Of the 75 projects listed as advanced by the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resources Economics (ABARE), 41 are in the energy sector. An advanced project is one which has already commenced construction or has been approved to commence construction. Of the 75 projects across the total Australian Resource Sector, 67 are already under construction (with 30 of these still underway this year and in 2012) and eight are still to start, but will do so within the next three years. In addition, there are 286 less advanced projects identified by ABARE which cite an operational date, but not a construction start date – but most are slated to commence production in the period 2012 to 2020.
Together the total number of new jobs anticipated for the combined sectors for the period 2011 to 2015 includes 45,000 in construction, 61,500 in mining operations and 3,200 in oil and gas operations. Currently there are only a few projects underway in states like New South Wales, Northern Territory and South Australia, but this looks to dramatically change going forward. The locations where some projects are currently drawing labour from – or anticipate drawing labour from – may change once increased opportunities present in home locations for employees and candidates.
The National Resource Skills Taskforce analysis released in 2010 shows:
- Construction jobs on new projects could peak at 45,000 in 2012 and 2013, with strong jobs growth for technicians and tradespeople, and machinery operators and drivers.
- In LNG operations, pending the number of LNG trains constructed by 2015, employment could increase by around 3,200 (eg if four new trains are sanctioned and operating in Queensland and six in Western Australia). There will be strong jobs growth for drillers (Queensland only), operators, electrical trades and mechanical technicians.
- Replacement demand in gas operations could be around 2,000 persons per annum, including approximately 500 retirements.
The report cites emerging shortages at present—mainly engineers and other professional staff with more than five years experience.
At the time of release, the report claimed there was a significant number of unemployed tradespeople. However, the Taskforce expects labour market tightening will result in skills shortages by late 2011 to early 2012, particularly in Western Australia and some regions of Queensland. As a result, the resources sector could be 36,000 tradespeople short by 2015.
Each year, we provide an update on major mining, oil and gas projects which are already under construction, or are considered to have a strong likelihood of being approved. The list is not exhaustive, but does provide those working in the industry, or considering working in the industry, with an insight into career opportunities – where they are located and timeframes. Unless otherwise stated, all dollar figures in the blogs are in Australian dollars. All information has been attained and extensively researched from current public sources and is true and correct to our best knowledge at this time. Projects are listed in alphabetical order by project name within each blog.