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WESTERN Australia is leading the way again in making practical use of information technology to save time and money.

One of our latest initiatives is the Government Electronic Market (GEM) that will soon see Government agencies buying goods and services on-line.

With the State Government spending almost $5 billion a year on goods and services, we expect the system will bring some massive savings by cutting the handling costs of individual transactions.

It will also have advantages for suppliers all over the State, enabling them to complete their sales transactions on-line and, ultimately, receive payment electronically.

In the latest move towards the full introduction of GEM, Toodyay company, TCW Commercial Furniture, last week became the first Western Australian business to register with GEM.

The system is expected to come into full operation by the end of the year when an initial group of Government agencies will start purchasing through GEM.

Full details about the system, including how to register as a supplier, are at www.gem.wa.gov.au.





AN 8 per cent fall in motor vehicle thefts in our State in 1999-2000 is another figure that sets Western Australia apart from the rest of Australia.

In contrast to the fall here, motor vehicle theft nationally rose by 9 per cent.

The National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council is now planning a national campaign to have people immobilise their motor vehicles.

The council has recognised that Western Australia does not need to be part in the campaign – we are already well ahead of the country with our very successful immobiliser program introduced by the State Government two years ago.



THE Government has also introduced a number of other initiatives to help reduce crime overall.

Some of these are designed particularly for the business community and include courses run by trained police offices who teach ways to protect business premises.

One of these is the WA Business Police Academy, a free crime prevention initiative aimed at reducing crime, keeping customers as safe as possible and improving the flow of information between businesses and police.

The course content was devised by the Bunbury police in collaboration with the South West Chamber of Commerce. It is designed to apply to all types of businesses and employers and employees.

There has been keen interest in the course since its introduction with business groups and organisations all over the State taking advantage of the opportunities it presents.

Courses can be arranged through Safer WA or police district officers.

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