Premier in Print

JOBS, jobs and more jobs – about 20,000 of them. That’s what we can expect to see with at least 12 new building projects set to get underway this year in the Perth central business district.

Work’s already started on the latest massive project confirmed for the city – the new $250 million complex that will be the new headquarters for Woodside Energy on the corner of Milligan Street and St George’s Terrace. The complex, with a 27-level office tower and adjacent five-star hotel, shops and north facing park, will be another boost to the west end of the city.

Its go ahead is the latest confirmation of the current high-level of investor confidence this State Government has worked to develop.

We already have the lowest unemployment levels in Australia and, thanks to the strong and growing economy we now have, we are able to attract investors willing to commit millions of dollars to significant new projects that will keep those job opportunities flowing.

At present, those projects total about $1 billion, including the restoration and redevelopment of the Old Treasury Buildings, new shops for Myer, Woolworths and David Jones and the new Convention and Exhibition Centre and Perth Stadium.

A GROWING number of national and international companies are realising the benefits of basing information services here.

Ansett Australia’s new call centre at Joondalup is a prime example. There has been strong competition between States for these centres and we are emerging as an ideal location.

Western Australia’s advantages include the economic benefits for business, lower operating costs, higher staff retention rates , a strong focus on training and a great lifestyle.

There’s also a huge advantage for international operations in being in the State that has the same time zone as South East Asia.

The Ansett centre, which will have a permanent staff of more than 300 people, follows the establishment of Stellar Call Centres operations in Joondalup last year, creating more than 200 jobs.

The new centres are a good indication of the growing diversification of the State’s economy.

THIS is my last column before the State election. In closing, I just want to highlight again how important each individual vote will be in what everyone expects to be a close result.

It would take just 3700 votes to change from the last election for there to be a change in government.

Such a change would put at risk all of the achievements our State has made in the past eight years.

We have come a long way in those years, halving the State’s debt levels and regaining the State’s AAA credit rating, cutting unemployment to under 6 per cent and boosting jobs by more than 200,000.

At the same time, the Coalition Government has made massive investments in schools, police stations, hospitals and roads and our assets have grown from $15.5 billion in 1993-94 to $32.4 billion in 2000-01.

Let’s continue building Western Australia from strength to strength.

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