Jul 23, 2019In The Community

Brighter at the Developing Northern Australia Conference

Regional Queensland and its successful relationship with the onshore gas industry was showcased in Western Australia at the Developing Northern Australia Conference last week. The event highlighted the diversification of local economies as a result of gas projects.

Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprises (TSBE), a Queensland-based economic development group, was formed in 2011 to help local businesses take advantage of the supply chain opportunities in the development of the regionally extensive Surat Basin gas fields.

TSBE Chairman Shane Charles spoke at the conference, held in Karratha, to more than 300 delegates about the benefits that can flow to businesses and communities as a result of playing a proactive role in the development of an onshore natural gas industry.

Brighter travelled with Mr Charles, who also had the opportunity to meet with other natural gas industry stakeholders in Perth, Geraldton and Broome.  He said there were several important takeaways from the Queensland experience that can apply to the gas industry in Western Australia.

“Since its inception, TSBE has been instrumental in ensuring that the regional community would see maximum economic and social benefit by working with the gas industry. Alongside supporting businesses to innovate, adapt and collaborate we have championed upgraded infrastructure and encouraged major investment,” Mr Charles said.

“It is a strong, successful framework that builds economic resilience and diversity, strengthening communities and businesses. The power of having local people driving local connections to build regional strength through economic activity has been invaluable,” he said.

Mr Charles said that alignment between the business community, organisations that represent the community and governments are considered key to a successful partnership between the industry and region.

“This was really key to our success in the Surat Basin – alignment and collaboration across the different players.”

“As a result we were able to work effectively with the gas industry, leading to major investment in infrastructure and growth in both existing and new sectors. I have extended an open invitation to my Western Australia colleagues and counterparts to visit us in Toowoomba and continue to collaborate,” said Mr Charles.