Albo pays a visit to North West Shelf

FEDERAL opposition leader Anthony Albanese paid a visit to Woodside Petroleum’s Karratha Gas Plant in Western Australia yesterday, spruiking the company’s economic contribution to Australia as well as its net-zero by 2050 emissions target.

Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese. Supplied/Facebook

Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese. Supplied/Facebook

The federal Labor opposition has been touring Western Australia after the party's historic landslide state election victory last month. 

Visiting the Karratha Gas Plant with shadow resources and trade minister Madeleine King, Albanese noted Woodside was creating thousands of jobs, despite Woodside cutting some 300 jobs at least in the wake of the oil price crash last year. 

The five train North West Shelf facility has an export capacity of 16.9 million tonnes per annum - Albanese noted it provided gas to homes and business both at home and abroad. 

"This site alone produces 1% of Australia's GDP," Albanese said in a Facebook post yesterday. 

However the US$20 billion Browse gas development, designed to serve as backfill for the NWS has been pushed back by operator Woodside early last year when it delayed other final investment decisions and slashed capital spend along with peers in Australia and globally. 

It was the third sanction delay alone for the NWS concept after ‘unaligned' partners BHP and Chevron Corporation pushed back on third-party gas tolling arrangements through 2018 and 2019, even earning a rebuke from WA premier Mark McGowan. 

Albanese also noted Woodside's commitment to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. 

"Every state and territory is with them. So are Australian businesses, big and small and it's a target that Labor will set for the country - because we want to create jobs, lower power prices and reduce emissions."

The state Labor government has yet to commit to a net-zero target, leaving it open as an ‘aspiration'. 

There are concerns from environmental groups, the federal environmental department and project partners about the high CO2 content of Browse, however Shell Australia chief Tony Nunan said last month it remains committed to the project. 

Albanese's Facebook was met with sharp rebuke by some members of the public, saying they would gladly sacrifice the 1% GDP that the NWS generates in exchange for Woodside's considerable contribution to Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

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