14 Jan 2021

Government commitment to NT infrastructure highlights growth opportunities

Today’s announcement by Minister Keith Pitt of the next stage of the Australian Government’s Strategic Basin Plan for the Beetaloo Basin underscores confidence in the Territory’s world-class gas reserves, APPEA Northern Territory Director Keld Knudsen said today.

The Gas Industry Roads Upgrades program, funded by the Federal Government’s $4.6 billion Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative (ROSI), will improve road networks throughout the Territory in support of local communities and the continued development of remote and regional areas of the Territory, including the highly prospective Beetaloo Sub-basin.

The upgrade program will inject $217 million in funding into the Northern Territory and support more than 400 jobs, improving supply chains and connecting a range of businesses and sectors to Australian and international markets. The Beetaloo is the first of five gas basins to be explored as part of Federal Government plans announced in the 2020–21 Federal Budget.

Importantly, investment in new roads benefits all Territorians, improving road safety and connecting important agricultural, pastoral and mining regions to ports, airports and other transport hubs and services, goods, and markets.

The oil and gas industry has invested billions of dollars in drilling wells and developing Australia’s significant oil and gas reserves, with further exploration and appraisal of the Beetaloo expected to stimulate the local economy with jobs and improved access to gas for manufacturers.

Reporting from Deloitte Access Economics has indicated that the development of the basin could inject as much as $17 billion and at least 4,000 jobs into the Northern Territory economy over the next 20 years. The commitment by the government recognises Australia’s world-class resources reserves, and that development of gas basins, including the Beetaloo, can provide stable, secure, and affordable energy for Australia for decades to come.

Exploration and development of new basins are critical to the enduring gas supply challenge Australia faces. The Beetaloo Sub-basin still requires billions of dollars of investment in high-risk exploration and the construction of production wells, gas processing and pipeline infrastructure to get the gas to market, processes that will take several years.

“As an industry, we have a tremendous opportunity to continue to unlock the wealth, jobs and business opportunities that would come from developing the Territory’s existing and prospective natural resources — including the Beetaloo Sub-basin — and increase economic growth for the Territory and Australia,” said APPEA Director, Northern Territory Keld Knudsen.

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