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Sunday, 1 September 2013

Pipeline to jobs

NEW SKILLS: Malcolm Garrick, front, and other trainers learn the ropes before starting the course in large pipeline installation. Picture: Annette Dew

THE liquefied natural gas industry is growing, the pipes are getting bigger and the need for a skilled local workforce is turning trainers into students.  TAFE Queensland Skills Tech business manager Malcolm Garrick recently joined pipeline operators on a six-week training trip across the Malaysian Peninsula with Santos GLNG.  There Garrick learned about large-diameter pipeline surveillance, right of way operations, pipe digs and repairs. He is now training the trainers - in preparation to teach Australia's first large-diameter pipeline training course. "I think gas will be the most prominent resource fuel we (will) have," Garrick says. "It all leads to the export market and makes it a big industry in the region.  "There are many aspects to gas pipelines, from mechanical to electrical and instrumentation.  Our teachers are getting fully skilled up, spending time with gas pipeline technicians so they can deliver this course." In Malaysia Garrick trained at an international training facility run by Petronas a joint venture partner with Santos GLNG examining 2000km of pipeline along the east coast. He says there is already interest in the new course and people are changing their trades to get into the LNG industry.

"Of the six people I went over to Malaysia with, three came from different trade areas, one was a boilermaker, one a carpenter and the other a plumber," he says. "I think that goes to show that new people can be trained up for a career in the gas industry if they have the right attitude." Santos GLNG senior adviser of operations training, Lina Dickins, says the Australia first course will improve work opportunities for local job seekers and graduates. "Bringing these skills to Australia is a vital step in ensuring our industry has the skilled workforce it needs and is leaving a positive legacy for our state," Dickins says, adding: "Across the project, we continue to provide opportunities for locals to improve their skills, which will benefit our industry in the long-term." Pipeline operators skilled at installing and maintaining 106cm-diameter pipelines are needed to lay 420km of pipeline between the Surat Basin of southern Queensland and Curtis Island off Gladstone. 

For more information please email Garry Hargreaves at


  1. Hi Garry, the new gas pipeline is a great opportunity for jobs in Qld - do you count existing qualifications towards those needed to work on the pipeline?

    1. Hi Stoneteacher, the full qualification is UEG30211 - Certificate III in Gas Supply Industry Operations. SkillsTech Australia is currently offering an RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). Mal Garrick managers that process. Malcolm Garrick, Business Manager, Electrical, Instrumentation, Engineering, SkillsTech Australia. Please email Mal at:



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