Experts put big issues under the microscope at ESQ Conference

November 21, 2014

In the post-mining boom economy, getting more production at a lower cost is a common area of debate. But is it the only answer and what does it mean for the energy industry’s workforce? Is employing fewer people with more skills the only strategy to building a bright future for Queensland’s energy, mining and telecommunications industries?

It’s a big topic that needs big ideas to solve. Chief Economist with BT Financial Group Dr Chris Caton will join Master Electricians Australia CEO Malcolm Richards, Electrical Trades Union State Secretary Peter Simpson and Queensland Resources Council Chief Deputy Officer Greg Lane for an in-depth panel discussion on what these issues mean for Queensland’s workforce, during the Energy Skills Queensland (ESQ) Annual Conference on December 1.

Queensland Resources Council Deputy Chief Executive Greg Lane said it was important to put the future of the energy sector’s workforce into a global context with Asia seeking to achieve in decades what has taken centuries in developed economies.

“The International Energy Agency is forecasting that Australia is set to be one of the world’s leading coal and gas exporters, regaining its position as the world’s largest coal exporter before 2030 and also noting Queensland’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments from Gladstone scheduled for next month.

“What we have to factor into our future is an unprecedented surge in demand for all forms of energy from close to one quarter of the world’s population, and how to position Australia to be a leading supplier in that growth. Productivity will help us to position to win more projects, requiring more skilled workers.”

Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education Saxon Rice will officially open the conference. Award-winning journalist Madonna King is the MC managing an impressive line-up of industry and government experts from Energex, the Department of Industry and Savanna Energy, to name a few.

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, co-author of the CSIRO’s ground-breaking Our Future World: Global Megatrends that will change the way we live, will discuss the significant shifts in the business, government and community landscapes over the next 20 years, including resource scarcity, ecosystem diversity, rising Asian economies, the ageing population, digital technology disruption and the experience factor for tomorrow’s consumer and citizen.

“The world’s projected energy consumption is skyrocketing, a trend which is only set to continue with a demand increase of 40 percent through to 2035, and an expected cost US$38 trillion. All sectors are earmarked by the International Energy Agency to experience increased demand,” said Dr Hajkowicz.

“But despite this, renewable energy is starting from a small base and will still only make a minor contribution to world energy use by the year 2035,” he said.

The Conference will conclude with ESQ’s Annual General Meeting, followed by a chance for participants and speakers to continue discussing the topics with post-conference drinks and canapés.

Anyone working in the energy industry is welcome to attend the conference.

Register your interest now for the ESQ Skilling for Productivity Annual Conference at Brisbane’s Royal International Convention Centre, December 1, 2014.



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