Jobs before profits … sure, Howesy

I just love this spray from Paul Howes, national secretary of the AWU, about Woodside’s decision to shelve the Browse Basin gas project to be based at James Price Point.  It’s got everything – commercial naivety, conspiracy and xenophobia.  It doesn’t get much better.

I particularly like Howes’ take that Woodside and the Greens conspired to ditch the project.  Of course, the exhorbitant wage claims and demands for ridiculous allowances made by the trade unions, as well as restrictions on managers’ ability to manage the project, wouldn’t have had anything to do with Woodside’s decision. 

He’s like the little boy with the apple behind his back, yelling “NOT ME”.

Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes says the project would have created thousands of jobs and pumped billions of dollars into the economy.

“By Woodside’s announcement today, we know that those jobs, that potential investment, $1 billion in compensation to the Aboriginal community of the Kimberley, is gone,” he said.

“It means Australian gas pumped directly from the field onto a rig built overseas, directly offloaded onto ships that take that gas directly to overseas markets.

“No local content, no local jobs and no local supply of gas.”

 Mr Howes also accused the Greens of complicity in pushing jobs offshore.

He described the Greens as unofficial partners in a “great Australian rip-off” designed to provide higher profits to Woodside and Shell executives across the globe.

“They’re unofficial partners in this plan to sacrifice tens of thousands of Australian jobs at the altar of higher profits for Woodside and Shell executives across the globe,” Mr Howes said. 

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman says today’s announcement was based on a commercial decision.

“We’ve tried really, really hard and we’ve spent the last eight months to try and pull those costs out of the business,” he said.

“We didn’t take this decision lightly and… sometimes you have to have the courage to take the difficult decisions.”

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63 Responses to Jobs before profits … sure, Howesy

  1. H B Bear

    Piggy Howes has just been taught a very valuable lesson about camels and their chiropractic needs. Has he learned anything?

  2. Pickles

    The greens might be unofficial partners with wood side and shell, but they’re official partners with your government, Paul.

    And your concern for black fellers is touching.

    Australia’s Weakest Union. Australia’s weakest leader.

  3. Robbo

    Howes is an unthinking megaphone for the Labor Party and his contributions to political debate go beyond commonsense. His ambition is to get shoehorned into a nice safe seat and then he can get down to the serious business of arse licking his way up the political ladder. He is typical of what is so wrong with the Labor Party and why it is held in such low regard by the vast majority of voters.

  4. tbh

    Yep, he sure has Humphrey. I believe the correct term is “mugged by reality”. As I said yesterday, as a Woodside shareholder I’m happy they’ve made the prudent commercial decision, but it sucks in terms of what might have been viz a viz job creation and the WA economy. It’ll most likely end up being a floating processing plant, which is what their JV partners wanted all along by the sounds of it.

  5. Colin Suttie

    I’d be astonished if Browse wasn’t FLNG. People like Howes should take a look at themselves & ask why FLNG is uneconomic everywhere except Australia.

  6. “No local content, no local jobs and no local supply of gas.”

    No ‘Super Profits’ for you then Paulie…

  7. papachango

    still though, it’s somewhat amusing watching a lefty unionist like Howesy struggling to choose the biggest bogeyman between the Greens and a multinational corporation.

  8. .

    Colin

    I LOL’d then I realised I have to live in Australia. Poor fella my country.

  9. south

    @papachango: when you’re in the Union Movement, pretty much everyone outside the Union Movement is the enemy. Explains a lot about the Labor mindset and the way the machine operates.

  10. Boris

    He is correct about the Greens though. My buddies told me the other JV partners were concerned that endless bickering and litigation would cause delay and runaway costs, as well as reputational problems.

  11. Pickles

    Sucked in Sandgropers! This is how Tasmanians feel all the time.

  12. Leigh Lowe

    I’d be astonished if Browse wasn’t FLNG. People like Howes should take a look at themselves & ask why FLNG is uneconomic everywhere except Australia.

    Absolutely Colin.
    But I’ll bet Piggy couldn’t even spell FLNG before Friday.
    But the silver lining for Piggy is that there will be no grubby 457’s coming out here to work on construction.
    The potential 457’s will be happily working from home in Korea or China knocking together probably two floating facilities.
    Meanwhile our highly skilled (cough), hard-working (cough, cough) unionised labour force will be sitting at home with their thumbs up their bums (their own bums, not each others).
    Their might …. MIGHT ….. be some engineering work here, but even then the detailed design will probably be done in China or India.

  13. NoFixedAddress

    @Judith

    I would have some respect for Paul Howes if he would organize protest meetings outside creepy sneeky weepy bill!

    Otherwise Paul Howes is a straight out LIER.

    And PAUL HOWES you can get my name and address any time.

  14. Carpe Jugulum

    I LOL’d then I realised I have to live in Australia. Poor fella my country.

    Work offshore and don’t ever look back. (you know it makes sense)

  15. papachango

    when you’re in the Union Movement, pretty much everyone outside the Union Movement is the enemy. Explains a lot about the Labor mindset and the way the machine operates.

    Yeah I get that, but why the fuck do some unions like the ETU give money to the Greenslime?

  16. Leigh Lowe

    Howes is an idiot. And a dangerous idiot at that.
    I have no doubt that the Greenies, wage rates, and more importantly delaying tactics to spin the project out.
    Just imagine you are spending $40 billion over three years and you face the risk of the ferals (union and Green) delaying the first shipment of gas by 12 months. The financing costs would be massive.
    Now maybe this project might have been marginal anywhere, but construction union work practices don’t help.
    As for the Greens, they must be so pleased that they have preserved aboriginal culture, so that the local tribes can sit in the dust, unencumbered by dirty Woodside money.
    The closest the local aboriginals will get to hydrocarbons now will be when they inhale some ULP fumes in their humpies.

  17. Carpe Jugulum

    but why the fuck do some unions like the ETU give money to the Greenslime?

    1. It is done as a token punishment to the ALP, although you will find they also do exgratia payments to the ALP.

    2. Green preferences flow to the ALP.

  18. NoFixedAddress

    Paul Howes has to distract about an invited piece of boggle eyed golom that has come hear with the express intent of shutting down the $40 billion coal mining industry.

    I am prepared to protest outside the Greens doors.

    Are you PAUL HOWES?

  19. JC

    Think about the hoops he had to navigate to reach the conclusion that the firms and the Slime were conspiring.

    Mr Howes also accused the Greens of complicity in pushing jobs offshore.

    He described the Greens as unofficial partners in a “great Australian rip-off” designed to provide higher profits to Woodside and Shell executives across the globe.

    “They’re unofficial partners in this plan to sacrifice tens of thousands of Australian jobs at the altar of higher profits for Woodside and Shell >executives across the globe,” Mr Howes said.

    Howes has a lot of fluid in his skull.

  20. NoFixedAddress

    @JC 13 Apr 13 at 6:24 pm

    Gaia strikes again with wealth from Big Oil.

    I am impressed.

    I did not realise about ‘that’ fluid.

  21. Jim Rose

    maybe the project is no longer profitable in light of the large increase in global natural gas reserves due to fracking.

    increases in current and future supply reduce prices and resource rents

  22. johno

    Mr Howes also accused the Greens of complicity in pushing jobs offshore.

    And I accuse Howes in complicity in pushing jobs offshore through his support of the Liar’s destructive carbon dioxide tax. He said he would oppose the tax if it meant one of his members lost their job. They have, but he continues to support the Liar’s tax.

  23. NoFixedAddress

    And I accuse Howes in complicity in pushing jobs offshore through his support of the Liar’s destructive carbon dioxide tax. He said he would oppose the tax if it meant one of his members lost their job. They have, but he continues to support the Liar’s tax.

    Something is missing from PAUL HOWES.

  24. JC

    Jim
    The global gas market is very fractured in comparison to oil because of logistical issues. The price for American gas is multiples lower than the price Euroweenies are paying for instance.

    It may be that the project was turned off because of more price effective supplies the market the project was supposed to supply. However it appeared to me that the project was being tailored for a specific market.

    When the cost became too great, the owners simply closed down that spread sheet and opened one with better prospects.

    This is a good lesson, not to the disgusting human debris (the Greenslime) as they would be cheering. It’s a good lesson to the rest of Australians who seem to think we’re are able to dictate most of the terms in these sorts of deals without any eye to costs.

  25. Jim Rose

    project was being tailored for a specific market.

    which market? how far away? how far is too far?

  26. JC

    Jim:

    Can’t recall exactly. Look it up. You’re good at that. Gas prices vary quite a bit around the world for the reason I mentioned.

  27. Jim Rose

    export licensing requirements have prevented U.S. producers from selling into world markets where natural gas prices are much higher.

    export bans are not logistical issues

  28. JC

    Jim:

    I dunno how I can explain this, but gas is more problematic to transport than oil or coal. Out of the big three it offers the biggest problems.

  29. Jim Rose

    see http://oilandenergyinvestor.com/2012/01/lng-trade-about-to-take-off/ the USA does not participate in the global gas trade but middle eastern countries do despite shipping costs

    Canada has huge shale gas basins in northern British Columbia and Alberta (the Horn River and Montney formations lead production).

    The resulting largess was depressing prices.

    So they decided to export more to Asia as LNG.

    Now, currently, the U.S. has no significant export facilities.

    the panama canal is to be widened to accomodate tankers. where from?

    the USA will replaced russia as the top gas producer in 2 years time. got to go somewhere so exports are likely.

  30. tbh

    I dunno how I can explain this, but gas is more problematic to transport than oil or coal. Out of the big three it offers the biggest problems.

    Indeed. It’s more expensive to transport internationally by ship due to liquification.

  31. JC

    How does the last comment of yours suggest anything about the query you raised that the gas was supposed to be directed to a big market, which from distant memory was supposed to be Japan I think.

  32. Jim Rose

    canad appears to have its eyes on Japan’s gas market too, as will the US when gas exports is freed up. export permit priority goes to FTA partner countries. that is also why the are exports to canada and the USA

    see http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/04/12/countries-are-clamoring-for-us-natural-gas.aspx for landed prices of LNG around the globe.

    LNG exports could result in export price parity three times the domestic price.

  33. south

    1. It is done as a token punishment to the ALP, although you will find they also do exgratia payments to the ALP.

    2. Green preferences flow to the ALP.

    But every now & then it backfires, and the Greens manage to snatch a seat away from Labor like they did in Melbourne in 2010. Which in turn makes the ALP idiots panic and negotiate for Greens support (which they don’t really need to do anyway). Then, being the genius dealmakers that the ALP is so full of, we get deals like the carbon tax in return for minority government.

  34. Jim Rose

    India is keen to import LNG from the U.S. so logistics do not seem to be an issue

  35. JC

    FFS Jim

    No one is saying it’s impossible to do so. It’s marginally more difficult.

    Now stop the bullshit.

  36. JC

    LNG exports could result in export price parity three times the domestic price.

    I bet it won’t. Fracking is made for gluts. You can’t turn the tap off without having to re-drill. That’s why it will be a god send to consumers.

  37. Jim Rose

    It’s marginally more difficult.

    The global gas market is very fractured in comparison to oil because of logistical issues. The price for American gas is multiples lower than the price Euroweenies are paying for instance.

    multiple margins.

  38. JC

    multiple margins.

    And your point is what exactly, Jim?

  39. Jim Rose

    is the price for American natural gas is multiples lower than the price the EU pays because of logistical issues?

  40. JC

    ….is the price for American natural gas is multiples lower than the price the EU pays because of logistical issues?

    Partially, though not all. There’s a relative gas shortage in Euroweenieland. This should be alleviated with East Euro reserves though. The US is floating on gas.

  41. M Ryutin

    The comment “Paul Howes says the project would have created thousands of jobs”, plus the guaranteed high price in labour costs being negotiated in such new ventures made me wonder if I got the connection right on a possibly related point when listening to the Woodside CEO as he made his announcement the other day.

    Now I know absolutely nothing about how these projects are planned in the details, but the CEO did say that with these major projects ‘construction’ emphasis was virtually non-existent and that once the usual Production-planning (or was it Operational) led the way and construction phase was a mere incident of the project coming much later (and, by implication the way I heard it anyway, never much of a cost/benefit consideration) but that now the whole project planning was actually a construction-led one. Now it might have meant that for this particular project the construction costs of their particular choice of on-shore or off-shore processing for this was of so much importance as to be decisive, but surely one of the two (the conventional one) would have been dealt with straight away.

    If the comment did not actually relate to that understandable explanation, what can it have meant except the labour and regulatory costs of construction? It’s not as if any large projects are unknown to that isolated area and, if it was directed to Howes and his ilk, it signals real danger that the current union fostering by Gillard and co will help crash the mining sector in the longer term. Once large scale resource development has gone to rock-bottom-cost/tax countries it would be hard to revive here in a hurry I would think. It would be the ultimate proof that the Gillard is prepared to pull the whole economic house down around her rather than to stop her last political constituency from ruining the public interest along with the economy. ‘Whatever it Takes’ indeed.

  42. NoFixedAddress

    @JC 13 Apr 13 at 7:01 pm

    from distant memory was supposed to be Japan I think.

    from my dim memory it may have even been a particular prefecture or whatever they call a City over there.

  43. C.L.

    Leave Paulie alone.

    He lived in a car as a boy.

    Or… did he have a bad chest in Wales as a boy?

    Hang on. Maybe he remembered the nuclear milk.

    No, wait wait. His father died of lung cancer.

    He had it tough, anyway, I know that.

  44. NoFixedAddress

    M Ryutin 13 Apr 13 at 8:36 pm

    Gillard is prepared to pull the whole economic house down around her rather than to stop her last political constituency from ruining the public interest along with the economy.

    Lets not forget the whole gaia ‘enviro’ marxist boondoggle.

    When was the project shaped up for approval by the board?

  45. NoFixedAddress

    And I am not picking on the board here

  46. NoFixedAddress

    C.L. 13 Apr 13 at 9:05 pm

    is he the weenie standing for mayor somewhere?

  47. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Leave Pigsey alone! Pigsey is one of this country’s most outstanding geniuses. Just look at that reasoning – bet no one else would ever think of a conspiracy between Woodside and the Greens. But Pigsey saw through it straight away. That’s genius that is. Please try to keep up.

    You people got no idea what Pigsey dun for the country. I seen Pigsey patting baby rabbits once. Had them eating out if his hand. Man of the people, friend of the workers (except if they’re foreign debbil debbils on 457s). I’m with Pigsey.

  48. Boris

    This should be alleviated with East Euro reserves though.

    Not to my knowledge. Vast shale gas reserves in Eastern Europe have turned out to be wishful thinking.

  49. NoFixedAddress

    @I am the Walrus, koo koo k’choo 13 Apr 13 at 9:27 pm

    That’s genius that is.

    We want Pigsey!

  50. NoFixedAddress

    @Boris 13 Apr 13 at 9:46 pm

    Vast shale gas reserves in Eastern Europe have turned out to be wishful thinking.

    Which country do you reckon will cop it next?

  51. Bazza

    There are some clowns in the medja who were hailing this guy as a ‘future Prime Minister ‘

  52. Steve of Glasshouse

    Stop underminding Paul

  53. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Bazza, Pigsey isn’t a future PM. He is effectively the PM now!

    He and Bill Ludwig tell Slush Fund and Goose what to do, and ten seconds later they go and do it. Sort of like how Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi ran NSW through Kristina Kenneally.

    And wotta great PM he is! Kim Jong Un isn’t adored anywhere near as much as the workers of Australia love Pigsey! I seen kiddies run to Pigsey in the street and spontaneously hand him bouquets of flowers! Pigsey make great five-year plan for benefit of workers! Pigsey fight evil capitalist bosses and push their nasty businesses offshore! What a far-sighted genius we have in our Great Helmsman!

  54. Pickles

    What about his asmar?

  55. I too support Mr Howes announcing more spectacular policy successes right through to the September election.

  56. Alfonso

    The Howe is another one of Bolt’s ex / current good mates in the Party.
    Conroy, Albo, Ferguson also get guernseys. He even had the hots for Julia due to her not being Kev, a perfectly understandable mistake.

  57. John Comnenus

    Howe is an idiot. A silver tongued buffoon whose life’s experience doesn’t compensate for his lack of education. Mind you his silver tongue mouthing pleasant platitudes he didn’t really believe won over Bolt and Jones and many others besides. He is a Union thug, nothing more and nothing less. He is a lot dumber than most of his Union peer group. He is getting the outcomes his policies always generate, but he is too stupid to realize. He is as thick as a shop steward.

  58. No, Paul, it was me. I couldn’t stand the thought of 6,000 AWU workers trampling around our favorite camping spot, with Union Officials driving all over our beaches and hogging our pubs, it was all my fault.

  59. Thick as a shop steward, now that I like.

  60. Lew

    Bring on that Royal Commission into Unions and pay special attention to the AWU. Look out Piggy,Abbott’s coming to get you.

  61. NoFixedAddress

    Paul Howes is a definite idiot.

    Is the rest of the Union system the same as him.

    Educated idiots?

  62. kraka

    No local content, no local jobs and no local supply of gas
    When fatso howesy says this he really means no more extra union members will be paying fees for him to fly business class and eat lobster.
    I cant add to this debate-Paul Howes is an over-weight, over educated buffoon who isn’t qualified to tie Howards shoes. Like Gillard, the channel gets changed whenever he comes on the tele.

  63. .

    I cant add to this debate-Paul Howes is an over-weight, over educated buffoon

    I agree. He was wasting his time bothering to learn how to read and write.

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