Premier in Print

A VISIT to Dardanup last week has again highlighted the increasing shift to using plantation timber.

Wespine’s Dardanup Mill will significantly lift its production of pine timber as a result of a $13 million expansion of the mill.

Production will rise from 230,000 cubic metres earlier this year to more than 300,000 cubic metres by the end of the year and 400,000 in the near future.

It is an enormous contrast to the 70,000 cubic metres produced at the mill in 1992.

The changes are a good indication of the new future developing for our timber industry with increased production from softwood plantations and improved value-adding from reduced volumes of native hardwoods.

There are a number of exciting proposals in train that will see significantly more value adding of our native timbers.

WESTERN Australians can also feel very positive with news of the confirmation of our State’s AAA credit rating by international rating agency, Standard & Poor’s.

The top credit rating is a vote of confidence in the State’s financial performance, balancing the needs and interests of the community with responsible financial management.

ANOTHER good indicator of our State’s growth is highlighted by the record sales of nearly $21.3 billion generated by our mining and petroleum industries in 1999-2000.

This was a 27.7% increase in value - more than four times our 10-year average annual growth rate of 6.4%.

Western Australia has established itself as one of the world’s premier mineral provinces and, with the potential that has been identified, we are in a strong position to boost that.

The minerals and petroleum industries is a vital element of our State economy, providing about 20 per cent of all jobs in the State and adding about $2.1 million each day in royalties to the State for public services including hospitals, police, schools and roads.

THERE has been a good response to the State Government’s incentive scheme to help people buy liquefied petroleum gas-powered vehicles or convert their existing vehicle to LPG.

The Government paid out 320 subsidies of $500 each in just over a month after the scheme was introduced and the industry reported a big increase in inquiries about autogas conversions.

We’ve been very pleased with the cars we have on trial for the Government fleet and encourage anyone who is in doubt to make the change.

CONGRATULATIONS to the five Western Australian winners in this year’s Australian Tourism Awards.

The State Government’s Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk was among the winners, taking the national award for the Significant Regional Attractions.

Other winners from Western Australia were The Perth Mint; Mounts Bay Village, Perth; Leeuwin Estate and North Star Charters, Broome.

One of the special awards recognised the late Noel Semmens who was awarded for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual for his dedication to tourism for more than three decades.

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