Chief Executive update – economic recovery and a new website coming soon!

July 2020

It has been a strange month – on the one hand, we are seeing more business as usual activity – Parliament has been sitting, the game of politics is again afoot and market conditions are presenting challenges (and perhaps opportunity). But on the other hand, it is happening under the weight on the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic including a recent concerning spike of cases in Victoria – and this continues to chip away at people’s confidence and the appetite for investment and development.

And in some respects, the states and the Commonwealth are reverting to a more usual game, whereby we are seeing singular rather than collective action on some issues and while this might be understandable, it presents operational challenges that need to be managed.

So, our advocacy efforts continue to focus on ensuring clarity where possible and in other circumstances ensuring we have time and scope to manage the changes happening around us. We have also continued to engage heavily to help ensure that our industry can make a substantial contribution to the nation’s economic recovery.  We have busily engaged with key Ministers to ensure clarity around recommendations that have gone forward to government from the NCCC and through our direct advocacy that can help ensure the industry’s economic contribution is maximised.

We have focused on actions that can support ongoing investment in the sector including fiscal competitiveness, reducing red and green tape, ensuring strong support for new exploration, supporting the free operation of gas markets, the important role of gas in helping to reduce emissions, firming electricity supplies essential for manufacturing and growing exports in a challenging global market..

To further reinforce our position on these key issues, APPEA recently lodged a comprehensive submission to the Federal Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap Discussion Paper.

The submission highlighted industry’s focus on safe and sustainable development of natural resources and how this puts Australia in a strong position to meet the world’s growing energy needs, incorporating a technology-driven strategy to address climate change.

We also reinforced how natural gas can play an essential role to play in reducing emissions domestically and globally.  If you are at a loose end for three minutes, you can watch a video update I released last week on this issue – https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6681767849121333248

I am also delighted that to support our submission and underscore the contribution of the industry in reducing emissions we launched a new report Industry Action on Emissions Reduction, with series of case studies showing practical actions and initiatives being undertaken by members to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  These actions encompass the entire oil and gas exploration and production lifecycle.

Early in June, the Australian Government announced a consultation on reforms to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975. In announcing these proposed reforms, the Government noted it intends the reforms ensure that Australia’s foreign investment framework keeps pace with emerging risks and global developments, including similar changes to foreign investment regimes in comparable countries

We understand an exposure draft of legislation for consultation will be released this month.  I urge members to familiarise themselves with the framework and proposed changes. APPEA will prepare a detailed submission once the legislation is released and we encourage members to share any issues or concerns which can be included in that submission.   Members may want to consider making their own submissions.  More details can be found here

Turning to some operational matters for members and the Secretariat I am delighted (and excited!) that we will soon launch the new APPEA website which will include a members-only interactive portal. New functionality of the mobile-responsive website will include a detailed list of member companies with links to their websites and a members’ gateway to better engage with APPEA using the IMIS system.  And, at last, we will be able to manage online payments for APPEA events!

These communication tools are part of APPEA’s continuing push to add value for members and evolve APPEA’s brand and online presence. Stay tuned…

One of the really enjoyable parts of my job (strange as it may sound) is engaging with the media and we have again been busy in the last month.  It is extremely important we continue to work hard to raise APPEA’s profile so we have a channel to get our key messages to stakeholders when it really matters. We engage pretty much on a daily basis – sometimes with coverage, sometimes not, but the continual engagement is important to ensure we are the first point of call when we want balance in the debate and when we want to get a message out there. Our Technology Roadmap submission was covered by The Australian newspaper on June 25.

Finally, as we head into the new financial year, I sincerely want to thank you for your ongoing support and investment in ‘your association’. I know times are tough and we too are making sure we run a tight ship and that you get value for money from your membership.  Now more than ever our industry and your association really matter, so thanks for your support and for your ongoing investment in the future – ours and yours.

Stay safe and happy days,

Andrew.