Western Australians Set for Long-Term Benefit from North West Shelf Venture

Western Australia is set to reap more than $2billion over the next five years in economic spin-offs from the expansion of the North West Shelf Venture's Karratha gas plant, Premier Geoff Gallop said..

In Karratha to mark the formal commencement of construction of the LNG Train 5 expansion project, Dr Gallop said it was the additional projects that the trains would trigger and the ongoing maintenance work to keep the gas plant operating that were the key to maintaining high local content and local skills.

The North West Shelf Venture announced the $2billion expansion project in June. Upon completion, the venture's Karratha gas plant will be among the five biggest single LNG facilities in the Asia-Pacific region.

"A project of this scale will bring significant and long-term economic benefits not only to the Pilbara, but also to WA and Australia," the Premier said.

"The project will have a peak construction workforce of up to 1,500 people by mid-2007.

"It will also provide at least $900million in local contracts and is the onshore catalyst to accelerate at least $3billion of infrastructure investment in the North West Shelf over the next five years.

"The Pilbara region itself will benefit from approximately $220million in local spending over the next three years.

"The venture is also expected to spend more than $2billion in operating expenses over the next five years, the majority of which will go to local providers."

Dr Gallop said the State's resources sector was vital to growing and strengthening WA's surging economy.

"We have recently announced two major initiatives designed to support the State's booming resources industry and facilitate development," he said. These include:

  • the development of a State Infrastructure Strategy to identify and prioritise WA's infrastructure needs for the next 20 years, with an aim to promote jobs and investment growth by providing greater certainty about the timing of 'big ticket' infrastructure developments; and
  • $25million to streamline approvals processes for major resource projects and to create an Office of Development Approvals Co-ordination to ensure our resources industry is not tied down in red tape.