Turning on the natural gas tap in Central Qld

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Click here for photo of QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane.

Click here for the Australian Government’s media statement. 

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) today welcomed the announcement of the new Strategic Basin Plan that is set to deliver long-term economic development and jobs across central Queensland.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said he supports the commitment made by the Australian Government to realise the gas development potential of the Northern Bowen and Galilee Basin, which will help Queensland recover from the impacts of Covid-19.

“This Strategic Basin Plan for the North Bowen and Galilee will open up these geologically promising basins, bringing forward investment to stimulate the economy of central and North Queensland,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“In 2020, the QRC played a lead role in developing the Resource Industry Recovery Agenda which outlined the case for a central Queensland pipeline to help redress the tyranny of distance by improving the connection between gas fields and domestic customers.

“New gas supply is good news for gas customers because extra supply helps keep a lid on domestic prices right along the East Coast.

“The QRC commends the Australian Government on the immediate actions proposed in the Strategic Basin Plan today, including $15.7m in gas well trials help drive down production costs for all potential gas producers and accelerate investment decisions in the basins.

“The Plan also lists a number of skills training facilities that will be critical in supporting the industry, such as the Central Queensland University’s new School of Mining, Manufacturing, the State’s new Industry Training Hubs in Townsville and Maryborough as well as the Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package.

“The QRC’s education arm, the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), will also play a key role in placing students onto pathways into the resources sector and other science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industries,” he said.

In a statement today by federal Resources Minister Keith Pitt and the Member for Dawson George Christensen, the plan is set to:

  • Create up to 5,500 new jobs in Queensland by 2030;
  • Include $20.7 million of investment to unlock gas potential in the basins, and leverage more than $400 million in research funding and critical infrastructure upgrades;
  • Include $15.7 million for gas field trials including innovative drilling programs to prove the region’s potential; and
  • Include $5 million for studies to support development of a new gas pipeline to the region, co-funded by the Queensland government.

The plan will benefit from a range of other initiatives including:

  • $14 million for Geoscience Australia and CSIRO to deliver better data about baseline conditions across each of the Government’s priority strategic basin regions;
  • $13.7 million to continue research under the CSIRO’s GISERA (Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance); and
  • More than $370 million for various road upgrades to support supply chains, trade and project construction, through the Northern Australia Roads program, Roads of Strategic Importance initiative and the Regional Economic Enabling Fund.