Engineers Australia has continued to work closely with the WA State Government on a number of fronts. Through the WA Infrastructure Coalition, WA President James Westcott and General Manager WA Susan Kreemer Pickford have been kept appraised on the progress of Infrastructure WA which will be formed as an independent body to provide expert advice to the Premier and Government on infrastructure needs and priorities in Western Australia.
In a briefing to the Coalition, Lance Glare from the Department of Premier and Cabinet praised all of the industry bodies involved for garnering aligned support and providing comprehensive input prior to and during the consultation phase. Encouragingly, Engineers Australia has received a number of nominations for the Infrastructure WA board from senior members interested in bringing an engineer’s perspective to the table.
As part of the WA State STEM strategy advisory committee’s ongoing work, chaired by the WA Chief Scientist Peter Klinken, Susan was invited to inform the design of two programs under the State STEM skills strategy which you can read more about here (https://www.jtsi.wa.gov.au/what-we-do/science-and-innovation/science-and-innovation-overview/future-jobs-future-skills)
Following an invite from Minister Bill Johnston MLA (Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Energy; Industrial Relations) seeking a nomination, WA Division Committee member Dr. Gary Bryant was appointed to the Government's Mining Industry Advisory Committee, the first meeting of which was 11 October. The Committee has been established with the primary purpose of providing Minister Johnston with recommendations for the harmonisation of WHS legislation across the resources sector, with a secondary set applying to mines and a tertiary set applying to petro-chemical operations. This is a timely and unique opportunity to address concerns raised by members and the engineering community in regards to competence - specifically in terms of who is deemed competent for particular roles and how that is assessed.
Earlier this year, Premier Mark McGowan established an LNG taskforce and hosted the first meeting on 7 December. The taskforce will focus on creating job opportunities in the LNG industry and what they can provide the WA community, including new technology, education and maintenance services. Engineers Australia will seek input from members as part of the industry consultation.
As part of our centenary celebrations next year, Minister Bill Johnston MLA and Engineers Australia National President Trish White will host an Engineers in Parliament evening on 19 March. This will be an opportunity for members of the Division Committee and invited industry leaders to meet a number of WA Parliamentarians and discuss challenges and opportunities for the engineering profession.