News that Chevron Exploration Australia has pulled out of its joint venture in the Cooper Basin with Beach Energy is another blow to the South Australian economy.
“This news coupled with the latest ABS employment data showing the loss of 4400 mining jobs since last November paints a bleak picture for people seeking jobs in the industry,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“The fact there has been a 26.9 per cent collapse in mining sector employment since November last year makes a mockery of Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis promise to create 5000 new jobs in the sector by 2017.
“Indeed the collapse in employment in the mining sector in South Australia has been underway for the last 12 months with a 22.2 per cent fall in jobs over that period of time.
Chevron’s withdrawal also undermines one of Premier Weatherill’s key arguments for his controversial Gillman deal.
Mr Weatherill claims that the Government decision to sell Gillman was based on the establishment of a new oil and gas hub creating 6000 jobs.
“But let me go back to the original purpose. This wasn’t just a lands sale, this was about a piece of industrial development for the creation of thousands of jobs.” (ABC, 20/1/2015)
On 2 February 2015 Rod Campbell (economist for The Australia Institute) was scathing in his criticism of the claim. Mr Campbell stated that total employment in the gas mining industry sector in South Australia was only 16,000 jobs and he therefore found Mr Weatherill’s claim ‘hard to believe’:
“They’re claiming that they’ll be expanding that entire industry sector by nearly a half, so I find that a bit hard to believe.”
“This decision by Beach and Chevron together with other similar decisions such Santos recent announcement to cut 700 jobs raises even more significant doubts about Mr Weatherill’s promised new oil and gas hub and controversial Gillman land deal,” Mr Lucas said.