Welcome to the tenth edition of ceNEWS for 2020

The message from CEO Steve Davies is now available on video and it's less than three 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

For all the change and unusual operating conditions we have experienced in 2020, the beginning of November has a very familiar feel for the association. We have just finished our Annual Convention and we are really happy with how it went. We delivered a full program of business sessions, and we learned a lot about running bigger scale virtual events. I have no doubt we will put these to good use in 2021 as we return to physical events and consider how to deliver the content both in-person and virtually. We also ended the Convention with our Annual Awards and I would like to offer another congratulation to the well-deserving winners in each category set out below.

We’ve switched over to the organising for Christmas events and are thrilled we can offer events that should feel very familiar in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane. Not everyone will be able to travel as normal, but we really happy we can end the year with an opportunity to get together and enjoy each other’s company in these three cities.

Also set below, we have a new Board! Welcome to our new Board members Jonathan Spink from Jemena and Ray Keable from LandPartners. I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to Peter Cox from Worley and Mark Dayman from Fyfe, both former Presidents of APGA, who have each contributed a great deal over a decade and, while we will miss their presence in the Board room, I have no doubt their dedication to the industry will remain obvious to us all in continuing contributions in the years ahead.

The final quarter of the year is always, without fail, a busy time in policy governments rush to conclude, and sometimes begin, processes by the end of the year. The work announced as part of the Federal Government’s gas-fired recovery is picking up speed and we are participating in multiple processes considering gas reservation, codes of conduct, strategic basin plans and the National Gas Infrastructure Plan.

And, in an announcement I am very happy to make to all members, this month we are welcoming APGA’s new Engagement Manager to the team! Dean Bennett begins his new role this week.  Dean is well-known to many members from his roles in Australia with Bredero Shaw and for the past couple of years he has been working with the company in Canada. Thanks to COVID-19, Dean will be working from Canada for a while but he should be on deck with us in Australia early in the new year and it will be great to have him focussed on delivering and enhancing our engagement activity with, and services for, members. If there is one thing 2020 has taught us, it is that remote working technology is up to the task and I am sure Dean will be in touch with many of you in the coming months - first from Canada and then a bit closer to home.

APGA Annual Awards

The APGA Annual Awards were presented at the final session of the APGA Virtual Convention on Friday 23 October. Congratulations to the winners. Links are to the Indivual Award Winners and Corporate Award Winners items on APGA News.

Outstanding Contribution to the Pipeline Industry AwardBrian O'Sullivan
Young Achievement AwardNick Kastelein
Jeff Shepherd Construction Excellence AwardGraham Meers
APGA Environment AwardAustralian Gas Infrastructure Group
APGA Safety AwardAPA Group
APGA Diversity and Inclusion AwardMPC Kinetic

APGA 2020 Virtual Convention and Exhibition

APGA’s first Virtual Convention was a huge success with just over 400 registered delegates. The Business Sessions included a range of informative papers and presentations that held attention and the sessions were well-attended. Although we all missed the in-person catching up with colleagues, the social events were entertaining and enjoyable. The awards videos also added a new dimension of surprise to what is, of necessity, a more rehearsed event at the face-to-face Convention. We thank our host and event sponsors, the speakers and chairs for their contributions. Registered delegates of the Virtual Convention can log-on to the Virtual Convention platform and watch the video recordings of each session. Further information on the availability of other Virtual Convention material will be published in future editions of ceNEWS. We look forward to seeing everyone in person in Brisbane next year for the 2021 Convention and Exhibition which will be held from 25 to 28 September – put these dates in your diaries now.

APGA Annual General Meeting

The President and CEO provided their reports and insights on the past year and said they were proud of the way the industry and APGA responded to the difficulties of the COVID-19 crisis. The meeting passed the Financial Statements with the Treasurer reporting the good results for the year.

An online election was held from 6 to 12 October 2020 for the vacant positions on the APGA Board. The results of the election were announced at the APGA Annual General Meeting held on 13 October. Mr Kevin Lester, Ms Wendy Oldham and Mr Leon Richards have been re-elected to the Board while Mr Ray Keable and Mr Jonathan Spink are newly elected Directors and first time Board members. The continuing Directors serving their second year are Mr Luis Guevara, Mr Dave Maloney, Ms Donna McDowall, Mr Tony O’Sullivan and Mr John Stuart Robertson. Mr Mark Dayman and Mr Peter Cox retired from the Board having completed their two-year terms and both were thanked for their invaluable service to APGA as Board members and past presidents.

At the Board meeting held after the AGM, the new Board elected Ms Donna McDowall as Vice-President and Ms Wendy Oldham as Treasurer who will each serve a one-year term. Mr Tony O’Sullivan continues as President in the second year of his two-year term. 

The Board of APGA for 2020/21 is:

Tony O’Sullivan (MPC Kinetic)– President
Donna McDowall (Quanta Services Australia)– Vice President
Wendy Oldham (SEA Gas) – Treasurer
Dave Maloney (CNC Project Management) – Immediate Past President
Luis Guevara (Vacuworx Australia)
Ray Keable (LandPartners)
Kevin Lester (APA Group)
Leon Richards (McConnell Dowell)
Jonathan Spink (Jemena)
John Stuart-Robertson (HDI Lucas).

New Members

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

Corporate Members:  OC Project Services Pty Ltd

Individual Members: Trevor Nichols

Jonah Group offer to APGA members

Jonah Group, which has made a series of monthly webinars on mental health available free to APGA members, is now offering APGA members a discount on a series of training courses on similar topics.

The courses are:
Combat Complacency and Limbic Risk
17 Nov 1:00pm – 4:30pm AEDT
Safety Leadership Foundation for Managers
30 Nov and 7 Dec 8:30am – 12:30pm AEDT
Mental Health Skills for Managers
25 Nov 1:00pm – 4:30pm AEDT 
Mental Health Skills for Employees
3 Dec 1:00pm – 4:30pm AEDT                    

APGA members registering for one of the courses before Friday 13 November will receive a 30 per cent discount on the standard price. Just use the discount code APGA30 at checkout. Find out more and register here.

Mental health toolkit

Safer Together’s WA/NT Health Working Group has developed a Mental Health and Wellbeing Self-Help/Care Toolkit.  The Self-Help/Care Toolkit is designed for everyone in our Industry.  It provides easy access to a large number of existing resources to help front line workers better manage their own mental health and wellbeing. Understanding that everyone's needs are different, the Group has drawn on six dimensions of wellness and have provided materials that allow you to personalise your own self-care and choose what is best suited to your needs. Click here to access the toolkit. It is an interactive .pdf. It can easily be shared and used by all of your employees from any electronic device. 

#Better Together Workshops series two

On 29 and 30 September 2020, APGA hosted a second round of independently facilitated #Better Together Workshops via Zoom where we heard from 10 gas transmission pipeline customers and key industry associations. Also participating in these sessions were officials from AEMO, who are working with APGA to co-design the GBB 101 course and have been very supportive of this initiative overall. AEMO sees APGA’s #Better Together Initiative as complementary to its internal efforts to refine and improve the usability of the Gas Bulletin Board.

The purpose of the workshops was to hear and discuss customer feedback on the two information reporting initiatives and identify areas for further improvement. The feedback received from customers about the gas pipeline information reporting initiatives was overwhelmingly positive. One participant called it “a great example of a customer focussed initiative”. The pipeline information Web Portal (already launched) and the Gas Bulletin Board 101 course (still under development in collaboration with AEMO) are seen as strong and practical responses to the feedback received during the first round of workshops.

The feedback received from gas pipeline customers on the already launched web portal was universally positive. The one-stop shop approach saves time and reduces confusion – especially for people dealing with multiple pipelines. Expressions used to describe it included: incredibly useful, great, easy to access, contains good information and very helpful to have all the publicly reported pipeline information consolidated in this way.

The Gas Bulletin Board 101 course is expected to be launched in late November.

Gas and energy policy

New policy development following recent government announcements is running in parallel to existing initiatives such as the gas pipeline regulation RIS. The pace of government gas policy reform shows no sign of slowing as we head towards Christmas.

The centrepiece of recent policy announcements is the National Gas Infrastructure Plan (NGIP), which is intended to develop a common set of priorities for gas pipelines and other critical infrastructure. The NGIP is expected to look at what additional domestic gas infrastructure is needed in the medium term and whether it is on track to be delivered by the market in a timely way. An ‘interim’ NGIP report is due to be delivered by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) by March – but other than that, few details of the NGIP or the process to develop it are yet known. APGA is in frequent communication with DISER on this topic, and we expect to receive further details – including plans for formal industry consultation – in coming weeks.

Another policy development of great long-term importance for the gas industry is the Modern Manufacturing Strategy (MMS), published in late October by the Technology Investment Roadmap Taskforce. Focused primarily on manufacturing sector innovation, the MMS highlights the importance of gas for the future of Australian manufacturing. APGA will lodge a submission to the MMS highlighting key points about the positive future role of gas in this sector.

For example, direct burn gas for the purpose of supplying industrial heat is more cost-effective than electricity. It also has a far lower carbon intensity than the NEM average for electricity generation and is therefore the low carbon option for manufacturing processes requiring industrial heat. In addition, gas has its own decarbonisation pathway (see Gas Vision 2050 LINK) which modelling shows is itself a far cheaper option than attempting full electrification of end-use energy demand. Finally, gas is indispensable for some high temperature manufacturing processes and cannot be practically substituted by electricity in those cases.

Committee news

Research and Standards Committee  

The RSC Executive met on Tuesday 27 October and agreed to hold a virtual RSC meeting on 12 November.

Pipeline Operators Group  

POG members met virtually on Wednesday 28 October with 26 members attending.  Members accepted that the industry needs to consider how fugitive emissions in operations can be reduced and will assist, where possible, in the work of an APGA working group to address this issue.

A positive of POG is the sharing of information and experiences methods at meetings, and through seminars and the convention especially involving safety issues and improved methods. POG is looking at ways of further including younger members of their organisations to pass on their knowledge and experience.


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, Tremco Pipeline Equipment and Vermeer Australia. Registrations are now closed.

WA YPF is holding its annual Barefoot Bowls event on Friday 6 November at Perth and Tattersall's Bowling and Recreation Club. Come along and enjoy an afternoon of industry networking, skill (or lack thereof), competitive banter and fun times. Thank you to Enscope, Momentum Engineering, ROSEN and Veris for sponsoring the event. Last chance to book, registrations close today.
Register here.

WA YPF will also be hosting Christmas Drinks again after the APGA Perth Christmas Lunch at Raffles on 20 November. Come along and catch-up with your colleagues in this great networking opportunity. Thank you to APTS, Enscope, Momentum Engineering, Oceaneering Australia and Pipecraft for sponsoring the event. Registrations opening soon.

John Tiratsoo Award
Young Pipeliners International, in partnership with PPIM, is pleased to announce the 2021 edition of the annual award: The John Tiratsoo Award for Young Achievement. The award recognises the achievements of individuals under 35 years of age who have demonstrated a valuable and original contribution to the industry and is open to anyone in the industry. The deadline for nominations is Friday 15 January 2021. Find out more.


APGA Christmas Events

Click on the link to book.

EventDateThanks to our sponsors
APGA Perth Christmas LunchFriday 20 November


APGA Adelaide Christmas LunchFriday 4 DecemberEpic Energy
LAMS Australia
APGA Brisbane Christmas LunchFriday 11 December

MPC Kinetic
UCC Canusa-CPS

APD Forum

APGA will host an online forum for Australian Pipeline Database (APD) stakeholders in South Australia on Wednesday 18 November. The aim of the forum is to bring pipeline licensees, planning authorities and others together to exchange information and highlight the advantages of participating in the APD and discuss ways to further optimise the effectiveness and usefulness of this system.

The APD is a centralised database of GIS data with an online portal that enables users to access pipeline location data. Its purpose is to improve the recognition of pipelines in local government planning schemes - which benefits both planners and pipeline licensees – and to facilitate discussions between pipeline operators and stakeholders on planning and development decisions. The inclusion of pipeline assets in the database also assists licensees in complying with the AS 2885 clause requiring them to demonstrate appropriate community stakeholder engagement.

The forum will run for 90 minutes with three presentations from SEA Gas, APGA and a local SA planning expert, followed by facilitated open discussion. This is the second in a series of discussions that will take place in most States and Territories in the next few weeks. Dates and times TBA.

Please feel free to contact APGA’s National Policy Manager Andrew Robertson if you would like further information about the APD Forums.

Other events

Hazards Australasia 2021

14-15 July 2021, AAMI Park, Melbourne