Floating LNG plants will cost WA government billions

The Economics and Industry Standing Committee has tabled a report in the WA Parliament which found that allowing gas to be processed offshore would cost thousands of Australian jobs. 

The Inquiry into the Economic Implications of Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Operations claims that FLNG has the potential for ‘devastating’ impact on the WA economy, which would cost the state billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs.

The report was highly critical of former federal Resources Minister Gary Gray’s decision to allow the Browse Basin to be developed through FLNG rather than onshore processing.

MUA State Secretary Chris Cain said the decision by Gray to allow the Browse Basin to be developed through FLNG would cost Australia 32,000 jobs.

“I cannot believe we have a situation where millions of tonnes of gas worth billions of dollars will be processed off the WA coast with almost no benefit to workers in this country,” Cain said.

The report’s recommended that the WA Government seek legal advice about whether Gray’s decision on Browse was lawful.

Report committee member Peter Tinley held the position that WA needed to legislate to ensure that the state benefitted from resources being developed in its waters.

Cain also said the MUA fully supported committee member Fran Logan’s call for the WA Government to insist Gray’s decision to allow offshore processing be referred to a federal inquiry.

“The WA Government has a responsibility to ensure that the people of WA benefit from the development of our natural resources and Mr Barnett should be doing everything he can to stand up to Canberra on this issue.”

The Browse Basin is the location of two new projects, the INPEX Ichthys LNG project and Shell's Prelude LNG project.

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