CEO Message August 2022

We are well and truly in the second half of the year. I am sure time is flying for most of you − everyone I talk to is very busy right now.

The amount of activity across the membership is really heartening, the couple of years before the pandemic were pretty quiet, the pandemic has been a very disrupted couple of years and now there are projects and activities everywhere we turn.

The contrast between the amount of work under way, showing an industry getting on with the job, and the constant media desire to frame energy as a rolling crisis is both jarring and disruptive.

Energy challenges

It is true, energy is facing challenges and we are seeing unprecedented prices and government intervention. For all that, everyone in Australia has the energy they need. The same cannot be said for many of our international counterparts.

In gas, the ‘gas supply crisis’ is actually an electricity generation shortage, with gas power generation being the only option to cover the gaps from coal and renewables for a sustained period. Gas power generation is running at its highest level in five years and is well above the forecasts of the past couple of years which predicted a significant decline in the 2020s. This is a reality of current renewable generation capability that has not been talked about. In cold, dark winters, solar is at its lowest output and wind remains variable, making it difficult to rely on for extended duration. Most of the focus of electricity challenges has been on the summertime peak evening periods driven by air conditioning demand. It is increasing looking like winter energy demand will be the hardest part of the energy transition and gaseous energy has a major role to play in delivering reliable, affordable and increasingly decarbonised energy to meet this demand.

APGA is growing

To help the industry prepare for the future and to ensure it is better understood among decision makers and the broader community, the APGA secretariat is expanding. Additional funds are being provided by the Owners Committee to ensure we are properly resourced to advocate effectively for our industry. We are recruiting a Government Relations Manager and a Policy Manager. If someone in your networks would like to be part of the energy transition or get more directly involved in the future of our industry, point them in our direction.

Farewell to Karen Polglaze

This month we are farewelling APGA’s Communications Manager, Karen Polglaze. Karen has been a key part of the team for almost nine years, starting as APGA’s Training Manager. Her skills were such that the position evolved over time, and she has been tireless in her delivery of APGA’s communications plan and the Pipeline Engineering Competency System. Karen is entering a well-deserved retirement and we wish her the very best for the years ahead. Thank you, Karen, you will be missed.

Karen is incredibly diligent and has been working up as per normal right to the last minute, getting everything ready for convention and training her replacement. We have a new Communications Manager, Lawrence Shelton, and I look forward to introducing him to you fully in September’s message.

Annual Convention and Exhibition

The 2022 Annual Convention and Exhibition is almost here and will be held in Brisbane on 24 to 27 September. It is exciting that it will be for our first face-to-face convention in three years, and I hope we will see many of you there. Getting back to events has been one of my favourite developments of 2022, and I am looking forward to bringing our industry together. I think we all know that APGA’s event is a bit different to most other conferences, the atmosphere in the room, the social events and the fun that people have during the entire event make it one well worth the effort.

Early bird registrations close 12 August, so take advantage of the discount on offer while you still can.

Member survey on events

As you know, we survey members on occasion to ensure we are delivering services that are valuable to you. We have developed a three-year survey plan to coincide with strategic plan development cycle and each year will survey members on a different topic. The results of all surveys will feed into the development of the strategic plan. This year, we are seeking your feedback and input on APGA’s events.

Events are a key part of APGA and our industry. Events offer an opportunity to come together to learn from each other, find out what’s going on across the industry and develop relationships that are beneficial for ourselves and our work. The past couple of years have been very challenging on the events side of things and it is very likely that not everything will return to the way it was pre-COVID. For starters, many people are working from home some of the time, reducing the number of people in the CBD on any given day.

I could write a whole essay on my thoughts on the future of events, but this survey is about understanding what you think of events. The event survey will be sent to members this week and I ask you to take the time (around 10 minutes) to share your thoughts with us.

Have a great August everyone and see you at Convention in September!