10 Dec 2002

Queensland Government gives strong backing to PNG pipeline plan

6:31 pm on 10 December 2002

The Queensland Premier Peter Beattie says the proposed Papuua New Guinea gas pipeline is in Australia's national security interest, but he has warned proponents that it still has to cut the price of electricity for Queenslanders.

The Premier, who has been visiting Port Moresby, says he would be "shot" by the electorate if he agreed to fixed long-term sales contracts which cost consumers more in the long run.

Mr Beattie said he believed the nearly four billion US dollar project was still "a goer", but stressed the project had to stack up commercially.

He says it has to be commercially viable, but the state government wants it to happen and will bend over bakwards to facilitate it.

Mr Beattie says it is in Australia's interest to have a happy and developing Papua New Guinea.

He says after Bali and some of the ugly things in the world, it is in the national interest of Australia to see such actual long-term investments and long-term effort in ensuring there is a stable economy and value-adding in PNG.