My first task is to thank Trevor Gosatti, the outgoing President, for all of his hard work and commitment to the Society over his tenure of the past six years. I am happy to report that Trevor remains a key person on the ASTT Council as the Western Australia Councillor. Trevor’s passion is in training development, and I have asked Trevor to continue this work in a training liaison role for the Society.
The focus now for the ASTT is on the year ahead and beyond. We have a great society, and for more than 20 years have supported Trenchless Technology from a fledgling industry to what has now become a technology that is no longer considered an alternative option, but in many cases, the first choice for the construction or renewal of underground utilities. For the ASTT, this has come about by the innovation, commitment, workmanship and tenacity of our current members; a number of whom have been there from the start.
The ASTT has continued as Australasia’s industry body for promoting and advancing the use of Trenchless Technology, and has provided a forum for the exchanging of information, knowledge and skills. Despite the challenging economy, the ASTT has maintained, over the last three years, a relatively consistent membership base of around 196 members who have a great deal of knowledge and are passionate about what they do. One of our challenges is to ensure that we can grow our membership in unison with the growth of the industry.
There are a number of individuals and organisations that are involved in the trenchless industry that are not yet members, so we need to appeal to them to join the ASTT. Our focus is now on working to make sure the society stays relevant, provides more value for its members, ensures that it remains the pre-eminent industry organisation representing the trenchless industry and moves forward in its mature role of supporting Trenchless Technology to continue to innovate and grow.
One of our key initiatives is to encourage our members to be more engaged and involved in helping the development of industry best practice. The ASTT Council has been very busy behind the scenes reviewing the constitution and implementing new initiatives that are currently being rolled out, including the new Special Interest Groups, the introduction of new industry training courses (that will be on offer first at the No-Dig Down Under Conference and Exhibition on the Gold Coast), and the consideration of skill competency verification. There is more that we want to do, but it will require you, the membership, to become more involved and help us to do it.
I look forward to the next 12 months in my role as both President and New Zealand Councillor. I welcome members to contact me at any time and hope to meet with many of you at No-Dig Down Under in September.