Mike Smith

Director, Tasmanian Gas Pipeline

Mike has over 30 years of senior management and leadership experience gained in a wide variety of industries including power generation, energy retail and trading, mining, construction and manufacturing. He has also operated a successful independent business consultancy, specialising in business performance improvement and culture change.

Having qualified with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in the UK, Mike’s career has spanned 3 continents and incorporated a diversity of senior roles in general management, commercial and financial management, project development and management, business development, business consultancy and non-executive board membership.

In Australia, Mike was Production Director and subsequently CEO of Yallourn Energy (now part of Energy Australia), CEO of Exergen Pty Ltd (a resource and technology development company) and General Manager of Thiess John Holland’s Precast Concrete Manufacturing Facility (Melbourne’s Eastlink toll road project).



Vicki Rigg

Director, Tasmanian Gas Pipeline

Vicki has over 20 years’ experience in the infrastructure sector. She joined Palisade as one of the original team members in 2008 and holds a senior leadership role in the business. Vicki focuses on the acquisition and management of infrastructure assets and has oversight of Palisade’s funds and mandates. She has a particular interest in risk and governance and is a director on the board of Palisade Investment Partners and a number of Palisade’s investee companies.​

Prior to joining Palisade, Vicki spent time with Perpetual Investments and prior to that, 10 years with Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons) and Linklaters in Sydney, London and Hong Kong.​

Vicki’s experience spans a broad range of sectors including PPPs, roads, airports, pipelines, renewable energy, power and gas. Her roles have included acquiring and managing assets, sitting on infrastructure boards and acting for sponsors and financiers in relation to the development, acquisition and financing of projects in Australia, Asia, India and the UK.​

Vicki is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is admitted as a Solicitor in both NSW and England & Wales. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Law) and Master of Arts (Law) from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge University.


Vince De Santis

Director, Tasmanian Gas Pipeline

Vince is an Executive Director of corporate advisory firm, T8 Advisory Partners Pty Ltd and also serves as Non-Executive Chair of ASX listed industrial engineering company, Engenco Limited.

Vince was Managing Director of the Elphinstone Group for 10 years until December 2018. The Group’s primary business interests are in the mining, energy, engineering, manufacturing, and industrial goods & services sectors including interests in a number of Caterpillar equipment dealerships in Australia and overseas.

Vince initially joined the Elphinstone Group in 2000 as the Group’s Legal Counsel and Finance & Investment Manager. During his time with the Group, he also served as a director of various subsidiary and joint venture companies including William Adams Pty Ltd, the authorised Caterpillar equipment dealer in Victoria and Tasmania, minerals processing company Gekko Systems Pty Ltd, and Singapore based mobile power generation company, APac Energy Rental Pte Ltd.

Prior to that time, Vince was a Senior Associate in the Energy, Resources & Projects team at national law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, based in Melbourne.

Vince holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Laws (Hons.). He is also a director of the Tasmanian Development Board and also serves as a member of the Tasmanian Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee.

Wacek Lipski

CEO, Tasmanian Gas Pipeline

Wacek has over 20 year’s broad experience in the energy industry across a diverse range of geographical areas including Europe, Asia and Oceania, with 9 years in Technical, General and Project Management positions and has held technical and leadership roles across a wide range of projects ranging from concept engineering to construction. Experienced in commercial areas including cost estimating, budget planning and business case development and has a strong technical and commercial knowledge across the energy industry.

Wacek manages a range of service providers and specialist subcontractors, maintaining strong relationships and ensuring alignment with Palisade’s long-term objectives. Under Wacek’s leadership, the engineering team work to provide technical solutions with safety at the forefront, while ensuring that the financial performance of the assets is continuously improved.

Wacek has a bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical, Hons.) and is currently completing a Master of Business Administration (Executive) .


Darren Giri

GM - Commercial and Legal

As General Manager Commercial and Legal of Palisade Integrated Management Services (PIMS), Darren brings a wealth of experience in energy project development and commercial and legal management of businesses both internationally and in Australia.

Darren is responsible for driving the commercial performance of eight businesses that PIMS manages, including managing existing customer relationships, overseeing legal issues, developing new sources of revenue and leading contractual negotiations.

Darren has over 20 years’ experience in the energy industry and previously worked with AGL Wholesale Gas, where he was responsible for the commercial management of the customers of the NQE joint venture between AGL and Arrow Ltd on the North Queensland Gas Pipeline.

Darren spent eight years based in London working for companies such as BP where he was responsible for the development of gas-fired and renewable energy projects and UPM Kymmene where he headed up their European Biomass Business.


Rob Kulkarni

Senior Asset Engineer - Gas Transmission

Rob Kulkarni is a Senior Asset Engineer – Gas Transmission for Palisade Integrated Management Services (PIMS) and is primarily responsible for providing technical support for the PIMS pipeline assets. His responsibilities include management of risk, maintenance activities and providing engineering support to ensure safe operation of gas transmission pipelines.

Rob has over 10 years’ experience in engineering design, operations, and optimization of gas asset performance across Australia and New Zealand.

Prior to joining Palisade, Rob worked for pipeline operators such as APA (Australia) and Firstgas group (New Zealand).

Rob has interfaced with a variety of reporting and engineering functions that feed into asset management, front end design, emergency management and asset renewal programs. He has a strong background in pipeline capacity planning and represented New Zealand at the YPPC conference in Birmingham in 2017.

Rob has a Bachelor of Chemical and Materials Engineering.