Australia for energy and resources meetings


Australian expertise in mining and the Federal Government’s commitment to clean energy is seeing the country attracting a greater share of meetings business for the sector.

Traditionally known for its export of lamb and wool, modern Australia is a powerhouse in the mining and energy sector, earning strong export dollars from coal, iron ore, and other base metals.

Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory are hotspots in mining and energy, already hosting and set to host some large global conferences over the coming 12 months. And, riding on the coat-tails of the boom, the cities of Sydney and Melbourne are also attracting a greater number of related meetings.

With a staggering array of projects now underway in the Northern Territory including the A$34 billion Ichthys liquefied natural gas development and the A$5.4 billion Darwin LNG pipeline, it should come as no surprise that Darwin is home to a growing number of energy related meetings.

In September 2012 the city played host to the South East Asia Australia Offshore Conference (SEAAOC) Mining the Territory conference and exhibition. Organised by IIR in partnership with the Northern Territory Government, it focused on key oil, gas and LNG developments and was attended by 900 delegates, with almost 10 per cent attending from international markets.

SEAAOC returned in September in 2013 for its 19th annual hosting and forms part of Northern Territory Resources Week.

In Queensland, a recent Deloitte study reports there is A$142 billion in proposed new expenditure in Queensland resources projects, with its capital Brisbane already attracting associated meetings.

In August 2012 the city played host to the 4000-delegate 34th International Geological Congress, and in 2013 it hosted the International Symposium on Slope Stability in Open Pit Mining and Civil Engineering, the World Gold Conference, and the 2013 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Unconventional Resources Conference and Exhibition – Asia Pacific.

This last meeting was organised by the SPE Council of Australia whose past-chairman, Rod Bresnehan, worked on bringing the conference to fruition with the assistance of the team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, with more than 1,000 delegates expected.

Sydney too is expected to see a greater number of meetings in the energy sector. More than 1,000 delegates are expected for the biennial World Hydrogen Technologies Convention in 2015.

In July 2012 the city played host to the International Urban Planning and Environment Association's 10th Symposium (UPE10). The meeting was organised by The Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning and the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, with assistance from PCO company ICMS Pty Ltd.

With the theme of Next City: Planning for a New Energy and Climate Future, it was attended by 243 delegates, with 24 per cent of attendees coming from outside Australia. Delegate numbers exceeded expectations by 62 per cent.

Conference co-chair, Associate Professor Nicole Gurran from the University of Sydney, said the meeting was perceived as a huge success.

“International speakers and attendees spoke very highly of their experience in Sydney. Local attendees formed new connections with other participants and more widely.”

Conference sessions were held at the University of Sydney with the welcome reception held in the stunning Art Gallery of New South Wales which overlooks Sydney’s picturesque Hyde Park.

A full day study tour group travelled to the picturesque Blue Mountains and the Ausgrid sustainable energy facility. Other tours include Sydney’s historic Rocks area, Sydney Olympic Park, and a tour of Barangaroo, the A$6 billion dollar waterfront precinct redevelopment project on the western edge of the city that once completed will include a mix of office, hotel, retail space and parkland.

Earlier in 2012 the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society held its 19th annual conference in Sydney which included a special stream on renewable energy.

The city also hosted Clean Energy Week in 2012, which incorporated ATRAA, Australia’s largest solar conference. The meeting and associated exhibition attracted more than 2500 local and international delegates.

With so much activity in the sector, strong government support, and both academic and in-field cutting edge expertise, further global mining and energy meetings are anticipated to be held in Australia in the coming decade.