PREMIER Anna Bligh.
PREMIER Anna Bligh.

18,000 jobs from gas boom

PREMIER Anna Bligh this morning released the government's "Blueprint for Queensland’s Liquefied Natural Gas Industry''. 
It is estimated that Queensland’s booming LNG industry could offer as many as 18,000 direct and indirect jobs, many of them in Central Queensland.
The premier's statement to parliament follows:

"Liquefied Natural Gas  - LNG - is an exciting new industry offering Queensland first rate job-creating and regional development opportunities.

It is estimated that Queensland’s growing LNG industry could offer as many as 18,000 direct and indirect jobs – including over 4,300 in the Darling Downs – South West Region alone.

Much of the nation’s LNG attention has been on West Australia’s Gorgon project – but the contracts already signed for QLD LNG out of the Surat Basin are more than that of Gorgon.

If all our projects were to materialise we have the potential to export in excess of 50 million tonnes of LNG per annum.

Today – to support this potential and this exciting new industry - my Government is releasing our Blueprint for Queensland’s LNG Industry. 

The Blueprint provides industry - and the community - with a clear understanding of our plans to develop the world’s first coal seam gas to LNG export industry.

There are currently eight projects – while not all will be successful – we are talking about an industry worth more than $40 billion -  looking to make Queensland home.

We estimate that a local LNG industry exporting at 28 million tonnes a year could add more than $3 billion - or around one per cent to Gross State Product - and offer us around $850 million a year in royalties.  That’s $850 million a year for more roads, schools and hospitals.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  It is akin to what coal did to the Bowen Basin and to Queensland in the 1970s and 1980s and beyond.

It is clear that before we set about exporting we must secure our own gas needs.

Based on known gas reserves there is enough to supply our own power stations and a medium-scale LNG export industry for at least the next 50 years.

Today we will formally issue a Regulatory Impact Statement on whether producers give us the per centage of produced gas or whether we set aside the known gas-production land.

Two options in the RIS on how to meet our own future domestic needs are currently being considered by industry and broader community and feedback is required by us by 15 October.

The options are:
A) Gas Reservation Policy where producers will be required to sell or make available to the domestic market the equivalent of between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of gas production

B) or  a Prospective Gas Production Land Reserve, which would include quarantining prospective gas production areas in order to secure areas for future domestic use.

Both are on websites from today and advertised nationally this weekend.

We are also addressing the industry’s impacts on water resources – both produced water and the protection of groundwater.
Coal Seam Gas producers will be responsible for the treatment and disposal of the water they create.

To address the possible impact of Coal Seam Gas developments the government will fully implement groundwater monitoring.

This will be funded via an industry levy on producers and over sighted by an independent monitoring body.

Mr Speaker the Treasurer will soon detail the specifics of the eight LNG projects, and royalty charging.

Mr Speaker the Surat Basin and the Gladstone region particularly are set to be pivotal in this industry’s success.

Our responses to ensure their regional successes includes:
• the facilitation of industry planning, land tenure, pipeline corridors and common user infrastructure;
• developing a strategic 30-year Master Plan for the Western Basin of the Port of Gladstone – with the final to be released later this year;
• assisting individual projects with approvals and infrastructure negotiations;
• providing of a forum for the identification and resolution of issues between industry, community and government;
• and a mechanism for the regular reporting to government on the status of the emerging industry.

As well there has been the extension of the Gladstone State Development Area to include part of Curtis Island as an LNG precinct and the planning of a dedicated pipeline corridor between Gladstone and the Callide Range.

Mr Speaker we will also establish the Surat Basin Cumulative Impacts Working Group (SBCIWG), chaired by the  Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation. The SBCIWG will include the Departments of Premier and Cabinet; Treasury; Infrastructure and Planning; Environment and Resource Management; Education and Training; Health; Communities; Transport and Main Roads. 

This is to ensure the considerable expansion we expect will be carefully managed.

Queenslander can be assured – that each proposal will have to undergo extensive environmental scrutiny and address community concerns.

The community will have every opportunity to provide input into each proposal.   As I have said this is an exciting new era for Queensland and we want to ensure that we get it right and we all benefit.

I believe our Blueprint balances domestic energy needs and environmental considerations against economic benefits, extra jobs and a much-needed new export.

Mr Speaker … this comes just days after Waratah Coal declared intentions for the $7.5 billion Galilee Power project.

These are all indications of returning confidence to our resources sector and the overall well-being of the State’s economy.

Mr Speaker - the regions are powering ahead!"

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