Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This boat is waiting to be burnt near Broome

This boat is waiting to be burnt  near Broome


  1. The Woodside banners said "it isn't easy...'

    Turkey set to steal a march on Woodside's LNG line

    WOODSIDE Petroleum's "once in a decade" chance to enter the giant Leviathan gas field off Israel is under pressure, with potential local partners saying they are in talks to export the gas through pipelines to a host of neighbouring countries and that liquefied natural gas exports are only a possibility.

    Nine months after Woodside chief Peter Coleman signed a $US1.3 billion-plus ($1.45bn) deal to enter the field and operate an LNG plant, the deal has not become binding, and an initial $US696 million payment has not been made. On Tuesday night, two of the Israeli partners filed announcements in Hebrew to the Tel Aviv stock exchange that said the Leviathan joint venture was in talks over pipeline exports to Turkey, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, according to Israeli media reports.

    That confirms recent comments from Leviathan operator Noble Energy that the joint venture was looking at more pipeline exports at the expense of the LNG capacity that Woodside would operate if the deal went through.

    It adds credence to a local report that Woodside may need to pay more to enter Leviathan, based on the logic that pipeline exports are cheaper than LNG, making the gas worth more, and Woodside's value to the project

    as an expert LNG builder is diminished with less LNG capacity.

    A spokesman for Israel's Delek Group, the parent of Leviathan partners Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas, told news agency Reuters that exporting LNG was a possibility but stressed this would probably require a bigger development cost.

    Since Woodside signed the deal, relations have improved between Israel and Turkey, increasing the prospects for an underwater pipeline straight to Turkey, local reports say.

    Respected Israeli paper Haaretz said the filings for the first time mentioned a pipeline to a liquefaction facility in Egypt.

    It is unclear whether this would be to a new LNG plant in which Woodside would be involved or an existing one.

    Woodside has declined to comment on the state of the deal beyond those reported last week from Mr Coleman that the Leviathan deal was a "once in a decade" opportunity.

    The reasons for the holding back of the initial payment have not been made public but a second, $US200m payment has been delayed because laws allowing Israel to export gas have been held up in a court challenge.

    Mr Coleman said he looked forward to the export policy issue being resolved so the deal could be finalised.

    At the time, he had said the export policy, which allows 50 per cent of Leviathan's gas to be exported, could be ruled on by

    the High Court as early as last Thursday.

    But there had been no ruling as of last night.

    On Monday night, the state reportedly agreed to freeze the policy until a court ruling on whether the policy needed parliamentary approval was obtained.

    The court ordered that a panel of justices for the case would be broadened from the standard three and that the next hearing was not yet scheduled, The Jerusalem Post reported.

  2. The wreckage of a wasted boom.


    Business lobby pleads for budget to deliver regional relief

    Regional Western Australia's business lobby says any increases to business costs in today's state budget will have a major impact on the country's economy.

    Many sectors have been hit by rising costs, led by resources companies, which have faced increased labour and utility charges in addition to the mining and carbon taxes.

    Hugh Gallagher from the Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industries WA says those rising costs have damaged all areas of the rural economy, not just the mining sector.

    Mr Gallagher says it is critical today's budget does not increase that cost burden too significantly.

    "That's a real big issue for people in business and we actually have to try to reduce those costs so we can remain competitive and viable," he said.

    "We need some help from Government, that's really important."


    Budget cuts concern business and lobby groups

    The State Government will today hand down its first budget since the March election, after months of warning it will take tough measures to retain a surplus.

    The Barnett Government says it is working on a plan that will include short-term savings measures to address the risk of a long-term deficit.

    The Premier Colin Barnett said yesterday the budget would contain significant cuts to programs and potential tax increases.


    State Budget criticised by industry and unions

    The WA Treasurer Troy Buswell hasn't made a lot of friends today, with the Budget handed down containing largely tax increases and program cuts.

    The Opposition's labelled it a budget of broken election promises and "botched financial management".

    Shadow Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the Budget confirmed the State's finances are in a dire state, and he was particularly concerned about a projected blow-out in State debt to $28.4 billion in 2016/17.

    "Mr Barnett's out-of-control spending has effectively maxed out the State Government's credit card and future generations of Western Australian's will be left to pick up the tab," he said.

    Unions have lashed out at what they have labelled "savage cuts" in the Budget, warning services will be severely affected.

    UnionsWA secretary Meredith Hammat said a 7 per cent cut to TAFE funding would lead to inferior training outcomes for young West Australians.

    "Today's Budget is really about cuts, cuts and more cuts for the public sector workers of Western Australia," she said.

    State School Teachers' Union president Anne Gisborne was also critical of funding cuts to education.

    "We also have major concerns about the cut backs that are predicted, $282 million worth of salaries out of the education system, when right now we're almost to the bone," she said.

    United Voice state secretary Carolyn Smith said the "savage cuts" to the public sector workforce would result in reduced services for the public.

    "Troy Buswell mentioned aggressively pursuing alternative service models, that's absolutely codeword for privatisation......it's not a good outcome for the people of Western Australia," she said.


  3. Wreckage of a wasted boom.....cont....


    "Boom wasted"

    "Colin Barnett has wasted the boom .... we are now left with cuts that are going to affect essential public services such as health and education."

    Community and Public Sector Union branch secretary Toni Walkington described it as a Budget focused on "dismantling public services and selling them off."

    The Real Estate Institute of WA president David Airey described the 12.5 per cent land tax hike as a "kick in the shins," saying it'll affect investment in the residential property sector.

    He was also critical of the Government's reduction to the first home buyers grant for purchases of established homes, saying it would disappoint a lot of people.

    He said currently 70 per cent of first homebuyers purchased established homes.

    "I don't know why we need to stimulate artificially the construction sector at the expense of the established home sector," he said.

    WA Council of Social Service CEO Irina Cattalini welcomed the changes to the First Home Owners Grant to help stimulate building construction but was disappointed the Budget didn't include higher levels of investment in social and affordable housing.

    "Affordable housing is the single greatest need of West Australians living on low and fixed incomes and given expenditure commitments in other capital works projects like transport, stadiums and waterfront development, we should be doing more to address this critical issue," she said.

    1. Barnett still hellbent on killing Broome tourism - most likely so he can continue to push his gas plant as our only hope.


      Tourism Council of WA says 1,300 jobs could go as a result of state budget cuts

      The Tourism Council of WA believes 1,300 jobs will be lost as a result of budget spending cuts.

      The Government has committed $2 million a year for tourism marketing, much less than it promised in the election campaign.

      Council CEO Evan Hall says that is incredibly disappointing.

      "They had promised to spend $6 million in marketing Western Australia as a holiday destination," he said.

      "They've downgraded that to $2 million, as a result we're simply going to get less visitors.

      "We estimate that we'll get about $80 million less in visitor spending in tourism towns like BROOME and Busselton and that's going to cost us around 1,300 jobs across the industry."