As the dust settles on the anniversary of the first day of Australia’s national lockdown during the first wave of the COVID19 pandemic (i.e. Monday 23 March 2020), it is clear that the post COVID19 world has changed markedly from pre COVID ‘normal’. When considered together with the societal impact of national disasters (including the 2019/2020 Summer Bushfires, the February 2020 Canberra ‘Ice Storm’ and the recent 2021 floods) it is vital that our industry takes time out to consider what these changes might mean for the future of the Australian fuel industry as a whole.

The potential impact of these changes will be discussed in detail at the 2021 Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum – ACAPMA’s annual industry conference. The 2021 Event will be held at the Adelaide Conference and Exhibition Centre on 4 & 5 November 2021 under the theme of Doing Business in a post-Covid19 Economy.

Having worked with all Australian Governments and fuel businesses across the country during the pandemic, ACAPMA was not only able to provide up-to-date information to fuel businesses via its’ Daily COVID update but also developed a deep appreciation of the forces that threaten to reshape the Australian fuel industry in a post pandemic era.

“The 2021 APFI forum will bring together industry leaders and politicians to discuss their perspectives on these forces while simultaneously providing a relaxed social programme to accommodate genuine business networking opportunities after a long period of successive lockdowns and cross border travel restrictions”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie

The 2021 programme includes a major discussion on the changing supply landscape given recent announcements in the domestic fuel refining industry and imminent changes in fuel security legislation at the federal level, with confirmed speakers including the CEO of Viva Energy, Mr Scott Wyatt.

The changing consumer dynamic – and its likely impact on the evolution of the convenience side of the petrol-convenience industry – will also be discussed. This session will include speakers addressing topics ranging from the rise of the digital consumer, the growing cyber threat to payment system, and observed changes in customer perceptions of our convenience offerings. Mr Angus McKay, CEO of 7 Eleven, will share a perspective on what these developments could mean for the future of Convenience in Australia.

“With so much happening in respect of changing retail brands (i.e. Caltex to Ampol, Puma to Chevron/Caltex, Woolworths to EG), senior market researchers will share their thoughts on how these changes may or may not impact on the power of brand amongst consumers in the national fuel retail market”, said Mark.

Presentations on key market developments in cleaner vehicle technologies also feature strongly in the 2021 program, with a specific focus on electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles.

“These issues have become the focus of major policy statements by the Federal Government and various State/Territory governments since the pandemic, but questions remain about the likely timing to market scale and navigation of key economic and consumer barriers”, said Mark.

As in past years, the Petroleum Industry Contractors workshop is back. Mr Paul Walsh (CEO of Australian Industry Standards) will discuss the new national skills standards which will provide first time, formal national recognition of petroleum contractor skills under the Australian Industry Skills Framework. Mr Bill Loizides (General Manager, Legal Metrology with the National Measurement Institute) will also discuss current trends relating to measurement compliance on the nation’s service station forecourts.

“We have not forgotten fuel distribution businesses either, with a full session devoted to innovations in fuel transportation and a discussion on the current state-of-play of the Chain of Responsibility (COR) Agenda in Australia”, said Mark.

“With most of us having spent large blocks of time working from home and sitting in front of our computers on Zoom teleconferences, a special effort has been made this year to provide meaningful opportunities for delegates to network during a series of relaxed social events over the course of the two day programme”, added Mark.

The first of these comprises a Welcome Cocktail reception on the night before the conference begins (i.e. 3 November 2021), with a new Festival of Food function to be held on the Riverside Lawns of the Adelaide Convention Centre at the end of Day 1 (4 November 2021). Day 2 (5 November 2021) commences with a networking breakfast for all delegates and a business lounge will operate over the full two-day period to provide a place for more serious business discussions as required.

“Mindful of the challenges all businesses have faced over the past 12 months, we have almost halved our pricing for full event attendance and have designed an event that maximises the opportunity for suppliers to network with retail delegates – as opposed to being ‘chained to a booth’ in a trade hall”, said Mark.

“If you have never been to the Asia Pacific Industry Forum before, then this is the year to come along – and join the 300 plus industry delegates and stakeholders that regularly attend this annual industry event”, concluded Mark.

Further event details can be found here:  https://apfiforum.com/  and an outline of the conference programme can be found here:  https://apfiforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/ACAPMA-Draft-Program-29.4.21.pdf .

Delegate Registrations will open soon.  To register your interest and
receive regular updates about the 2021 Forum, please click here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/96DMCZV

.Conference Sponsorship packages are also available and further information about these opportunities can be obtained by emailing ACAPMA’s new Marketing and Membership Manager, Julianne Channing at julieanney@acapma.com.au

ACAPMA