Maintenance Products

Setting the tone for infrastructure building

The theme of the conference was "The infrastructure boom: Our industry building communities". The conference was held in the newly completed, state of the art extension to the Adelaide Convention Centre.

This set the tone for the conference and several of the key speakers and presenters focused on the need for continued infrastructure spend to help stimulate Australia’s two-speed economy and sustain the quarry industry in general.

Of the 421 registered delegates over the four days, 58 per cent were quarry industry operators, supervisors and managers, along with representatives of state regulators. Approximately 42 per cent of the delegates were from suppliers to the quarry industry, many of whom were well represented in the trade exhibition booths.

The official conference program kicked off with the Hitachi welcome reception on the Wednesday evening. The reception was a warm and friendly casual night where attendees were treated to magic tricks, dry political satire from entertainer Bryan Dawe and a gracious welcome from the hosts Hitachi. The evening presented a great opportunity for delegates and guests to reacquaint themselves and renew old friendships.

Day two highlights

Thursday morning saw the official opening of the conference by South Australian branch chairman and the conference organising committee chairman Andrew Wilson who welcomed special guests, delegates and partners. A video showcased some of the current and planned major infrastructure and construction projects in Adelaide and concluded with footage of several quarry blasts culminating in a pyrotechnic display.

The conference’s master of ceremonies Steve Davis took the reins and introduced The Honourable Chris Picton, the Member for Karuna, who spoke on the behalf of the SA State Government.

Keynote speaker Denis Wagner took the podium and gave a very insightful presentation on his company’s construction of the only privately funded airport in Australia located at Toowoomba. One of the highlights of his address was when he remarked, “The question seems to be what can’t be done. Perhaps we should be asking ourselves what can be done.”

Other presenters included CommSec chief economist Craig James who gave an upbeat overview of the current economic climate in Australia from a global and state by state perspective and Rod Hook, a former government transport and infrastructure CEO whose enlightening and somewhat tongue-in-cheek overview on major project developments in South Australia often sounded like an episode of the satirical ABC TV series Utopia!

IQA General Manager Paul Sutton launched “Smart Quarrying: Today’s foresight; Tomorrow’s global advantage”. The project will undertake a futures research approach on predicting where the quarrying industry will be in the next five, 10 and 20 years. From there the project will identify the professional capabilities, continuous professional development programs and professional certification requirements that quarry professionals will require to achieve professional efficacy: profitable, productive and safe quarries.


Other topics and speakers for the remainder of the Thursday sessions included:
• MSP Group of Companies CEO Kane Salisbury – Building communities: An independent quarry’s perspective.
• Trimble regional manager for North East Asia John Naughton – Industry technology trends in Japan.
• A panel on the IQA’s Quarry Management Certification System, with contributions from Andrew Chaplyn, Western Australia Director of Mine Safety, Tony Ingram, director of the IQA Certified Practitioner Board and James Rowe, a Certified Practising Quarry Manager with blasting endorsement.
• Steve Antunovic of the Royal Victorian Aero Club – Drones: Friend or foe or a remotely piloted aircraft with potential benefits?
• Manager for Sandvik’s Crushing Chamber and Materials Development Dr Per Svedensten – Crusher chamber design for improved aggregates.
• IQNZ Immediate Past President Gordon Laing – New Zealand Certificates of Competency and Continuous Professional Development.

The Thursday morning session also saw the presentation of the IQA Gold Hard Hat Site Safety Award won by Boral Seaham and accepted by Richard Tomkins.

Thursday evening saw delegates and guests venture to the magnificent Adelaide Oval that served as the backdrop for the Komatsu Dinner. Entertainer Deni Hines wowed the audience with her soulful rendition of some well known songs. Grant Menhennett from Komatsu was presented with the Retracom Sydenham Hill National Industry Award.

One of the highlights of the night was the opportunity for each table to participate in purchasing tickets for a chance to win a die-cast Komatsu model that formed the centrepiece of each table.

Day three highlights

Friday morning commenced with the remainder of the speaker sessions, including a first for the conference with a panel session including the heads from mines departments representing every state and territory in Australia.

The speakers from the Australian Chief Inspectors of Mines included Greg Marshall and CS Wong (SA), Peter Waggitt (NT), Andrew Chaplyn (WA), John Mitas and Robert Kelly (Victoria), Wayne Scott (Queensland) and& Gary Parker (NSW).

The speakers and topics on the Friday morning program included:
• Wayne Scott, Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines – Heavy vehicles only injure people when people get in the way.
• Clayton Hill and Tegan Smith, Groundwork Plus – Quarry end life and opportunities.
• Sean Kinder, Kinder Australia – High performance polymers and composites uses in the quarrying industry.

Friday lunchtime had over 200 delegates and guests venture in buses to the Southern Vales of Adelaide to visit the McLaren Vale Quarry, part of the MSP Group. On site were static and live displays and attendees had the opportunity to walk around the partially constructed major crushing plant upgrade for this quarry. After lunch the attendees were able to watch live displays of equipment from a perfect vantage point overlooking the working quarry faces.


Friday evening heralded the arrival of the Caterpillar Gala Dinner held at the Convention Centre. Entertainer Bruno Lucia hosted the night and his comedic and musical talents had the room buzzing. James Bond was the theme for the evening with a particular focus on Casino Royale and guests were invited to chance their hands at several of the gaming tables located around the room. Of course, only play money was used and just as well because many a fortune was won and lost over the course of the evening. One important event was the awarding of the Caterpillar Continuous Improvement Award that was won by Brad Donald.

{{image3-a:r-w:250}}Outgoing President John Stanton gave his farewell speech and thanked his fellow IQA directors, the IQA staff, IQA members, sponsors, his employer Atlas Copco and particularly his wife Sue for their support and guidance over the past two years. John then performed the ceremonial investiture & by handing over his presidential medals and regalia to the incoming President John Mitas.

Another highlight of the evening was the awarding of an Honorary Fellowship to long- time industry stalwart Peter Duffy who was very humble in receiving this recognition.

The evening concluded with IQA General Manager Paul Sutton thanking his IQA team and the South Australian branch and organising committee for hosting the conference and the contributions made to ensure its success.

The last official event for the conference was the Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation (AIQEF) auction and brunch held on Saturday morning at the Convention Centre. MC and professional auctioneer Steve Davis fired up the room and got some very healthy bids on the auction items. Over $40,000 was raised for the Education Foundation which exceeded expectations.

2015 IQA awards

Alex northover award

For the best prepared portfolio of evidence submitted to a registered training organisation by an applicant seeking industry accreditation for a certificate or diploma in surface extractive operations.


Commendations: Leigh Elliott, Phillip Krueger, Craig Potts.



Sandvik best technical paper award

For the best technical paper on the extractive industry presented at an IQA meeting/seminar or an outside seminar/conference or published in Quarry.




Catepillar continuous immprovement award

For an individual's contribution to evolving teir extractive business through structured and measured continuous improvements.




IQA service award

For a member who has given outstanding service to the Institute and the quarrying industry over many years. 




Hitachi safety award

For an individual's contribution to the advancement of OHS in the industry.




IQA Gold hard hat site safety award

For a site's contribution to the advancement of OHS in the extractive industry.




Trimble loadrite lean principles award

For a single or ongoing demonstration of the application of lean principles by an individual to the industry at large, based on participation and input.




southern cross engineering/rocktec innovation award

For an individual's contribution to excellence and innovation in the industry.





To recognise the contribution of an individual to the industry at large, based on participation and input.




Weir/Trio young members award

To recognise a young member for his/her achievements in or contribution to the extractive industry.




Volvo/CDJ enviornmental award

For an individual's contribution towards the advancement of environmental management in the extractive industry. 




Ron Parrot awards

For the best small exhibit and large exhibit at the IQA conference.
















Andrew Wilson is the chairman of the IQA’s South Australian branch. He was also the chairman of the conference organising committee for the IQA’s 58th national conference in Adelaide.

Photos can be purchased from the official conference photographer Photography by Fallon, with a percentage of sales being donated to the AIQEF. To view (and order) photos, visit IQA2015

The speakers’ presentations at the conference (subject to permission) will be available on the IQA website:

The 2016 conference will be run in conjunction with Cement Concrete Aggregates Australia at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 25 to 28 October, 2016. For more information, contact ICE Australia, tel 02 9368 1200, email or visit

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend