Economist says new LNG project will cause collateral damage

ANOTHER step forward for the Arrow LNG project is boosting hopes for Gladstone's property market.

But a senior economist has suggested whatever form the project comes in, it will be at the expense of the rest of Queensland's economy.

Arrow Energy's $15 billion LNG plant received its environmental approvals from the State Government earlier this week.

LJ Hooker Gladstone principal Mark Spearing suggests the current softening in house and rental prices could be temporary with $35 billion of projects in the pipeline.

"Rents have reduced throughout much of Gladstone due to the completion of several projects, but investors taking a long-term view appreciate the amount of projects approved and currently under study," he said.

"The upward pressure on rents that were in the market 12 months ago had to ease..

But Australia Institute senior economist Matt Grudnoff said the international company's success would cause "huge collateral damage to local industries".

He said Gladstone would see the same problems again - workers being sucked away from other jobs, rents increasing as would the cost of living.

"Arrow Energy's massive CSG export project has been approved, despite the company's own economic analysis acknowledging it will cost 1600 jobs across Australia and crowd out almost half a billion dollars in manufacturing," he said.



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