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The Western Australian Government has announced plans to establish a LNG Jobs Taskforce, helping to create new long-term job opportunities focused on servicing, maintaining and improving existing operations.

The taskforce will aim to establish Western Australia as a LNG hub, with both industry and government working collaboratively to maximise the benefits that flow from the local LNG industry.

Western Australia’s share of the nation’s LNG export capacity by late 2018 will be about 57 per cent, or close to 50 million tonnes, with LNG volumes having increased by 84 per cent in the past five years.

The taskforce will focus on harnessing the job opportunities the LNG industry can be providing the WA community, including new technology, education and maintenance services. Further details and the members of the taskforce will be announced in coming months.

Premier, Mark McGowan, said, “WA jobs are my number one priority, and the creation of this jobs taskforce will make sure we build on our existing LNG industry to create more long-term local jobs.

“Australia is set to have the world’s largest LNG export capacity by mid-2018, surpassing Qatar, so now is the time for our state to act and become a global hub.

“As we build on our existing LNG operations, courses could be provided by education and training providers that align with the needs of industry, ensuring young Western Australians get the skills required for future job opportunities.

“Oil and gas projects help drive our economy, generating jobs in the industry and revenue with flow-on effects to the rest of the economy.”

APPEA welcomed the announcement.

APPEA Chief Operating Officer WA, Stedman Ellis, said collaboration between government and industry was the key to creating a vibrant new LNG service sector.

“Australia is on the verge of becoming the world’s leading LNG exporter and WA is the nation’s leading LNG producer,” Mr Ellis said.

“As the construction phase is reaching completion, we need to seize the opportunity to develop an innovative local service sector to support LNG operations for decades to come.

“WA has a very strong foundation to build on. With 11 LNG trains producing almost 50 million tonnes per annum when fully commissioned, WA has the potential to be a world-class leader in LNG operations.

“The benefits to the WA economy would be enormous. McKinsey and Company estimate that a new LNG service industry could deliver up to 15,000 new jobs and up to $1 billion every year in exports to other LNG producers.

“The WA Government is to be applauded for recognising this opportunity and for providing leadership. But timing is crucial. We face competition from Singapore, Malaysia and a number of nations in the Middle East which are all developing their own LNG service sectors.

“While there is much to be done, the establishment of a taskforce to ensure alignment between government and industry is an important first step.”

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