SPEECH – Inpex and the Northern Territory’s gas future
CANBERRA – Monday 15 March 2021
I am pleased to rise today to speak on this motion.
I welcome this opportunity to share the experience of the Northern Territory, and specifically my home of Darwin and Palmerston, with the gas industry.
Darwin is the home to important facilities for the massive and lucrative Inpex Ichthys LNG project.
It is worth noting that it is one of Australia’s largest resource projects, worth $60 billion.
It is also the biggest investment ever made overseas by a Japanese company.
The onshore processing facilities are located at Bladin Point in Darwin.
The facility includes processing trains to produce LNG and LPG, along with storage tanks and a load out jetty.
This is supported by an offshore logistics hub, which supports the wider project, including floating production storage and offloading facility.
So far, 1100 territory businesses have secured contracts and purchase orders related to the project.
Inpex is now a major employer in Darwin.
Over the life of the project, 600 jobs will be created to run the facilities in Darwin, and $2.6 billion will flow to the Northern Territory government in tax revenue.
The flow-on effect from this in Darwin and Palmerston is immense, with money supporting countless local businesses.
All of this is a consequence of the Northern Territory Government having the foresight to create the right environment to not only promote but welcome investment in this important space.
There are even more opportunities, Deputy Speaker, that are ready and waiting for us to take up.
Japan is poised to become a major customer for Australian hydrogen gas.
Japan has declared that it will become a hydrogen economy by 2030, and will need 300,000 tonnes of the gas a year to make that happen.
Just as Australian coal helped Japan rise from the ashes of war to become a great global economy, now Australian hydrogen gas can help keep Japan as a great global economy, creating more long-term, stable Australian jobs into the bargain.
But, Deputy Speaker, the ongoing opportunities from gas for jobs and our economy are at significant risk.
The risk is not from the rabid environmental strawmen that those opposite love to put up.
The risk is not from excessive state government regulation.
The risk, Deputy Speaker, is from the very government that those opposite serve.
This is a government that provides no policy certainty in this important space.
Over eight years, this government has had 22 energy policies. 22!
It’s hard to believe, but it’s true.
What has been the ultimate effect of this muddled and disoriented collection of policies?
What are we left with? Confusion in private investment for new gas operations.
When confusion reigns, uncertainty is not far behind.
The lack of certainty that is a product of 22 energy policies in eight years is hurting industry and impacting people every day.
I only hope that the efforts of the Member for Grey in bringing this motion forward will prompt a rethink among those opposite.
Without a clear plan to address climate change and protect jobs, this government is dooming future generations to play catch up with the rest of the world.
I call on the government, end the uncertainty, dispel the confusion and act now.
Our communities and Australian jobs cannot be protected without firm action.
Labor wants to see a proper energy regulatory framework with certainty.
We want to be able to generate much more investment in renewable energy.
And that’s so we can give traditional industries and households the certainty of their energy supply.
The lack of policy certainty from this Government – with 22 energy policies in 8 years – has been very confusing for private investment, and has hindered their efforts to fund new gas operations
It’s up to the Government of the day – and right now that means those opposite – to provide a solid and robust investment framework, so private investment can flourish in all forms of energy generation.
But most importantly, Deputy Speaker, as the world moves to a greater use of renewables and a net zero emissions future, we need to invest in people.
We need to make sure that no one is left behind, whether they be a coal miner or a traditional manufacturing worker.
This can’t be yet another policy area that the Federal Government leaves to the states.