An industry body has warned that mining and processing natural gas in giant offshore factories will cost thousands of onshore Australian jobs.

The Economics and Industry Standing Committee has handed its latest report to the WA Parliament, claiming that offshore gas processing has the potential for ‘devastating’ impact on a key driver of the national economy.

The Inquiry into the Economic Implications of Floating Liquefied Natural Gas Operations says FLNG would cost West Australia billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs alone.

The report singled-out former federal Resources Minister Gary Gray, slamming his decision to let FLNG operators take the Browse Basin.

The committee even recommends that the WA Government should look into the legality of Mr Gray’s decision.

One committee member, Mr Peter Tinley, said WA needs to protect its offshore assets by legislating to ensure the state saw some return from resources being exploited in its waters.

Mining firm INPEX has had approval for its Ichthys LNG project and Shell has got the green light for its Prelude LNG project, both of which will run the massive FLNG facilities in the Browse Basin.

The ongoing WA Government inquiry into FLNG is accessible here.