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Sally Parker
Sally Parker's Article
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A gas-led recovery is on the way

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Australian economy hard. In the March and June quarters of 2020, GDP plunged 7.3%, placing the country into recession. While the economy has since partially rebounded, the government has developed a long term plan for a gas-fired recovery.
 
The economic benefits could be significant. A recent Ernst & Young report found that the oil and gas industry could boost the economy by over $350 billion and create 220,000 new jobs over the next 20 years if key projects are supported.
 
This will be delivered across three key areas. Of the measures outlined, some are well on the way with others yet to come.
 

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New developments in the hydrogen industry

We can expect significant legislative reform for the hydrogen industry in the near future. This follows a review of all Australian laws (both Federal and State) in 2019 that found there were approximately 730 pieces of legislation and 119 standards related to the industry and recent developments that are seeking to develop the industry further.

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Amendments to Native Title Act give industry stability

Recent amendments to both the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act) are intended to better resolve Native Title claims and provide stability for industry.

The Native Title Legislation Amendment Act 2020 addresses the problems caused by the McGlade decision as they relate to ‘right to negotiate’ agreements or section 31 agreements.

 

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Final Report of the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act

The Final Report of the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) has now been released to the public. The report, delivered by Professor Samuel, contains 38 individual recommendations to be implemented over two years.

In a recent media release, the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, said that 'the Government was committed to working through the full detail of the recommendations with stakeholders.’

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Changes to the Fair Work Act may benefit the energy and resources sector

The energy and resources sector is a significant contributor to the economy, and its impact is estimated to continue to grow over the next decade. The Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA) estimates that the sector will add over 24,000 new workers by 2026 to support 98 new and expansion projects worth over $83 billion. The roles available could double depending not the construction and flow-on work required.  Western Australia and Queensland are expected to benefit the most from these initiatives.