Gladstone’s gas industry to lead nation’s COVID recovery
Gladstone is in pole position to lead the nation’s COVID economic recovery on the back of its position as the gas hub of the South Pacific.
Continued expanding exploration for LNG across the state is set to create thousands of jobs and generate billions in revenue, the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook conference has heard, while providing clean power which will reduce emissions.
As Australia’s premier LNG export port, Gladstone could see a return to a gas led economic boom.
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) chief executive Andrew McConville warned this could only be achieved if the Federal Government made reforms to improve the investment environment in the gas industry.
“A recent report, commissioned by APPEA, showed under the right investment settings, the oil and gas sector could provide a $350 billion boost to the economy and more than 220,000 jobs over the next two decades,” Mr McConville said.
“A recharged oil and gas industry will stimulate growth in other industries and every additional person employed in oil and gas can support up to 10 other jobs and innumerable small businesses.”
Mr McConville said the APPEA was calling on the Federal Government to make salary and wage expenses immediately deductible and improve investment allowances to attract investment.
The APPEA is also calling for the government to make no changes from a review to the petroleum resource rent tax PRRT, provide tax asset rollover relief removing barriers to project restructure and to amend the PRRT Assessment act to allow a production licence to revert to a retention lease.
With the right regulatory environment, Mr McConville said jobs and revenue for all involved would flow.
“If we get this right, then the prize for Australia is immense,” he said.
“We need to be bold again in Australia and get the policy settings right for investment.
“In the first decade of the new millennium, decisions were made that meant policy stability and more than $450 billion was invested in Australia’s oil and gas industry and tens of thousands of jobs created.
“This year’s federal budget is an opportunity to pull the right levers and get fiscal settings right.
“Sadly, vested interests have spread misinformation on gas and it is time to set the record straight because the fact is demand in South East Asia for gas is forecast to double by 2040 and we need to able to capitalise on that.”
Using the plentiful gas supplies to generate cleaner energy will help achieve net zero emissions by 2050 targets.
Recent announcements about Gladstone’s growing hydrogen industry only enhance the city’s potential to lead the way in cleaner energy generation.
“Using more natural gas in Australia’s power generation and resource processing can further reduce emissions,” Mr McConville said.
“Natural gas plants are more reliable and longer lasting than battery storage and produce much lower levels of noxious substances such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and fine particle emissions compared to coal.”