W. Australia gets new oil & gas minister
Sean L’Estrange has been appointed as Western Australia’s new minister for Mines and Petroleum, and Small Business.
The appointment comes as part of WA Premier Colin Barnett’s move to add new faces to the Cabinet “to reflect the Government’s commitment to broadening the State’s economy.“
Bill Marmion will leave his Mines and Petroleum Minister post, and take over as Minister for State Development.
As for L’Estrange, he has been a Member of Parliament since his election to the seat of Churchlands in 2013. He is currently the chairman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee.
Before entering Parliament, L’Estrange established his own successful management consulting practice in Perth, and served his country as an Army Lieutenant Colonel in Afghanistan, according to a short bio provided by W. Australia government. He will take on responsibility for Mines and Petroleum, and Small Business.
News welcomed by APPEA
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) has welcomed the new appointment.
APPEA Chief Operating Officer Western Region Stedman Ellis said L’Estrange’s appointment comes at a critical time for the oil and gas industry.
“While the low oil price presents significant challenges for companies and projects, the outlook for Western Australia remains bright,” Ellis said.
“Australia is set to become the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the end of the decade thanks, in part, to new WA projects such as Gorgon, Wheatstone and Prelude,” Ellis said.
Ellis said the the challenge for governments and industry is to ensure Australia stays competitive in an increasingly tough global market.
He said: “We now have a tremendous opportunity to convert the state’s onshore natural gas resources into long-term prosperity.”
“It is vital, therefore, that the new Minister focuses on policies that ensure access to resources, encourage exploration and reduce unnecessary red and green tape.”
Ellis said Marmion had made a significant contribution to the industry during his three years in the Mines and Petroleum portfolio, including major improvements to onshore gas regulation.
“We look forward to working with Minister Marmion in his new role to attract new investment and jobs to Western Australia,” Ellis said.
The news of the new Cabinet members was announced on Monday, March 29, 2016. Apart from L’Estrange taking over as petroleum minister, Premier Barnett has announced more new faces in State Cabinet. East Metropolitan Region MLC Donna Faragher, Kingsley MLA Andrea Mitchell have been promoted to “the new-look Cabinet.”
Faragher becomes Minister for Planning and Disability Services, and Mitchell takes on Mental Health and Child Protection. Premier himself will take responsibility for Tourism.
The Cabinet will be sworn in on Thursday morning.
Offshore Energy Today Staff