We live in a world where the pace of change is truly breathtaking. We have seen much activity – and many changes – in the pipeline industry since I joined APIA more than five years ago. The level of activity for many players in the industry has been frenetic. A significant number of APIA owner members have left the country and new owners are now settling down transmission pipeline assets within their organisations. Many major pipeline projects have been completed over recent years. There is a growing trend towards customer initiated pipelines. Pipeline owning companies are seeking new business opportunities both within and outside the pipeline sector. These issues pose important questions regarding the future directions of APIA and our linkages with the wider energy and infrastructure communities. Whilst we are definitely an industry in transition, this process will inevitably open up wider opportunities for APIA member companies and the individuals who contribute to the work of our Association.
Whilst many things may have changed over the past five years and will change further over the years ahead, our activities remain fundamentally important to the long-term viability of Australia’s pipeline industry. Many new members continue to join APIA – with 215 current corporate members we have the critical mass needed to respond to future needs, whatever the future holds.
APIA members will be appreciative of the many contributions individual members have made to all facets of our industry. We have an active and robust research program with over 20 contributing companies. This is a strong starting point for the tasks that lie ahead. We have made substantial inroads in our relationship with land owners through the VFF Guidelines document and through the APIA Code of Environmental Practice. We are working actively to develop a Construction Safety Guideline which will benefit our contractor members. We have made good progress on the economic regulatory front but much more needs to be done. This will require the active involvement of a new generation of pipeline owners who we will seek to actively engage in APIA activities over the months and years ahead.
In the final analysis APIA is really all about people. In this respect let me put on record my sincere appreciation for the role Bob Gration has played over many years, both at our convention and our many Melbourne based events. Bob characterises the spirit of this Association and the selfless contribution that many individuals make towards our activities.
Thank you all for the support and helpful advice you have given me during my five years as Chief Executive. It has been a tremendous learning journey for me and, more than ever, I remain convinced that this industry has a very bright future.