An ambitious plan to make southern Queensland a gas distribution hotspot and increase production across Central Queensland is expected to create thousands of new jobs, an industry body said.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the Federal Government’s JobMaker plan to establish an Australian Gas Hub at at Wallumbilla, 311km west of Toowoomba in the Maranoa region.
The plan also encourages more gas exploration activity in the North Bowen Basin and Galilee Basin in Queensland, Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory, Gunnedah Basin in New South Wales, Cooper Basin in South Australia, and Perth Basin in Western Australia.
Up to 372,000 workers benefit
QRC believes the plan for more internationally competitive gas prices could benefit up to 372,000 resources workers and 14,400 businesses, especially those based in regional parts of the Sunshine State.
“The Queensland resources sector is crucial in terms of holding up the Queensland economy at the moment … we need to increase that opportunity, we need to see further gas fields developed, we need to see more opportunities in Queensland,” QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane said in a video shared on Vimeo.
“The State Government and Commonweath Government combined can make that happen and we can provide more jobs in regional Queensland as Queensland recovers from the current COVID[-19] pandemic.”
4000 new jobs
Both state and federal levels of government will accelerate the Marinus Link between Victoria and Tasmania, Project Energy Connect between NSW and SA, and VNI West Interconnectors between the Snowy Mountains and Melbourne. These projects are promised to create a combined 4000 new jobs.
Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor believes the measures will help the nation recover from the Chinese coronavirus recession.
“A gas-fired recovery will help Australia’s economy bounce back better and stronger while supporting our growing renewable capacity,” he said in a public statement.
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Outgoing Queensland Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham asked the Federal Government to match funding it provided the NSW Government to support gas and manufacturing jobs.
“The Federal Government gave NSW $1 billion to open up their gas fields and have ignored our calls to invest in gas and electricity infrastructure,” he said in a public statement. “Queensland has been doing the heavy lifting on gas supply and policy for the past five years … but where is Queensland’s $1 billion?”