Yesterday’s ODT quoted a Dunedin City Councillor’s view on the news Shell will be drilling in the Deep South Basin:
Cr Jinty MacTavish agreed, saying the city would not spend money to try to attract the ”unethical” tobacco industry, and should avoid the oil and gas industry for the same reasons.
”It’s an unethical business and I wouldn’t like to see Dunedin setting out to attract it.”
Even for someone with very strong concerns about climate change this is an extreme view.
I am sure she doesn’t smoke but like all of us she uses and benefits from products of the oil and gas industry – and exploration could bring significantly more to the city and province.
Today’s paper reports Dunedin and Otago could reap billions from a game changing gas boom.
The first taste of petroleum money could be just weeks away in Dunedin, as Texas-based oil giant Anadarko prepares to move its state-of-the-art drilling ship into Otago waters, it has been confirmed.
A natural gas boom worth billions of dollars to the regional economy could follow in the ship’s wake, with thousands of jobs potentially created across Otago, it has been suggested.
As arguments for and against the industry’s arrival in Dunedin continue, a report by economic analyst Berl has outlined the possible regional benefits of an oil or gas strike anywhere in the South Island.
It calculated a large offshore gas field could be worth $8.1 billion to the economy of any region hosting the industry, and $3.1 billion in regional GDP, while creating 11,540 jobs.
The report was prepared in March 2012 for the Ministry of Economic Development, but had not previously been seen by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull.
He told the ODT yesterday the report did not allay public concern about fossil fuels and climate change, but the economic benefits – if applied to Dunedin or Otago – would be ”more than significant”.
”It could be a game-changer in terms of the economy.”. . .
The DCC has been lamenting job losses in the city and calling on government to help.
Now there’s an opportunity for significant inwards investment and job creation and the mayor and some of his councillors are still reluctant to grasp it.