Pipeline industry achievers recognised

The 2013 official Australian Pipeline Industry Association industry awards, presented by the Hon.Tom Koutsantonis MP at the APIA Convention in Adelaide, highlighted the cream of the crop of the industry’s high achievers.

At the opening session of the Convention, Mr Koutsantonis, MP, South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, and Minister for Housing and Urban Development, announced the following award recipients:

    • Gas and pipeline industry stalwart John Fleming announced as the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award;


    • Long-time industry member and “˜Legend’ Max Kimber, AM awarded Honorary Life Membership of the APIA;


    • CNC Project Management’s Ian Spence awarded the Young Achievement Award;


    • Nacap Australia Pty Ltd received the Safety Award; and,


  • WDS Limited took out the Environment Award.

An outstanding contributor

Announcing John Fleming as this year’s Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award winner, APIA President Kevin Lester said Mr Fleming’s association with the Australian pipeline industry spans more than 20 years – and he is still going strong.

“Having been involved in the Australian gas industry for over five decades, during which time he has made numerous industry contributions, John’s most notable contribution has been his role from 2010-13 as Technical Editor for the APIA Code of Practice for polyethylene pipelines in the upstream coal seam gas industry,” Mr Lester said.

“His knowledge and skill, developed over many years of working with Parliamentary draftsmen in the preparation of various acts and regulations related to safety in the petroleum, gas and mining industries, were utilised to assist the production of this Code to a high technical and quality standard,”
he said.

“John subsequently travelled on APIA’s behalf to introduce the Code to regulators interstate, and his ongoing unique advocacy undoubtedly contributed significantly to the legislative adoption of the Code as an advisory standard within Queensland during 2011.

“From a health and safety perspective, John strongly influenced the development of the Petroleum & Gas Act and associated regulations within Queensland, which have proven effective during the past decade.”

Mr Lester said Mr Fleming has participated in Standards Australia activities over several decades, culminating in his role in heading the sub-committee which developed the suite of Hazardous Area standards, on which the design for all high-pressure pipeline associated facilities were based.

“Within government regulatory networks across Australia for the last decade before his retirement, John was regarded as one of the key leaders in the petroleum and gas industries.

“John continues to put up his hand for any job that the APIA Secretariat sends his way and he continues in his various roles as consultant, trainer and mentor.

“Over many years, John has worked to keep this industry safe and so this award is a fitting recognition for a man who has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian pipeline industry over a significant period of time,” Mr Lester said.

A lifetime of achievement

An honour only bestowed upon 12 others over the course of the industry’s history, Max Kimber, AM was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the APIA.

Mr Lester said the APIA Board had voted unanimously to award Honorary Life Membership to Mr Kimber, who was nominated by Richard McDonough and seconded by Ashley Fletcher.

Mr Lester said Mr Kimber has made outstanding contributions across all sectors of the pipeline industry for over 39 years, including technical standards and research, public safety, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance, and in third party access regulation.

Mr Kimber – Principal of M J Kimber Consultants Pty Ltd and a Director of South East Australia Gas – first joined APIA as a member in 1994. Prior to that, he served as a senior executive of the Pipeline Authority in Canberra and has served on the boards of a number of other pipeline companies.

“Max has been closely involved in the sale and/or purchase of almost every long distance natural gas pipeline in Australia, commencing with the privatisation of the Moomba to Sydney and Moomba to Adelaide pipelines in the mid-1990s,” Mr Lester said.

“From 1998-2000, he worked on the first large scale commercial development of CSG in Queensland and developed contracts for gas purchase and transport that encouraged further exploration and production.

“Max has made major contributions to the APIA and the industry in collaborative Research and Standards activities. He chaired the APIA Research and Standards Committee from 1996-2007, and served two terms on the Executive Committee/Board of APIA.

“In 2002 he negotiated a memorandum of understanding between APIA, the Pipelines Research Council International and the Electricity Policy Research Group that gave the Australian pipeline industry access to some of the world’s best and most comprehensive research work on petroleum pipelines. He was also part of a team that worked on the establishment of the Energy Pipelines Cooperative Research Centre.”

Mr Lester said that of particular value to APIA members has been Mr Kimber’s chairmanship of various working groups associated with the ME38 Standards Committee to resolve issues of interest to the industry.

“He was also involved in the initial setting up of the Pipeline Operator’s Group as a forum to bring operators together to share issues of common interest.

“In 2007 Max was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to the natural gas pipeline industry.

“In the broader pipeline industry, Max is a respected “˜elder’. His sustained promotion of APIA and the industry at all levels has made him an important and well respected ambassador and a worthy recipient of this prestigious award,” said Mr Lester.

Young Achievement Award

CNC Project Management’s Ian Spence deservedly took out the 2013 APIA Young Achievement Award.

Announcing the award, Mr Lester said Mr Spence had been an outstanding and energetic supporter of APIA activities over recent years and is one of the people who represent the next generation of the pipeline industry.

“Having been part of the Australian pipeline industry for over seven years, Ian has been actively involved with APIA for the past four years since joining CNC Project Management,” Mr Lester said.

“As a member of the Young Pipeliners Forum since March 2009, Ian was a Queensland committee member for two-and-a-half years before moving to Western Australia in 2011, where he became the Chair of the WA YPF. During his time in WA, Ian introduced new initiatives including co-ordinating a “˜mentoring with the board’ session, initiating the WA Christmas drinks following the Christmas lunch and developing a more active relationship with the Young Energy Professionals (YEP) from the Australian Institute of Energy.”

The relationship with the YEP led to Mr Spence co-founding the Western Australia “˜Ready for Work’ mentoring program in 2012. The success of the initial program has led to programs being established in Victoria and Queensland in 2013, with an expectation that it will become an annual event in all three states.

Mr Lester said Mr Spence’s contribution to APIA also includes serving on the APIA WA Committee (2011-12), current membership on the Health, Safety and Environment Committee and, most significantly, co-ordinating the recent revision of the APIA Code of Environmental Practice.

Making safety practices essential

The APIA Safety Award was taken out by Nacap Australia and its Code Safe Success system.

Mr Lester said that the four nominations for the 2013 award were rigorously considered by an APIA committee comprising of independent professionals, which included state regulation experience. The committee noted the quality of nominations this year.

Mr Lester said the committee chose the Code Safe Success system because the Nacap innovation recognised that English is the second language for many pipeline workers and that safety manuals are not always read, understood, remembered or accessible. Its use of QR code technology to access a simple video when the information is needed on each worker’s smart phone makes the safety checklists easily accessible onsite and ensures they are delivered in a manner that can be readily understood and followed. This innovation should not only improve safety in the pipeline industry, as Nacap is happy to share this, but it also has much broader application across other industries.

“It should be noted that Nacap recently took out the IPLOCA Safety Award for this new system so they have now scooped the pool,” said Mr Lester.

The APIA Safety Award is designed to recognise one or more of the following achievements, all of which aim to improve the safety of the pipeline industry and its personnel:

    • Outstanding safety performance in the workplace, whether in office, industrial, project, or operations and workplaces;


    • A unique innovation or initiative addressing a safety issue; and,


  • A new and well-defined safety system, procedure, or practice.

Previous winners of the APIA Safety award have been SEA Gas, DBP and WestNet Energy, the APA Group, AJ Lucas Group, Nacap Australia and McConnell Dowell.

The best in environmental awareness

The second annual Environment Award announced by the APIA went to WDS Limited for its work in the CSG industry.

Mr Lester said the WDS Limited nomination for the 2013 award was for the company’s environmental management system within the CSG Industry – Track2Zero: Target Zero Harm program.

Mr Lester said the annual APIA Environment Award is designed to recognise one or more of the following achievements, all of which aim to improve the environment and achieve leading environmental practice:

    • Outstanding environmental performance in the workplace, whether in office, industrial, project, or operations and workplaces;


    • A unique innovation or initiative addressing an environment issue; and,


  • A new and well-defined environment management system, procedure or practice.

Mr Lester said the committee chose the WDS system because the very large number of environmental conditions imposed by government on the CSG projects in Queensland has called for a different approach to environmental compliance.

“By extending the behaviour based Track2Zero safety system to meet the challenging environmental requirements, WDS has succeeded in making all employees very conscious of environmental issues to the extent that leading hands, operators, welders and electricians are all intervening in day-to-day operations to ensure protection of the environment and compliance with the extensive conditions imposed on the project,” Mr Lester said.

“Congratulations to everyone involved with the development and management of the WDS environmental management system and well done to the McConnell Dowell team as well for their nomination.”

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