What do you think are the biggest lessons the industry has learnt in the past 12 months?
I believe the biggest learning we can take from 2018 is that, as an industry, we need to tell our story better. We deliver value and provide opportunity to individuals, communities, governments and economies at every stage of our value chain. We know, for the most part, that the communities in which we operate realise this. Now, we need to look beyond our operational footprints and look at how we better engage and share our industry story with those who don’t have a strong connection or understanding of it. Our ability to do this will also shape the way the industry continues to attract new talent.
The way the industry communicates with government and policy decisions makers remains important. The past two years in Australia have proven to be politically dynamic with policy uncertainty and exploration moratoria impacting ongoing industry development. When many of the recent operators made their final investment decisions, they did so believing Australia had a stable political and policy environment, with limited risk associated with developing projects backed by long-term contracts. Policy uncertainty and its flow-on impacts have been significant lessons for our industry in the past year.
What are your predictions for 2019?
With a Federal election on the horizon, I believe 2019 will be another dynamic political environment for our industry in Australia. I’d like to believe that in the next 12 months the Australian government can provide the business community with a clear, reasonable and long-term approach to energy policy.
Over the past few years the global energy market has been transforming and this will continue in 2019. Gas will continue to play a role in the energy mix both in Australia and globally to assist countries in providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy. Asia’s energy consumption will continue to grow and how the Australian LNG industry meets this demand will be underpinned by government decision making.
The APPEA Conference is a key communication tool for the industry to engage with key stakeholders and the community. How do you believe the industry can better engage with these groups in relation to the role of gas?
Historically, the industry has a strong and positive legacy of engaging with the communities in which we operate. However, we need to look beyond these operational communities and reach to day-to-day gas consumers and prospective employees and engage them on the value of the industry. Communicating this value is something APPEA has been working on. In 2018 the Association launched the Brighter program as a way to share stories from our industry and demonstrate the role gas plays in our everyday lives. The Brighter team will be onsite at APPEA 2019 to highlight their advocacy program and the work being done to engage with wider communities across Australia. Be sure to engage with the team and help spread the word about the great benefits our industry delivers.