The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has announced that new natural gas industry data shows that natural gas development is underpinning Queensland’s economy while in NSW gas development has almost reached a standstill.

Queensland landholders are saying yes to natural gas development in big numbers, having signed more than 4500 land access agreements with gas companies since 2011.

The industry data, which goes up to the end of 2013, shows 4516 agreements have been signed in Queensland where almost $70 billion worth of coal seam gas/liquefied natural gas projects are progressing towards completion, with the first LNG tanker likely to leave Queensland shores by year’s end.

APPEA Chief Operating Officer Eastern Australia, Paul Fennelly said: “Queensland landholders have been signing agreements at a rate of 2.8 a day over the last year and there have been no formal land access disputes to date.

“We recognise negotiating such agreements can be a daunting experience for landholders but communicating early and often can lead to compromise and mutually beneficial arrangements between gas companies and landholders.

“Such achievement reflects hard work undertaken in good faith between companies, the state government, local councils, farmers, Ag Force, the Queensland Gasfields Commission and local community reference groups.

“Queensland has set a benchmark other eastern Australian states must match if they are to address supply shortfalls by safely exploring and producing local natural gas resources.

“NSW in particular should be looking and learning from the Queensland experience.”

In Queensland more than 40,000 people, direct employees and contractors, were working in the industry as at the end of 2013. The number of direct jobs has dropped from 7068 in June 2013 to 6821.

Mr Fennelly said: “Industry remains a significant employer in Queensland but we can expect to see jobs taper off over time as projects move from construction to operation.

“There remains enormous potential for the state, through an appropriate regulatory framework, to attract further resource investment in exploration and production.”

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