Announcement of the Northern Territory – Eastern Australia Gas Pipeline

13 October 2014
Ian Macfarlane MP
Joint announcement with Adam Giles MLA, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
ADAM GILES: Well it’s great to be here today with Minister Macfarlane, Federal Industry Minister, to announce, alongside the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, that the Northern Territory Government will be going through a formal expression of interest process by the end of the year, seeking companies interested in building the Alice Springs pipeline to Moomba, or a pipeline connecter between the Northern Territory and the Eastern seaboard, connecting up the gas pipelines to both support the creation and development of a wholesale domestic gas industry within Australia and also to seek to support further other gas developments both nationally and internationally.
The opportunity around developing a gas pipeline means that Australians, particularly on the Eastern seaboard, will receive a greater flow of gas in the future which can meet looming shortcomings in gas supply, particularly in NSW in the backend of 2017 and moving forward until 2019. What it also means is that there’ll be a greater level of investment into stranded gas assets in the Northern Territory, giving them greater opportunity to get into the market. This pipeline infrastructure, which we are going to an expression of interest for, will also mean that not only will our stranded assets to be developed, but the investment that will come into the Northern Territory will mean the creation of new jobs in regional and remote parts of the Northern Territory, an establishment of infrastructure by the private sector, which will stay for longer periods of time.
We’re also announcing today that the pipeline itself will be a major project in terms of the status within the Northern Territory. It will be the sixteenth major project in the Northern Territory which means we’ll give it a greater level of importance and significance in the way that we treat it and to make sure it moves on a speedy basis. We know that we’re working on a very short time frame in terms of trying to deliver gas into other parts of the nation. So we need to work as quickly as possible and that’s why it’s fantastic to be joined here by Minister Macfarlane because for us to be able to do this, we need Canberra’s support. Canberra’s jumped on board to acknowledge the importance and significance of this, and COAG gave its endorsement last Friday and we were very excited to see that. What we’re doing from here on in is this.
On the 31st of October there will be an industry briefing held in Alice Springs and we’ll be asking people to register to come to that so we know is coming. Already today at this Australian-Japanese business conference we’ve seen a range of interests coming on board where people want to know information about the pipeline, about the gas markets, and how they can get involved in investing and building and owning and operating that pipeline.
So that’s a very strong indication of the level of interest in this pipeline. It’s a significant day in terms of announcing this expression of interest, it shows that we’re serious about the pipeline; we’re serious about developing industry, developing jobs in the Northern Territory and being a market leader in the nation in supporting the development of a wholesale domestic supply industry. Minister would you like to add?
IAN MACFARLANE: Well I want to congratulate the Northern Territory Government for its initiative in taking this step and calling for expressions of interest. The Commonwealth sees enormous potential in this project. We obviously have a gas supply problem in Eastern Australia looming in 2016 and 2017, which will have a particular impact in NSW. The potential for this pipeline extends beyond the Northern Territory and NSW, it includes South Australian stranded gas and tight gas projects there, as well as potential to augment gas supplies into the industrial sphere in Queensland as well as LNG trains in Gladstone.
So we will work with the Northern Territory Government to progress this issue, the Northern Territory Government has already provided major project facilitation status and the Commonwealth will give that due consideration as well, from our end. The next step will be to see the proposals and then put together a plan to in particular, create the corridor so the pipeline can be built quickly. We really need to see pipeline completed, if possible, within three years.
Courtesy of Ian Macfarlane MP