The North Bowen and Galilee basins in Queensland contain significant untapped gas resources. Modelling has revealed gas production in the region could be worth up to $2.5 billion each year, and deliver up to 5,500 jobs by 2030.
Despite this significant potential, a range of factors have hindered the development to date. Geological conditions of the North Bowen and Galilee are challenging and require more testing of cutting edge drilling techniques to lower production costs. Gas papeline infrastructure in the region is insufficient to support development at an economically viable scale. Upgrades are dependent on proven resources and agreed gas purchase contracts.
To address these challenges, the Australian Government will:
- Deliver $15.7 million investment in gas field well trials to pilot innovative drilling programs across the basins. These have the potential to significantly bring down production costs and shift commercial viability.
- Co-invest with the Queensland Government in a study of the feasibility of a new pipeline to link the North Bowen Basin to the east coast gas market.
- Build an evidence base through enhanced geological and environmental data collection and analysis to support robust, efficient and risk-based regulatory outcomes.
These activities will strengthen understanding of development pathways in the basins and represent the first step in a longer term strategy. The outcomes from this first step will inform subsequent Australian Government infrastructure, planning and regulatory decisions in the region.
Beyond gas, the basins contain other valuable commodities, such as coal, gold and critical minerals. The basins also have potential to support the development of our emerging hydrogen industry. In many instances, the approach established in this plan will help to take advantage of these broader opportunities. Increased production of all resources in the region could generate a further 11,400 direct jobs and billions of dollars of national income annually.
This plan recognises the national significance of opportunities in the region: more jobs, more affordable energy, and opportunities to grow new industries. These opportunities can only be realised through effective partnerships between all parties involved in development. To this end, the Australian Government is establishing new partnerships with the Queensland Government, industry, academia and local communities. This will enhance coordination and better align activities across parties.