Long-term business investment, onshore development and cleaner energy technologies will ensure regional jobs into the future, according to CEO of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, Andrew McConville.
Public support for gas is only the first step to encourage investment in Australian projects, he said in a speech addressing the Regional Australia Institute’s Regions Rising National Summit in Canberra today.
Mr McConville appealed to regional stakeholders about the importance of developing new gas basins and the benefits of onshore and offshore developments to regional communities.
“The onshore gas industry makes a significant contribution to regional economies through direct jobs, local contracts and community investment,” he said.
“In Australia’s most prosperous regions, agriculture has long been the economic partner to the industry.”
Mr McConville said that Australia’s onshore and offshore operations are conducted safely and responsibly for the benefit of our communities, and to protect water supplies and Australia’s unique wildlife.
He also said that the oil and gas industry appreciates that its operations rely on regional Australian communities and it is focused on being “a good neighbour”.
“The oil and gas industry understands the importance of being responsible, not just in how we manage the environmental impacts of onshore development, but in how we work with regional communities and landowners.
“Landholders hosting natural gas infrastructure receive a significant new financial stream that isn’t dependent on weather and agricultural commodity price cycles, and they can also benefit from upgraded farm infrastructure and low-cost water.
“Responsible onshore gas development isn’t just future-proofing jobs in our industry, but in other industries important to regional Australia.”
Mr McConville went on to say that the oil and gas industry will play an important role in creating and sustaining jobs in a cleaner energy future.
Investment in cleaner technologies in the industry, such as carbon capture and storage, can “achieve large-scale emissions abatement while creating sustainable jobs and delivering significant economic opportunity for Australia,” he said.