WA on top & Victoria up; SA & Tasmania slip

Western Australia has been assessed as Australia's best performing state in the 11th annual issue of the Evatt Foundation's State Government League Table, released today in The State of the States 2004 report.

Western Australia won the top position after coming fourth last year. New South Wales and Victoria tied for second place.

"The superior performance of Western Australia was primarily due to its superior economic performance and its environmental policies", said Stephen Rix, who prepared the League Table for the Evatt Foundation.

"Western Australia out-performed all the other states in job creation, capital investment and economic growth" said Mr Rix. "It also has the lowest subsidies for petroleum products, the highest expenditure on national parks, and scored highly in education services".

"The State of the States contains new substantive analyses of corrective services, health, education and child protection polices."

Runner-up Victoria had the best overall social policy performance. Equal runner-up New South Wales performed well in the social and environmental policy areas.

Fourth place-getter South Australia equalled Western Australia in education services and did well in its provision of cultural and recreational services.

Meanwhile, Queensland came fifth, and Tasmania won the wooden spoon.

Queensland climbed up from last to fifth on the strength of its economy, which was the second best performing of all the states.

"Tasmania's last position was due to big falls in the state's social and environmental policy positions," said Mr Rix.

The Evatt Foundation, which is based at the University of New South Wales, produced The State of the States 2004 report.

The research is based upon data from the Commonwealth Grants Commission and the Australian Bureau of Statistics and covers the 12 months to June 2003.

In addition to the 2004 League Table, The State of the States contains new substantive analyses of corrective services, health, education and child protection polices.

The full report will be launched by contributing authors, Professor Mark Findlay and Professor Tony Vinson, at the Vibe Hotel in Sydney on Tuesday evening 26 October.

For more information for journalists, please call: Report Author: Mr Stephen Rix, (02) 4268 1408 (Sunday 24th only); Evatt Foundation: Dr Christopher Sheil 0419 436052

Also on the Evatt site:

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