The Federal Coalition was in Darwin today to again push the job opportunities to flow from the development of an onshore gas industry in the NT.
Minister for Resources Matt Canavan was with CLP Candidate for Solomon Kathy Ganley and Lingiari hopeful Jacinta Nampijinpa Price on the Darwin wharf to re-announce the surprise Budget cash.
The Federal Government said on April 2 it would invest $8.4 million to "accelerate" the development of the NT's onshore shale gas industries.
Mr Canavan said the Coalition wants to boost jobs and reduce domestic gas prices by accelerating production from the NT's Beetaloo Basin.
"This is a great resource here in the NT, one that can provide a huge boost to the Territory's economy and benefit east coast consumers as well," Minister Canavan said.
"We want to get on with the job. We want to get the gas up out of the ground and into people's homes and businesses as quickly as we can.
"We want to ensure guaranteed supply of competitively-priced gas for households and businesses, and one way to do that is accelerate production from the Beetaloo Basin.
CLP candidate for Solomon Kathy Ganley said she is excited by the massive boost to the NT economy that will flow from development of Beetaloo gas, especially the boost in local jobs, and she wants to see it happen as soon as possible.
"The NT's independent inquiry found that even small-scale developments in the Beetaloo could create more than 6500 fulltime jobs and positive economic impacts of up to $2.8 billion for the Northern Territory and over $9 billion for Australia as a whole over 25 years," Kathy Ganley said.
The issue of job creation has been a point of contention.
The Pepper inquiry's own independent economic assessment by ACIL Allen Consulting focused on a number of potential direct and indirect economic benefits, impacts and risks over a 25-year period.
It reported on a number of different scenarios based on whether or not the moratorium was lifted and how much, if any, exploration was allowed.
The ACIL report said on average 524 direct and indirect jobs would be created and maintained over a 25-year period if the moratorium is lifted and larger-scale development occurs with 670 wells.
The 6500 jobs used by Ms Ganley comes from the Deloitte Access Economics' report commissioned by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association in 2015.
The head of the fracking inquiry, Justice Rachel Pepper, described the Deloitte jobs forecast as "courageous".
"This project will assist the NT Government to identify and prioritise gas projects that could be accelerated based on key economic, environmental and social factors," Ms Ganley said.
"The $8.4 million is for environmental baseline work, a feasibility study and an Aboriginal economic strategy to support development of the Beetaloo."
Minister Canavan said the Coalition is very keen to see the Territory economy expanded and more jobs created, and recently completed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NT Government to further develop its onshore and offshore gas industry.
CLP candidate for Lingiari Jacinta Nampijinpa Price said she wants to ensure economic development from its gas industry yields significant benefits to Aboriginal communities in the NT, particularly the Barkly Region.
"This initiative for a Beetaloo Aboriginal economic development strategy will be delivered by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities in concert with the Barkly regional deal.
"Overall, I want to see development of the Beetaloo gas resources moving to provide maximum benefits for NT communities and businesses, and encourage more job-rich industries to set up in Darwin and elsewhere in the Territory."
Minister Canavan said the $1.5-million feasibility study will specifically identify projects that could be accelerated to increase availability of gas into domestic markets, and also investigate options to support gas flows to Darwin for export or use in downstream gas industries.
"This is a very important aspect to me. It's great to send out gas to industrial users elsewhere but why not also look at moving industry to where the gas is - in other words, encourage new businesses to set up in Darwin and take advantage of abundant gas flowing from fields like Beetaloo.
"That is one of the exciting developments in store as this vital national gas field is developed here in the Northern Territory."
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