Search Stories by: 
&/or
 

Editor's Desk, Education, Training, Industry News, International News, Supplier News

Articles from SCREENING PLANT & EQUIPMENT (580 Articles), CONSTRUCTION PLANT & EQUIPMENT (419 Articles), EDUCATION & TRAINING (272 Articles)












The art deco Empire Theatre, in Toowoomba, was a “welcome change from the usual cold and uninviting convention centres”.
The art deco Empire Theatre, in Toowoomba, was a “welcome change from the usual cold and uninviting convention centres”.

Toowoomba meeting showcases growth, new talent

IQA has hailed its 60th annual conference in Toowoomba as a great success that showcased the region’s infrastructure growth and utilised local support and talent. Damian Christie highlights the key moments.

The art deco Empire Theatre, in Toowoomba, in Queensland’s southwest, hosted more than 450 delegates from across the nation and abroad, from 4 to 6 October.

According to IQA CEO Paul Sutton, the heritage-listed theatre complex provided a “welcome change away from the usual cold and uninviting convention centres”.

The theme of the conference – Driving Australia across the regions – was apt, given Toowoomba and the Darling Downs are hosting two major pieces of infrastructure – the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and the rail corridor of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.

The Toowoomba Regional Council also sponsored the conference – the first time a local government authority has supported an IQA conference.

The Bell B45E articulated dump truck greeted delegates at registration.
The Bell B45E articulated dump truck greeted delegates at registration.

The platinum sponsors for the event were earthmoving plant and equipment suppliers Komatsu, Hitachi and Caterpillar, and there were 16 other major sponsors from within the extractive industry. Thirty-five companies also supported the trade exhibition over the three days.

The informal proceedings of the conference commenced on Wednesday 4 October, as approximately 100 delegates attended a presentation by John Hagan, the chief executive of Nexus Infrastructure, the consortium building the $1.6 billion, 41km Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC).

Hagan used drone footage to illustrate the broad area under construction since April 2016 – from the Gore Highway, Athol to Boundary Street, Cranley in the west; from Cranley through Toowoomba to the New England Highway, Mount Kynoch; and from the New England Highway to the Warrego Highway at Helidon Spa in the east.

Hagan explained that quarry operations near Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, as well as Nexus’s own quarry site on the TSRC, were expected to supply approximately 10 million cubic metres of earthworks for the even surface along the corridor.

MC Steve Davis (left) interviews Wagner Group managing director Denis Wagner (second from left) about the development of Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport.
MC Steve Davis (left) interviews Wagner Group managing director Denis Wagner (second from left) about the development of Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport.

The TSRC is also employing more than 3000 workers, 79 per cent of which are locals from within the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley regions. Weather and construction conditions permitting, Nexus expects the TSRC to be completed by the end of 2018. From 2019, the TSRC will become a toll road.

Following Hagan’s presentation, delegates boarded buses to the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport where Master of Ceremonies Steve Davis interviewed Denis Wagner, managing director of the Wagner Group, and the airport’s general manager Sara Hales about the development of the 2.8km long runway and terminal in less than 20 months.

The land for the airport was originally designated as a business park. However, the Wagners struggled to attract manufacturers to the region because they considered Toowoomba to be too remote. The Wagners’ aviation interests date back to 1990, when they used light aircraft to service their business needs in central Queensland and other parts of eastern Australia, but it was not until they reviewed their business case that they realised that an airport was necessary to facilitate a business park.

Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport enjoys a strong relationship with Cathay Pacific Cargo, which freights out meat exports and other heavy cargo weekly, and receives 86 passenger services a week run by three different airlines. Denis Wagner explained that while the current airport terminal can service one million passengers per year, The Wagner Group has already put some thought into stage two of the airport. The terminal will eventually expand to a facility that is two storeys; it will employ aircraft bridges and be able to accommodate up to two million passengers per annum.

The airport apron and runway is comprised of The Wagner Group’s own innovative Earth Friendly Concrete (EFC), which uses a geopolymer binder made from the chemical activation of fly ash and slag as a substitute for Portland cement. Denis Wagner revealed that the runway has received numerous international awards for the use of EFC, including one from the American Concrete Institute.

Surprise visitors

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, pictured with Deborah Woodrup (Caterpillar) and Michael Benic (Hanson), happily posed for pictures.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, pictured with Deborah Woodrup (Caterpillar) and Michael Benic (Hanson), happily posed for pictures.

Hitachi hosted the cocktail reception on the Wednesday evening. A surprise guest was the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, who happily posed for “selfies” with delegates and their partners.

The Mayor of Toowoomba, Paul Antonio (whose family maintains quarry interests in the Darling Downs region), formally opened the conference. He discussed the importance of Toowoomba to Queensland’s growing road network, and its capacity to transport goods to up to 85 per cent of Australia’s population.

He underlined how the Wellcamp Airport, the TSRC and Inland Rail would further boost Toowoomba’s credentials while enhancing the safety of moving heavy consumer goods and supplying smoother travel for commuters.

Antonio also acknowledged the importance of the quarry industry in supplying the construction materials for these projects, especially in ensuring a “reasonable road standard” for the community on a road network that stretches more than 6600km in an area of 13,000m2. He said it was “phenomenal” to think that just one kilometre of a two-lane highway requires about 14,000 tonnes of construction materials.

Senator Pauline Hanson was a “surprise” speaker at the IQA’s 60th annual conference.
Senator Pauline Hanson was a “surprise” speaker at the IQA’s 60th annual conference.

“Our road, rail and air connectivity is really driving this community and pushing us out there as one of Australia’s most powerful regions,” Antonio concluded. “And none of it would be possible without the quarry industry. You help provide the solid foundations for our region to grow and flourish.

“I must stress it’s not just about your product. The benefits to our community include over 10,000 jobs, directly in the quarrying industry, and a further 80,000 jobs indirectly, many of those in regional areas. Our region is home to a number of key resource area quarries. The sites across here will deliver key resources that support our growing infrastructure. They will employ locals and they will support families and they will boost our economy.”

There had been rumours of a “mystery speaker” for the official opening session on Thursday morning, 5 October. Following Antonio’s opening remarks, the surprise presenter was revealed as Senator Pauline Hanson, Queensland senator and federal leader of the One Nation party.

Although Senator Hanson conceded that she did not know a lot about the quarrying industry, she said she was keen to learn more about the sector and act as an advocate in Canberra and in Queensland – through the state One Nation MP Steve Dickson – on environmental issues, infrastructure, apprenticeships, education and training. She offered to look into the portability of certification, as some qualifications are still not recognised in some jurisdictions when extractive personnel shift from state to state.

The four industry legends (l-r): Fred Reid, Henry Wagner, Rodney O’Neil and Bruce Neumann.
The four industry legends (l-r): Fred Reid, Henry Wagner, Rodney O’Neil and Bruce Neumann.

Senator Hanson seemed to confuse her message when, on one hand, she argued for quarries to be permitted to expand and grow unimpeded by government inaction and bureaucracy yet, on the other, expressed her view that greenfield quarries should not be started “anywhere that you wish. I think communities must be takeninto consideration”.

This remark led industry veteran Fred Reid to explain to Senator Hanson that “quarrying is a peculiar thing, where we can’t just situate a quarry where we’d like to have it, with regards to infrastructure, the resources are where you find it, and the ability to get an approval to open a resource can take 10 years”.

Reid kindly offered to spend time with Senator Hanson to further educate her and give her an “alternative perspective of what this industry is all about and the importance of it, with regards to opening up those resources where it happens to be, rather than where we would like it to be”.

Paul Sutton said he was delighted with the participation of Mr Joyce and Senator Hanson, as it attracted considerable local media attention to the conference.

“This is my first IQA conference where we had Channels 7 and 9, ABC Radio and the local newspaper in attendance,” Sutton said. “It was fantastic press coverage for the quarrying industry!”

Futures thinking

Precisionscreen’s general manager Paul Kerr and wife Erin don masks for the Caterpillar Gala Dinner.
Precisionscreen’s general manager Paul Kerr and wife Erin don masks for the Caterpillar Gala Dinner.

After a short break, the conference kicked off with high quality and insightful presentations from futurist Dr Luke van der Laan and psychologist Lincoln Eldridge.

Dr van der Laan discussed futures thinking – which forecasts possible, probable and preferable futures – and why the Australian quarrying industry needs to embrace it. He explained that futures thinking is a mental attitude and that to achieve a preferable future (ie what you would like to see happen in your organisation) requires behavioural change and strategic thinking (being able to exploit opportunities in the present and explore/create opportunities for the long-term).

Van der Laan remarked that with technologies continually evolving and with predictions that the convergence between technology and urban growth in Australia by 2040 will require a $2 trillion investment in infrastructure, it was likely the quarries of that time would have to adapt accordingly.

He predicted they would require fewer operational employees (especially located at the production face), and possess increased global remote working, diverse, carbon neutral and zero emitting energy sources, and exponential machine and transport solutions, including automation.

Senator Hanson’s presence attracted considerable local media attention to the conference.
Senator Hanson’s presence attracted considerable local media attention to the conference.

Lincoln Eldridge presented on the behaviours of safety, explaining that the reason mistakes and accidents still occur in workplaces is because of failures in organisational culture, ie most organisations have reached the peak in their mature management systems and think that if they continue to follow standard operating techniques, nothing can go wrong (an example he cited was the Deepwater Horizon submersible on the Gulf of Mexico, which had just celebrated seven continuous years of zero incidents in April 2010, before an explosion on the rig killed 11 crewmen and resulted in the largest oil spill in the history of the US petroleum sector).

He argued that rather than continuing their faith in obsolete systems, organisations need to recognise that their strongest links are their people and that humans are best equipped to deal with risks and random events while maintaining the ability to continuously improve and innovate.

Further advice followed on dust management from toxicologist Craig Beyers and environmental compliance and auditing from associate environmental scientist Chris Jones.

Nic McCormack, the construction readiness manager for the Inland Rail project, provided an overview of this landmark rail infrastructure project for industry members. The project is a new 1700km freight rail line that will run from Melbourne to Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Ben Yong, the IQA’s marketing/communications officer, provided exciting insights into the IQA’s work to make the industry more appealing to young people.
Ben Yong, the IQA’s marketing/communications officer, provided exciting insights into the IQA’s work to make the industry more appealing to young people.

It will utilise 1200km of existing rail corridors and require 500km of new tracks. The average requirements for ballast and capping materials on greenfield and brownfield projects along the line is estimated to be around 7000 tonnes per kilometre.

McCormack explained how a 126km section of the Inland Rail project – the Gowrie to Kagaru private/public partnership – would benefit Toowoomba and the local region. The PPP would include work on a 6.4km tunnel down the Toowoomba Range, together with other tunnels in the Little Liverpool and Teviot Ranges. The various Inland Rail projects encompassing Border to Gowrie to Calvert to Kaguru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton would require more than 1.5 million tonnes of ballast and more than 1.2mt of capping.

When the work is completed in 2024-25, Inland Rail will enable the delivery of freight between Melbourne and Brisbane within 24 hours. McCormack previously informed Quarry [2017; 25;10:14] that quarries along the east coast could tender for contracts. “We would expect there will be several quarries required to supply ballast, roadbase and other rock products to each of the projects within the Inland Rail program,” he said.

The plenary sessions for the day closed with industry consultants Steve Franklin and Paul Soden presenting on smart solutions for productivity gain and Paul Sutton outlining the challenges for the industry as it seeks to improve productivity, profitability, health and safety and corporate social responsibility. He also discussed the IQA’s new Quarry Academy.

On the evening of 5 October, delegates were transported to Toowoomba Picnic Point for the Komatsu Dinner. In addition to various awards presentations (see next page), delegates were treated to a three-course meal and a string of classic hits from the 1930s to the present, courtesy of all-girl entertainers Back to Basics.

Back to the future

Chandelier Girl was the feature act at the Caterpillar Gala Dinner.
Chandelier Girl was the feature act at the Caterpillar Gala Dinner.

The final day of the conference, on Friday 6 October, began as former President and Honorary Fellow Danny Duke provided a potted history of the first century of the Institute of Quarrying, and the IQA’s place in that 100-year time frame.

More legends of the past and present were then introduced to the stage, as Fred Reid, Henry Wagner, Rodney O’Neil and Bruce Neumann enjoyed a “couch chat” with MC Steve Davis about their time in the industry and what they believed the future holds for the sector.

Various sponsors had the opportunity to discuss new product innovations and services. The highlight of this session was Caterpillar Safety Services’ Jenny Krasny, who impressed with her presentation on the impact of cultural stigmas on safety behaviour. She urged industry members to think about the attitudes in their workplaces that might impede safety measures.

She outlined numerous examples of workers – vehicle drivers (including one woman), pit operators, graduates – being rebuffed or belittled for asking questions or making suggestions that could improve operations. Jenny reminded everyone that harsh words could undermine an employee’s confidence in themselves and the organisation.

Alasdair Webb (Hanson, right), pictured with Shaun Fanning (Metso), was a recipient of the Metso-sponsored Quarry Manager of the Year.
Alasdair Webb (Hanson, right), pictured with Shaun Fanning (Metso), was a recipient of the Metso-sponsored Quarry Manager of the Year.

The plenary sessions wrapped on Friday afternoon with four industry case studies, including the engagement of women in quarrying and the marketing of quarrying to young people. Generation Y presenters Aaron Savage and Ben Yong provided some fresh, exciting insights into the IQA’s work to make the industry more appealing and dynamic to teenagers and younger children.

Women in Quarrying co-ordinators Tegan Smith and Anita Waihi also highlighted the vibrant contributions of younger and senior women to the industry through a series of videos.

Other speakers in this session included James Rowe (Groundwork Plus) and Steve Seal (Hallett Resources) who outlined the lessons learned from a development application for Nain Quarry, in rural South Australia. The DA required substantial rethinking to win both government and community approval after it seriously misfired in the early stages.

Darren Toth, of ToThink Engineering, also gave an informative presentation on lessons from underperforming vibrating screens.

Night at the theatre

Chris Cooke (left) accepts the Alex Northover Training Award from AIQEF chairman David Cilento.
Chris Cooke (left) accepts the Alex Northover Training Award from AIQEF chairman David Cilento.

Festivities on the Friday evening began with Steve Davis and Danny Duke auctioning some items for the Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation (AIQEF). Items up for grabs included a model Atlas Copco SmartROC T45 drill rig, a Sequel/Impact Drill and Blast on ground package worth $12,500, a framed and signed jersey of the Orica-Scott 2017 Tour de France cycling team, and an Android tablet. The four lots raised $13,685 for the AIQEF.

The Caterpillar Gala Dinner was held on the back stage of the Empire Theatre. It was a black tie and glamorous evening gown affair, with complimentary masks handed out to the ladies. The dinner also saw the changeover in IQA President, with John Mitas completing his two-year term and the presidential medal handed over to his successor Clayton Hill.

Paul Sutton nominated the industry legends, the presentation by Gen Yers Ben Yong and Aaron Savage, and Luke van der Laan’s presentation as some of the highlights of the conference. He was also proud that most of the entertainment was sourced locally.

Joanne Payne (Sequel Drill & Blast) receives the Groundwork Plus Gold Environmental Award from Tegan Smith.
Joanne Payne (Sequel Drill & Blast) receives the Groundwork Plus Gold Environmental Award from Tegan Smith.

“The highlight of the conference for me,” outgoing President John Mitas said, “was the presentation from Tegan Smith and Anita Waihi on how the Women in Quarrying initiative started and how it is now very successful around Australia.”

Sutton and Mitas said IQA delegates could take away several key learnings from the conference.

“Foresight and strategic thinking are key capabilities for all leaders and managers,” Sutton said. “There is also a smarter way of managing risk in an organisation, and innovative practice is now a given for any business to survive change.”

“Lincoln Eldridge’s presentation on how to break the wall for those companies with mature safety management systems that have reached the curve with their safety performance was a key learning,” Mitas added.

Driving Australia across the regions - Toowoomba 2017

The Caterpillar Gala Dinner was held on the back stage of the Empire Theatre.
The Caterpillar Gala Dinner was held on the back stage of the Empire Theatre.
The trade exhibition was hosted across two parts of the venue, including the interior of the Empire Church Theatre.
The trade exhibition was hosted across two parts of the venue, including the interior of the Empire Church Theatre.


Home-grown duo the Beamish Boys perform at the opening ceremony.
Home-grown duo the Beamish Boys perform at the opening ceremony.
Senator Pauline Hanson chats to delegates at the first morning tea break.
Senator Pauline Hanson chats to delegates at the first morning tea break.

Other exhibitors were located in the Heritage Bank Auditorium of the Empire Theatre’s Armitage Centre.
Other exhibitors were located in the Heritage Bank Auditorium of the Empire Theatre’s Armitage Centre.
Outgoing IQA President John Mitas (left) congratulates Jim Hankins with the President’s Medal.
Outgoing IQA President John Mitas (left) congratulates Jim Hankins with the President’s Medal.

Dr Luke van der Laan discusses why the industry needs to embrace futures thinking.
Dr Luke van der Laan discusses why the industry needs to embrace futures thinking.
Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport’s apron and 2.8km long runway is composed of The Wagner Group’s innovative Earth Friendly Concrete.
Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport’s apron and 2.8km long runway is composed of The Wagner Group’s innovative Earth Friendly Concrete.

Clayton Hill is inducted as the new IQA President.
Clayton Hill is inducted as the new IQA President.
IQA CEO Paul Sutton pays tribute to the late Tony Ingram who was inducted as an Honorary Fellow.
IQA CEO Paul Sutton pays tribute to the late Tony Ingram who was inducted as an Honorary Fellow.

Tegan Smith (left) receives the IQA Supplier of the Year Award from past president John Stanton.
Tegan Smith (left) receives the IQA Supplier of the Year Award from past president John Stanton.
John Mitas congratulates Graham Smith (left) on his elevation to Honorary Fellow.
John Mitas congratulates Graham Smith (left) on his elevation to Honorary Fellow.

Clayton Hill presents the Gold Hard Hat Award to Boral Orange Grove general manager Jeff Post.
Clayton Hill presents the Gold Hard Hat Award to Boral Orange Grove general manager Jeff Post.
Jenny Krasny discusses the impact of cultural stigmas on safety behaviour.
Jenny Krasny discusses the impact of cultural stigmas on safety behaviour.

Peter McComb (left) receives the Retracom Quarry Operator of the Year Award from Paul Sutton.
Peter McComb (left) receives the Retracom Quarry Operator of the Year Award from Paul Sutton.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce takes the podium at the Hitachi reception.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce takes the podium at the Hitachi reception.
Stephen Raines receives the Trimble Loadrite Excellence in Innovation Award from Dale Cameron.
Stephen Raines receives the Trimble Loadrite Excellence in Innovation Award from Dale Cameron.

Lincoln Eldridge argues why humans are still the strongest link in the safety chain.
Lincoln Eldridge argues why humans are still the strongest link in the safety chain.
Toowoomba’s mayor Paul Antonio thanks the industry for its role in supplying materials for the city’s infrastructure projects.
Toowoomba’s mayor Paul Antonio thanks the industry for its role in supplying materials for the city’s infrastructure projects.

John Hagan, chief executive of Nexus Infrastructure, used drone footage to highlight works on the $1.6 billion, 41km Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project.
John Hagan, chief executive of Nexus Infrastructure, used drone footage to highlight works on the $1.6 billion, 41km Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project.

Steve Davis and Danny Duke (right) auction an Atlas Copco T45 drill rig.
Steve Davis and Danny Duke (right) auction an Atlas Copco T45 drill rig.












ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Damian Christie
Editor • Quarry Magazine

Damian Christie is the editor and a chief writer of Quarry magazine. To contact Damian, please click here.








Saturday, 21 April, 2018 08:31am
login to my account
Username: Password:
Free Sign Up

Receive FREE newsletter and alerts


CONNECT WITH US
standardlarge_0418
advertisement
standardlarge_0218
advertisement
standardlarge_0418
advertisement