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APGAApr 18, 2024 1:16:18 PM11 min read

CEO Update - Q1 2024

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Hi everyone, welcome to APGA's first quarterly update for 2024. I'm Steve Davies, the CEO of the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association, and it's been a really busy and interesting start to the year. This is also the first quarterly update that we are delivering from APGA's new office, which we moved into late November last year. The background you see behind me is not much to look at, but it is different to what you're used to seeing. And we're really, as a team, enjoying being in our new environment. It's a pretty modern office. Most of you know what those look like. We weren't in one before. We are now. And it's a nice change for us all to bring us together and help us communicate and work together as a team.

And as I said, there is quite a bit on for us to be working as a team. The first thing I'd like to talk about is APGA's new strategic plan which is under development to commence 1 July this year. We've brought the board together for a strategic planning day in February and it was a really good opportunity for our new look board After last year's elections we had four new directors on the board which is a significant influx of new ideas and people to bring in. We got together for a day, went through a range of issues for us to cover off in the new strategic plan and we're about to go into the April board meeting where the board will see a draft of that strategic plan.

What I'd like to share with you right now is the goals that we've set for the strategic plan. So APGA's strategic plan operates over a three-year period and the board sat down and thought about what we would like to achieve over those three years. And we identified three goals which will form the basis of the objectives for the strategic plan. The first goal of the new strategic plan is to increase awareness of the gas infrastructure industry. We've very specifically chosen each of the words in that goal The Board is focused on increasing appreciation. You might expect to see increased awareness or understanding, but we feel there's an opportunity to really demonstrate the role of gas infrastructure in such a way that particularly our key stakeholders, decision makers in governments around the country, truly appreciate the amount of energy that is delivered and stored in gas transmission pipelines and associated infrastructure.

Gas focused, you know that's a big part of our advocacy work is on gas pipelines and so that's why we've selected that particular phrasing of gas infrastructure. The second goal is to provide opportunities for our members and this means quite a few different things. For our member businesses it's the opportunity to come together, network, collaborate and find new business opportunities to work with each other in delivering our infrastructure projects around the country. but it also applies to the people in our industry to provide opportunities for them to develop their skills and expertise, to share information and to develop themselves professionally through our committee work, our leadership programs and our seminars as well. So very much focused on opportunities for members as that second goal.

And finally, our third goal is to help our industry be best prepared for the future. Like most strategic planning days, we started with a session at the front, what does the world look like in 10, 20 years? And there's a lot of different scenarios for how our economy progresses, how the energy transition progresses. And we can't pick exactly which scenario will result. We know which one we'd like to result. But out of those range of scenarios, what are the things that we, the association, can do that help the industry be best prepared for all of them. And so this will focus on our committee work, our technical work, the things that we do to make sure our industry operates safely and reliably every day.

As long as we focus on those kind of core competencies, we should be well positioned for the range of eventualities that could occur in the 10, 20 years ahead. So with those three goals, we will build a strategic plan and look forward to sharing that with members on 1 July 2025. The next thing I'd like to talk about is APGA's events. We always start the year with a wide range of events around the country, and this year is no exception. If I stop and think about it, this year we've probably done a little bit more than normal, because in addition to our regular range of networking events that we start the year with, we've launched a Women's Leadership Development Program, First Time Leaders Program, both having cohorts this year.

We're about to open our first Women's Leadership Development Program in Perth. which will be very exciting as well. We've had a symposium on renewable gas, bringing together our industry to share their experiences of delivering the first wave of renewable gas projects in Australia. We've also had the Pipeline Operators Group seminar, bringing together all of our pipeline engineers involved in operations to share their experiences on how things are going in maintaining our infrastructure, very valuable event for a lot of people, I think that one, and one we certainly do enjoy a lot. The networking events, if you've been to one, you will have seen a bit of a change. We've introduced a mini seminar at the start of each one, putting together some content, usually about a project in the city of the event, to just provide more information to industry again on what's going on, how those projects are progressing, particularly lessons learned is important for all of us, and they've all had good lessons to share so far.

So they've been a great new addition and we're looking forward to continuing those as we go forward. We've also organised a range of YPF site visits this year and they've commenced. It's great to see the young people being given opportunities to get out and learn new things and it's something that APGA puts a lot of emphasis on. I think it's really important. Further to that, We've got five scholars going to the Emerging Fuels Symposium that is being run between APGA and our tripartite research partners, the European Pipeline Research Group and the Pipeline Research Council International. That's coming up in May in Greece and we're looking forward to those people returning and they'll be probably, you'll see them at a mini seminar near you too.

So lots of activity going on in the event space and I think With the energy transition and how busy it makes us all, it's really good to be able to take the time and catch up with colleagues and friends at an APJ event. And I certainly get a lot out of it and learn quite a few things actually about the industry and what's going on around the country. So I look forward to seeing you at one soon if I haven't seen you this year already. The last thing I'd like to talk about in this quarter's update is our advocacy work, which is a huge part of what APGA does to secure the best possible future for the industry. And it's been a really big time over the last three, four months in the energy space.

2030 and the Federal Government's targets for 2030 are getting closer and time is ticking away and there's growing recognition that we are struggling to meet the pace that we need to. This puts a lot of attention on the energy space and can make it even more difficult to get things done, but it also highlights the importance of having effective advocacy and policy work at this time. A couple of big reports came out that are influencing the conversation. In December, the Australian Energy Market Operator released its draft integrated systems plan, which is the preeminent electricity planning document, and it pointed to a need for a lot of gas power generation over the next 20 years. This was followed up in March with the gas statement of opportunities, which also pointed to that need for gas power generation, but highlighted a number of concerns for the next couple of years,

about gas supply and where exactly we are going to get the gas that we need. This has put a lot of attention on the government's future gas strategy, which is due for release sometime between now and June and will be pointing to what the federal government intends to do to improve the environment for gas supply, which is at its core what we need to really sort out to make sure that gas is available to provide energy to our homes, businesses and industry. That creates a lot of work for APGA in responding to the various processes about that, and making sure that we don't lose sight of what we need in the pipeline space as well, because once gas supply is sorted, we'll need to be taking care of the transport and storage side of things, and it's something that our industry is very ready to do.

On the proactive side of things, APGA has been working with ASIL Allen to produce modelling demonstrating the economic benefits of renewable gas, and that work took about nine months to conclude but we wrapped it up in march and we've been doing, you know, rounds of state governments and federal government showing them the work that asl has done and demonstrating that whatever that range of scenarios that we talked about for the strategic plan does end up looking like, renewable gas is going to play a really important role in our decarbonized future in australia and setting that out economically helps us then start talk to government about what we should be doing today to make sure that renewable gas is available in 10, 15 years time to really power Australia's industry.

So really good piece of proactive work that APGA has been able to deliver with our members and now having a lot of conversation about. And I'll wrap up the advocacy update by sharing with you our energy shift work. Energy shift is a community sentiment piece of work that APGA has commissioned that will be running every three months for the whole year, looking at community attitudes towards the energy transition, the types of energy that are being used in the energy transition, what they think is going to happen to costs and reliability, what they think about the pace of the energy transition. It's a really interesting piece of work that surprisingly hasn't been done before. Importantly for APGA, we're making it fully available through the website and you'll be able to find that straight after this, no doubt.

But it lets us talk to our stakeholders, whether they're in government making decisions or in the energy space thinking about their own future and what are the most important things to them. It provides them with some data on perceptions of the energy transition and sentiment towards the energy transition. And this is really important because this is what we need to understand to be able to design policy that will address concerns and fears of the community because it's a really big piece of work. And I'd say piece of work. The energy transition is a fundamental re-engineering of our economy. and we need to get it as right as possible. No doubt mistakes will be made on the way, but the more better decisions we can make in this period of time, the better the energy transition will proceed and the better the country will be in the late 2030s as we're hopefully approaching the three quarter mark of the energy transition.

So really been good to have that work done and to be able to go and talk to stakeholders about it, to put information in front of them that's not just about us, but it's about the border community. So that's a great piece of work and I encourage you to go and have a look at it. Thanks very much for taking the time to watch this video. I hope you enjoyed the first quarterly update for the year from APGA and I'll be really interested to hear what you think of this and if there are improvements that we can make. We're certainly looking to take a more systematic approach to feedback this year and if you've attended one of our events you've probably seen a QR code or two around the room that you can scan and look at a range of questions and let us know what you thought of the event. And I can assure you we are doing after event reviews of each event and you know looking to make a few incremental changes each time so that we're in a better place as we go forward. The last thing I'd like to talk to you about very quickly is to keep an eye out for some information about APGA's annual convention and exhibition. This year it's going to be in Adelaide in October. early bird tickets should be released at the end of April and you'll see a range of information start from there. So please book it in your calendar, get in early and help us you know make sure that we have the best event possible.

It is always a good time and no one who goes ever regrets it. Thanks a lot. See you soon



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