May 19, 2022

Queensland Small Business Month Op-ed: APPEA Queensland Director Matthew Paull on our important supply chain partners

About 2,000 members of the oil and gas industry have gathered in Brisbane this week at the annual Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference and Exhibition.

But while it’s the biggest business conference held in Queensland since summer’s border reopening and relaxing of restrictions, it wouldn’t be possible to have everyone with a stake in the industry attend.

In Queensland Small Business Month, it’s important to acknowledge the extraordinary supply chains of small businesses that support all industries across this state.

In the oil and gas sector, these businesses play a critical role – doing everything from providing extraordinary technical and scientific expertise to delivering everyday supplies like water and food to work sites.

In return, we support them – supporting their jobs, staying in their hotels, eating at their restaurants and buying their products.

A recent Australian Gas Industry Trust study found almost 9,000 businesses, directly employing over 31,000 workers, made up the entire supply chain in Queensland.

That’s the full supply chain – the obvious jobs like LNG technicians and geologists working on projects as well as gas bottle retailers and gas fitters in our suburbs. But it’s also the positions like truck drivers and boat crew.

Many of these are small businesses like the many spread across the Surat, Cooper or Bowen basins of Queensland.

An interesting example is Australia Pacific LNG’s work in Western Downs. In the last quarter of 2021, the Origin-operated project spent $6.4 million in the region directly, $3.7 million indirectly and was engaged with 47 local businesses. A total of 175 employees reside in the region while 137 overnight stays were booked in local motels during the three months. The figures were similar for other regions the venture operates.

This highlights the intrinsic way in which gas has penetrated our metropolitan and regional economies. And the key enabler is small businesses, which rely on the industry for their long-term future.

Emissions reduction will be critical for Queensland and our industry over the long term as we continue to partner with small business, provide essential feedstock for manufacturers, and firm renewable energy supply.

The oil and gas industry is committed to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We are working with governments in support of their climate change targets and we have already spent billions on reducing emissions.

So, to all the small businesses helping power Queensland, thank you.

Matthew Paull is the Queensland Director of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA)