FORMER Electricity Reform Task Force chairman John Hyslop has re-emerged on the Western Australian business scene as a global Scot.
The Globalscot program is run out of the Scottish Executive – the governing body of Scotland that roughly equates to the WA Government – and seeks to create international business partnerships.
Mr Hyslop will act as a form of business ambassador.
He said his role would be to help Scottish companies looking to set up in WA and WA companies looking to enter the Scottish market.
“Without help at the Scottish end, which this program will provide, it is very hard to get anything off the ground,” he said.
Given his lilting Welsh accent Mr Hyslop seems an unusual choice for someone that is expected to help promote Scottish businesses coming to WA.
However, he said he “came of age in Scotland”.
“I went up to Scotland in the early days of the North Sea expansion. We had to go international,” he said.
Mr Hyslop said he had experienced the difficulties that companies faced when they tried to set up overseas through his early forays into international markets.
“We went into Nigeria and it was three and a half years before we had our first enquiry,” he said.
“It was very difficult. There were a lot of cultural differences.”
Mr Hyslop has also become non-executive chairman of Kwinana-based company Total Corrosion Control, a company that was once strongly linked to United Construction Group (now called United KG).
He said he had some contact with United when he was working on some WA engineering projects earlier in his career.
TCC is contemplating a national expansion and approached him because of his international industry contacts.
His decision to move to WA came after a trip back to Scotland with his wife late last year.
After arriving to the welcome of a typical Scottish winter’s day they decided that WA was the place they wanted to live.
“We got off the plane and it was drizzling and grey outside and we decided that WA was a much better place to be,” he said.
Mr Hyslop said their son had also settled here.
However, he had to deal with the Australian immigration authorities because his work visa had been cancelled when his work with the ERTF ended.
Mr Hyslop said he had expected to stay on to help with the implementation of the ERTF’s report, but that was not to be.
Instead, the WA Government has appointed former WA Department of Treasury official Anne Nolan to head up the implementation team.
Even Murdoch University lecturer Frank Harmon – a member of the ERTF board – was not asked to take part in the ERTF implementation process.
With TCC acting as a sponsor, those visa difficulties are now a thing of the past.
Mr Hyslop is a consultant to the Belfast-based Harland & Wollf Shipbuilding and Heavy Industries and chairman of Aberdeen-based companies Spencer Coatings and Metrixx.
His last executive role was as executive director of Halliburton’s Brown & Root Energy Services.
He also managed a major part of the engineering work on Woodside’s Goodwin A platform.
Mr Hyslop said he had also formed Integrated Power Services, a company that is now owned 50-50 by Western Power and Halliburton.
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