Worker on the line: Darren Janes
APA Group’s Moomba to Sydney Pipeline Capacity Upgrade Project is an important ongoing project, securing an increased gas supply for Australia’s east coast. Darren Janes is AJ Lucas’ Construction Superintendant on the project. Here, he provides an insight into working on the project spread.
How long have you been working in the pipeline industry for?
16 years – I started working in the industry in 1994.
What has been your favourite project to work on and why?
My favourite project has definitely been the Moomba to Sydney Pipeline Capacity Upgrade Project, which is now into its eleventh stage and fifth year. I’ve really enjoyed working with and creating great relationships with the same client representatives and the same AJ Lucas personnel year after year. Also, working through outback South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, utilising locals from large cattle stations has been a contributing factor to the ongoing success of the project. These relationships with landowners is a favourite and rewarding part of the project.
Can you outline a typical day in the field?
A typical day starts with working in the office and yard until all crews are onsite and settled. I then make sure that any urgent requirements are organised from the nearest town or city as soon as businesses are open. Following this, a brief discussion is held with the client to identify and address any issues that may have arisen over the previous working day. The remaining two thirds of the day is generally spent travelling the line and visiting crews.
Who do you look up to in the industry and why? Or, who have you found to be a role model and why?
I tend to look up to and appreciate role models that have been in the industry a long time and enjoy passing information and knowledge down to the next generation of pipeline workers. Working with superiors who take that little bit of extra time to walk you through processes and practices keeps you motivated and committed to the success of the project, and also your own success.
Do you have any anecdotes of activities in the field?
We have been employing a regular local – Tony Cauldwell from Tickalara Station – on the previous eight sleeving projects of the Capacity Upgrade Project. Tony rides Saddle Broncs on the Australian professional rodeo circuit and is very good. He finished third in the Australian titles in January this year. Tony recently presented me with a buckle that he won on a local rodeo he attended while working with us in the White Cliffs area. He wanted me to have the buckle in appreciation of ongoing employment and allowing him time to attend rodeos that clashed with the Capacity Upgrade Project.