Origin and Skills Queensland today announced an innovative training program that will see farmers and CSG companies work collaboratively on coal seam gas production on their properties. Origin is a partner in the Australia Pacific LNG project and operator in the gasfields.
While Origin is leading the program, it is being designed and developed in partnership with the Queensland Farmers Federation and Agforce and individual farmers.
The Working Together Program reflects the agricultural industry’s focus on sustainable practices and will provide farmers with the opportunity to gain formal recognition for their knowledge and skills in environment and land management, enabling them to carry out related activities supporting the gas infrastructure located on their properties.
Origin’s Manager Land, Environment and Stakeholder, Ms Rebecca Pickering, said the Program would enable Origin to better integrate farmers knowledge and skills with CSG development and in doing so create greater shared value between the agriculture and gas sectors.
“Farmers are best placed to conduct specific activities on their properties and this program will enable them to play an active role across a range of land management areas. Engaging them to carry out this work will lessen the number of external parties accessing their properties and provide them with the certainty of an additional income stream.
“For Origin it creates a new pool of skilled labour and constant on-site presence. We are also investigating the possibility of providing certified gas operator training with a view to farmers carrying out basic monitoring of gas wells,” Ms Pickering said.
Australia Pacific LNG and Skills Queensland will both contribute up to $250,000 to develop a pilot which if successful, could be rolled out across the Australia Pacific LNG Project and be adopted by other companies.
Skills Queensland Chief Executive Officer Rod Camm said the Working Together Program will play an important role in helping Queensland increase the number of skilled workers in both the rural and CSG/LNG sectors.
“Workforce planning for the Surat Basin indicates the labour market will remain tight for many years so we need more skills development programs which maximise the use of available labour in local communities, Mr Camm said.
“This program is innovative in the way it is up-skilling landowners to fill skills and employment gaps in both industries.”
Chairman of the Surat Basin CSG Engagement Group, Mr John Cotter, welcomed the initiative as a positive step forward in building stronger relationships between both industries highlighting this was an issue that was first brought to the attention of the group in 2011.
“It has taken some time to pull the pieces together into a format that will work for all but it is terrific to see it about to happen.”
“Looking ahead as the program rolls out, landowners will also gain greater confidence and security with fewer people accessing and undertaking activities on their properties”, Mr Cotter said.
Development of the initial pilot program is currently underway and will include identification of job descriptions and tasks; training requirements and providers; HSSE requirements; supervision management processes; potential participants for the pilot program; and potential partnerships with Government and other CSG companies.
At this stage the program is aiming to initiate the first land and environment management training in the second quarter of 2012.
LNG World News Staff, February 24, 2012; Image: APLNG