Construction materials industry conference just days away

The conference – with its theme of “Building Tomorrow’s Australia” – will feature three days of presentations from professionals in the construction materials, finance, journalism, technology, environmental and health and safety sectors at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.

The focus on the opening day on Wednesday 19 September will be on industry innovation and best practice. There will be a series of 10- to 15-minute presentations and TED-style talks from industry members and suppliers in the trade exhibition area.

This will be followed in the evening by a welcome reception, hosted by Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia, at The Port, in the Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour from 6:00 to 8:00pm.

Keynote address

CMIC 18 will formally commence on Thursday 20 September at 8:30am.
The keynote address will be delivered by Boral chairman Kathryn Fagg.

{{image2-a:r-w:250}}“Change and disruption requires leaders to be courageous,” Ms Fagg said of the theme of her talk in the run-up to the conference. “We need to position our businesses and ourselves for the future, which requires courageous leaders.”

After the keynote address, two presenters will set the economic and political scene leading into the tea break. Financial journalist and commentator Michael Pascoe will present the macroeconomic narrative, followed by Sky News journalist and commentator Janine Perrett on the Australian political environment.

The second session will focus on the future and innovation, with futurist Chris Riddell providing insights into “tomorrow’s world” and Professor Andrew Harris, the director of Laing O’Rourke’s Engineering Excellence Group, discussing industry innovations such as robots, 3D printing and virtual reality.

“Lots of people talk about innovation and the future, and I have heard a lot of talks by experts that have just left me hugely irritated – just because they never show you how,” Harris said in an interview in the September issue of Quarry. “So what I’m hoping to do is use the construction industry as a case study for what is possible and what the future will look like.”

Riddell told Quarry his presentation would consist of two key messages. “The first is that the world is moving faster than it’s ever done before … I’ll be talking about this new era of uncertainty, of volatility and how you lead your business through that.

“The second message is that we are all technology companies now. Whatever you do within the construction industry, you have to behave like a tech company and you have to challenge the roles that you have within your organisation.”

The post-lunch sessions will feature presentations on the current energy market. Dr Kerry Schott AO, the independent chair of the Energy Security Board will discuss the controversial National Energy Guarantee, while Michael Wood, the director of sustainability at Deloitte will discuss how renewable energy can be employed in the mining and extractive environments.

Snowy Hydro’s chief commercial officer Gordon Wymer will also present on the Snowy 2.0 scheme. “I’ll outline some of the key changes we expect to see across the national electricity market (NEM), and the critical role for Snowy 2.0 in underpinning the stability and reliability of the NEM through the project’s large-scale storage and dispatchable energy capacity,” Wymer told Quarry.

Construction market trends

The post-tea session will be devoted to the state of the construction materials market. It will kick off with a talk on construction market trends by Adrian Hart, associate director of BIS Oxford Economics, followed by a presentation by Geoff Roberts, deputy chief commissioner of Greater Sydney Commission, on the construction materials needs of the Greater Sydney Region (GSR).

The GSR can now effectively be described as a “metropolis of three cities” – the Western Parkland City, the Central River City and the Eastern Harbour City.

{{quote-A:R-W:250-I:3-Q:“The world is moving faster than it’s ever done before … I’ll be talking about this new era of uncertainty, of volatility and how you can lead your business through that.”-who:Chris Riddell, Futurist}}In an interview in the September issue of Quarry, Hart said the key message he would be emphasising to the audience is one of “capacity and capability”. He predicts that construction work, particularly in road, rail and non-residential building across the country, will rise in the next five years and put enormous pressure on the ability of the construction materials sector, including quarries, to meet demand.

“A lot of these construction sectors are quite materials-heavy when it comes to quarry products,” Hart said. “The demand for these construction materials won’t abate anytime soon.

“We have to make plans for the best access of these materials without blowing out the cost of projects and ensuring we have a sustainable industry into the future.”

During the end of day formalities, an IQA membership pledge will be made by suppliers to the construction industry, followed by a MC wrap up of the day.

Two ferry services from 6:00pm will depart ICC Convention Wharf to arrive at Luna Park for networking drinks, supported by Landair Surveys, before the Komatsu gala dinner from 7:00pm at same venue.

The opening session on the final day on Friday, 21 September, will be dedicated to community relations and the environment. It features presentations on trust and the social licence, delivered by Edelman Australia CEO Steven Spurr, the circular economy by Phillip White, founder of start-up Blockcycle, and quarry and mine rehabilitation by Bruce Harvey, director and principal at resolution88.

The post-morning tea session is devoted to people and diversity. Lyons, director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, will discuss workplace gender equality, while Paralympian Dylan Alcott will discuss “becoming the best version of yourself”.

The conference will conclude with the business leaders lunch, co-hosted by CMIC 18 and Roads Australia in the ICC Grand Ballroom. Jim Betts, the CEO of Infrastructure NSW, and Mark Campbell, the CEO of Holcim, will be part of a panel that discusses the essential materials required to deliver infrastructure now and into the future.

 How to register

There is still time to register for the conference. The registration fee for IQA and CCAA members is $1300 – and covers access to all sessions and functions over the three days.

For further details on rates for non-members, accompanying persons, students, and day registrations, and additional tickets for functions, visit

Additional information about the program, key dates and guest speakers can be found at

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