Minister’s welcome

Welcome to the FutureGAS 2012 conference edition of Gas Today, which provides a glimpse into some of the technical and commercial issues we all need to work through.

All those attending the FutureGAS Conference and Exhibition will have a stake in managing the huge transformation of the Australian gas sector.

Australia leads the world in LNG investment. Last year alone there were four final investment decisions on LNG projects, followed by the announcement of the $34 billion Ichthys project earlier this year.

Australia has seen $175 billion in capital expenditure committed to LNG projects since 2007.

With unprecedented growth in LNG production, the Australian Government is working to ensure business and the community share the benefits. The Government’s Buy Australian at Home and Abroad program is just one example of helping local businesses make the most of the opportunities.

These investments will create significant employment opportunities. Queensland’s coal seam gas industry alone will generate as many as 18,000 jobs. The Australian Government is seeking to help industry meet its workforce needs through investment in skills and training alongside the introduction of Enterprise Migration Agreements for large resource projects.

The role of natural gas as a domestic fuel source will also grow-particularly as we see increased investment in gas-fired electricity generation driven by the introduction of a carbon price from 1 July 2012.

A strategic policy framework is necessary to help manage the transformation of the Australian energy sector. The Government released the draft Energy White Paper in December 2011, which reviews Australia’s energy needs out to 2030 and aims to reinvigorate the energy market reform agenda. Our goal is a resilient and efficient energy system that provides accessible, reliable and competitively priced energy for Australian businesses and households.

The FutureGAS 2012 conference provides an opportunity to share lessons to help continue the growth in Australia’s gas sector. I urge all attending to make the most of the opportunity.

Martin Ferguson AM MP

Minister for Resources and Energy

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