Focus on opportunity

Posted October 9, 2015

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Conference organisers aim to leave suppliers well informed on regional work opportunities. Photo: Murray Ware

“Knowledge-thirsty” businesses are proving keen to tap into a key Gladstone industry forum amid the ongoing mining downturn and winding down of LNG construction projects.

Gladstone Engineering Alliance events officer Kim Roberts said response to the 2015 GEA Major Industry Conference, to be held on October 14-15, had been pleasing.

“We expect to draw 200 delegates from Australia wide, particularly based on the number of new speakers this year with new information,” Ms Roberts said.

“We are finding that businesses are more ‘knowledge thirsty’ and recognise the forum for the direct work opportunities that are presented.”

The GEA Major Industry Conference, now in its 12th year, has been known as the Golding Industry Conference in the past but attracted new major sponsor MIPEC in 2014.

Ms Roberts said GEA would continue to deliver the conference for as long as the organisation and its members continued to derive benefit from the event.

“The economic climate of Gladstone is a constantly changing landscape and this event has cemented itself as the go-to annual event for information that will assist in driving business forward for the next 12 months,” she said.

Its point of difference was the intense focus on supply opportunities, with the organisers keeping the program smaller so that the information provided was more in-depth than at other major forums, Ms Roberts said.

“Suppliers walking away informed on supply opportunities, timelines and supplier expectations are the primary goals of the event.”

The conference theme for 2015 is Keeping Perspective - encouraging smart thinking toward innovation, flexibility, consistency and certainty in the resources sector.

Ms Roberts said this reflected the work GEA had been doing around intelligent business solutions, innovation and adapting to change.

“We know that the resources sector is a constantly changing landscape and as companies playing in this space, we must understand how to ride the waves and identify new niche markets,” she said.

“Prior to the construction of five major projects at the same time in the region (WICET, the Northern Oil Refinery and three LNG plants), businesses were operating and successful and by ‘keeping perspective’ we know we can continue that sustainably in the sector.”

The 2015 GEA Major Industry Conference is scheduled to include presentations from Euroa Steel Plant Project chief executive officer David Simpson, Gladstone Port Corporation chief executive officer Craig Doyle, Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg, Boyne Smelters general manager Joe Rea and Gladstone Regional Council contracts manager Mark Larney.

Casper Energy and Cockatoo Coal will also feature and there will be a panel session on APLNG operations and maintenance opportunities.

To register or for more details visit www.gea.asn.au

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