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The table below presents information about the Australian economy in the late 1980s. Write a report describing the trends in profits shown in the table.  You should write at least 150 words. 
        TABLE 1: COMPANY PROFITS BEFORE TAX, BY INDUSTRY ($ million) |Period |    Manufacturing |Mining |Retail Trade |Other | |1986-87 |4,650 |3,840 |612 |1,232 | |1987-88 |6,615 |3,816 |886 |1,511 | |1988-89 |8,617 |3,540 |1,349 |1,696 | |1989-90 |7,810 |4,992 |1,373 |397 |

Write an essay expressing your views on the following topic: Technology can bring many benefits, but it can also cause social and environmental problems. In relation to new  technology, the primary duty of Governments should be to focus on potential problems, rather than benefits. You should write at least 250 words.

You should use your own ideas, knowledge and experience and support your arguments with examples and relevant evidence.

Practice Writing Test 1 Answers 

Writing Task 1
The table shows Australian company profits before tax for the period 1986-90 in four sectors: Manufacturing. Mining, Retail Trade and Other Industries. Profits were very uneven across these four sectors during the four year period. The most important sector was Manufacturing, where profits nearly doubled from 1986 to 1989 to peak as $8.6 billion, followed by Mining, where profits reached almost $5 billion in 1989-90, after fluctuating just below $4 billion for the previous three years. Profits in Retail Trade also grew strongly during the four year period, doubling to just below $1.4 billion. In Other  Industries there was steady growth in profits for three years from $1.2 billion to almost $1.7 billion, followed by a crash to below $0.4 billion in 1989-90. The table indicates that the year 1989 was a turning point for the Australian economy. After consistent rises from 1986 to 1989, profits in Retail Trade leveled off in 1989-90, while those in Manufacturing and Other Industries both fell-in Other Industries the fall was particularly sudden, to less than a quarter of their 1989 level. Only Mining, where profits had been steady during 1986-89, showed a significant rise in profits in 1989-90. (214 words)                                                  Writing Task 2

It is true that new technologies can create serious social and environmental problems. The question is whether governments should focus on these problems when they are formulating policies relating to new technology. Some people would argue that governments have an important watchdog role to play and that they should attempt to establish whether a proposed technology is likely to have any harmful effects. This is seen as an aspect of government looking after the public interest and showing concern for the welfare of its citizens. These people would invest government with the power to veto the introduction of certain technologies. The problem with this approach, however, is that it is very difficult to know in advance what the full effects of any new technology will be. The history of science and technology has many fascinating examples of unexpected developments. Sometimes a technological advance in one area can lead to a surprising breakthrough in another, seemingly unrelated area. For example, technology which originated from the US space program has been further developed and applied in many other areas of life. And one certainly cannot depend on government bureaucracies to make accurate assessments...
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