hedland.

Police are also continuing to target burglaries and home invasions and there have been some good results in several metropolitan districts.

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