Guess who's coming to town

From: Mike Farmer

<PRE>G'day all.

I am in the oil and gas industry and have interest (as others here do) in the property market. Just feast your thoughts in the direction of Darwin everyone. Here is a bit of a blurb on things to come. enjoy, Mike T. (Noosa)

*Guess who’s coming to town June 2002

Darwin is on the threshold of massive transformation. The Oil & Gas Industry is moving to town and the first signs of the impending economic boom are already visible.

Opportunities and challenges abound. The magnitude of the investment dollars discussed by the big industry players such as Methanex, Phillips, Woodside and Shell, is staggering. The Northern Territory has not seen these types of numbers before.

According to the Northern Territory Government’s Development Outlook Report, projects with capital expenditures totaling $13.7 billion have been proposed, with much of this expenditure expected to occur by 2005.

So how can the Northern Territory ensure it capitalises on the employment opportunities on offer?

The Northern Territory Government will work with project proponents to schedule the projects so that the peaks in direct construction employment for individual projects are minimised and do not all happen at once. This approach will spread employment more evenly and improve the continuity of employment for construction workers based in Darwin and maximise the benefits to both the local economy and the companies.

Mr Wal Czernezkyj, the CEO of the Northern Territory Government’s Employment & Training Authority (NTETA) says the answer lies in providing a labour force that is work ready for the new jobs.

“This is a complex process and will be an ongoing task for industry, the government, training providers and the wider community.

By working together with industry, Mr Czernezkyj said the Northern Territory Government will:
 identify the skills required for direct jobs in the Oil & Gas industry;
 identify the skill shortages in the current employment pool;
 establish training to suit the skill requirements; and
 find the people to train.

“We can do it, but the onus is on all of us. And identifying the primary jobs in the Oil & Gas Industry may well prove to be a lot easier than providing a work ready labour force in the secondary vacancies and supporting industries,” Mr Czernezkyj said.

The time for action is now as the investment momentum has already begun. The level of business confidence and investment is obvious when driving around Darwin.

Hercules Offshore Lifting Gear is just one of the success stories. Hercules is a local company that manufactures unique lifting frames for the Oil & Gas Industry and has developed a range of exoskelatal lifting frames with manufacturing centres in Darwin and Perth supplying the Oil & Gas bases off Karratha and Darwin.

Mr Colin Thornton, Managing Director of Hercules says that access to a work ready labour force is fundamental to his business.

“The lack of suitably trained staff has limited our expansion capacity at times. Territorians will need to be trained and work ready if they are to grasp the employment opportunities,” Mr Thornton said.

There are also companies moving to the Territory that are not directly involved in the Oil & Gas Industry, but will provide support for new developments and projects as the community prospers.

One such example is Project Management Company, Global Pacific Pty Ltd, that is moving to Darwin. According to Global Pacific’s Northern Region Manager, Ms Kay Salvair Smith, now is the time to start harnessing the opportunities.

“We were looking to grow our operation and have been scouting around Australia for investment opportunities and the potential in the Northern Territory is fantastic. We’re opening an office and making a commitment. While the first step may be a small start we see a bright future in the Northern Territory and are looking forward to working with Territorians and being an active member of the local business community,” she said.

One of the challenges facing the Northern Territory is turning the employment demand generated by these types of companies into jobs for Territorians.

“At this stage we have no idea how quickly our business will grow and therefore aren’t sure what our eventual skill requirements will be. You can be sure, however, that wherever possible we will be trying to hire locally and use our training to develop Territorians,” Ms Salvair Smith said.

Mr Czernezkyj said, Government through NTETA is already working towards a cohesive approach in developing Oil & Gas industry training and said there were many things to consider.

“We know one of the training challenges is to respond to the industry’s need for high quality, cost effective and, where possible, localised training,” he said.

The Government through NTETA is looking at:
 how to provide the Oil & Gas industry with a focal point for the delivery of training;
 how to provide competency based training;
 how to provide pre-employment training for new entrants into the Oil & Gas industry; and
 how to provide employees with the training capability to match their motivation and career opportunities.

The Training Authority is already liaising across government and with industry, both directly and through its network of Training Advisory Councils, as well as with training providers to ensure the best possible outcome for the Northern Territory.
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Reply: 1
From: Ian Parham

G'day Mike & All

Wouldn't be rushing in just yet....Woodside are not committed to very much at all in Darwin. For all the years I have worked for them...a foray into the NT is just too hard for them to justify expenditure of any real significance. They still talk about it....but that is about all. I can tell you now that Woodside would rather see the FPSO arrangement take place...this is more realistic!!

Methanex has more likelyhood of happening. I believe they are a tad more committed at this juncture.

Look as far as IPs up there are concerned you would need some feedback from other forumites. I think there are a few DHA investors on here who may have some insight to offer into NT property.

Sadly, most of the hoo hah is coming from the NT Govt. trying desperately to spruik things up...and it is just that...hoo hah! There is hardly a day go by where I don't read on a vast array of Oil & Gas websites about the NT Minister rabbiting on about how this and that is going to happen...I haven't seen much 'happening'...tread warily Mike.

If things do 'happen' then yes I think there would be ample opportunity to invest in Darwin or precincts.

All the best
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