Welcome to the eighth edition of ceNEWS for 2020

The message from CEO Steve Davies is now available on video and it's less than four minutes long.

You can see it by clicking this link. If you'd prefer to read the words, they are below. The content is not guaranteed to be the same. Give the video a try. And while you're there, leave a comment or like the video. Steve likes the feedback!

Message from the CEO

September marks six months since Australia’s response to the COVID-19 crisis kicked in and changed the way we all live and work. I am very proud of the way the association has responded. As an organisation that thrives on face-to-face events and networking, we have made a lot of changes! I would like to give a special thanks to the team at the secretariat who have implemented these changes so well. I think we all know that doing new things can be challenging and the team has risen to the occasion. We are well aware that everyone is doing things differently this year and really appreciate the understanding and engagement from the membership as we all adjust.

On the topic of doing things differently, our 2020 Virtual Convention will be held next month from Monday 19 October to Friday 23 October. The program will be run as five afternoon sessions of two hours and 15 minutes each and we will be delivering most of the content we had planned for the business sessions of the physical event. We are particularly keen to try and recreate some of the special social events that the APGA Convention and Exhibition delivers and we will have both a virtual fancy dress event on Tuesday 20 October and a virtual happy hour following our annual awards ceremony on Friday 23 October. Our theme for the fancy dress this year is “Hats, caps, masks and wigs” which should lend itself very well to the Zoom environment. We are also inviting entries to our very own talent show Pipeliners Got Talent and I am looking forward to seeing some of that great fancy dress spirit and creativity that we have at our annual fancy dress event.

We are also holding this year’s Annual General Meeting virtually, so we will be voting electronically too. It will be a different process this year with different timelines, and please take this as advance notice that we will need to receive proxies earlier than normal. More information will be released about this very soon.

Last but not least on the event news, this month on Friday 18 September we will be holding a panel on leadership featuring women leaders from across the engineering and pipeline sectors. This panel was originally intended for past and current participants of the APGA Women’s Leadership Development Program but we through it would be interesting and useful for all members. You can register via the events section of our website.

Last month there was quite a bit of media attention on pipelines, with the federal government’s talk of a ‘gas-fired recovery’ and some calls for government involvement in pipeline projects. This attention is welcome, it is a great demonstration of the vital role natural gas plays and the continuing importance of affordable gas for Australia’s economy. I am very conscious that there is a lot of work being done across the country by many APGA members to get new projects covering gas, water and slurry over the line. This is great news for our industry and our members, and it is critical that we work with government to ensure that whatever is done in the gas market space doesn’t pick winners and interfere with the commercial processes under way around the country.

All the best for the month ahead and I’d especially like to wish our Victorian colleagues a safe and speedy transition out of lock-down. Hopefully September will be a month to remember for the right reasons.

Board

The APGA Board held a scheduled meeting via Zoom on Thursday 20 August.

The Board is pleased to advise that the association achieved a larger than forecast surplus for the financial year to 30 June. This solid result is principally due to an additional surplus from the Adelaide Convention, savings on travel and office expenses due to the COVID-19 restrictions and access to government crisis assistance programs. It puts APGA in a strong financial position to maintain member services in 2021, even though the economic outlook remains somewhat unpredictable.

Although we have to hold a virtual convention this year, the Board is heartened by the support and encouragement of our exhibitors and sponsors in understanding the necessity of our actions, supporting the virtual convention and supporting the postponed 2021 Brisbane convention and exhibition.

 The Board also identified that a strategic priority for the industry is to enhance positive public information about the future of gas abnd the role of pipelines. Several initiatives will be developed to assist mebers to achieve this and further information will be pyblished when available.

Finally, the Board reiterated its support for registration of pipleine engineers. In light of the increasing number of States adopting registration schemes for engineers, the Board has adopted a proposal that APGA take advantage of opportunities to advocate either a single national register or mutual recognition of registration so that registration of a pipeline engineer in one State automatically entitles the engineer to practise in all jurisdictions with registration schemes.

APGA 2020 Virtual Convention and Exhibition

Registration for the APGA Virtual Convention 2020 is now open. Register early to be sure to receive your delegates pack: these are available in limited numbers this year, so don't miss out. The APGA 2020 Virtual Convention will be held over the week of 19 to 23 October. Please put these dates into your calendars now. The week’s program will feature a daily two-hour business program, the presentation of the 2020 APGA Awards and two virtual social events – a Fancy Dress networking event on Tuesday 20 October and a closing happy hour to finish the Convention off on Friday 23 October. While there won’t be a full virtual Exhibition, all of our 2020 Exhibitors will be featured and will have several options to promote their products and services so that delegates can view this important information. Register now. If you need any further information about this year’s event, please talk to Steve Dobbie.

APGA Annual General Meeting

The 52nd APGA Annual General Meeting is to be held virtually on Tuesday 13 October at 1.00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time. Voting for members of the Board will also take place virtually and the virtual election will take place during the week before the AGM. Details about the process will be sent out very soon, Please be aware the timelines will be different this year.

Pipeline Engineering Competency System: new site

The APGA Pipeline Engineering Competency System will be moving to a new site this month on the same platform as the APGA Knowledgebase. Members will be able to access and download competencies more easily than on the website. The same log-in credentials used for the APGA Knowledgebase will apply to the PECS database. Advice will be sent to members when the new site is available. The competencies will also be available on the website until later this year.

Membership renewals

A big thankyou to all the members who have already renewed their membership subscription for 2020/21.

Those yet to pay have recently received a second reminder email. These reminders will be more regular now that we are two months into the membership year. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your membership or renewal options, please do not hesitate to contact APGA’s Membership Officer, Katy Spence

New Members

APGA would like to welcome the following new members approved at the August Board Meeting:

Corporate Members:

  • Fortescue Metals Group
  • GB Energy

  • Jiva Consulting

  • Lidiar Group

  • Lochard Energy (Iona Operations) Pty Ltd

  • Metropolis Services Pty Ltd

  • MVC Services Pty Ltd

  • Pro Pipe Services Pty Ltd

  • Scape Consulting Pty Ltd

Individual Members: 

  • Mark Harris

Gas and energy policy

In last month’s ceNEWS, we provided an update on APGA’s proposal for a modified greenfield exemption, including a report APGA commissioned from Synergies Economic Consulting, that sets out the economic arguments in favour of an exemption and presents some of its key design features.

The central point of the case for a greenfield exemption is that it is widely accepted that the Australian market for open access pipeline construction and operation is workably competitive. As a result, where a new open access pipeline is built, terms and conditions will generally reflect the outcome of a competitive process. This means that the greenfield exemption should be automatically granted to new pipelines that meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • the pipeline is a new pipeline;

  • the pipeline is to be an open access pipeline from its commissioning;

  • the pipeline will not be vertically integrated with gas production, wholesale or retail businesses; and

  • the service provider provides relevant undertakings on pricing to subsequent shippers.

Over the past month, APGA has shared the greenfield exemption report with a range of key government stakeholders – in both the federal government and State/Territory governments. We have also met with the majority of State/Territory governments and relevant federal government agencies to discuss the proposal and the report further. It is fair to say that the report is receiving serious consideration from policymakers but, as always, there is plenty more work to be done. We will keep you posted.

A copy of the Synergies Economic Consulting report Proposed Modified Greenfield Exemption Provisions in the National Gas Law is available on the APGA website for those who would like further information.

Safer Together

Safer Together has made available a number of protocols developed in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. They are available here.

Committee news

WA Chapter AGM

The date of the WA Chapter Annual General Meeting 2020 originally scheduled for 10 September has been moved to 3pm Thursday 1 October and will be held immediately after the Perth Lunch on that day. An amended notice has been sent to WA Chapter members and the deadline for lodgement of expressions of interest to join the committee has been extended to 3pm Tuesday 29 September. The Chapter Committee would welcome interest from members representing a range of industry activities and fulfilling a spectrum of different roles so, if you would like more information or a form to lodge an expression of interest, please contact the APGA Secretary Peter Heffernan.

Research and Standards Committee

We are still hoping to hold the final RSC meeting for 2020 as a face-to-face meeting in Adelaide on Thursday 12 November. 

Pipeline Operators Group

We will be holding a virtual POG meeting in late October. The format will be finalised by late September and POG members advised.

YPF

Qld YPF is holding its first event since February with its annual Strike Bowling event on 18 September at Wintergarden. Join for a night of networking fun and test your skills at bowling, laser tag and karaoke. Thank you MPC Kinetic for sponsoring the event. Spaces are limited, so book now.  Register here.

Qld YPF is holding its first ever golf event on Friday 6 November. The event will start at 12.30pm for 1.00pm tee off and will consist of a four-person Ambrose over 18 holes, with nearest to the pin, furthest drive and other competitions. After the golf there will be a presentation of prizes followed by drinks and light dinner giving golfers a chance to network with YPF and APGA members.  Thank you to Major Sponsor PipeTek and Minor Sponsors GPA Engineering and Vermeer. Save the date and watch for an invitation soon.

SA YPF is looking for a new Chair and committee members. After two years of being at the helm and reinvigorating the SA YPF, Holly May from Fyfe has stepped down. If you are interested in joining the SA YPF Committee please contact APGA.

Events

Upcoming events

The APGA Women's Leadership Development Program will host a panel of three outstanding international women leaders. This panel aims to shine a light on successful women leaders and to help shape the conversation on how we can all be better leaders thereby assisting our industry to be a great place to spend our careers. Register now for this event on Friday 18 September.

Join us on Thursday 24 September for our fourth industry interview of the series where APGA CEO Steve Davies will catch up with Susan Jaques from Sage Consulting Solutions Pty Ltd to have a chat about volunteering, standards development and consulting in 2020. Register now.

 

We are excited to announce that we will be holding a Perth Lunch on Thursday 1 October at the Pan Pacific Hotel. Thank you to APA Group and OSD Pipelines for sponsoring the lunch. After a challenging year so far, the lunch will be a great opportunity to catch up with colleagues and friends and share experiences of the past few months. Keep an eye out for the invite and registration will be opening soon.