The “quarry to concrete pour” tour, which took place on 5 February, 2016, followed on from an earlier January meeting with Queensland’s Minister for Public Works and Housing Mick de Brenni, who was appointed to the role in December 2015.
Aaron Johnstone, Cement Concrete Aggregates Australia’s (CCAA’s) state director for Queensland, explained that CCAA offered to arrange the tour to help the Minister gain a better understanding of the industry.
“We believed that by better understanding our industry, the Minister would be better able to understand its importance in government discussions on public works, infrastructure, planning, transport and environmental regulation,” Johnstone said. “It also helps break down any misconceptions about our industry.”
The tour commenced at Holcim’s Beenleigh hard rock quarry in Ormeau, proceeded to Holcim’s Eagle Farm concrete plant in Brisbane, and concluded at the construction site of a new development – said to be one of the largest in the Brisbane CBD – where de Brenni observed the final concrete product being poured.
The Minister spoke with workers at each point of the tour and also travelled with the tipper and agitator truck drivers, developing a first-hand understanding of the industry.
“There is a sophisticated strategy that’s required in the cement and quarrying industry, focusing on logistics and local production, and I was impressed by the commitment to creating local jobs,” de Brenni said.
“It was reassuring to be briefed on their [Holcim’s] conservation and re-vegetation strategies and identifying the changes in wildlife that occur throughout the quarry.”
The Minister also shared his views on how the state’s quarrying and cement aggregates industry could be improved. “The [industry] can become more efficient and sustainable if we reduce congestion on our freight transport routes,” he stated.
Johnstone said the CCAA hoped to arrange similar tours in future.
Earlier this year, CCAA estimated Queensland’s quarry material production volumes would need to increase 50 per cent to approximately 75 million tonnes by 2036 to support population growth.