January 23, 2018

Investment security a casualty of latest Government decision

The WA Opposition has condemned the McGowan Government’s decision to review environmental conditions applying to Chevron’s Wheatstone LNG project.

Shadow Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Marmion said it was extremely concerning the Government was proposing to change the rules of engagement after Chevron had invested billions of dollars on the Wheatstone project.

“In making this decision, the McGowan Government is sending a message to current and potential investors in the resources industry in Western Australia that under the McGowan Government, your investment is always at risk,” Mr Marmion said.

“The Government is reviewing the rules after such a massive investment by Chevron for a long-term project providing enormous benefits to the state.

“This review is a game changer in Western Australia’s resources sector; unfortunately for the worst. It has the potential to divert investors away from Western Australia to more certain and secure regulatory environments.

“The Government needs to explain the basis of this decision. It must explain what consultation it undertook with Chevron before making this decision.

“I would be surprised if, after their investment, Chevron would welcome such a review. The Government needs to come clean and outline the extent of its consultation, the stakeholders involved and whether it even consulted with Chevron when arriving at this decision.

“Chevron has employed thousands of Western Australians, spent $20 billion on local goods and services since 2009, and will be spending one billion dollars a year over the next 40 years in the local economy, and the Government is now reviewing their conditions post their investment.

“The McGowan Government is ignoring Chevron’s long-term contribution to our economy, which will result in $180 billion added to the nation’s gross domestic product and $50 billion to state and federal coffers.

“The McGowan Government should immediately put a stop to this review. It is not necessary. Chevron is making a significant contribution to the state and national economy, while being an important contributor to Western Australia’s low carbon energy mix.”

Mr Marmion said a pattern was emerging within the Government of decisions aimed at hurting the mining and resources industry including its decision to not allow an iron ore mining proposal in the Helena-Aurora Range, the ban on new uranium developments, its attempts to increase the gold royalty, increased taxes at ports and placing an effective term of government ban on onshore exploration and development in the hydraulic fracture gas sector.

“The McGowan Government is no friend of the mining and resources industry,” Mr Marmion said.

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