Australia will be one of the biggest exporters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, with Queensland playing a major role in the country’s success, according to a leading industry organisation.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) recently announced that Australia Pacific LNG, a joint venture between ConocoPhillips, Sinopec and Origin Energy, has shipped its first delivery of LNG from Curtis Island, near Gladstone.
LNG projects could provide a significant boost for employment across the state’s resources supply chain. QRC figures show the oil and gas industry supported 5 per cent of jobs in Queensland during 2014-15, as well as contributing $22.1 billion to the economy.
QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said the news from Australia Pacific LNG was a key milestone in a project that employed 15,000 people throughout the planning and construction phases.
“[This] shipment signifies a vital and growing export pillar for Queensland’s economy, with the gas sector expected to deliver nearly half a billion dollars in royalties in 2018-19,” he explained.
“The $70 billion investment in the gas industry represented, in today’s dollars, the equivalent of three Snowy Mount Schemes – the largest engineering project in Australian history.”
According to Mr Roche, investment in Australia’s natural gas industry constitutes one of the largest commitments of private capital the country has ever seen.
The future of QLD natural resources
Despite growth in the LNG industry, the QRC acknowledged that natural resources have experienced a slowdown over the last two years.
Mr Roche has contacted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in an effort to arrange a meeting with the state government’s cabinet jobs committee to discuss the issue. He said 60,000 people are directly employed in the sector, while a further 24,000 jobs in Queensland are reliant on resources activity through the provision of support services.
“While the sector may be in a downturn, there will inevitably be an upturn and we must have a plan in place to be ready to take advantage of the upswing,” the chief executive explained.
The QRC said thousands of permanent jobs could be created in Queensland’s construction sector, for example, once mining activity increases. This could provide apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities in natural resources and trades professions.
Furthermore, demand for commodities in South East Asia and India remains high. As such, resources companies are still keen to invest in employment-generating projects to fulfil foreign consumption.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator