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“While the impact of the Queensland floods has been minimal to Bow, the impact on our communities has been significant so we will continue to support local businesses as much as possible,” CEO John De Stefani said. The company announced its donation to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal, a move taken by others in the industry. On the environmental front, the CSG industry’s reputation was damaged prior to the floods with the discovery by APLNG and Arrow Energy of cancer-causing chemicals known as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene) at a number of CSG exploration wells. The findings sparked calls from farmer and environmental groups for a ban on further CSG exploration activities, including fraccing (fracture stimulation to increase gas production). While governments have resisted such demands, the industry is now subject to some of “the most stringent environmental conditions ever imposed on an industry,” according to the Queensland premier. More than 300 conditions were imposed by the federal environment minister on the QCLNG and GLNG projects, adding to the 1,200 conditions prescribed by the Queensland Coordinator General as part of the state’s own approval process. Describing the conditions as “extremely comprehensive,” McCullough Robertson’s Hanmore said the right balance needed to be struck between development and the environment. “We need to be careful that operational conditions don’t go so far so as to restrict progress, without necessarily delivering significant environmental benefit,” he said. Labour pains The fast-growing Queensland industry now faces resourcing issues as it competes for labour and other services with Western Australia. Santos’s Knox said the company would be targeting fly-in, fly-out workers based in the eastern states which otherwise might be employed in the WA LNG projects. Around 15,000 jobs

will be created in the Queensland LNG projects alone, and with companies including Woodside Petroleum, Chevron and others already facing labour shortages in the West, the demand for skilled labour is set to escalate. Knox told the Australian Financial Review that Gladstone could prove more attractive for eastern state workers compared to industrial towns in WA such as Karratha and Port Hedland. According to Hays Oil & Gas, service providers are already scrambling for talent to meet the anticipated demand. “There’s no doubt that we’re very quickly returning to a state of candidate shortage, and will continue in this direction as more organisations experience growth,” director Simon Winfeld told PetroleumNews. The Queensland floods may aggravate the labour shortage, with potential LNG workers diverted to the reconstruction effort, according to Macquarie Research analyst Adrian Wood. “There was already going to be a massive constraint for tradespeople of any kind in the next five years and the more of them that need to be used in residential housing, the less available for other things,” he was quoted saying by the Australian Financial Review. Tax time Industry fears of an investor strike caused by the federal government’s proposed new 40 per cent resource super profits tax (RSPT) were abated somewhat by the move to instead place onshore CSG under the existing Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) regime. The December 2010 release of the Policy Transition Group’s (PTG’s) report on the new regime was met with “cautious optimism” by industry group Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA). The PTG recommended that most costs associated with production be deductible under the PRRT, including native title payments related to upstream

Australasian Mining Review Issue 1 2011  

The Australasian Mining Review is a high quality publication that is destined to become an indispensable tool for all stakeholders and parti...

Australasian Mining Review Issue 1 2011  

The Australasian Mining Review is a high quality publication that is destined to become an indispensable tool for all stakeholders and parti...

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