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Foreword

Foreward by Ian Macfarlane MP, Federal Minister for Industry

The Australian oil and gas sectors are going through unprecedented change.

Industry estimates that as at 2011–12, more than $220 billion had been invested in LNG and other petroleum projects.

Another $205 billion has been committed towards an additional 18 LNG, gas and petroleum projects.

This is a strong vote of confidence in the continued opportunities available in Australia’s resources sector.

The pipeline industry is providing fundamental infrastructure for this growth, with approximately 33,000 km of high-pressure pipelines in place, including more than 25,000 km dedicated to natural gas transmission, with about $5 billion invested in new or expanded pipelines in the last decade alone.

Over the next three years we will continue to witness the transformation of Australia’s eastern gas market as gas supply triples to meet the demand from new LNG export facilities.

The overwhelming majority of this new demand will be met with the transformational development of coal seam gas (CSG).

The opportunity that this represents for the economy, in terms of revenue, driving investment and creating jobs, is huge.

The Federal Government recognises that resource projects are competing for investment internationally and the Government is committed to doing its part to help investors feel confident in making a long-term commitment to Australia.

To investors the message is firmly that ‘Australia is open for business’.

Construction and maintenance of pipelines will be essential to this growth.

In particular, CSG projects require dedicated transmission pipelines and extensive gas gathering and water handling infrastructure, and existing domestic infrastructure requires upgrading to support a larger and more dynamic market.

The Australian Pipeline Industry Association has been proactive and successful in developing a Code of Practice for polyethylene gathering lines, an important part of the Queensland CSG industry.

As this range of networks grows, they bring with them a re-invigoration of many regional economies and communities.

The most pressing issue for the oil and gas sector remains improving the efficiency of how we regulate these CSG projects.

Slow approval processes and red tape have been hindering the development of our east coast gas supply, potentially compromising our energy security and undermining our ability to secure this investment going forward.

The Government is working with industry and states to address these impediments, and strike the right balance between developing our energy resources and putting in place the environmental safeguards the community expects.

The development of our oil and gas resources in a responsible and timely manner will be crucial to securing the long-term opportunities of this sector.

This work will be challenging and I look forward to working with the pipeline industry and other key stakeholders so that we can grow the industry and provide maximum benefits for Australian communities and the Australian economy.

Hon Ian Macfarlane MP

Minister for Industry

The Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP. 

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