Edited by Nelly T.
During the welcome reception of the LNG18 conference in Perth Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the fading of Australia’s investment boom in mining and resources was “always going to happen” but that the production phase of the new plants would last well into the future.
Mr. Turnbull visited Barrow Island off the WA coast to view Chevron’s $55 billion Gorgon LNG project, the same project Mr. Turnbull signed off on while still environment minister in the Howard government in 2007. Upon his return the Prime Minister said, “The production phase will continue for as long as the world needs energy and steel.”
Mr. Turnbull assured that at the peak of it’s construction stage the LNG projects had created more than 100, 000 jobs due to a flood of investments and would support “thousands” of long-term jobs now that the plants are moving into production.
Australia is now “most of the way through the largest terms of trade shock in our history,” the Prime Minister said. Since it’s peak the ratio of export to import process is down 34%, while resource construction activity had sunk from an unprecedented level of nearly 8% of GPD to about half that. Nonetheless the country would emerge “much stronger” on the other side.
He gave a ringing endorsement of the role natural gas would play, supporting the message from gas industry leaders earlier in the day, to assist reaching the task on emissions reductions by backing up renewable energy which produces power on intermittently.
Fuel plays a “pivotal role in delivering energy with lower carbon emissions, making it a key contributor to global carbon abatement,” the Prime Minister said.
Along the outskirts of the King’s Park cocktail venue in Perth the group of 50-60 vocal protesters stood in stark contrast to the declaration as they called for a switch to 100% renewable energy and an end to investment in gas.