By YEHIURA HRIEHWAZI in Brisbane
BILLIONS of dollars worth of development projects in PNG, Queensland and the Northern Territory of Australia, are opening up technical skills job-market bonanza for young Papua New Guineans.
The projects are top on the agenda for discussions during the coming PNG-Australia business council forum in Townsville on May 16 – 18.
Is PNG ready to benefit from the jobs that will become available when swags of gas, goal mines and mineral projects swing into construction?
This is the questions that bothers Paul Nerau, PNG’s consul-general in Brisbane, Australia.
There will be thousands of job opportunities in PNG’s two LNG projects, condensate stripping project in the Gulf province, Frieda, Wafi and Golpu mines and gas, iron ore and coal projects in Queensland and Northern Territory, he said.
The enormity of the projects that are worth tens of billions of dollars are just mind-boggling, he said.
Nerau said institutions like the PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSDP) should invest huge sums of money – tens of millions – into training of human resources to take advantage of the massive job market that is “at our door step.”
“We must train up our young people to Australian standards so that they can work here in Queensland as well as in PNG projects and go anywhere in the world,” he told The National.
He said it was a mockery for the people of Western province that PNGSDP only selected 12 students and sent them to Australia for training.
“That’s not enough, it should send hundreds of them down for training every year. That money is for that purpose, it is for the development of Western province and their human resources,” he said.
Nerau said this when commenting on the billions of dollars in project developments that were going into Northern Australia and PNG and the immense benefits that come with them for the two countries.
Meanwhile, the general manager of Townsville Enterprise Ltd (TEL) Dr Lisa McDonald said investments into the two countries would be in the tens of billions of dollars.
“Liquified natural gas projects in Papua New Guinea, Darwin and Gladstone, major coal projects in central Queensland, mining projects in the North West minerals province and infrastructure developments such as expansion of the Abbot Point coal export facility will create huge demand for skills, expertise and products,’’ Dr McDonald said.
“Townsville companies can reap a huge bonanza, so it is important they put in the groundwork and place their skills and products on record.’’
Dr McDonald said TEL had studied the PNG gas project, which would create work for many thousands of Papua New Guineans.