ACAPMA is the national peak body that represents the interests of the Fuel Wholesale and Fuel Retail industry in Australia.

First founded as the Australian Petroleum Agents and Distributors Association in 1976, the Organisation changed its name to ACAPMA in 2008, because many of its traditional fuel wholesale members had purchased fuel retail assets.

Today, the organisation has over 350 members and Associate members. Together, these businesses either operate or support the operation, of around 5200 of the 6900 service station sites that are operating – and account for around 85% of the fuel that is wholesaled in Australia.

As a Registered Industry Association that is required to operate under Australian Industry Relations Law, ACAPMA’s primary role is to operate as the industrial advocate for its member businesses but Industry Advocacy on policy and legislative matters is also a key priority.

But the organisation does so much more than that. Let’s take a quick look at what the Association has done over the past week.

ADVOCACY, GOVERNMENT & STAKEHOLDER RELATIONS

Given the recent change in leadership of the Federal Liberal Party, and consequent changes in Ministerial portfolios, Monday saw the ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie travel to Canberra to meet with key Government Ministers to continue vital conversations in the areas of Industrial Relations, taxation and Energy costs.

During the day, Mark joined COSBOA CEO Peter Strong (Mark is also the Chair of COSBOA) in a meeting with the Treasurer’s office to push the case for lifting the current $20k threshold for the current instant asset write-off for small to medium businesses in Australia.

A very constructive meeting was also held with the new Energy Minister, the Hon. Angus Taylor, to discuss the need for significant reductions of electricity costs for Australian businesses.

Following a quick stop at the Prime Minister’s office for a quick introduction, a meeting was held with the Hon. Kelly O’Dwyer – the new Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations and the Minister for Women – to continue the conversation about the need for simplification of the IR system in Australia.

 From L to R: Peter Strong (CEO of COSBOA), the Hon. Scott Morrison (Prime Minister of Australia) and Mark McKenzie (ACAPMA CEO and Chair of COSBOA)

Later that night, Mark McKenzie provided a dinner address to the senior representatives from the Vocational Education Industry about how the fuel retail industry was changing, and the challenges that this change was creating in securing skilled employees.

Tuesday saw the ACAPMA CEO attend a Future Skills Forum in Canberra. Convened by Australian Industry Standards, this important forum discussed the work skilling challenges associated with securing employees in a marketplace that was likely to be reshaped by disruption due to automation of tasks, increasing digitalisation of markets and the advent of Big Data and autonomous vehicles.

On Wednesday, Mark travelled to Bendigo to join APCO – one of ACAPMA’s members – as a participant of the COSBOA Innovation Games (Victoria).

An initiative of the Victorian Government and COSBOA (of which ACAPMA is a member), these games invite businesses owners into a dialogue with university students to identify how digital technologies might be used to address current business issues – and make the business more profitable (see: Innovation Games Create Solutions For Bendigo Businesses Challenges)

 Mark McKenzie (ACAPMA CEO and Chair of COSBOA) addresses a skills forum dinner on Monday night

Late in the afternoon, Mark provided a live to air interview with ABC Radio Queensland to rebut a series of incorrect statements made by the RACQ in relation to petrol prices and retailer margins.

On Thursday, Mark travelled back to Sydney to participate in a forum organised by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) about a range of issues associated with the Broadband roll-out – and specifically, the need for Telecommunication companies to be held to account for service level standards in terms of service speed and reliability.

Friday, saw Mark back at the office dealing with member inquiries on a host of different matters while monitoring the Canberra Hearings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the operation of the Franchise Code and Oil Code in Australia.

CONSOLE OPERATOR TRAINING AND CONTRACTOR RECOGNITION SCHEME.

Meanwhile back at the ‘ranch’, our training team continued to support the more than 20,000 annual users of ACAPMA’s Petroleum Console Compliance Course – an online course developed to ensure that the front-line staff in the Australian fuel retail industry are equipped with the skills and knowledge to ensure that are sites operate safely, effectively, and in full compliance with relevant regulations.

During the week, our Training Delivery Manager (Jill Angus) processed 119 inquiries for assistance in respect of both the PCC Course and the National Petroleum Contractor and Recognition Scheme (NPCRS).

Work was also completed on mopping up issues associated with the rolling transfer of our online training programmes to a new online delivery system to make them more user friendly for all users.

COMPLIANCE AUDITS (INCLUDING EMPLOYMENT LAW)

In the wake of the wage theft scandal within our industry, ACAPMA developed the Compliance Partner Programme in late 2016 and now supports the delivery of this programme within three national retail networks as well as a string of independent businesses.

“These audits are designed to be a health check – a means of making it easy for businesses to check that they are aware of, and operating in accordance with, all relevant legislation and regulations”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie

“When we first started this process, some of our members were concerned that we were doing the job of the Regulators but become more relaxed when we advised that this confidential process was designed to make it easier for them to comply with all relevant laws”, continued Mark

During the week, ACAPMA’s Compliance Manager (Donna Tedesco) conducted 19 audit discussions (4 reviews and 15 follow up discussions), issued 4 Completion Certificates and continued to progress a further 51 site audits.

With inquiries aplenty (phone and email), the organisation is well on track to complete more than 650 audits this year – and applications to participate in ACAPMA’s Compliance Partner Programme continue to be received.

EMPLOYMENT & HR SUPPORT

This work continues to be the main stay of ACAPMA’s work and an area of assistance that is highly valued by our members.

This week, ACAPMA’s Executive Manager of IR & Training (Elisha Radwanowski) led the Association’s efforts in actioning 7 member requests for assistance with unfair dismissals, 23 member requests for assistant with performance management issues, and 24 member inquiries about HR and wage matters.

“These aren’t simple inquiries and amount to ACAPMA working with the business to understand the issues and then support them as they work to resolve these issues expediently and effectively”, said Mark

MARKETING & EVENTS

Much of the efforts in this area were focussed on follow-up actions arising from the successful delivery of the 2018 Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum in Auckland between 4 and 6 September 2018.

ACAPMA’s Marketing and Events Manager (Sarah Haughey) has been working on post conference actions and compiling all conference presentations so that they can be made available to delegates.

Planning work also commenced on finalising venue arrangements for delivery of the 2019 Forum in Melbourne in September of next year.

As lead editor for ACAPMA’s news website and electronic newsletter, Sarah spent much of the week scanning national and international news service for industry relevant content as well as preparing the weekly edition of ACAPMA’s e-newsletter.

MEMBERSHIP & ADMINISTRATION

Like all businesses, the ACAPMA Secretariat supports the administrative and membership processes of the Organisation.

This week, ACAPMA’s Finance Manager (Marilyn Fraser) processed financial transactions and responded to inquiries about membership and ACAPMA’s industry support services.

During the week, two new memberships were approved and a new Associate membership was approved – riding on the back of 3 successive years of 30% plus growth in Association membership.

SUMMARY

The past week has been a relatively typical week for ACAPMA – and certainly one that has kept the small national team well occupied.

Perhaps more importantly, the above demonstrates how ACAPMA is working to continue to support a vital Australian industry – one that provides employment for more than 64,000 people and owns more than $74B in assets.

“It is an exciting industry and one that ACAPMA is dedicated to supporting as it faces the inevitable challenges that lay ahead”, concluded Mark.