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Major LNG investment announced in Queensland

With Queensland one of Australia’s leaders in natural resources, the prospect of new projects and investment is never too far out of the question. In fact, a recent joint announcement between the state government and QGC could open the door to many Queensland apprenticeship opportunities over the coming years.

The business plans to invest $1.7 billion into the state’s LNG industry and this will support a further 1,600 jobs at a number of locations across the state.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk explained that the industry has moved through a slow period, but this is a sign that it’s moving in the right direction.

“As the LNG industry in Queensland moves from the construction phase to the operational phase, there have been fewer jobs in the industry than there were in the boom years,” she said.

“I visited Curtis Island in May this year to see their LNG plant and we will see millions of tonnes of LNG exported through the facility.”

Room for future growth?

To support an increasing workforce and new apprentices learning industry skills, it’s hoped this isn’t the last major announcement in the LNG sector. Queensland is experiencing increased demand for LNG exports, with this figure set to hit $15 billion by 2016-17.

State Development Minister Anthony Lynham explained the potential for Queensland in this field.

“By 2018, Queensland could be the world’s fourth largest LNG exporter and, by the end of the decade, Australia has the potential to be the world’s leading LNG exporter,” he stated.

“That means valuable export dollars and annual royalties while supporting thousands of jobs for Queensland.”

The role of apprentices?

Investment into the LNG industry is poised to continue for several years, highlighting the need for apprentices and trainees to kick-start their careers now. If fact, if history repeats itself, the scope for apprentices could be wide indeed.

Last year, US construction company Bechtel announced it had hired 400 apprentices for the construction of three LNG production facilities in Queensland.

Alasdair Cathcart, Bechtel LNG general manager said at the time that many of the opportunities included those changing career at a later stage of life.

“It has also given many adult workers the chance to gain a trade qualification that they thought had passed them by. For many, this opportunity has been life-changing.”

Hopefully, this latest round of investment will provide similar employment chances for young and adult apprentices in the LNG industry.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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