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Shell boss denies job fears

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Nick Sas, The West Australian February 21, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 00.37.57Royal Dutch Shell Australia chief Ann Pickard has moved to dispel fears over the lack of local jobs on its new floating LNG hubs, saying the “more important” maintenance and service jobs will stay local and last for up to 30 years.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Australian Oil and Gas conference in Perth yesterday, Ms Pickard dismissed the concentrated union campaign against FLNG, saying claims such as the use of Filipino workers for FLNG were incorrect.

Unions have attacked the Government and Shell over recent weeks, saying WA workers will miss out on construction jobs, with work moved to overseas shipbuilding yards.

Although the Shell boss recognised there was a certain fear associated with the impact of FLNG, she said it was up to Shell to dispel it.

“I think there are perceptions, so if they’re out there then that’s something obviously that we do need to pay more attention to,” Ms Pickard said.

“(But) look at the 20, 25, 30-year maintenance jobs – they will be local, I can’t outsource those jobs and nor would I want to … 80 to 85 per cent of those jobs will go local.”

Speaking at the conference earlier, Australian Industry Group chief Innes Wilcox said local suppliers needed to underpin the Australian oil and gas sector. Mr Wilcox gave Julia Gillard’s local jobs plan, announced at the weekend, guarded support. “This is an intensification of the existing approach to local participation, based on fostering opportunity rather than mandating outcomes,” he said. “It is clearly not a panacea. But it will give all major project proponents a strong incentive to ensure local opportunities are realised.”

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