Queensland positions itself as LNG Asia Pacific hub
Texas: Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has signed an historic agreement with Texas Governor Rick Perry, to cement the ties between the two great growth states of the developed world.
The signing signified that Queensland is positioning itself to become an energy hub for the Asia Pacific, Ms Bligh said.
"Texas has now surpassed New York as the second largest economy of the USA. And over the next two years Queensland economic growth is expected to surpass five per cent per annum and lead Australia.
"The Agreement recognizes the importance of developing and expanding ties of cooperation between Queensland and Texas focusing on oil and gas primarily, as well as agribusiness and creative industries.
"Given Queensland's economic projections over the next two years both States are leading economies in their respective countries.
"The Agreement will commit both States to enhancing their business networks, alliances and collaborative projects between the respective Governments, industry organizations, educational and research institutes."
Both Texas and Queensland will also use the Agreement to support collaborations that increase knowledge and expertise in the fields of LNG, agribusiness and creative industries.
"To underpin this new agreement the Government will appoint a Queensland Trade representative in Texas for the first time and convene a two-day international Gas Symposium later this year," Ms Bligh.
"This Symposium will cater for international and Australian gas sector policy-makers, government regulators, gas industry participants and allied businesses that support the sector.
"The event will help to develop the commercial-scale coal seam gas extraction industry, and will help us to develop extraction techniques that can be done in a sustainable and responsible manner."
Texas has agreed to support a high level delegation to travel to the Symposium.
Ms Bligh said Queensland had two of the nine LNG projects occurring worldwide with committed investment totalling nearly $40 billion and exports to commence from 2014.
"By 2020, Australia could be the largest producer of LNG in the world, overtaking Qatar.
"Meryl Lynch forecast demand for global LNG is expected to grow by 130% between 2008 and 2020."
As part of todays historic signing, Ms Bligh has announced the appointment of the Queensland Government's first ever Trade representative in Texas.
Ms Bligh said former Director of the US Commercial Service in Houston, Mr Duaine Priestley had taken up the position based in Houston, Texas.
"The new LNG Investment Advisor will forge international ties with key businesses and industry players in the USA.
"Houston is considered the oil and gas capital of the world - and Queensland is well on its way to becoming the LNG capital of the Asia Pacific,'' Ms Bligh said.
"The appointment of Mr Priestley is part of the Queensland Government's continued commitment to strengthening the state's economy and positioning it for future growth.
"The LNG industry is expected to generate over 18,000 jobs in Queensland and Mr Priestley will be a great asset for Queensland and our energy sector.''
"This is an industry that delivers cleaner, greener energy for the future and it's subject to some of the toughest regulations in the world.''
Ms Bligh said Mr Priestley would be charged with targeting US companies that can invest in and grow Queensland's multibillion dollar gas opportunities and assist Queensland companies into the U.S. market.
"He has worked in various trade, investment and advisory roles, including the management of five trade specialists in the Houston-Baytown-Sugarland metro region.
"Houston houses the headquarters for leading resource companies including Shell, Conoco Phillips, and Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals.
"Mr Priestley will continue to forge international ties with key businesses and industry players in Houston, generating leads and organising introductions to major US gas suppliers, promoting opportunities for these companies to tap into Queensland's lucrative energy market.''
Ms Bligh said the signing of the historic Agreement builds on existing relationships between Queensland government departments and researchers and those in Texas in areas including agribusiness and creative industries.
"This includes work on drought proof sorghum, livestock genetics and collaboration at Austin's world famous music festival the South by Southwest music and film interactive conference."