The WA government’s plans for bringing more LNG project engineering work to local engineers and businesses is much too light on detail and action.
It is encouraging that the Barnet Government appears to recognise the problem that no significant engineering work from recent or future planned LNG developments is going to Australian engineers but the detail of the so called Participation Framework does not instil confidence that much will change.
The framework, announced by Minister O'Brien on 1 July identifies the issues, names the areas where improvements need to be made, but offers no real action.
Instead it relies upon better reporting and broadening the measures against which investments should be measured, for example. These are welcome steps, but without mandated training and development investments, for instance, there is little chance that the significant turn around required from overseas businesses in the resources sector will occur.
Thousands of qualified and experienced Australian engineers are being forced to relocate overseas each year to work on projects to develop Australian resources. As a result we lose the opportunity and expertise required to develop our own engineering workforce.
Instead of more talk we need firm government action to ensure that the development of our assets results in the long term benefits we deserve and which other countries demand.