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Australia signs $50 billion gas deal with China

By staff writers at NEWS.com.au

August 19, 2009 10:01am
   
    * Agreement is biggest ever export deal
    * 'Will create jobs, help the environment'
    * Also shows China's not mad at us


Australia has cemented its biggest ever trade deal,  a $50 billion contract to supply liquefied natural gas to China, in what the Federal Government calls a win for everyone that will create jobs, help drag the economy back to health and still be good for the environment.

Resources minister Martin Ferguson has been gushing in praise for the deal, describing it as a win-win that would effectively be another "major economic stimulus" package.

In summary, the deal is being billed as providing thousands of new jobs, billions of dollars in tax revenue and a leg-up to switching to cleaner energy.  The project behind it has not yet received final green approval, but that is now seen as a formality.

The Opposition is keen to claim credit too.  Coalition frontbencher Joe Hockey welcomed the deal, but said the "platform" for it was laid back in the Howard years.