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Community Engagement on Queensland Energy Industry
Posted: 04/23/2014 10:25:53  Hits: 548
Over 430 people gathered at the APIA Brisbane Dinner, which was held on 20 February at the Hilton Brisbane. Attendees heard with interest from GasFields Commission Queensland Chairman John Cotter, who has travelled more than 20,000 km around regional Queensland liaising with rural landholders and communities about the onshore gas industry, including those impacted by the CSG-to-LNG production and pipeline projects connecting the Surat Basin to Curtis Island in Gladstone.
 
Mr Cotter delivered an engaging address titled "Queensland's energy highways – walking the line on community engagement", and highlighted the important role that pipelines have played in creating energy highways in Queensland, particularly the three pipelines connecting the Surat Basin to Curtis Island in Gladstone. He explained that pipelines are the vital link in the energy revolution, and this includes the way they engage with communities.
 
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects worth more than $60 billion now underway in Queensland are responsible for almost 30,000 jobs as the state gears up to deliver a cleaner energy source to the world from 2014, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) said. The ‘2013 Quarterly 2 Industry Data' released shows Queensland's natural gas industry is continuing to deliver jobs and regional investment.
 
APPEA Chief Operating Officer Eastern Australia, Paul Fennelly said: "Natural gas is providing jobs for electrical fitters, caterers, project managers, mechanics, plumbers and engineers. People who would ordinarily leave country towns upon finishing school are staying because they can find well paid employment close to home."
 
According to Mr Cotter, the recent Queensland experience has provided some important lessons on land access matters and landholder liaison for Australia's growing natural gas and pipeline industries. He highlighted the importance of including land access matters in the contractual agreement between proponent and contractor; and urged for greater transparency with affected landholders and communities along the pipeline easement. Finally, Mr Cotter reminded attendees about the lasting impact of energy highways well beyond their construction phase and exhorted the audience to consider the legacy that is created.


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