Long-term partnerships will be the glue of the gas industry, as it transitions into a production phase in the Maranoa region.
Despite the tumultuous nature of gas prices, the industry is determined to build bridges for the future.
Deputy Chair of the GasField Commission, Shane Charles says its about capitalising on the diversity of the region.
“The one thing I think we really need to do as leaders in the community and the local council and the business people here is to look at diversification of the economy and look at what benefits this gas industry can bring – around business and around infrastructure and how we can use that to strengthen other industries,” says Mr Charles.
A community forum in Roma last week saw the CEOs from Santos, Origin, QGC and Senex mixing with local business, community and landholder representatives to discuss plans for the future.
The companies gave an update on their projects today and discussed a range of issues from local content, to land access and groundwater matters.
Santos QLD Vice President, Trevor Brown, says there is hope for the region yet.
“It may not feel like it at the moment but it’s one of the more fortunate areas in the entire country,” he says.
“The big development projects that we have going are our LNG export industry sourcing a lot of gas from the coal seams in and around Roma and that means an ongoing level of activity and development for many many decades to come in this region.”
Mining giant AGL last week announced it would back off from new exploration due to falling gas prices, but Mr Brown is still confident in the longevity of the industry albeit with a few changes.
“The drop is a serious one and we need to adjust our spending and we need to improve our efficiency.”
Despite the focus on oil and gas, Mr Charles says the forum was about looking at the local economy as a whole, not forgetting our farming roots.
“I think it really is important to go back to our roots and what has made this region really strong over a greater period of time and concentrate on those things,” says Mr Charles.
“Not forgetting the oil and gas industry… just making sure that we strengthen everyone and take them along the journey.”
The GasField Commission is an independent statutory body established over 3 years ago to help manage and improve relations between rural landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry in Queensland.
They hold Community Leader forums like this every 6 months to bring together all sides, share information and discuss issues.