The Coalition has announced a new $1.1 billion funding package for the Keystone Pipeline, after agreeing to $1 billion for the Trans Mountain expansion.
The funding comes after Labor rejected the deal, calling it “a giveaway” to the pipeline’s opponents.
Keystone Pipeline Minister Peter Lewis said it was a “massive investment” for the State Government, with the Government receiving an extra $1 million to “provide for the long-term maintenance and protection of the project”.
“It’s also the right thing to do,” Mr Lewis said.
“The Keystone pipeline will bring jobs to Australia, and we know this project will be built on strong infrastructure and will provide more opportunities for jobs and growth.”
Keystone has been under review for more than a year, after the federal Government stopped the $8 billion project in 2016.
Keystoning, a joint venture of ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil and Enbridge, was awarded the project in December 2016 by the Northern Gateway pipeline project in B.C.
Key to the decision was that the project would be “consistent with the existing regulatory framework”.
Keystone had been slated to carry a total of 2.1 million barrels per day of crude oil to the United States, but the project was halted in 2019 when the Obama Administration put a moratorium on Canadian oil shipments to the US.
That moratorium expired in February 2020, and the Federal Government announced in June 2020 it would start work on the new Keystone pipeline.
It is expected to cost $9 billion, but a new estimate has emerged, saying the project could be completed in 2019-20.
The project will also provide jobs, increase economic activity and create more than 300,000 construction jobs, the Government says.
The Government says the new funding will “help to build on our record of supporting the Keystone pipeline project” and will see an additional $2 billion in “non-cash assistance” over four years, including $1,000 for each job created by the pipeline.
Keysthe deal will also see the Government contribute $50 million to help cover the costs of the pipeline, with $100 million coming from the Energy Security Fund.
“This is a major step forward for the industry and the State, as we continue to deliver the Keystone project,” Mr Alexander said.