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  • Gasfields Commission
  • 2019-11-22

Regional Employment


The Queensland coal seam gas industry is 23 years young this year.

The first commercial production of CSG came from the Bowen Basin Permian Coal Measures at Dawson River near Moura in 1996.

Since those early days the industry has expanded rapidly across Queensland and in particular across the Surat Basin forming the multi-billion-dollar industry it is today.

Throughout this period, with its construction booms and production phase slowdowns, one thing has remained relatively low – unemployment rates in gas field communities.

The combination of agriculture, gas, mining and renewables have all contributed to regional job creation in varying degrees.

The GasFields Commission’s new report into the gas industry ‘Shared Landscapes’ shows that unemployment has remained below the state average for most regional centres in the gas fields.

The figures show that while the construction phase was the best of times for jobs, on average the majority of regional centres in gas production areas have continued to benefit from lower rates of unemployment than the rest of the state.

The Universityof Queensland figures show there was an increase in unemployment in the Maranoa region at the end of the construction phase around 2016 while increases in the Western Downs and Toowoomba regions appear to have stabilised.

Agricultural industries continue to be the main drivers and influencers of local economies with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries forecasting the total value of Queensland’s agricultural production will add up to $18.5 billion in the 2018-19 year.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association figures show that the gas industry added $8.2 billion to the Queensland economy in 2017/18 supporting 2,926 businesses.

If you want to know more, you can find the ‘Shared Landscapes’ report on our website as a flipbook or download a copy for future reference.