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Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has signed new works contracts with Japanese energy company Inpex for the $34bn Ichthys LNG project off the north-west coast of Australia.

This move will support 2,000 Australian jobs. Called 'Enhanced Dispute Settlement Process, Development & Production Arrangement (EDSPDPA)', the agreement will be valid until 2030.

The arrangement sets out the terms for training and development of maritime personnel, implementation of a diversity programme and promotion of Australian crews on certain project support vessels.

MUA Western Australian branch secretary and national president Chris Cain said: “As a result of this arrangement, we expect there will be up to 2,000 Australian jobs on the project, not just for MUA seafarers but other maritime workers as well, all on Aussie wages and conditions.

“This is great news for Australian workers who have been experiencing the recent downturn in offshore oil and gas construction and we’d like to thank Inpex for sitting down with us and finding a way to maximise local jobs on this important project.

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"This is great news for Australian workers who have been experiencing the recent downturn in offshore oil and gas construction."

“The MUA always stands up for our members and other Australian workers and has led from the front in these negotiations.”

The arrangement aims to improve skills and expertise of Australian workers in the offshore oil and gas sector. Commitments are also expected to simplify dispute settlement process with a dedicated conciliator to help resolve potential disputes without the need for industrial action.

As well as MUA, the agreement also covers the Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU) and Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers (AIMPE).

At its peak, the Ichthys Project is expected to produce 8.9 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum.

Image: Ichthys feld in 2014. Photo: courtesy of Inpex.