Oil in the Great Australian Bight
Multinational oil company BP is planning exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight. The Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications is conducting an inquiry into the proposal, including into social and economic impacts of potential oil and gas exploration and production.
The economic benefits of oil and gas exploration are minimal. Such activities are highly capital intensive, so require relatively few workers. While eventual production would employ more people, in the context of the South Australian labour force, the impact would be minor.
Decades of subsidy may be necessary before major oil and gas projects provide benefits to state governments. In contrast, the tourism, fishing and aquaculture industries on the SA coast already employ over 9,000 people and provide sustainable benefits through locally owned businesses.