AUSTRALIA should focus on turning Perth into a global energy technology hub, the head of oil and gas producer Woodside says.
Chief executive Peter Coleman said resources and agriculture would still make a big contribution to the Australian economy this century, but Australia's skills and ingenuity would allow the nation to succeed in the Asia-Pacific region.
''We must ensure Australia's endowment of natural resources does not create a sense of complacency in the Australian community, the feeling that our prosperity is virtually assured as Asia continues to rise,'' he told the In the Zone conference in Perth on Tuesday.
Mr Coleman said Perth could be a global leader in oil and gas technology. ''If you think about the work being done by Woodside and others in the industry, it's not hard to visualise a future where Perth is the LNG technology hub of the world.''
He also used the example of floating liquefied natural gas as an innovative contributor in the resources industry. Woodside is yet to make a final decision about proceeding with its Browse gas project in Western Australia, amid speculation partner Shell favours a floating LNG option.
While the nation had benefited from Asia's rapid growth, it had not been by design, he said. ''There's never been a more important time than now for Australia to complete its transition to a high-innovation, highly productive economy.''