Gas-industry development to do QLD's economic heavy lifting

CHUNKS of Central and southern Queensland will be doing much of the state's heavy economic lifting until the end of the decade, with a new report predicting waves of gas-industry development.

Although coal prices remain troubled, expansive coal seam gas fields near Toowoomba and enormous refineries off Gladstone will demand thousands of workers but from other regional centres including Mackay and Rockhampton.

The Queensland forecasts come less than a week after the New South Wales Government announced it would not allow new gas exploration applications for nine months.

Last week, NSW Resources Minister Anthony Roberts said there would no new licences to explore until September 26 when the government will have developed a new policy.

The Annual Skills Priority Report from Deloitte Access Economics is a result of the Queensland Ministerial Industry Commission which included business, industry figures and academics to put together training reforms.

The report is being presented to Education and Training Minister John-Paul Langbroek today by Assistant Further Education Minister and commission chair Saxon Rice.

It is designed to guide how the government funds training across the state and which organisations to support.

The supply of electricians, diesel fitters, mechanical engineers and machinery drivers or operators will not meet demand, as the skills are needed not just in resources but in construction and telecommunications.

According to the report, up to 85% of the 6000 gas jobs created will be "required in the Surat Basin that extends through the parts of the Darling Downs-Maranoa and Fitzroy regions, as well as the eastern half of the Queensland outback region".

Beyond gas, residential construction jobs will be driven by population growth in south-east Queensland.

Health care and social assistance roles needed to care for Queensland's ageing population will make up 55% of the 308,000 new roles created by mid-2019.

Minister Langbroek is to respond to the report by June 30.



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