We spoke to Shane Freier, CPA Group’s Senior Day Officer (2ic) at Caltex Lytton Refinery to understand our long-standing operations at this critical site.

On arrival we were met by Belinda who impressed with dress and bearing and we could observe her positive and professional approach to visitors.

We visited the site during a shutdown so the team was extremely busy – 300 – 400 contractors are working on the shutdown so there are about 50 additional visitors per day – all requiring access control, inductions, security check and site ID, plus additional D&A and entry and exit bag searches etc.

So we certainly chose a busy time to visit!

For the shutdown, CPA Group currently has an extra 2 guards 16 hours per day (04:00 – 20:00 hours across 2 shifts).

The site

The refinery is a huge site – normally there are 250—350 personnel on site.

The refinery has been operating for over 50 years.

There are 138 cameras on site, including infra-red, night cameras, heat vision cameras, cameras that can be moved remotely by our staff in the gatehouse.

The site has a history and there are WW2 relics including Fort Lytton –  the military was stationed at the site at the head of the river as a first line of defence – you can see bunkers, tunnels  and cannon which are fired occasionally as re-enactments during historical days.

There are also two wharfs, which require Maritime Security Guards.

How long have we been operating at Lytton?

CPA Group has been at the site since March 2011. (Shane has been there for the past 5 years)

What is our role?

Access control, security patrols, CCTV monitoring, D&A testing, speed testing, maritime security, site inductions, random vehicle checks.

How many CPA Group staff work there?

In total we have 18 staff – there are always 4 during the day, 2 at night but numbers are increased during shutdown.

The team works a 12 hour roster, 4 on 4 off. 

Shane is also on the site Oil Response team, which is part of the Emergency Response Team, which involves training and regular drills to ensure emergency preparedness.

We also provide MSGs when fuel vessels are in port, generally 2-3 ships a week.

What qualifications are required?

All staff are MSGs with Maritime Security Identification Cards.

The staff have to understand and use a number of Caltex systems.

New staff require a range of inductions (takes about a week) plus Shane usually buddies with new staff for about 4 full shifts prior to them joining the roster. So on average, 2 weeks onboarding

What are the challenges for our staff?

This is not a typical security job, this is highly critical and highly regulated infrastructure, you have to be on the ball at all times. Procedures change often so we have to change.

What are the challenges for the manager on this service?

Personally we are often updating documents – for example if a plant closes (even temporarily)  we have to amend the traffic management plan.

The job itself has such a broad scope of work and so ensuring the staff is trained is a challenge.

We may have a short term requirement for additional guards and with the extensive onboarding required that can be tricky.

What do you see as our / your major achievements in recent times?

I think we have a really professional team.

We work well  together and if I need someone to work an additional shift or two, the team will assist. I believe the client is happy with us

On a personal note, I have created a process and system for vehicle passes with automated workflows for approval and renewal alerts.

How do you see the future?

I believe the refinery is here to stay. We hope to be a part of this site for many years to come.