Jobs are flowing even before the gas as construction gets underway at Mount Isa on the Queensland end of an $800 million interstate gas pipeline from the Northern Territory.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham turned the first sod at Mount Isa today on the Northern Gas Pipeline with the project’s builder, leading Australian energy company, Jemena.
Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the project was already generating jobs and business opportunities in the North-West – which is why the Palaszczuk Government had thrown strong support behind it.
“This pipeline project is already filling paypackets in North Queensland, with more than 200 Queenslanders employed by Jemena to date, and 26 contracts awarded to companies in Queensland, with half of these contracts in the Mount Isa region,” Dr Lynham said.
“I am particularly pleased to see Jemena’s focus on hiring local people, including local Indigenous people, through training and employment programs delivered in partnership with a local Indigenous training organisation.”
“As well, accessible, affordable gas is critical as a feedstock for manufacturers and as an energy source.
“That’s why our government has supported this project from the start, and that’s why I personally met with the Northern Territory Government advocating for the pipeline to come to Queensland.”
Dr Lynham welcomed the news from Jemena that they were already looking into continuing the pipeline from Mount Isa to the Wallumbilla Gas Hub in the south-west.
“This means more jobs for Queenslanders in construction,” he said.
The Northern Gas Pipeline will run 622 kilometres from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory to Mount Isa, with 141kms of the pipeline in Queensland between the Isa and the border.
Construction is due to be completed in mid-2018, with the first gas scheduled to flow later that year.
Dr Lynham said the pipeline milestone was more good news from Queensland for east coast gas users.
“The pipeline extension under investigation will help connect gas fields in the Northern Territory to the east coast market, adding to supply to help ease current supply concerns,” he said.
Today’s milestone follows last week’s announcement that Queensland company Senex had won a tender to develop 58 square kilometres of coal seam gas acreage near Miles in the Surat Basin. The gas is only available to the Australian domestic market.
Tenders also opened last week for almost 400 square kilometres of highly prospective land in the Surat and Bowen Basin, also restricted to supply the Australian market.