‘Unpredictable’ tax regime threatens LNG sector

THE peak body for oil and gas in Australia has described "genuine threats" that could undermine LNG industry expansion.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief David Byers blamed politicians for failing to create "a stable, predictable and competitive taxation regime" for the sector.

"Regulatory processes for approving projects are becoming increasingly inefficient... and there are serious weaknesses in the development of a skilled workforce to support industry's supply capacity," he said.

"The Australian oil and gas industry created 100,000 jobs last year and is looking to generate this many again in the decade ahead.

"However, the costs associated with delivering Australian LNG into key markets is now substantially higher than for projects in East Africa or North America.

"Higher taxes, lower labour productivity and red/green tape faced by local projects have to be addressed."

Mr Byers said political leaders needed to show national economic leadership, "not just in words but by deeds."

Three LNG projects are currently underway on Curtis Island, with a fourth awaiting a final investment decision later this year.