The objective of the current trip to Japan by Resources Minister Paul Kirby (pictured), clearly to hawk Territory oil and gas, will be to “strengthen existing relations between the NT Government and Japan,” according to government media hand-outs.
He will also attend attend the Australia-Japan Joint Business Conference.
The releases say he will be meeting top officials of Osaka Gas (Australia) and the Ichthys Project in the Top End.
“The Minister will also visit Mitsubishi, METI and JOGMEC to explore opportunities between these organisations and the Northern Territory,” says the blurb.
METI is the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. JOGMEC is the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation created in 2004 when the former Japan National Oil Corporation merged with the former Metal Mining Agency of Japan.
“Mitsubishi” is presumably Mitsubishi Corporation’s oil and gas investments and activities: “We invest in and develop oil and gas projects in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and deal a wide range of energy products including crude oil, petroleum, LPG, LNG, coal coke and carbon products,” says its website.
The expenditure is positively spartan: Just the Minister and one staff member are going, spending $6,747.68 on flights and $4,734.19 on accommodation.
But hold on, the taxpayer will also be coughing up for two bureaucrats to “accompany the Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, the Honourable Paul Kirby to Japan … to promote further investment in the Territory”.
The Deputy Chief Executive, DPIR, and the Director Oil and Gas, Investment Territory, DTBI, will be spending $8,087.58 for flights and $4,975 for accommodation. (Note the difference in flight costs: The bureaucrats are spending more. Mmmmh.)
Money well spent, no doubt: “Japan is the Territory’s largest trade and investment partner, underpinned by the Darwin and Ichthys LNG projects, which when combined supply more than 10% of Japan’s global LNG imports and have land available for five additional LNG trains,” the handout from the Department of Primary Industry and Resources tells us.
“These and other gas-related projects represent multi-generational opportunities for Territorians and local businesses.”