As mentioned at those functions, your professional and energetic Secretariat is the face of APIA but your committed and active Board provides the direction and support. My email address is on the APIA website should you ever believe it is necessary to directly communicate with the Board.
In early February, along with senior representatives across our industry, I attended APIA’s forum to discuss the possibility of setting up APIA-certified professional pipeline engineer training. This was an historic occasion as the unanimous view of the group was that the proposal had merit and should proceed to a detailed business review. I am pleased to advise that, at its February meeting, the Board agreed to fund the development of a business plan to be presented to the Board later in the year. Congratulations to Ted Metcalfe in particular for his prodigious efforts leading to the achievement of this milestone event and to Cheryl Cartwright for her efforts in arranging the forum. There is a long way to go but the journey has commenced.
While still on the subject of prodigious efforts, you do have to marvel at Cheryl’s ability to get APIA and our industry into the media so regularly. Whether it be commenting on the Greenhouse report or being pictured with other female high achievers, she is doing her job well in raising the profile of APIA.
Have you noticed the 40-year logo yet? It is now being used on most of our correspondence.
You may have noticed the foreword to our 2008 APIA Directory/Year Book. It was written by a then very new Minister for Energy, Martin Ferguson. He was only just in the seat at the time and the fact that he took the time to make his contribution was very much appreciated. In January, Cheryl and I met with the Minister. Not only did he demonstrate that he was across many of our key issues but he undertook to provide assistance should we be unable to resolve issues in other ways.
In mid-February, following the Board meeting in Brisbane, Cheryl and I flew to Melbourne to meet the Chairman, Steve Edwell, and the Chief Executive, Michelle Groves, of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). While this was essentially intended as a “˜meet and greet’ occasion, a number of topical issues were discussed, including the yet-to-be-received final version of the new National Gas Law. While the AER will, of course, be bound to follow the legislation, we came away with the very clear message that Steve and Michelle intend to be open and communicative, and that they intend to take a pragmatic view wherever possible.
The Board took the opportunity in February to undertake its annual review of the APIA Strategic Plan which was established in 2006 and reviewed in 2007. The Board took the view that APIA is on track with all the requirements of the Strategic Plan and its objectives. With so much potential for change in so many areas in the next few years, the Board considered it would be prudent to commence the process of review of the objectives, with the aim of having a revised plan in place by the end of 2009. The plan is available on our website.
A bit early to be talking about it, I know, but the Board has decided to hold its last meeting of this year in Sydney. This has not happened for a number of years. We are considering an associated “˜Christmas drinks with the Board’ function – watch this space for further information.
I hope your year is progressing well. If you have not started to think about joining us at the Perth Convention in October, I urge you to do so – it looks like it will be yet another very popular APIA event!