THE peak body representing Australia’s oil and gas industry is calling on the next Queensland Government to implement 20 reforms it claims would help promote more “responsible” development of the state’s resources.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association’s (APPEA) Queensland Election Policy Statement comes as the latest government figures reveal Queensland’s oil and gas industry accounted for almost $50 billion in direct spending through business purchases, and community and government payments.

At the top of the APPEA’s list of proposed reforms is a “more consistent” national approach to interstate movement of critical workers amid Covid border restrictions.

The association also calls for a new process for the government to certify and accept liability for rehabilitation of land prior to the surrender of the environment authority.

It says current land rehabilitation processes “lack(ed) an efficient and effective” means of certifying liability for rehabilitated land, preventing proper coexistence between the petroleum industry and landholders and government.

See the full election statement with the list of 20 reform proposals here.

APPEA chief executive Andrew McConville

“There’s real potential for regulatory reform in Queensland to reduce costs, increase productivity and support and attract further investment in energy supply,” APPEA chief executive Andrew McConville said.

“Given the unscientific bans and restrictions put in place by other states, there will continue to be increasing reliance on Queensland to do more of the heavy lifting when it comes to supplying the broader east coast market into the future.

“So, it’s imperative that stable and efficient regulatory regimes remain in place to support ongoing, long-term investment to increase investment and secure energy supplies.”

The most recent Queensland Government Trade data revealed that of the $50 billion spent by the industry in the state between 2011 and 2018, nearly half ($23.6b) was spent in regional areas.

The data says 4,600 workers are employed directly by the industry, while $505 million has been paid directly to landholders.

The data showed liquified natural gas (LNG) exports accounted for almost 20 per cent of the State’s total exports, while nearly 30 percent of Australia’s LNG production occurred in Queensland.

Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise chief executive Ali Davenport said the region’s gas industry – particularly where it was centered around the Western Downs – had cushioned the economic blow from the Covid recesssion.

“Now more than ever we’re seeing (the gas industry’s) importance for economic stability,” Ms Davenport said. 

“Whilst COVID has certainly impacted the region, the effects in the Western Downs have been less severe because of the jobs and investment provided by the gas sector.

“Other regions in Australia could only dream of such positive economic indications which have come about in the Western Downs in no small part thanks to the gas sector.”

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