How we stack up against the rest of the world

I think it is fitting to update you all on what is happening in the Institute of Quarrying (IOQ) “world” scene, after I recently participated in a teleconference with the other IOQ presidents.

For our nearest neighbours, IQ New Zealand, new government legislation introduced after the Pike River inquiry requires quarry managers to have a certificate for either “A or B grade” by December 2015.

The quarry industry in New Zealand has lots of small quarries, so up to 700 people will need somewhere near five days training each and to receive approval from the government-selected board of examiners to continue operation. Failure could mean the shutdown of individual sites.

The IQA is assisting our Kiwi colleagues; our general manager Paul Sutton met both the IQNZ executive and the examiners’ board in March to map out a path forward.

The IQNZ’s annual conference this year is in Hamilton from 15-17 July. I hear a number of members participating in the IQA’s over-35s study tour in New Zealand are likely to stay on for the conference.

The IQ Hong Kong is currently a “branch” of the IQUK but is working towards becoming an affiliated institute, same as ourselves.

We have assisted the IQHK by sending over copies of our constitution and other information. The IQHK currently has 126 members but has a huge opportunity to grow into China. It is interesting to hear that currently up to 75 per cent of the aggregates required on Hong Kong island are imported from China, and as such the Hong Kong branch is assisting in writing guidelines/standards for the importation of quarry products. The IQHK President David Hogan (an Aussie) will soon step down for his successor David Chen.

The IQ Malaysia has 230 members, is currently working through the introduction of a GST to Malaysia of six per cent (remember those days?) and will host the international presidents’ meeting on 26 October in the lead-up to its national conference on 27 and 28 October. The IQM has also recently been hosting blast training courses in Singapore.

The IQ Southern Africa is currently working through issues of electricity load sharing in South Africa because the country is experiencing severe power shortages due to lack of maintenance and growth planning. If quarry operators and other businesses don’t load share, they face blackouts of more than a week per area. As a result, gen-set sales have been going well. IQSA has a membership of 350.

Planning is well advanced for the IQSA conference in West Somerset to include a visit by our IQA Young Members Network and a presentation on what we do. Our thanks in advance to the IQSA for hosting the YMN tour, which is looking exciting.

The IQUK has the biggest membership – 3270, including 275 at the new technical membership grade (TMIQ). The IQUK has introduced a mandatory CPD policy of 35 hours per year or more for TMIQ level, as it strives for recognition under the Royal Charter.

Some homework all the institutes took away from the teleconference was to consider how we celebrate 100 years of the Institute of Quarrying in 2017 – something you will hear a lot more about both locally and internationally.

I can also advise that there are now regular phone conferences held between our IQ general managers across the world, to share and improve what we do in terms of policy and service delivery.

From the above communication, you can see how the IQA stacks up against the rest of the world. I think it’s safe to say that between the membership, branches, committees, the YMN, the national office, the advisory council and the board, we should be justifiably proud of what the IQA has achieved and how we are sharing information and experiences with our transnational colleagues.

Until next time, stay safe!

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