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.”