The Australian Industry Group has applauded the Federal Government's approval of the development of two major energy projects in Gladstone, QLD and the dredging of the western basin of the port.
“This is a sensible step forward," says Ai Group Queensland Director Matthew Martyn-Jones.
"These projects could be worth up to $20 billion so it’s also critical that the 300 conditions attached to the approvals don’t prove so onerous as to make them unviable, Mr Martyn-Jones says.
"The projects will bolster QLD’s development as a sustainable industry hub strategically placed to supply energy and services to the rapidly expanding Asian economies.
"These type of projects have huge potential benefits for smaller companies in the supply chain – in areas like engineering, manufacturing, software and maintenance.
"But increasingly, what we’re seeing is resource companies going off-shore for these and other project components when the expertise could be right in our own backyard.
"When Australian-based companies are overlooked for the production of steel, concrete, pumps, pipes and other infrastructure, this dilutes the economic benefits we presume are attached to a development of this scale.
"Ai Group calls on project proponents and Government to work closely with industry to ensure Australian-based companies get a fair opportunity to compete for securing their fair share of work flowing from these huge projects as they unfold.”