Eternal flame still burning at gas reunion

Australia’s gas industry future met its past when members of the old Australian Gas Association (AGA) visited the Australian War Memorial and the Eternal Flame in Canberra. It was the first gathering of the group of industry leaders at the War Memorial in 22 years since the former AGA sponsored the flame as a bicentennial gift to the nation, with the flame lit on Anzac Day 1988.

In that time the nation’s gas industry has undergone major changes with privatisation of major assets and an increased focus on natural gas.

Former AGA president (1988), Garry O’Meally said he was pleased to have this opportunity to join the delegation and come to Canberra.

“Australia has plentiful reserves of natural gas, more than 250 years’ of gas, particularly with the development of coal seam gas in Queensland which will not only supply international markets, but local demand as well,” Mr O’Meally said.

“Gas will be the mainstay of the energy economy as we move away from a high-carbon emission economy, to a cleaner world.

“Gas has less than half the emissions of coal when used for electricity generation and the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources means gas will be required as a back-up fuel for power generation.”

Mr O’Meally also said the industry’s early leaders were pleased to see the determination of the AGA to provide educational experiences for young people in the gas industry continuing.

“The Australian Gas Industry Trust is carrying on this good work, providing international study tours and local instruction seminars for young people in the gas industry,” he said.

“Training and education of people in the industry is vital to the future of the industry in Australia. After learning the hard way, we want to ensure that the skills and knowledge required for this industry are passed to the next generation.

“The Australian gas industry is in good hands and has a bright future – and the eternal flame will continue to burn at the war memorial.”