The fifth annual Aberdeen Perth Gateway saw the agent general of Western Australia, John Langoulant, praising the north-east for being “ahead” of his region in various spaces.
Returning for the first time since 2020, the event which started in 2016 was hosted in the familiar surroundings of the Granite City’s Marcliffe Hotel.
Aberdeen’s Lord Provost, David Cameron, kicked off the event by welcoming representatives of the Western Australia Government (WAGO) to the north-east before Mr Langoulant delivered his keynote speech.
The agent general’s WAGO colleague Tom Lamond, Open Door Migration’s Jacqui Ure, Dr Francis Norman of the Centre of Decommissioning Australia (CODA) and Bill Hare of AOG Energy also addressed the delegates in turn.
A conversation with the Agent General
Mr Langoulant’s job is primarily “about enhancing investment activity investment activities which will build the West Australian economy and trade,” he told Energy Voice.
“The footprint of my responsibility is the United Kingdom and Europe. We’re based in London and I run an office there which has got about eight people.
“We are looking at skilled transfers as well, so we look at how do we attract people to live in WA and move out of this part of the world?” the agent general said.
Langoulant explained that Western Australia and Aberdeen are both leaders in the energy industry and that his region had looked to the north-east of Scotland as it moved into oil and gas and now it is doing the same as the world moves towards transitioning into renewable energies.
“Aberdeen is sort of leading us, you are far more advanced in offshore wind than we are, and so we’re here to learn,” he said.
“You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, these guys can tell us what’s worked and what hasn’t worked and we can avoid those sorts of issues.”
Langoulant also wanted to learn from the north-east’s movements in oil and gas decommissioning: “The importance of decommissioning and doing decommissioning work, I think, is a greater problem.
“So learning what’s been happening up here, you guys are ahead of us again in this space.”
Learning from Aberdeen and exchanging skills between the two regions was the main focus of the agent general in the gateway event.
“We’d like to see a lot more exchange of people,” Mr Langoulant said, “we want to have a relationship where we can open an exchange information.”
This exchange of skills and knowledge is not contained to those working in the industry, the agent general spoke of the “very good relationship” between Curtin University and the University of Aberdeen.
“Those sorts of relationships are important because they go to skill development,” Langoulant said.
Since covid “people have been more reluctant to travel” Western Australia’s agent general said, “we now need to find ways of starting again.”