Gladstone to lead post-COVID gas recovery
GLADSTONE is in the prime position to capitalise on a gas led recovery for the nation promised by the Federal Government’s COVID Commission.
The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission NCCC has looked at the role gas will play in the pandemic recovery and predicted the industry could lead the way for the nation.
A draft report leaked to the media suggested expanding the gas industry could support a manufacturing-led economic recovery, with Gladstone front and centre in its involvement.
According to the report, growing advanced manufacturing, and creating a competitive domestic gas market was the way out of the COVID induced recession.
This COVID-19 economic recovery would see around 85,000 to170,000 direct jobs, and potentially hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs, created across the country from the expansion of the industry.
Regional Development and Manufacturing Minister and Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said the region was a gas hub, with its infrastructure and plentiful gas supply.
Gladstone was also recognised as the manufacturing hub of Queensland, Mr Butcher said, when he launched the Gladstone Manufacturing Hub at CQ Universities Gladstone campus, which was set to propel the city into the future.
“We aim to take manufacturing to new heights in Gladstone and build on its reputation as an industrial powerhouse, utilising the harbour to potentially deliver projects all around the world,” Mr Butcher said.
The state government recently announced massive tracts of land west of Gladstone have been opened up for gas exploration, further enhancing Gladstone’s reputation as the gas capital.
Calls for tenders were announced to explore the 6700 square kilometres in the vicinities of Banana, Rolleston, Theodore, Wandoan and Moonie.
“More than 870 sqkm of this land can only produce and supply gas to the Australian market,” Mr Butcher said.
“That’s because the State Government recognises that gas is critical to our manufacturers as a feedstock as well as an energy source to fuel jobs.”
Federal Flynn MP Ken O’Dowd said the gas industry in the region placed Gladstone in the prime spot to lead the way.
“Gas has a strong future in Central Queensland and delivers secure jobs to people in the region which will aid in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Despite the global downturn in gas supply, Gas companies are still in the process of exploring drill sights around Central Queensland.
“Which is good news for the gas industry and shows how competitive the market is.”
The current downturn in the gas market was only a speed-hump in the road to recovery, Mr O’Dowd said, and the industry will bounce back.
“I believe the gas industry will have no problem bouncing back after the pandemic,” he said.
“Gas is an important commodity for our region and southern states rely on Central Queensland to do the heavy lifting when it comes to supplying gas.”