Monday, 11 February 2013 14:37
Attempts to cut costs by building the Browse liquefied natural gas processing facility off the WA shore could be disastrous for jobs, the environment and workers’ safety, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has warned.
Despite opposition from unions – as well as bipartisan political opposition - it appears Shell is not backing away from plans to push its floating LNG technology on the Woodside -operated Browse LNG project near Broome.
“Woodside and its joint venture partners do not care about supporting the Australian
economy and jobs – putting the facility 200km away from our coast is an attempt to cut out local workers, cut out local content and cut out local laws,” MUA assistant national secretary Ian Bray said.
“All the unions in this industry – the MUA, AWU and AMWU – are strongly opposed to the
offshoring of the processing site on the basis of safety, employment and environmental
Chris Cain, secretary of the WA branch of the MUA, said that under current laws,
unregulated foreign labour could be used on the offshore site, but that the MUA would be
engaging with the Federal Government to ensure this did not happen.
“This is a shortsighted measure to cut labour costs on both construction and operation of
the facility,” Mr Cain said.
“It’s no surprise BHP has decided to exit the joint venture – there is a potential disaster looming with this proposal that Shell has been pushing.”
The MUA will be seeking to discuss the issue with the Federal Government to ensure national standards around labour, employment, safety, and disaster
management are applied, and that the processing remains onshore in Australia.
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