PD02: Low GWP refrigerants – is Australia Ready?

Facilitator: Michael McCann, Managing Director, Thinkwell

Panel of experts: Patrick McInerney, Director, International Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Team, Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy

Graeme Dewerson, Business Development Manager, A-Gas

Kevin O’Shea, Managing Director, Cold Rae

Gary Knox, Engineering Manager, Daikin

Alex Di Pietro, Engineering Manager, Refrigeration Engineering International

Have your say and join the ARBS conversation with a panel of industry experts convened to consider whether Australia is ready for low GWP refrigerants.

Topics up for discussion will include –

  • latest trends and updates on the use of low GWP refrigerants in Australia
  • current regulations around refrigerants
  • energy efficiency, safety and related issues
  • barriers in Australia to greater use of low GWP solutions
  • lessons learnt from F-gas experience in Europe, USA and Asia

Discussions will focus on practical applications for HVAC&R professionals and what needs to be considered when selecting and using low GWP refrigerants.


Michael McCann has been a consultant on energy and greenhouse programs, policy and practice since 1991. He has been involved in projects covering many aspects of residential and commercial energy efficiency, equipment energy efficiency, renewable energy, fuels and emissions, and alternative fuels with both Federal and State Government agencies, and with industry.

Among other things, Michael’s work in the last decade has involved economic and regulatory assessment and provision of advice and support to Government on aspects of the MEPS programs for appliances and equipment, including running testing programs for and advising on regulation of computer energy use, and on commercial HVAC and air-conditioning systems. He has worked extensively on the issues of peak demand management. The last ten years particularly has included extensive research and analysis in HVAC&R, synthetic greenhouse gas markets, supply chains and end uses and commercial energy efficiency.


Patrick McInerney has been the Director of the International Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Section of the Department of the Environment since 2003. He has been responsible for implementing controls on HFCs under the Commonwealth’s Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989, introduction of the licensing scheme for refrigeration and air conditioning technicians, implementation of the equivalent carbon tax on synthetic greenhouse gases and repeal the equivalent carbon tax.

Patrick is currently leading the review of the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas legislation. He was co-chair of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer’s Open-ended Working Group in 2013 and 2014. Patrick co-convened Montreal Protocol negotiations on a HFC phase down in 2015, leading to agreement by all countries to work towards agreeing a HFC phase down in 2016.


Graeme Dewerson started working for A-Gas in the UK in 2003 and has 15 years of specialist experience in refrigerant fluids. During his time in the UK, Graeme worked to assist customers with the R22 phase out and their initial moves towards lower GWP fluids. On coming to Australia in 2012, he was able to bring this experience to assist A-Gas customers and has since worked extensively on keeping the market informed on the new fourth generation low GWP HFO solutions.

Recently Graeme has project managed the launch of the innovative ‘A-Gas Rapid Recovery’ service which offers super-fast recovery of refrigerants using specialised pumping equipment.

Graeme will be running Rapid Recovery as this exciting new business launches across Australia over the course of 2018.


Gary Knox has a background of over 25 years in the mechanical engineering discipline within building design, manufacturing, controls, commissioning and facility management of HVAC&R systems.

A well respected engineering leader contributing nationally and globally with an understanding of legislation, building codes and standards of the construction industry.

He is regarded as a problem solver and trouble shooter with research and investigative skills. A contributor as both a leader and participant in committees and projects.



Kevin O’Shea’s career in the industry began through a refrigeration and air conditioning apprenticeship in the UK. He worked for Hall-Thermotank on large systems upon arriving in Australia. A year later he started up Marine Refrigeration Services Pty Ltd. Cold Rae Air Conditioning and Refrigeration was acquired in 1979. His company’s main activities embraced servicing the shipping industry in Sydney, as well as clubs, hotels, and industrial refrigeration.

Kevin has had extensive involvement in the industry throughout the years on various boards and institutions, which include but are certainly not limited to: the Vocational Training Tribunal, the NSW Electrotechnology Group Apprenticeship Scheme, the NSW Electrotechnology Skills Centre, WorldSkills, Refrigerant Reclaim Australia, and various licensing and qualification committees.

Kevin has also been recognised for his extensive involvement in the industry, being awarded the Doug Staniforth Award in 1997 and being inducted into the ARBS Hall of Fame in 2012.

Kevin is the current President of RACCA Australia and RACCA NSW, as well as the current Chair of the Australian Refrigeration Council.


Alex Di Pietro is a mechanical engineer who has led the innovative team at Refrigeration Engineering International over the past 4 years as engineering manager. After completing a Masters of Business and Technology at UNSW in 2001 he joined Refrigeration Engineering International.

He has 16 years of experience designing and commissioning unique industrial refrigeration systems. He has delivered process cooling solutions for extreme conditions for international hydrocarbon operators such as Saudi Aramco, ExxonMobil, Linde, Petronas, Chevron, Shell and many others. Many of the projects have utilised natural refrigerants in the most environmental and economical ways in the world’s largest and advanced tank farms, off-shore facilities and refineries.




Note: The seminar program may be subject to change. If you have registered for this seminar any topic, presenter, timetable or price changes will be communicated as soon as possible prior to the event.