Questions without notice – Energy in WA

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Mr RICK WILSON: My question is to the Minister for Resources and Water. Will the minister provide an update on the progress of important job and wealth-creating resource projects in Western Australia and outline what this will mean for the community I represent and for our economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic? Is the minister aware of any alternative policies?

Mr PITT: I thank the member for O’Connor for his question. The member for O’Connor has already got the super pit but now the west is going to get the super pipe—the super pipe delivering gas from the Scarborough gas field all the way across to the coast. Yesterday, Woodside made an incredibly important decision, which is to bring on the Scarborough gas field and deliver the Pluto 2 project. The super pipe will deliver gas but it will also deliver jobs. This is an investment of some $16½ billion by Woodside. We should consider that for a moment—$16½ billion invested by Woodside in this project. That is a vote of confidence not only in their company but also in the gas sector itself. That is a vote of confidence in the policies of the government. That is a vote of confidence in the supply of gas to customers who are willing buyers out there in the world and, of course, right across Australia.

Woodside is targeting first gas from this project in 2026. It is a low-CO2 gas first discovered in 1979—would you believe it?—and we now have a final investment decision which is going to drive jobs out into the 2050s. We expect the supply to run out into the 2050s. This is an incredibly important role. It will create 3,200 local construction jobs—can you believe that?—for the west, 600 of which are ongoing. I will say it again: this is a vote of confidence in the sector, it’s a vote of confidence in the west and it’ s a vote of confidence in Woodside. We will continue to support the resources sector because this is how we pay for schools and roads and hospitals. The amount of money that will be delivered over the lifetime of this project—some $33 billion in direct and indirect taxation—pays for roads, schools and hospitals. This is how governments pay for the essential services that Australians rely on.

I am asked about alternatives. We know there are some alternatives. We know that those opposite quite simply can’t stick with anything. They are always each way. You never know what you will get with those opposite. If we look at what has been put forward by the Labor Environment Action Network, they want to get rid of gas stoves and gas heaters. They want to get rid of gas water heaters in particular.

The SPEAKER: The minister will resume his seat. The Manager of Opposition Business has the call.

Mr Burke: He is not going to alternative policies at all. He is going to wild fantasies that he is making up. It has to be anchored in something.

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. The minister has the call.

Mr PITT: Labor Environment Action Network. It’s not the policy of our side; it’s Labor’s environmental action network. On this side, we want to continue to ensure these jobs are delivered and we want to continue to provide confidence to the resources sector, and we will do that. We want to see Australians take up these opportunities and we want to ensure that when it comes to the post-pandemic economic recovery, projects like this go ahead because they are good for our nation.

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