Gladstone is Queensland’s premier industrial city

Plans are under way for the construction of new plant and equipment to handle the massive volume of LNG and coal set to be shipped out of Gladstone in the future.
Plans are under way for the construction of new plant and equipment to handle the massive volume of LNG and coal set to be shipped out of Gladstone in the future. DAVE HUNT

IT'S been said all roads lead to Rome, but for Queensland's export LNG industry, everything is pointed at Gladstone.

The burgeoning CSG-LNG sector is centred on Gladstone, with gas produced in the Surat Basin in the state's southwest destined to be piped to processing facilities on Curtis Island, off the Gladstone coast.

From there, the liquefied gas will be exported in massive quantities - around 20 million tonnes annually.

To get these projects online, and keep them running, requires a workforce of thousands.

International construction and engineering firm Bechtel is responsible for the construction of the three Curtis Island plants, with recruitment supervisor Joel Herbert saying the company will reach its peak workforce this year, with almost 9000 people employed on the projects.

"Along with special class welders, we are currently targeting candidates with three-five years industry experience in the areas of crane operators, riggers, pipe fitters, boilermakers/welders and scaffolders," Mr Herbert said.

"Relevant industry experience is essential on these projects. We're building world-class LNG plants, and we need world-class people to construct them.

"Our projects have a focus on ethics and safety in all areas at all times," he said.

Bechtel is also looking for electrical and instrumentation trades-people, sheet metal workers and laggers, as well as insulators, throughout 2013.

Alongside LNG, coal remains a major employer in the region. Rio Tinto's Yarwun 2 refinery expansion will deliver job opportunities and economic benefit to Gladstone, with the $2.5 billion investment a significant commitment to Rio's future presence in the region.

Opened in October last year, the expansion has created hundreds of new jobs at the facility, and remains one of the region's largest employers.

While the LNG projects are undoubtedly driving employment growth in Gladstone, the growth of that sector can't happen without expansion in downstream industries, and within the broader Gladstone economy.

A growing economy creates jobs, it's that simple.

For the immediate future at least, a large portion of Queensland's new jobs will be in and around Gladstone, as LNG and coal projects continue to attract skilled workers to the city.

A strong retail and service sector within the city itself, together with tourism and primary production, provide plentiful choice for workers and opportunities for business people.

Premier industrial city

HOME TO the largest multi-commodity port in Queensland and two of the world's largest alumina refineries, Gladstone is Queensland's premier industrial city, boasting plentiful employment opportunities and a quality lifestyle.

Situated about approximately 550km north of Brisbane and 100km south-east of Rockhampton, between the Boyne and Calliope rivers, Gladstone is home to about 60,000 people (as at 2011).

The city of Gladstone overlooks the natural deep-water harbour, around which much of the region's economic growth has been based.

Central Queensland University and the Central Queensland Institute of TAFE each operate a campus in Gladstone, with students drawn from the city's three high schools.

The city is a major stop on the north coast railway line, and is serviced by the Gladstone airport, which underwent a $65million expansion in 2011.

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