14/03/2018 - 15:23

McGowan to establish LNG jobs taskforce

14/03/2018 - 15:23

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Technology, maintenance and education will be the key areas of focus for a new state government taskforce targeting job opportunities in the LNG sector.

McGowan to establish LNG jobs taskforce
Nigel Hearne (left) and Mark McGowan at the opening of the conference.

Technology, maintenance and education will be the key areas of focus for a new state government taskforce targeting job opportunities in the LNG sector.

Premier Mark McGowan announced the taskforce at today's opening of the Australasian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference, saying he wanted to make sure the government maximised the opportunities coming out of the LNG industry.

Details of the establishment and membership were not yet determined but the taskforce is likely to include representatives from industry, unions, government, universities, industry bodies and training institutions.

It would be supported by a government secretariat.

“We want to make sure Perth and Western Australia become LNG hubs in the same way as Houston and Aberdeen are in Texas and in Scotland … cities that are known as hubs in those industries,” Mr McGowan said.

"The creation of this jobs taskforce will make sure we build on our existing LNG industry to create more long-term local jobs.

"Australia is set to have the world's largest LNG export capacity by mid-2018, surpassing Qatar, so now is the time for our state to act and become a global hub.”

He said about 12,000 people were currently employed in the sector in WA.

"As we build on our existing LNG operations, courses could be provided by education and training providers that align with the needs of industry, ensuring young Western Australians get the skills required for future job opportunities,” Mr McGowan said.

"Oil and gas projects help drive our economy, generating jobs in the industry and revenue with flow-on effects to the rest of the economy."

Chevron Australia chief executive Nigel Hearne said greater industry collaboration was important to grow local capability.

“This will unlock – not just the natural gas resources - but the accompanying long-term jobs of the future to support Perth being an internationally recognised LNG services centre,” he said.

APPEA chief operating officer WA Stedman Ellis said collaboration between government and industry was the key to creating a vibrant new LNG service sector.

“Australia is on the verge of becoming the world’s leading LNG exporter and WA is the nation’s leading LNG producer,” Mr Ellis said.

“As the construction phase is reaching completion, we need to seize the opportunity to develop an innovative local service sector to support LNG operations for decades to come.

“WA has a very strong foundation to build on.

"With 11 LNG trains producing almost 50 million tonnes per annum when fully commissioned, WA has the potential to be a world-class leader in LNG operations."

Mr Ellis said the benefits to the WA economy would be enormous, with McKinsey and Company estimating that a new LNG service industry could deliver up to 15,000 new jobs and up to $1 billion every year in exports.

“The WA Government is to be applauded for recognising this opportunity and for providing leadership.

"But timing is crucial. We face competition from Singapore, Malaysia and a number of nations in the Middle East which are all developing their own LNG service sectors.

“While there is much to be done, establishing a taskforce to ensure alignment between government and industry is an important first step.”

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