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Santa Claus: Bringing a SMILE to the quarrying industry this Christmas.
Santa Claus: Bringing a SMILE to the quarrying industry this Christmas.

What should Santa bring for the quarrying industry this Christmas?

A very special guest takes over the editorial reins this month - which are very different from steering reindeer and a big red sleigh!

Ho ho ho! I’m delighted, boys and girls, to write this month’s column for Quarry!

Damian likes to run one light-hearted editorial each year and decided to informally poll some industry members about the following question: “What should Santa bring for the quarrying industry this Christmas? And why?”

As he sat down to write a summary of the responses, our esteemed editor realised it would be better if he turned to an expert – and I am honoured to comment accordingly.

Now the first letter out of my mailbag came from young Wayne Scott, from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, who said I should bring everyone a “SMILE”. As he cleverly elaborated:

S is for Safety and looking after our fellow quarry men and women. M is for Motivation, to ensure continuous improvement in everything we do. I is for Innovate, as this drives productivity and efficiency. L is for Laughter as I think we let “gloom and doom” rule our thinking far too much. And E is for Educate as this is one thing that will ensure our wonderful industry prospers for a long time into the future.

Congratulations, Wayne, optimism goes a long way; you’ll get something nice under the tree this year. I’ll also have something special for youthful Dru Oxley, from Fulton Hogan, who sent me this ditty:

Legislative and planning clarity would be
wonderful indeed,
Helping us supply rock to those that are in need.
If Santa Claus was able to help us with this plight,
We’d leave him more cookies for his trip on
Christmas night.

Young Mitchell Bland, of RW Corkery & Co, also sent me a letter to the tune of Santa Baby, suggesting I “slip a good construction boom”, a “national safety framework” and an “understanding regulator” under the tree

Teenager, and IQA President, John Stanton suggested that I give every child and school teacher a quarry education pack that explains to them why we have quarries, what quarry products are and what they’re used for, what would happen if there weren’t quarries and what young people can do in the industry when they grow up

I must admit I find these requests daunting – I’m capable of many things but I’m not a miracle worker!

My conclusion from these letters was that the quarry industry has to get its message out there.

As young consulting geologist Greg Thomson said (channelling that quaint film The Blues Brothers) “go tell it on the streets, tell everybody”, ie “why we are here, what we contribute” and that quarry products are “used locally to make all of our lives better”.

Adolescent Jim Hankins, the NSW IQA branch chairman, added that the industry needs the two “A”s – Access to the resources required for construction materials and Acceptance that we all need construction materials.

Youthful Dave Cilento, who chaired this year’s CMIC, elaborated on some of Greg and Jim’s points, arguing that flexibility, recognition and access are vital to the quarrying industry.

His comments are, at the editor’s discretion, printed elsewhere, but sadly I have to advise Dave that the hoverboard – predicted to be a staple by 2015 in the film Back to the Future - is still a few years off. But be patient, lad, it’s coming! My elves are on the case!

The final letter was from a brash lad named Dugald Gray, from Ecoroc, who had the impudence to suggest that I wouldn’t pass muster on OHS, industrial relations, animal rights and aviation grounds (What’s wrong with my hat? And my elves and reindeer have never been happier!).

But what really irritated my beard were his assertions that the quarry industry is older than me and that my signature greeting is sexist and derogatory! The cheek! Dugald is now on my naughty list but Damian has decreed that young Dugald’s thoughts were amongst the best of the letters we received and so his comments are printed here.

Well, I have to fly, those Christmas presents don’t deliver themselves. May you and your families have a merry Christmas and may all your new year wishes come true in 2015!

Guest Contributor

Damian Christie
Editor • Quarry Magazine

Damian Christie is the editor and a chief writer of Quarry magazine. To contact Damian, please click here.
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Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 1:11am
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