The natural gas industry contributed about $55 billion to Queensland’s economy over a seven year period, according to a new report.
The Lawrence Consulting report underlines the importance of the sector for jobs and economic wealth creation – particularly in regional areas such as Gladstone, Toowoomba, Roma, Chinchilla and Dalby.
Almost $5 billion was spent on wages state-wide during the period, with the industry employing around 4600 full-time employees, according to the Economic Impact of Queensland’s Petroleum and Gas sector 2011-18 report. The industry spent about $50 billion on goods and services from local community contributions and payments to local government as well as royalties, stamp duty and tax, the report found. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Queensland director Georgy Mayo said the study showed how vital the natural gas sector is for Queensland given the reporting period included a major downturn in the mining sector and a significant downturn in the global economy.
“The natural gas industry has propped up Queensland during a particularly tough time and it will continue to be a pillar of the economy for many decades to come,” Ms Mayo said. “Natural gas has also provided a huge boost regional centres like Gladstone, Toowoomba, Roma, Dalby and Chinchilla. “As we are in the midst of one of the worst droughts on record, the natural gas industry has also helped offset some of the hardship with jobs, economic development and providing a new source of water for landowners.” The Shared Landscapes report released by the Queensland Gasfields Commission in August 2019 adds to the picture painted in the Lawrence Consulting report, showing that $78 million was paid by the industry to landholders in 2018-19.