The building of tomorrow’s Australia

On behalf of Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA) and its member companies, I’m very pleased to welcome speakers, delegates and visitors to CMIC 18, our industry’s premiere networking and knowledge-sharing event.

For our seventh Construction Materials Industry Conference, we’re again delighted to share the stage with our partners, the Institute of Quarrying Australia. Together, we look forward to delivering a compressed and punchy plenary program, with high profile, dynamic thought leaders.

This year’s conference is held against the backdrop of an unprecedented infrastructure boom, with major road, rail and energy projects either underway or in development from one end of the country to the other.

More importantly, there is growing recognition and evidence at the federal level that infrastructure planning, funding and delivery is a long-term process. The recent federal budget committed to a 10-year, $75 billion pipeline of nationally significant transport infrastructure projects.

There’s a very good reason for establishing a long-term, stable project pipeline. It allows our industry to plan its capacity requirements so we can deliver the best value outcomes for our clients – which, in most cases, is the Australian community.

{{quote-A:R-W:300-Q:"As an industry, we face a number of challenges – chief among these being skills and capacity issues."}}How we manage demand for our products and services to ensure we can provide the best outcomes for these stakeholders is the focus of this year’s CMIC.

As an industry, we face a number of challenges – chief among these being skills and capacity issues.

We can’t deliver the work without a competent workforce. We have to continue to identify and invest in solutions that will not only attract people to our industry – including more women, Indigenous and other under-represented groups – but also keep them long-term.

Ensuring we have access to the raw construction materials needed to fuel the infrastructure pipeline is another key issue. This isn’t a new one, but it has become more of an imperative. If we can’t readily access our reserves of sand, aggregates, limestone and other raw materials, and if we can’t batch our concrete close to where it’s needed, then our costs will increase and be passed on to our clients.

Access to affordable, reliable energy supply is also critical to our industry, as it is to all Australians.

Energy pricing has a fundamental impact on the business bottom line, and greater certainty around supply and pricing will, in turn, help ensure a continued, affordable supply of raw materials to our customers.

Alongside these challenges exists the opportunity of innovation – to work smarter and safer, squeeze more from existing processes and systems, and develop new products and services that meet the emerging needs of our customers.

CMIC 18 is an opportunity to lay all these themes (and more) on the table, to share ideas and focus our attention on solutions and strategies that will ensure we can “deliver the goods” for our businesses and our clients well into the future.

Of course, the conference is also a great chance to network and celebrate our successes.

The program includes ample time for networking, including the Hitachi Welcome Reception and the Komatsu Gala Dinner. CMIC will also host a Business Leaders Lunch Forum, jointly presented with Roads Australia.

In short, CMIC 18 promises to be an outstanding event.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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