Scotland-Australia relations celebrated as international event returns

Source: press release, 8 December 2022

At left, Government of Western Australia’s Agent General, John Langoulant AO, with Brett Jackson, Granite PR Founder and MD (photo: Granite PR)

The importance of established relationships underpinned by common values, ambitions and strengths was the key theme of a leading international business event which was held in Aberdeen for the first time since 2019 this week.

Hosted by Granite PR and held in association with The Government of Western Australia (WAGO), the Aberdeen-Perth WA Gateway returned on Tuesday, 6 December, after a Covid-enforced pause. The lunchtime session at Aberdeen’s Marcliffe Hotel & Spa provided opportunity for international networking, knowledge sharing and discussion on topics including energy, decommissioning, renewables, education and the labour market.

An impressive line-up of guest speakers included the Deputy Premier of Western Australia, the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, the Agent General for Western Australia and the Lord Mayor of the City of Perth. Other speakers included WAGO Business Development Manager Tom Lamond, Open Door Migration’s Jacqui Ure, Estrin Saul Lawyers’ Reuben Saul, Dr Francis Norman of the Centre of Decommissioning Australia (CODA) and Bill Hare of AOG Energy.

The keynote address was courtesy of the Government of Western Australia’s Agent General, John Langoulant AO, who expressed his pleasure at the return of the event and impressed upon delegates the importance of the links between the two locations.

He said: “We continue to benefit from strong oil and gas sectors while both communities look to build new energy sources based around wind and solar technologies. Aberdeen’s achievements already in the offshore wind sector are ones which we seek to learn more from as the years progress.

“An area of special focus in our consultations this year was in decommissioning practices and programs which we are undertaking across our respective oil and gas sectors. Western Australia expects its gas sector especially will continue to provide significant economic and community benefits for many years to come while also supporting the transition from carbon-based energy sources to renewable sources in a sustainable manner. The State has already commenced a program of reducing its reliance on coal-based energy. Dealing with the decommissioning of oil and gas assets is essential for the orderly transition across these sectors.”

He continued: “Other areas of mutual interest which have been discussed this year include the progress being made in higher education and vocational skills training in both jurisdictions. Building these sectors is essential if we are to manage the high demand for skilled people in both economies. The Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Australia will present new opportunities for our young people and those with experience and skills to match to look to travel and work in ways which haven’t been possible before. These opportunities will be essential if we are to build our respective workforces to meet emerging demands.

“The discussions also provided us with the opportunity to promote the AOG which will be held in March in Perth. Both the Deputy Premier and Lord Mayor of Perth were able to present their invitations to the meeting participants to visit Perth next year and participate in another memorable conference on critical energy issues.”

The Aberdeen-Perth, WA Gateway builds on the success of Granite PR’s now well-established Gateway series of events by creating an international bridge and acting as a springboard to further strengthen the links between the locations as well as facilitating additional opportunities between participating businesses and attendees.

For more information about Gateway events from Granite PR, visit www.granitepr.co.uk.