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AGA to close Perth office

THE Australian Gas Association will close its Perth office at the end of the month after deciding it can best service its members with a focus on downstream issues, mainly centred in eastern Australia.

The decision means prominent WA-based industry development manager David Parker, whose main responsibilities have been gas production and major project development concerns, has been told his position is no longer needed.

AGA chief executive Bill Nagle stressed the position of industry development manager has been regarded as a very pivotal one in the organisation.

With the AGA’s new focus on issues such as the manufacture of equipment and appliances, distribution, retail market development, and pipeline regulation, gas producers have become AGA associate members only, rather than full members with a board position.

While this change has not been a difficult issue for either gas producers or the AGA, it has forced the AGA to absorb a reasonably significant budget cut, Mr Nagle said.

The income cut has forced a decision to run only two offices, one in Canberra and the other in Melbourne, and to reassign some responsibilities.

The change in focus towards mid and downstream issues follows a six-month independent strategic review commiss-ioned by the AGA to re-evaluate its activities.

“But I think you can trace the issues to the creation of a national competition policy, which goes back to 1997 when new regulatory arrangements,” Mr Nagle said.

“Since then the commercial positioning of various players in the industry has changed.”

The AGA first set up in Western Australia in 1997.

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