I am particularly pleased to be in Adelaide with my family for the 2013 Convention. We lived in this beautiful city of churches for a couple of years about ten years ago and particularly enjoyed our time here. I think we enjoyed Adelaide because I was able to work in the city centre with all the benefits of the city but, at the same time, have a short commute and embed ourselves in the local community, schools and social life with new friends, some who have become lifelong friends. I encourage you all to enjoy Adelaide and the surrounding area; it’s a city with a great deal to offer.
As many members would know, I have changed jobs during my tenure as President and I am very pleased to be still working within the industry and enjoying the new challenge. I look forward to being the Immediate Past President for a year to help the new President settle in to the role, but am also happy to hand over the reins and I look forward to seeing new ideas and new guidance and direction.
I’m pleased that the association has released the gas policy document. It’s a demonstration that APIA is a key player in the gas policy debate. I am also very pleased that, under the direction of Mark Twycross (formerly McConnell Dowell and now Quanta Services) the Environment and Safety committees were combined to become the Health, Safety and Environment Committee. This has been very successful, with several projects completed and underway. The major achievement thus far has been the completion of the important fatigue management study undertaken by TMS Consulting. The final report into this study will be released at the Convention and I encourage all members to source a copy of the report and see how it may assist your operations. The Code of Environmental Practice was reviewed and formally released by the Shadow Environment Minister Greg Hunt and we thank CNC Project Management for its management of the review process. The Brisbane seminar held in May was focused on the Health, Safety and Environment Committee’s work and was a tremendous success.
The Young Pipeliners Forum continues to impress me. Their interest and initiative has led to great success around the nation. Their information evenings and mentoring events are well attended and now they have introduced a program where our young people are mentoring university students. I can see that our industry is in good hands for the future. This, coupled with the renewed focus on training, both technical and engineering, means that the pipeline industry should not be short of skilled people as long as we maintain the current momentum in this area, no matter the challenges to the economy.
It’s been an interesting time politically, too. With a recent Federal Election, it is sometimes difficult to get senior political figures to speak at our Convention around such times. We are very honoured that the South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis, who has demonstrated a genuine interest in the gas transmission industry and a real understanding of the gas industry, accepted the invitation to open the Convention business session on Monday morning.
I would like to particularly thank Cheryl Cartwright and Steve Dobbie and the rest of the team in Canberra. The credit for the ongoing success of the association is due to the energetic and hard work by the Secretariat. I thank them all for the support they have given me as President over the last two years and look forward to continue working with them and the Board in my role as Immediate Past President.
I trust you will enjoy the Convention if you are here; Simone and I certainly look forward to catching up with you in Adelaide.