Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) chief executive Andrew McConville is confident natural gas and the jobs it creates have the potential to be an economic and environmental strength for the country.
Speaking at the Australian Domestic Gas Outlook conference, McConville said there was enormous opportunity to create thousands of jobs and help Australia reach zero emissions by 2050.
“Sadly, vested interests have spread misinformation on gas and it is time to set the record straight because the fact is demand in South East Asia for gas is forecast to double by 2040 and we need to able to capitalise on that,” McConville said.
“If we get this right, then the prize for Australia is immense. We need to be bold again in Australia and get the policy settings right for investment.”
Looking ahead to this year’s federal budget, McConville said APPEA is calling for the government to make a number of reforms to improve the investment environment.
These include: making it clear that salary and wage costs are immediately deductible, investment allowances are improved, barrier to business project restructuring are improved through tax asset rollover relief, amendments to the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) Assessment Act, and close out the PRRT gas transfer pricing review without change.
“Make these changes and the jobs will flow,” McConville said. “A recharged oil and gas industry will stimulate growth in other industries and every additional person employed in oil and gas can support up to 10 other jobs and innumerable small businesses.
“A recent EY report, commissioned by APPEA, showed under the right investment settings, the oil and gas sector could provide a $350 billion boost to the economy and more than 220,000 jobs over the next two decades.”
APPEA is an advocate for natural gas placing a vital role in reducing Australia’s emissions and supporting a cleaner energy mix.
“Natural gas plants are more reliable and longer lasting than battery storage and produce much lower levels of noxious substances such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and fine particle emissions compared to coal,” McConville added.