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If the industry is to establish best practice, then personnel need to be equipped with the knowledge, understanding and application of operational issues.
If the industry is to establish best practice, then personnel need to be equipped with the knowledge, understanding and application of operational issues.

Smart quarrying: today’s foresight, tomorrow’s global advantage

The IQA is this year set to embark on an ambitious futures research project that will seek to project the position of the Australian quarrying sector over the next 15 years. Paul Sutton explains why quarry professionals – and the broader industry – will benefit from this long-term exercise.

Simply asking the question “Why?” can lead to new ideas and innovations that can directly affect the bottom line. Organisations benefit from research that results in challenging the status quo, research that investigates new ways of looking at customer needs, new ways of delivering customer service, new ways of strengthening customer interactions and research that explores new products and services that might attract new markets. Research needs to be undertaken to prepare the Australian quarrying industry to be fit for future, ie what will our industry look like in five, 10 and 15 years from now and what needs to be done now to be ready for the challenges this change will create.

The Australian quarrying industry has been under increasing pressure to introduce fundamental changes in its business practices, given the ongoing rollout of state-based Acts and Regulations. The industry has also had to respond to increasingly stringent local authorities’ requirements on consents for both new and existing sites. Further pressure for change has come from the environmental and sustainability agenda.

Despite the acknowledged need to increase the amount of recycled materials and decrease environmental impact, there remains a need to continue to extract primary aggregates. The industry is a major contributor to the GDP of Australia and a supplier of raw materials not only to construction but also to a wide range of manufacturing industries. All these customers are seeking higher quality products at minimum costs while also responding to their own environmental and sustainability agendas.

Smart quarrying

So, how do we prepare the Australian quarrying industry to meet these challenges? The industry needs to establish best operational practices that provide individual customers and the economy in general with the products they need, whilst carrying out this primary function with due regards to the legislation of the day. The industry will not be able to achieve this objective unless the relevant personnel are equipped with the necessary knowledge and understanding of operational issues and how these apply to legislation and society’s expectations.

The purpose of the Institute of Quarrying Australia’s Smart Quarrying Research Project is to develop a fit for future Capability Development Model to ensure quarry managers have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to ensure professional practice efficacy to meet legislative, workplace health and safety, productivity and profitability requirements as well as meeting their corporate social responsibility.

Figure 1. The Smart Quarrying Research Project aims to develop a fit for future Capability Development Model for quarry professionals.
Figure 1. The Smart Quarrying Research Project aims to develop a fit for future Capability Development Model for quarry professionals.

The Smart Quarrying Research Project proposes to answer the following questions to develop the Capability Development Model:

  • What professional capabilities describe the fit for future practice of quarry manager professionals?
  • How do the political, economic, societal, technological, regulatory, environmental and ethical variables moderate the relationship between quarry manager capabilities and quarry manager professional efficacy?
  • Will the Capability Development Model influence current and future professional development programs and professional certification systems?

The Smart Quarrying Research Project aims to provide a trilateral advantage to the Australian quarrying industry (Figure 1).

Project advisors

The following members of a Project Advisory Committee will guide the Smart Quarrying Research Project:

  • David Cilento (industry and AIQEF representative).
  • Chris Hamilton (industry and Young Member Network representative).
  • Travis Potts (industry and IQA Board representative).
  • Aaron Johnstone (CCAA representative).
  • Jason Egan (industry representative).
  • Tony Ingram (industry and IQA Board and CP Board representative).
  • Felice Stocco (supplier representative).
  • Steve Seal (industry representative).
  • Steven Della Bona (industry and IQA Board representative).
  • Rob Kelly (regulator representative).
  • John Stark (industry representative).
  • Anita Waihi (supplier and Women in Quarrying Network representative).
  • Luke Van Der Laan (futurist, the University of Southern Queensland).
Figure 2. The project is expected to provide a trilateral advantage to the Australian quarrying industry.
Figure 2. The project is expected to provide a trilateral advantage to the Australian quarrying industry.

The first meeting of the Project Advisory Committee is scheduled for 14 and 15 February, 2016 in Brisbane.

I invite all IQA members to be active passengers on the Smart Quarrying Research Project bus. I will be publishing four articles during 2016 in Quarry, providing an update on proceedings to date. I will also be providing monthly updates in the monthly IQA General Manager eNewsletter that is emailed to all IQA members on the first day of each month. I welcome your questions and feedback after each update and report.

All IQA members will receive an electronic survey during some point in 2016. I encourage you to complete the survey with the future in mind but balancing it with your experience.

I am very confident that the findings of the Smart Quarrying Research Project will provide the blueprint for the fut










ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Sutton

Paul Sutton is the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Quarrying Australia. To contact Paul, click here.

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Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 12:52am
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