Gas benefitting Qld communities: Feds

QUEENSLAND's gas investment boom has created benefits that aid the wider community on a much broader level, according to a new study by the Office of the Chief Economist in the Department of Industry and Science (DoIS).
Gas benefitting Qld communities: Feds Gas benefitting Qld communities: Feds Gas benefitting Qld communities: Feds Gas benefitting Qld communities: Feds Gas benefitting Qld communities: Feds


Anthony Barich

In a presentation at APPEA this week, DoIS economist Nicole Thomas outlined that the first part of the study, published in November, found a clear net benefit for Queensland in terms of economic output, employment, household income, royalties and state population.

The second part of the study, to be published next month, examines the socio-economic impacts that flowed from the state’s gas industry, as well as the performance of government in managing the sector’s unprecedented growth.

Thomas said Queensland's CSG-to-LNG industry had a similar impact to other natural resource developments in terms of employment, income and local demand, but with one key difference.

“CSG has a broader footprint,” she told the conference.

“This means land access and land use is a bigger issue compared to other resource developments; but it also means the benefits are distributed more broadly across the community.”

Thomas said the Queensland LNG industry’s transition from construction to an operational phase would be very important in terms of the industry’s social licence.

“The local jobs and opportunities created by the construction phase were important in gaining community acceptance,” she said.

“Although some of those benefits will continue, there will be a reduction and a ‘new normal’ in the operations phase. It is very important this transition is managed well by companies and communities.”

Thomas said the transition was made more challenging by the lower price environment for LNG.

“There is more pressure on companies to reduce costs, but there is still a need to maintain their licence to operate,” she said.

“Community engagement is essential to this process. Companies will need to ensure a focus on the quality of the engagement if they are unable to maintain the total amount of spending.”

She said the study also found the Queensland government had performed well when it came to managing the LNG industry’s rapid growth.

“The state adopted an adaptive management framework, which meant regulations could adapt if there were any unforeseen circumstances,” she said.

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