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Sky News On The Hour 4pm -

View in ParlView

Joint Press Conference

with

The Hon Martin Ferguson

Minister for Resources and Energy

Brisbane

31 October 2010

SUBJECTS: BG announcement

TREASURER:

Well, thanks very much Cath [Tanna] it's good to be here with my colleague Martin Ferguson, the
Minister for Resources. Can I just say that as Treasurer, but also as a proud Queenslander, this is
a tremendously exciting project for Queensland and for Australia.

It will deliver a huge boost to the Queensland economy but also to the Australian economy. It will
provide vital support to jobs, to small business, to future investment and if we do that within a
framework of environmental protection and the protection of agricultural production it will also
bring a very substantial boost to Australian exports.

It will further enhance the reputation of the region as one of the great power houses of the
Australian economy.

Now it's hard to get a grip on just how significant this project is, so I want to take you through
just a couple of facts so we can understand the size and the significance of the project.

The plant will be half the size of the whole North West Shelf project and that will go in place in
four years - the North West Shelf was put in place over 20 years. And it will produce a third of
Australia's LNG, and that's just stage one.

So by any measure this is a very significant project for the Australian economy and Cath has gone
through the significance of the project, how important it is that we have the proper environmental
controls, how important it is to work with the local community.

And I just want to stress that the Federal Government along with the State Government have been
working on this project for almost three years. In fact I met the Managing Director of BG in
Gladstone I think in March 2008 and had a discussion there at the airport, and I know our Resources
Minister, Martin Ferguson, has been working full-time on making sure projects like this become a
reality.

So this is a very significant milestone for the Australian economy. It's not every day a company
can make an announcement that they would invest $15 billion in the future of our country. This
would be close to the single biggest investment in a Queensland resource project, most probably the
biggest. So that's very significant.

But what I'd like to say is that this is a vote of confidence in the attractiveness of Australia as
a place to invest and to do business, and that's very important as well.

But let's go to the core of this - what does this mean for the economy? What does it mean in terms
of the average person? Well, there's something like 5000 jobs created directly through the
construction of this project, and that's just the direct jobs. That's not the multiplier effects of
all the additional jobs that are created in small businesses, all the tradies that are working and
so on. So this is a very big job generator for Australia and that's very, very important.

In terms of its overall impact on investment this will increase inward investment by about 10 per
cent per year over 2010-11 for every year in the next four years. That's how significant it is. And
it's expected to boost Queensland's annual exports by more than 10 per cent. So what we've got here
is, by any measure, a real milestone in the history of this state and in the history of the
Australian economy.

And I'd like to pay tribute to the company for the way in which they have worked very hard to
ensure, as Cath said before, that we do put in place the proper frameworks and that's been the role
of Government both state and federally. The environmental protections are important. The protection
of our agricultural industries are important and that whole process has been very rigorous. I will
leave my remarks there and just ask Martin if he might want to say a word or two.

FERGUSON:

Well firstly Cath, Wayne, ladies and gentlemen. First to say congratulations to all those involved
in delivering what is a foundation investment for a new industry in Queensland and a new industry
for Australia. Coal seam methane is not new to Australia; it represents 30 per cent of our domestic
gas supply on the east coast of Australia. It is a new history for Australia in terms of export
opportunities. It is a first. Only now we're going to see a flurry of activity following the
leadership of BG from other competitors in terms of actually delivering similar projects.

As Cath and Wayne have said, this is about bringing home the bacon to Queenslanders. It represents
real jobs on the ground. It's good for Gladstone and it's good for regional Queensland. Only a
matter of a couple of months ago I was out at Biloela. I saw an apprenticeship opportunity under
construction, funded by the Australian Government, which will be now fitted out and benefit from
investments such as this and that means local kids, young men and women actually doing their
apprenticeships locally and getting great job opportunities as a result of investment decisions
such as this.

And that, when you think about it, was three years ago when Cath and her CEO came to see the
Commonwealth Government. To deliver a project with the scale and complexity and the detail such as
this in a three year time period, this kind of investment decision is a major achievement for all
those involved. Firstly the company, but it also represents the cooperative opportunities of local
Government, State and Commonwealth Government actually working together. I actually think the time
span to achieve an investment such as this is a tremendous achievement. It is a very strong
statement about the intentions of BG Group to be here for the long-term in Australia. It's a very
strong statement about the attractiveness of Australia for investment. We are the winners, its real
jobs on the ground and export wealth for Australia. I congratulate those involved and simply say,
as of tomorrow we get on with the job of actually building this tremendous opportunity for
Australia.