President’s Desk

Toowoomba meeting to highlight the importance of our regions

On behalf of the IQA, I invite all Institute members and other professionals in the quarrying industry to our 60th annual conference to be held in Toowoomba, Queensland from Wednesday 4 to Friday 6 October, 2017.

The theme of the conference – Driving Australia across the Regions – will highlight the key role regional Australia plays in our economy and the importance of infrastructure projects to connect our regions to Australian cities and world markets.

Toowoomba, with its road, rail and air connectivity as a result of the Wellcamp Airport, the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Project, is a great example of how our regions can be transformed and can generate jobs and help grow the economy. 

The organising committee has put on a great program that will focus on our regions and will challenge us to find ways to better connect and to generate opportunities for regional Australia.

On Wednesday, 4 October, delegates can participate in a site tour of the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, the IQA Annual General Meeting and the Hitachi Welcome Cocktail Reception.

Toowoomba Regional Council mayor Paul Antonio will open the conference on Thursday, 5 October and the keynote speaker for the opening session will be the Hon Barnaby Joyce, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and the Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources.

A number of sessions on the day include looking at the future of the quarrying industry, the behaviours of safety, the facts and the myths of dust management, environmental compliance and auditing, smart solutions for productivity gain and construction materials of the future. The day will conclude with the Komatsu Gala Dinner.

Day two, on Friday, 6 October, will begin with a couch chat with industry legends Bruce Neumann, Henry Wagner and Rodney O’Neil and a presentation from CEO Paul Sutton on smart solutions for our industry.

The session before lunch will include short presentations on industry innovation from our suppliers.

After lunch, a number of case studies will be presented on the lessons learned in key industry areas: the roles and representation of women in quarrying, community engagement, rehabilitation, and the marketing of quarrying.

The conference will conclude with the AIQEF Auction and A Night at the Theatre Ball, sponsored by Caterpillar of Australia.

Over the course of the conference, the IQA’s annual awards, including the AIQEF Alex Northover award, will also be announced.

There are some fascinating stories about the 2016 annual awards and information about how to apply for an award or nominate a colleague can be found here.

For further information about the annual conference, visit the conference website at and take advantage of the early bird registration which closes on 31 July, 2017.

The IQA Board and I look forward to catching up with you at the IQA Toowoomba conference.

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