Toowoomba’s female diesel fitter shows gender is no barrier


RIGHT JOB: Gemma Hartwig, 20, is a diesel fitter and has recently been named the Queensland Apprentice of the Year.

STEPPING into a male-dominated industry, Gemma Hartwig knew it would not be easy, but she also knew being a diesel fitter was the right job for her.

Even though she said she had to work three times harder to prove herself, Ms Hartwig, 20, is now a qualified diesel fitter and was even named Queensland Apprentice of the Year at the Queensland Training Awards.

“I just grew up working with my grandad and my great grandad and my uncle in the shed.

“So I was always running around passing them tools and helping out.

“So it felt quite natural to take that career path,” she said.


The Dalby local even considered hairdressing, but quickly discovered sweeping hair off the floor was not for her and qualified with a certificate three in mechanical engineering in diesel fitting through Tafe in 2016.

“I did consider hairdressing and leaving school. I hated school. Thankfully doing a school-based apprenticeship is what kept me there and I fell in love with the trade of diesel fitting,” she said.

Ms Hartwig, who was also named Queensland School-Based Apprentice of the Year in 2014, is now preparing for the national awards on November 23 in Canberra.

She also wants to encourage other young women to take a chance in whatever career path they want, despite the stereotypes.

“Realistically trades like being an electrician or a carpenter or a diesel fitter like myself, they are female-friendly and once we do have more women in the industry I think a lot more young girls are going to realise that when choosing a career,” she said.

“If you have a real passion for what you are doing and you are dedicated and you can persevere through the hardships, the rewards you will reap will be fantastic and it’s worth it in the end.”

This article was originally written for The Chronicle and can be read here.

Civil Supervisor – Brisbane Region

Exciting role available for an experienced Civil Supervisor.

  • Proven Experience in Storm/Waste Water.
  • Strong experience in all aspects of Civil Construction.
  • Ongoing role for right person.
About the Role: 

Due to an increase in successful contracts, an opportunity is now available for a highly organised, focused, motivated and enthusiastic individual to fill the role of Civil Supervisor. This role will suit a motivated self-starter with the ability to adapt and work in a dynamic environment.

Our Ideal Candidate:

The ideal candidate will have the following skills and experience;

  • Excellent knowledge and experience of all aspects of the civil construction industry
  • Strong ability to read plans and drawings
  • Ability to run a crew efficiently
  • Proven ability to finish the project on time and within budget
  • Excellent communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills
  • Strong industry references
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience as a supervisor with a civil contractor
  • Proven experience with storm water/waste water required

This role will be ongoing for the right person with an attractive remuneration package on offer based on experience.

To Apply:

If you believe you’re the right person for this role, please click APPLY NOW below, or contact CELOTTI WORKFORCE on 0488 441 080.

About Us:  

CELOTTI WORKFORCE is a specialist provider of temporary and permanent blue and white collar staff to the building, infrastructure and resources sectors across Australia. We seek the highest calibre candidates for our assignments which span small to major engineering and construction projects and mainstream operations in our select sectors.

Supporting Diversity: 

CELOTTI WORKFORCE is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe in strength through diversity. We are committed to providing an inclusive, respectful and fair working environment; encouraging applications from women, Aboriginal Australians, and people of all backgrounds and beliefs to apply for our positions.

Reference 2628971

Panel Beater – Chinchilla, Qld

Seeking expressions of interest for an experienced Panel Beater in Chinchilla, Qld.
  • Immediate start.
  • Ongoing role for right person.
  • Insurance & Restoration work.
About the Role: 

We are currently seeking expressions of interest for an experienced Panel Beater to work in Chinchilla, Qld. In the position of Panel Beater you will be working on insurance and restoration work, and will be employed on a Monday to Friday basis, with opportunity for Saturday work as required.

Skills and experience required:
Your duties and responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:

  • Providing timely, quality repairs (both minor and major)
  • Completing relevant paperwork
  • Ensuring a safe and tidy work environment
  • Hold a Trade Certificate preferred (Or relevant demonstrable trade experience)
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Possess a strong work ethic
  • Ability to work unsupervised
  • Ability to provide 2 references

In return, the successful applicant will be rewarding with the following working conditions:

  • Wages neg based on experience
  • Immediate start available for the right applicant
  • Ongoing work to permanent role for right person

To Apply: 
If you believe you’re the right person for this role, please click APPLY NOW below, or contact CELOTTI WORKFORCE on 0488 441 080.

About Us:  

CELOTTI WORKFORCE is a specialist provider of temporary and permanent blue and white collar staff to the building, infrastructure and resources sectors across Australia. We seek the highest calibre candidates for our assignments which span small to major engineering and construction projects and mainstream operations in our select sectors.

Supporting Diversity: 

CELOTTI WORKFORCE is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe in strength through diversity. We are committed to providing an inclusive, respectful and fair working environment; encouraging applications from women, Aboriginal Australians, and people of all backgrounds and beliefs to apply for our positions.

Reference 2629204

Administrator – Darwin

Our client is seeking an experienced administrator to join their Darwin office.

  • Territory Owned business.
  • Small, dynamic team.
  • Good Remuneration.
About the Role:

Our client is currently seeking an experienced Administrator to join their NT owned and operated business. This role is for an immediate start.

This is a dynamic role which requires you to be an integral member of the team by providing support to Territory branch. As this is a varied role, you will be providing administrative support to the surrounding team members, enter data into their internal system, raise purchase orders as well as liaise with clients on the phone in a professional and timely manner. Alongside this, due to the flat hierarchy within the organisation, you will also be given the opportunity to work within a range of clients; gaining further valuable experience.

Our Ideal Candidate:

  • Minimum 2 years experience in an administrator role.
  • The ability to communicate efficiently and professionally with internal and external clients and personnel
  • High level of interpersonal, organization and written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong knowledge of standard computer applications including intermediate skills in Microsoft Office functions and MYOB.
  • The ability to multi task and prioritise work with a focus on attention to details and a willingness to learn new things

To Apply:
If you believe you’re the right person for this role, please click APPLY NOW below, or contact CELOTTI WORKFORCE on 1300 235 688.

About Us:

CELOTTI WORKFORCE is a specialist provider of temporary and permanent blue and white collar staff to the building, infrastructure and resources sectors across Australia. We seek the highest calibre candidates for our assignments which span small to major engineering and construction projects and mainstream operations in our select sectors.

Supporting Diversity:
CELOTTI WORKFORCE is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe in strength through diversity. We are committed to providing an inclusive, respectful and fair working environment; encouraging applications from women, Aboriginal Australians, and people of all backgrounds and beliefs to apply for our positions.

Reference 2629423

Backhoe Operator – Brisbane

Our client has a requirement for a skilled Backhoe Operator to join their team in Brisbane.
  • Immediate Start.
  • Excellent rates.
  • On going work – view to permanency.
About Us:
Celotti Workforce is a specialist provider of temporary and permanent blue and white collar staff to the building, infrastructure and resources sectors across Australia. We seek the highest calibre candidates for our assignments which span small to major engineering and construction projects and mainstream operations in our select sectors.

About the role:
You will be working on projects throughout the Brisbane Region.  You will be required to work Monday to Saturday and will be rewarded with an excellent working environment and a great flat hourly rate.

To be successful for the role you;

  • Must have previous experience in road construction,civil earthworks and new development
  • Must hold current certificate of competency
  • Hold current Construction White card
  • Commitment to safety and strong communications skills.
  • Minimum 2 current and relevant referees.

To Apply:
If you meet the position requirements, please click Apply Now below, or contact Vilisi at CELOTTI WORKFORCE on 0402 044 103.

Celotti Workforce is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from female, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates.

Downs energy on track: Providing jobs for many Queenslanders

ENERGY BOOM: The boilerhouse of Kogan Creek Power Station.


AS THE discussion about the future of the state and country’s energy heats up, the Western Downs is looking strong as a future energy provider.

Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh said the region was already providing power on “all fronts”, including coal, gas, and renewables like solar and wind farms.

“If you looked at a region that is really delivering, it certainly is the Western Downs region,” he said.

“We’re embracing all types of power generation.”

With summer just around the corner, Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud called for the expansion of the Kogan Creek power station, outside Chinchilla.

Mr Littleproud said as the most efficient and cleanest coal-fired power station in the country, the station has the capacity to be expanded.

“I’ve been calling on that for some time,” Mr Littleproud said.

He said it would create more jobs in the region.

“Not only during the construction but also in terms of increased numbers that would have to work in the power station and the mine,” he said.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey disagreed, stating while existing coal-fired infrastructure would still play an important role in the future, the latest technology was vital for ongoing energy production.

“Renewable energy is now much more viable,” Mr Bailey said. He said the renewables sector also had the potential to create jobs through the state.

“We’re going to see wave after wave of renewables projects,” he said.

“Providing jobs for many Queenslanders.”

Cr McVeigh said he would be happy to see the Kogan Creek station expanded but said increased renewables projects would also be beneficial for the region.

“We’re supporting both the federal and state focus on renewable energies in combination with our baseload power stations and our gas-fired power stations,” Cr McVeigh said.

“We have the connectivity and the resources to be able to support all forms of energy production.”

This article was originally written for Chinchilla News and can be read here.

APLNG joint venture to boost gas supply to east coast

Gas producer and exporter Australia Pacific LNG has promised to significantly boost the supply of natural gas to the domestic east coast market, after striking a sales agreement with major shareholder Origin Energy.

APLNG, a joint venture between Origin, US giant ConocoPhillips and China’s Sinopec, said it would supply 41 petajoules of gas under a 14-month contract starting November 1.


APLNG, a joint venture between Origin, US giant ConocoPhillips and China’s Sinopec, said it would supply 41 petajoules of gas under a 14-month contract starting November 1.  


The contract brings the company’s total commitment to 186 PJ for 2018, representing almost 30 percent of Australian east coast domestic gas market demand.

It follows Santos’ similar commitment last month to supply 30 petajoules of gas to the east coast market over 2018 and 2019. A single petajoule of gas is enough to supply a large industry user – which account for 40 percent of Australia’s gas use – for an entire year.

These commitments come after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last month forecast of a gas shortfall of between 54 petajoules for 2018 and 48 petajoules in 2019.

The interim report led to calls from consumers, industry and agriculture to immediately divert gas slated for export and reserve it for domestic use, and prompted the government to threaten to pull the trigger on its controversial powers to limit gas exports.

Instead, Australia’s three major gas producing companies – Origin, Santos and Shell – agree to commit greater supplies to the domestic market to ensure the shortfall was met.

Origin said it would use the increased gas supply to service larger customers and ensure energy security during the summer months.

“Our east coast portfolio needed more gas to allow Origin to meet demand from large customers who rely on gas for their businesses, and also to fuel peaking power stations, which are crucial to security of electricity supply – particularly as we head into the summer period,” Origin executive general manager for energy supply and operations, Greg Jarvis, said.

APLNG chief executive Warwick King said his company’s commitment formed part of the industry’s agreement to meet the predicted east coast gas shortfall in 2018.

“We have been absolutely clear from day one that Australian Pacific LNG is committed to the Australian domestic gas market and we continue to do the heavy lifting in meeting domestic demand for gas,” Mr King said.

“We are very pleased to have been able to supply this significant additional volume of gas to the Australian domestic market, and we are actively working on more domestic gas sales.”

The news was welcomed by industry.

“It is heartening to see further action by the gas exporters to fulfil their commitment to avert a supply shortfall,” Australian Industry Group executive Innes Willox said.

“The questions that remain are how quickly new contract prices will fall to reflect export parity, and how wisely we will use the two years of breathing space this agreement provides to sort out longer-term supply and demand measures to keep the gas market in balance,” he said.

APLNG said it had about 1400 PJs of long-term supply committed for Australian customers.

“These contracts go well beyond 2025, and in some cases as far out as 2040,” it said in a release.

This article was originally written for the Sydney Morning Herald and can be read here.


$68m ugprade at Kogan Creek

Kogan Creek Power Station Celotti Workforce

A MAJOR overhaul of Kogan Creek Power Station will soon get under way.

And it will boost the number of workers on-site by about 500 at its peak.

Owner CS Energy will spend about $68 million on the overhaul of its 750-megawatt station near Chinchilla between April and June of this year, resulting in hundreds of additional workers arriving at the site.

The workers will carry out inspections and maintenance across 56 days to ensure the power station remains in peak condition.

Overhauls of power station were a regular requirement, and a major logistical exercise, power station general manager Phil Matha said.

“It involves getting equipment to the site, coordinating works to happen on time and liaising with the community to ensure the people working on the project could be accommodated,” Mr Matha said.

“We’re expecting a peak workforce here on-site of approximately 500 people, which will include more than 400 contractors, along with the power station’s permanent workforce of 72 people,” he said.

“The types of extra workers on site will range from trades assistants, to technicians and engineers, including a small number of specialists from overseas.

“This contractor workforce will be accommodated at different motels and camps in Chinchilla.”

Kogan Creek power station began operations in 2007 and is considered to be one of the most efficient coal-fired power stations in the National Electricity Market.

It features the largest single generating unit in Australia and water efficient dry cooling technology. CS Energy also owns the neighbouring Kogan Creek Mine, which supplies black coal to the power station and is operated by Golding Contractors.

Read more:

Queensland mine expansion to create 2500 jobs

Rio Tinto’s bauxite operations on Cape York in far north Queensland will be extended for another 40 years after its board approved a $2.6 billion expansion.

The South of Embley project will now be known as Amrun at the request of traditional owners, the Wik Way people, and will include a new mine and port.

It will replace the East Weipa mine, extending Rio Tinto’s Cape York bauxite operations by four decades.

Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh said the project would provide 1,400 permanent jobs and 1,100 in the construction phase, set to begin in 2017.

“Amrun is one of the biggest investment projects in Queensland this year and it will continue to create opportunities for education, employment and economic growth for local businesses and communities on Cape York over coming decades,” Mr Walsh said.

“This is very, very important to us to work with the community and to be a good corporate citizen.”

Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk said all Queenslanders would benefit.

“It will extend the life of the existing Weipa operations and secures jobs for up to 40 years – the single largest private investment that we have seen outside the south-east of our state in many, many years,” she said.

“This means jobs, more jobs and a massive $2.6 billion spend right here in Queensland.”

Operations should begin in 2019.

At full capacity, the project is expected to produce 50 million tonnes of bauxite – double what the East Weipa mine is currently producing.

NT salt mine will mean 350 jobs

CENTRAL Australia’s long extinct oceans will soon offer Alice Springs more than 350 jobs when construction of salt mining infrastructure begins in early 2017.

Miner Tellus became interested in the Chandler site, 120km south of Alice Springs, in 2012 after oil and gas exploration found some of the largest salt deposits in the world.

But the project’s biggest material boost came yesterday in a Beijing boardroom when Tellus managing director ­Duncan van der Merwe and his counterpart from the state-owned China Coal Technology and Engineering Group, Ji Yangrui, signed off on a $120 million deal for mining machinery.

The deal is expected to be the first of several in the coming days and weeks to shore up the future of $464 million project and see the first spade crack red earth near Titjikala in 2017.

Because of the drying qualities of salt, Tellus will also sell shaft space for storage of waste and minerals from the mining, heavy industry, government and oil and gas sectors.

Mr van der Merwe said deals with the land’s traditional owners meant the company would not store any nuclear or uranium waste or byproducts.

Construction of mining infrastructure and a 31km haulage road to connect it to a new railway siding will take about a year, but it will be three years until digging hits salt beds, about 800m underground.

Mr Van der Merwe said the first four-year phase will create 360 jobs.

The operational mining and storage phase will run at least 25 years, potentially hundreds of years more, and create 180 jobs.

The workers will be mostly “drive in-drive out’’ from Alice Springs and will sleep at a workers camp on site.

Mr Van der Merwe said storing waste and other materials in the mine created a net positive environmental effect.

Tellus has set an Aboriginal employment target of 10 per cent, which is below the levels government requires when tendering its own projects.

Mr van der Merwe said Tellus would establish a training program to skill local Aboriginal workers and aimed to exceed the 10 per cent target in time.

The mined salt will travel by rail to Darwin and be shipped from the port to mostly Asian countries.

Pay crackdown on Darwin businesses

The Fair Work Ombudsman will audit up to 50 businesses in Darwin this week as part of a new campaign.

Fair Work inspectors will check that employers are paying the correct minimum hourly rates, penalty rates, allowances, loadings and providing appropriate meal breaks.

Compliance with record-keeping and pay-slip obligations will also be monitored.

The campaign will focus on employers across a range of sectors, including building and industrial cleaning services…

All businesses will be randomly selected.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says Darwin is home to thousands of businesses and is a persistent source of requests for assistance from workers.

Ms James says one of the aims of the campaign is to ensure employers are aware of their workplace responsibilities and how the Fair Work Ombudsman can assist them to access, understand and apply information to build a culture of compliance.

“It’s important we check that workers are being paid correctly, but we also want to be pro-active about ensuring employers understand their obligations,” she said.

“Inspectors will visit most businesses involved in the campaign so they can offer employers tailored assistance to rectify any non-compliance issues and put processes in place to ensure they get it right in the future.”

Key local employer groups have been enlisted to assist the Agency to promote the campaign.

Employers can call 1300 CELOTTI for further information, or visit

Resources sector generating local jobs in Western Downs (QLD)

An estimated $1.3 billion – some 40% of gross regional product (GRP) – was injected into the Western Downs Region in the last financial year through resource sector activity.

This investment produced 6,713 full-time equivalent jobs or 39% of total employment in the Western Downs.

A detailed analysis by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) of the minerals and energy sector impact on the Queensland economy further revealed that the direct spend of the sector in the Western Downs in 2014-15 amounted to at least $663 million..

This included $578 million in community contributions and purchases of goods and services from local businesses (including contractors) – to the benefit of 650 local businesses.

A further $85 million in wages went to 542 direct full-time employees (not including contractors).

On top of that, spending by the resources sector supported an additional 6,171 jobs and contributed a further $605 million to the regional economy through the sourcing of local businesses in the supply chain and workers spending their wages on locally produced goods and services.

The QRC reported that resource operations in the Western Downs also produced $93 million in royalties out of Queensland’s total royalty revenue of $2.1 billion.

The $1.3 billion injected into the Western Downs represented almost 45% of the resources sector’s total contribution of $2.9 billion to the Darling Downs’ economy.

The sector directly employed 1,122 full-time employees in the Darling Downs region in 2014-15, while a further 14,062 full-time workers were indirectly employed.

When combined, the 15,184 full-time employees comprised 13% of the total Darling Downs work force.

QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said that despite the slump in commodity prices, it was heartening to see that a region like the Darling Downs could still have a significant portion of its workforce employed either directly or indirectly by the resources sector.

“These results signal the beginning of a new era in the resources sector where we have moved out of a record period of capital expenditure, especially in the gas industry,” Mr Roche said.

“‘While we have now settled back into a more normal phase where operational expenditure dominates, the jobs created, the spending dollars generated and the royalties paid to the Queensland Government are still a pivotal part of our economy.”

Visit Queensland Resources Council for more information about the contribution of resources to Queensland’s economy.

Read more:

Major gas field works for Surat Basin – Origin/APLNG

Major gas field development works are set to begin in the Surat Basin as Origin Energy moves ahead with its Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) project.

The Collaborative Well Delivery (CWD) phase of the project calls for the delivery of approximately 200 wells per annum in the Basin through a series of work packages.

Origin has awarded the two-year CWD contract, which has an additional two-year option, to CIMIC Group’s construction company, Leighton Contractors.

The CWD project is expected to generate revenue of approximately $209 million (AUD 300 million) to Leighton Contractors over two years.

The company has reported that local subcontractors, suppliers and personnel from the Western Downs region will deliver at least 15 percent of the project works.

The project’s planning phase for the first Project Works Package is underway and construction works are expected to begin this month.

The CWD development supports APLNG’s ongoing Upstream operations and supply to its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export facility on Curtis Island, post the construction phase which is largely complete.

Leighton Contractors Managing Director Roman Garrido said the new contract extends the upstream infrastructure the company has delivered for APLNG in the past three years.

CEO of Origin’s gas and LNG business, David Baldwin, said the CWD contract offers significant savings of 45 percent per well connected for APLNG relative to wells delivered during the construction phase of the project.

Two months ago, Origin re-affirmed its commitment to the APLNG project, despite the company recording a loss of $658 million for the last financial year.

Origin Chairman Gordon Cairns pointed out that the company had consistently stated that the 2015 and 2016 financial years were transitional years for Origin, as it completed the final stages of its investment in APLNG.

“Work on the APLNG project is nearing completion and the project remains on track to commence sustained production from Train 1 from the second quarter of the 2016 financial year and from Train 2 approximately six months later,” Mr Cairn said.

At the time, Origin Managing Director Grant King said Origin had made strong progress on plans to reduce APLNG’s total upstream cost structure by $1 billion per annum.

“During the period, initiatives were implemented to reduce annual upstream costs by approximately $650 million, with a target of an additional $350 million of cost reduction initiatives to be implemented by the end of the 2016 financial year,” Mr King added.

Read more

QLD Gov against 100% FIFO mines

The Queensland Government has released a report recommending that no new 100 per cent fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) mines be approved in the state.

The advice is one of eight recommendations contained in a report prepared by an expert panel appointed by the government earlier this year to examine the impact of FIFO work practices at operational mines.

The mayors of Isaac and Mackay regional councils, as well as two resource industry leaders, were appointed to the panel.

At the time, the Queensland Government said workers should be able to choose to live in the resource communities near to where they work.

The panel’s report recommends that no new operations, within a safe travelling distance of a community, be allowed to have a 100 per cent FIFO workforce.

However, it counsels against altering existing approvals granted for resource activities in the state.

It further recommends the introduction of new legislation to force proponents to prepare workforce, procurement and accommodation plans.

It also suggests a body monitor compliance and the handing down of financial penalties for violations.

In addition, the panel recommends that local councils with resource activity in their local government area be encouraged by the Queensland Government to develop or improve long-term sustainable economic strategies to help manage cumulative impacts.

These economic strategic plans should be complemented by social infrastructure strategic plans and supported by improved data collection, coordination and reporting.

The expert panel’s report will be considered later this month by a Queensland Parliamentary Committee scrutinising FIFO work practices in regional Queensland.

The panel’s findings are in line with a submission made by Western Downs Regional Council to the parliamentary committee.

The council voiced its opposition to a 100% FIFO workforce and encouraged the resource sector to develop and implement a robust live local policy.

The council submission also noted the following:

  • Where FIFO is necessary, employees should be accommodated in nearby towns (if reasonable) and be able to contribute and participate in the community whilst on shift.
  • Access to information, such as FIFO numbers, where and how the FIFO workforce is housed and future requirements for FIFO from the proponents is essential for council to measure the impacts of FIFO and plan for the augmentation on local services and infrastructure in the Western Downs.
  • FIFO should be considered in conjunction with housing and accommodation planning to ensure significant impact is not placed on our regional communities.

For more information on the expert panel report and the Parliamentary Inquiry into FIFO go to the Fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) review


Nexus will construct $1.6b Toowoomba bypass with 75% local workers

Ink is dry on Range bypass contract.

THE State Government, the Nexus consortium and the Federal Government have put pen to paper to sign a contract on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

Minister for Industry and Science Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane and Queensland Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey at the signing of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

The contract means Nexus has a contractual obligation to deliver the A$1.6 billion bypass.

The signing was an example of political bipartisanship with the Labor State Government signing a deal with the Liberal Federal Government.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, Queensland Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey and Nexus chairman John Witheriff signed the documents this morning at Rotary Park at the top of the Range, officially sealing the deal on the bypass.

Speeches given during the signing were inaudible because of  noise from passing trucks, an irony that wasn’t lost on those present.

Mr Witheriff said the consortium’s successful bid included a commitment to support local employment and the local supply chain.

He said 75% of workers employed on the project would be locals.

Queensland Minister for Main Roads Mark Bailey said works would begin before Christmas.

Nexus says construction will be complete in late 2018.

The consortium will then operate and maintain the road for 25 years.

Mr Bailey said the toll price for the road would be announced closer to the opening of the project.

He said the project would include a separated connection to Mort St.

“This will particularly benefit freight operators who need to travel in and out of Toowoomba,” he said.

“The final design will also see two lanes built each way from the Warrego Highway East Interchange to Warrego Highway West and grade separated interchanges at Warrego Highway West, Toowoomba-Cecil Plains Road and the Gore Highway.

“A 30-metre deep cutting at the top of the range will also be built as an alternative to a tunnel proposal, enabling safer travel for all heavy vehicles, including ones carrying dangerous goods.”

The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will be delivered as a Public Private Partnership, with the Queensland Government contributing up to $321 million towards the project.

Read more

Good Advice for Landing an Oil & Gas Job

Geoffrey Cann, 11 May 2015.

I don’t think graduating right now with a petroleum oriented degree is a bad thing, but if you want to be involved in designing and building the next generation LNG plant, you’re going to be disappointed. The next oil and gas job in Australia is going to be in operations and maintenance. So for all you new market entrants, here’s where I would do.

•   If you can, get some training in manufacturing excellence. There’s shortages emerging for these skills in WA, NT and QLD. Anything in that realm could help (LEAN, Six Sigma, for example) and will apply to off shore, FLNG, gas plants, compression stations and LNG plants.

•   Upgrade your skills in operations. With all the plants coming on line, there will be steady demand for people trained on instrumentation and operations. It’s been my experience that these jobs will stay with the LNG companies and will not be sourced to contractors. Concentrate your search for work there. Your willingness to be trained and your low salary expectations as a new market entrant will be an asset.

•  Get to know the maintenance services contractors, particularly those focused on turbines, valves, pumps, compressors, wellheads. Their brands are not well known, but this part of the industry is going to expand to keep up with the expanding gas fields and processing equipment.

•   Consider waiting out the downturn by getting another degree. This worked very well for many during the 2008-09 downturn. If you have a technical background (engineering, petroleum, geology), consider an MBA. By the time you’re back from school, and with the expected slowdown in enrolments in the sector, you should be an attractive employee.


You Just Lost Your Oil and Gas Job. Now What?

Oil and gas guru Geoffrey Cann shares some valuable job market insights…

Once again the global oil and gas industry is scaling back its workforce as a way of coping with the dramatic collapses in the prices of oil and gas. The headline job losses are staggering –100,000 or more, depending on which source you read. If you’re among the thousands, this must feel pretty crappy. But there’s usually a silver lining to these events, and I thought I’d share a few observations from the many previous such bloodlettings that I’ve been through over the years.

What is behind the scale back?

It’s all rather simple. There’s too much oil coming onto the market and in a relatively disorderly manner, and OPEC, who would normally try to manage the market to reduce its volatility, have elected to let supply and demand balance naturally. Therefore, prices have fallen from $110 per barrel to $50 per barrel. Most companies would struggle if their revenue line was cut by 50% in just a few months, and oil and gas is no different.

While Australia’s LNG exporters have pre-sold most of their product, money for reinvestment is scarce. The greatest impact to the workforce is for those in construction or project roles. Existing projects will be completed, but new projects will be impacted. Next comes the efficiency savings, such as the implementation of shared services, office closures and reorganisations, which results in head office staff moving on. High cost work, often done by contingent workers, consultants and contractors, is halted or shifted over to full time surplus staff, and the high cost team are transitioned out. Some companies try to freeze salaries or roll back wages. Outsourcing to low cost economies picks up, and in areas not normally considered outsource candidates, like engineering. No job is truly safe.

Unfortunately for Australia, the collapse in oil prices coincides with the fall off in mining construction projects. Skills between oil, gas and mining are relatively transferrable, which is good, and the mining industry has always had a boom and bust cycle. Workers in these areas tend to be a resilient lot.

Will the jobs come back?

There are no guarantees, but history has shown that cutbacks in capital spending in oil and gas eventually choke off the supply of fresh oil and gas. Once this happens, the demand for oil and gas exceeds supply and the prices come back up. Companies then restart their capital spending, and the cycle starts anew. The problem is that no one knows how long it will take for demand to catch up to dwindling supply. All we can assume is that it’s still an attractive industry, until such time as renewables are sufficiently advanced to take over. And as the baby boomer generation retires out of the oil and gas sector, there should be some openings for talent during the next several years.

story: Where are Oil and Gas Prices Going?

Take Stock of Your Situation

Don’t underestimate your working experience with an oil company or one of the big suppliers. It signals a level of experience with large and complex company operations, and probably exposure to some of the most sophisticated systems anywhere. And your experience will be recognised anywhere in the world. Capital management experience is also an asset – the oil and gas industry tends to run joint venture megaprojects and experience on these mega undertakings can translate into valuable insight into smaller projects. Finally, the industry likes to buy experience, so any history in the sector can pay off sometime in the future.

Of course, consider what you are looking for in a job. Income security or diversity of experience may become a more important driver for you than a large salary. That European holiday may have to wait.

What Should You Do Now?

There is no easy path forward at this point, but assuming the industry is still of interest to you, there are a number of possibilities that could work for you.

Find the gaps

First, there are actually  large shortages of some oil and gas skills today in Australia and globally. There are so many LNG and FLNG plants coming to market at the same time that there will be shortages of skills in any number of areas. Australia will continue to build capacity to meet demand growth as the country grows from 7 to 21 operating LNG trains in the next 24 months. Just planning and executing the transition from a project to an operating company is creating new roles.

Look for growth

Second, some basins around the planet will continue to grow. The coal seam gas sector in Queensland is one such basin. The coal seam gas has been presold for years and so the gas companies have not much option but to continue to drill and complete wells and field compression. The industry will need to take its costs down, but that is very different from cancelling spend altogether. Existing large basins with lots of installed capital, like the Canadian oil sands, the Middle East, and the off shore industry, will continue to spend.

Try the nationals

Third, consider opportunities with the national oil companies (NOCs). They often operate with two agendas – a commercial, make-money, agenda (like everyone else), and a national energy security agenda (unique to NOCs). During downturns, the NOCs don’t cut back staff to the same degree as the private sector, so there’s a bit more job security there. It might mean having to move abroad for a period of time.

Become an entrepreneur

Fourth, and not for everyone, consider an entrepreneurial direction. Oil companies are hotbeds for innovation and experimentation, but not good at commercialising them. Perhaps there’s some technology or solution that has become stranded in oil company hands, owing to capital constraints or internal red tape, that could become a platform for a commercial advancement. I would look for something with external appeal (ie, not specific to a single company), particularly something a bit edgy that will be in demand when prices come back.

Rebadge as a contractor or consultant

Fifth, consider contracting back to the former employer. The reality is that the jobs may go, but some of the work will not, and they will need to contract to get it done. The big consulting houses are also hiring, under the same logic – that the work is still there – in such areas as analytics, logistics, asset management, supply chain.

Get into operations or production

Sixth, pay a call on operations. There’s no doubt that the cool part of oil and gas is the project part. Big budgets, tough timelines, new kit, latest technology. But when there are no projects, the only place to be is in operations. Ops is cash flow, and in tough times, cash is king.

Try the public sector

Seventh, have a look at the public sector, particularly in departments focused on oil and gas. During the boomy times, the public sector is unable to attract any oil and gas talent, largely due to the big difference in salary expectations. They may still be hiring.

Key lessons

We’re all being schooled by the market at the moment, and these low oil and gas prices serve as a very good reminder of the need for discipline. What are the take-aways?

Cost, cost, cost

The only sustainable advantage in this industry is to be the low cost producer. Everyone else gets it in the shorts. And with an average cost of production of $13 per barrel, the Saudis set the pace. A ruthless attention to costs is a critical skill. Be great at Lean, continuous improvement and process reengineering. Being part of the low cost play in an oil company with a portfolio of plays is a good place to be right now. Similarly, being part of an organisation that can weather the storm and have a longer term view of workforce planning is critical. When the taps turns back on, large companies don’t want 4 -5 years to build up trained and experienced staff.

Network now

Warm up the external oil and gas network before it’s needed. I noticed how a number of oil professionals from my network began to discuss career opportunities with me many months ago. It might have been lucky, but could also have been precient. Either way, they surfaced new opportunities from their network early. And if you don’t have an external network, it’s probably time to start building one. Too many industry professionals tend to concentrate on building their large internal company network, only to see it implode when the layoffs start.

Get ahead of the curve

It’s hard to read the market, and no one wants a reputation as a job hopper. But lots of oil professionals jump off projects before they’ve come to an end, and have landed on their next project. It feels a little disloyal, but better to be on an elevator going up than one going down.

Stay positive

Last, but not least, think about what potential employers are looking for: quality outcomes, safety, optimisation and efficiency. These should be your best selling points.

Read more from Geoffrey Cann here

Little progress on Arrow’s LNG project

The likelihood of any work beginning on Arrow Energy’s proposed LNG project on Curtis Island is still up in the air, as those LNG projects currently under construction face continued scrutiny in light of falling oil prices.

The company entered into the front-end engineering design (FEED) phase for the project’s associated 500 km Arrow Bowen Pipeline in December, with plans to link central Queensland’s Bowen Basin to Curtis Island, with Worley Parsons awarded the contract.

The pipeline, which will be buried at a minimum depth of 750 mm in a 30 m easement, will transport CSG from Arrow Energy’s gas fields in the Bowen Basin to the proposed Arrow LNG Project planned for Curtis Island near Gladstone.

The Gladstone Observer has reported an Arrow spokesperson as commenting the company was “reframing development options to deliver better value for shareholders”.

“Collaboration discussions with third parties are continuing, to identify the best option for monetising Arrow’s gas reserves in both the Surat and Bowen basins,” the spokesperson said.

“This process is results and value-focused and not schedule-driven.”

Arrow, which is jointly owned by Shell and PetroChina, had initially planned to develop a CSG-to-LNG processing facility off the coast of Gladstone, alongside three other facilities currently under construction, though postponed its final investment decision for the project in February 2014, citing economic and inflation risk for its decision.

Meanwhile, GLNG Project partner Total fuelled speculation last year that Arrow is unlikely to process gas at its own facility with Total Exploration and Production Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Jean-Marie Guillermou confirming that the joint venture is continuing discussions with third party suppliers including Arrow.

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1000 new jobs for QLD on proposed Blue Gum Gas Project

Carbon Energy has moved one step closer to obtaining approval to develop its first commercial scale gas project in Queensland at a site west of Dalby.

The company has received confirmation from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP) that the government-appointed external consultant has completed its review of Carbon Energy’s Decommissioning Report and Rehabilitation Plan.

The company understands that a decision by government is now only subject to consideration of the final reports from DEHP and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) which are expected to be submitted early this year.

Carbon Energy CEO and Managing Director Morné Engelbrecht said the company was poised to move ahead with commercialising the project, as soon as the government had fully considered the departmental recommendations.

The Blue Gum project is set to be developed on the Bloodwood Creek pilot site, where the company completed first trials to commercialise its Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) keyseam technology.

This project is intended to deliver 25PJ per annum of pipeline quality natural gas from a plant that converts the UCG process’ Syngas to pipeline quality gas.

It is anticipated that first gas could be supplied to local industry from 2017, once suitable investment partners have been found and State Government approvals have been received.

Based on projected gas prices, the Blue Gum Gas Project could deliver in excess of $4 billion in gross revenue to Carbon Energy over a 25 year period and could create more than $200 million in royalties for the State.

It is expected to create in excess of 1000 jobs during the construction phase and approximately 150 sustained direct jobs in the region over the 25 years.

Mr Engelbrecht said the demonstrated and scientifically assessed Bloodwood Creek trial results provided strong confidence in the company’s technology through its complete lifecycle, from initiation to rehabilitation.

”While the Queensland Government considers the departmental recommendations, the company will increase its attention on securing further licensing opportunities globally, armed with the data supporting the outcomes from the Bloodwood Creek trial,” he added.

 “As we await a final decision from government, we will be directing our resources toward both securing off-take and development partners for our Blue Gum Gas Project and advancing our international business development program.

“The environmental results that we have achieved from the Bloodwood Creek trial provide us with a powerful demonstration of the advanced and leading nature of our gas production technique,” Mr Engelbrecht said

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25,000 CSG job losses in Surat Basin

MORE than 25,000 jobs are set to disappear from the Surat Basin as the coal seam gas (CSG) industry transitions from the construction to production phase.

According to the GasFields Commission Queensland, the workforce will peak at 40,000 before stabilising at 12,000 to 14,000 in the next 18 months, as the industry transitions from a construction to production phase.

A Gasfields Community Leaders Council meeting was held in Toowoomba last week, where discussions focused on the workforce numbers and managing the transition.

Chinchilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rob Hart said the adjustment in certain areas had been challenging for the community.

Mr Hart, who is also the Origin regional manager, said the chief issue for most people was they don’t know what the future holds.

“The current challenge now is going from a construction workforce into an operations workforce,” he said.

“Today has been revelatory for us in that each of the chief executives has actually committed to coming to Chinchilla and providing more feedback about what workforce numbers are going to be and how business is going to change from construction to operation.”

Mr Hart said the meeting had a long-term, positive focus but there were local challenges such as housing that needed to be managed.

Federal minister for industry and member for Groom Ian Macfarlane said the CSG industry was incredibly important internationally.

Mr Macfarlane briefly attended the Toowoomba meeting and described CSG as a major economic driver for the region.

“I sit right in the middle and support both sides,” he said.

“Agriculture has had to make compromises but the coal seam gas industry has also made compromises.”

Santos Queensland vice president Trevor Brown said they had completed construction on upstream facilities and all the wells were now connected to central processing hubs. The hubs were in a commissioning stage, set to be completed by the end of 2015.

Mr Brown said most of their construction workforce had now been demobilised.

He said they anticipated a spend of $1 billion per year for the five years following 2015 and $500 million each year after that.

QGC managing director Mitch Ingram said most of their upstream phase one infrastructure had now been completed.

He said they would drill roughly 300 wells each year for the foreseeable future and were looking at how to continue using local companies, long term.

“We are moving from a project environment into a steady state of operation,” he said.

On Tuesday, QGC launched a new program in Chinchilla to deliver long-term benefits back into regional communities.

Not-for-profit organisations in the Western Downs and Gladstone regions will be able to apply for grants of between $10,001 and $50,000 under the QGC Communities Fund.

Mr Ingram said the company remained committed to supporting host communities as it transitions to operations.

Australia Pacific LNG chief financial officer Mark McCabe said they were looking at how to locally procure and locate their workforce.

Mr McCabe said it was still early days as the APLNG project would be in the construction phase throughout 2015 before moving to the operations phase in 2016.

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