The DVD and the book are a wonderful record of what has been 40 years of professionalism and sheer hard work to give Australia arguably the best gas pipeline transmission infrastructure in the world. Congratulations to Scott Pearce and Lyndsie Mewett of Pipeline Publications for the immense amount of work in putting the book together and to Shane Eastman of Arrow Films for an inspiring commemorative DVD. Thanks too to APIA’s hard-working secretariat, to Convention Co-ordinators and to all the exhibitors for all the effort that paid off so well.
As there were four nominees for three Board positions, an election was held at the AGM. The level of interest and the need for an election is a very healthy sign and I urge all members to give consideration to nominating in the future. The results were the re-election of Mick McCormack of APA Group and the election of Kevin Lester of AJ Lucas and Richard Robinson of Oil Search. Former directors Andy Lukas of AJ Lucas and Marie Malaxos (formerly) of Arc Energy did not stand for re-election. I sincerely thank Marie for her enthusiastic commitment during her term and I would be remiss in not giving a special mention to Andy Lukas for his 13 years of contribution on the Board, including as President. I have particularly appreciated his assistance to me.
The world economic situation is of concern and we would be naÃ¯ve to believe that it will not touch us in some way. However, when considering current demand trends and likely drivers for further investment due to climate change policies, it is reasonable to expect that any adverse impact on our sector should be minimal.
The Government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme (CPRS) will undoubtedly present us with many opportunities, but gas, too, is a fossil fuel and we need to ensure that we are not in some perverse way negatively impacted. With representatives integrally involved in a range of relevant committees, the Association is well placed to closely monitor and to contribute to developments in these areas.
Progress in the development of a training program for pipeline engineers took another step forward with the appointment of a project manager: Mr Chris Harvey, formerly of Jemena. Chris, assisted by engineering support generously provided by McConnell Dowell, will report to a sub-committee of the Board and will draw on the wealth of knowledge and expertise of our Members.
The owners’ forum met with Energy Minister Martin Ferguson, department officials and other government and shadow ministers and staff in Canberra in September. The owners’ forum is an important event that enables senior representatives of pipeline ownership to reinforce the significance of the issues being put by the Association.
Another important event took place in November when a representative group of the industry took part in a two day planning session which will greatly assist the Board in its review of the APIA strategic plan in 2009. Thank you to all of the attendees for their active involvement in this process.
We will all look back on 2008 as a year of great significance for our industry and for the Association. I know I certainly will. It was both an honour and a great pleasure to be President when we celebrated our 40 year milestone. But, of course, each year is a significant year to our industry and 2009 will be, dare I say it, a year that will not be without its challenges. However, by working together through the Association we will be in the best position to be aware of and to manage those challenges.
Sincere best wishes for a happy and successful new year.
President: Ashley Kellett, South East Australia Gas Pty Ltd
Vice President: Peter Cox, WorleyParsons Pty Ltd
Treasurer: Graeme Fitzgerald, OneSteel
Steve Banning, Epic Energy
Murray Durham, Apache Energy
Leigh Fletcher, Welding and Pipeline Integrity
Kevin Lester, AJ Lucas Group
Michael McCormack, APA Group
Richard Robinson, Oil Search limited
Mark Twycross, McConnell Dowell Constructors