National policy manager Steve Davies was promoted to CEO this week replacing Peter Greenwood, who took over on April 24 after the long-time CEO, former journalist Cheryl Cartwright, left that month.
Davies has spent the past nine years with the association in various roles, and before that held a range of policy and regulatory positions related to infrastructure and resources in industry associations and the federal government.
Davies told Energy News this morning that the big task for the lobby group - shared by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association - was ensuring gas continues to be part of the conversation in a meaningful way.
"Energy is in the paper so frequently and so much of the conversation is focused on coal and renewables, the positive aspects of gas are not being considered as much as they should be," Davies said.
"So I certainly see a big role for APGA in the next few years making sure people know why they should be using as much gas as possible."
Davies believes the key energy policy stakeholders haven't got their heads around the fact that the role gas plays is separate to what it does for electricity generation.
"The focus is on how we're going to secure electricity supplies into the future, and it's not really recognised that the energy that gas provides for direct use is entirely separate from that electricity debate," he said.
"The challenges there in electricity would be magnified incredibly if we don't have gas to provide the direct use energy that it does.
"If people are thinking that electricity can do all of the energy tasks in Australia - which includes transport fuels with electric vehicles, the direct heating of homes, commercial spaces, brick kilns, everything that gas does - that's such a bigger challenge than just helping decarbonise the existing electricity supply, that it's something that's at the moment unfeasible.
"What gas does is not going to be replaced any time soon, and we need to work out ways to help gas do what it does, because it is a great way to provide that heating energy for industrial uses.
"Electricity is not a great heat source. It's not what you want for large-volume heating. And you don't want to be thinking about increasing the load on electricity right now when it's already got the challenge in dealing with the changes going on."