It is important that the Northern Territory takes maximum advantage of the economic opportunities that an onshore unconventional gas industry will bring to our remote regions. The main way we can do this is through making sure that Territorians are well placed to provide goods, services and workers to the industry.
A growing onshore gas industry will create direct and indirect jobs ranging from technical specialists in drilling and engineering to civil works and providing services like accommodation. The prospect for Territorians to be trained and working in this industry with its global reach is a great opportunity. To ensure Territorians are able to secure these jobs, we need to work with the industry to understand the skillsets required. Government will work with training providers to review our higher education and vocational education training offerings and ensure that Territorians are being trained in areas the industry will need. Education, training and upskilling will need to start now to ensure we have a pipeline of talent ready as the industry grows.
Providing the highest quality and reliable services is vital to our local business and industry competing successfully as this industry takes shape. Territory businesses have already demonstrated that they can compete on price, quality and after sales service. As it expands, the onshore gas industry will create a number of additional opportunities, ranging from environmental management to pipeline construction over the decades this industry will run.
The Department of Business, Trade and Innovation already has a suite of programs to support the growth of industry capabilities in the Northern Territory, and will develop bespoke programs once the gas industry’s plans and needs are defined in greater detail.
A collaborative approach between industry and government will support a vast array of skilled and unskilled jobs, directly within the industry and across our goods, manufacturing, services and supply networks that will exist well into the future.
Maximising Regional Benefits and Local Opportunities Action Points
Creating Local Training Programs, Skills Assessment and Employment
The Northern Territory Government will refresh its framework that aims to maximise the contribution of private sector projects in the Territory. Under this framework, companies will be required to develop a plan that clearly articulates their commitments and strategies to deliver training and employment outcomes for local and regional stakeholders.
The skills and employment requirements for each stage of a project will be assessed and mapped against the capabilities of the local industry and workforce. The plans will be expected to address employment, training and business development programs to maximise opportunities for local businesses and residents.
Maximising Opportunities for Territory Business
The exact nature of the opportunities for Northern Territory businesses will become clearer as the gas industry collects and collates the early results from exploration activity and gradually refines its development plans.
These development plans will identify the scale, location, breadth of services, volume of materials, schedule, and scale and location of enabling infrastructure such as roads, pipelines, accommodation, waste management facilities and professional services required to support the production of gas.
The government will work with the gas industry and industry development partners such as the Northern Territory Industry Capability Network, the Chamber of Commerce and industry peak bodies to define the scope and timing of the opportunities for Territory businesses throughout the life cycle of the industry.
Ensuring Territorians Benefit from Royalties
The government can expect to receive increased royalty and tax revenue from an onshore gas industry. The government will investigate options for allocating royalty revenues that facilitate economic, business and social development in the regions and the Northern Territory more broadly.
The government will work with the pastoral industry and the gas industry to determine the best way to compensate pastoralists for the impact gas operations may have on their businesses.