Regional communities benefit the most from the highly innovative onshore gas industry, with new jobs and infrastructure creating stronger and diversified regional economies.

Many oil and gas jobs and investment is based in rural and regional towns, which provides a range of benefits including upskilling and educational opportunities as well as creating stronger, more resilient local communities.

In Australia’s most prosperous regions, agriculture has long been the economic partner to the industry. The benefits of a diversified economy are on display in many regions of Australia.

In regions like Queensland’s Western Downs, a significant amount of business growth and infrastructure development has occurred off the back of investments in resource projects. Investments that benefit to the whole community.

The majority of Australia’s onshore natural gas industry is based in Queensland, which accounts for most of the gas produced for the east coast market.

CSG activity and benefits

  • Queensland is a shining example of regional development; and how the natural gas industry, farmers and regional communities can thrive together.
  • Most of the gas used on Australia’s east coast comes from coal seams.
  • Queensland produced 1526 PJ of gas in 2017/18 (Source: DNRME). This compares to 1851 PJ total gas consumed in the east coast market in 2017 (Source: AEMO).
  • The onshore gas industry makes a significant contribution to the Queensland economy including through revenue, taxes, royalties and jobs:
    • $9 billion in value added each year
    • 3,100 local businesses benefiting, mostly in regional areas
    • 27,000 people employed (direct and indirect)
    • $3.9 billion in wages and salaries each year, and the average salary of $175,000 per year is almost twice the Australian average.
    • Over 45 gigalitres of clean water to beneficial use each year
    • $387 million to landholders as at June 2017
    • $1.8 billion in royalties over forward estimates
    • Gas for manufacturing, power supply, households, fertiliser, food processing, plastics.

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Community engagement

  • The industry also supports and sponsors a variety of community programs in areas such as health and education as well as investing in Indigenous communities.
  • A key part of the support the industry provides to the community is through sponsorship and development programs with an emphasis on community wellbeing and cultural development.
  • For instance, Beach energy recently announced their partnership with royal flying doctors to provide vital health services for remote communities in South Australia.
  • Or Buru Energy’s sponsorship of local sports and arts awards, and small business engagement in Broome. In Queensland, Arrow Energy’s hearts of Australia partnership brings medical specialists to regional Australian’s who would otherwise travel hundreds of kilometres to access services.

Developing onshore natural gas resources in our regional areas can also create significant employment and training opportunities and new income streams for regional communities.

Co-existence and land access

  • Building and maintaining positive, mutually beneficial relationships between industry and landholders is essential.
  • Unfortunately, there is a misconception that the gas and agriculture sectors are mutually exclusive. In fact, in many cases, the opposite is true.
  • Today’s agribusinesses utilise some of the most sophisticated science and technology deployed anywhere in Australia, and they welcome both water and revenue from gas projects as a hedge against weather and commodity cycles.
  • Given the need to build strong long-term relationships, the industry has not sought to access land without first gaining the landholder’s agreement.
  • Landholders hosting natural gas infrastructure receive a significant new financial stream that is not dependent on weather and agricultural commodity price cycles, and they can also benefit from upgraded farm infrastructure and low-cost water.
  • In the past five years, gas companies paid $387 million to the landholders that hosted gas activities.