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CICA: NSW/ACT Branch Chair Update

CICA: NSW/ACT branch chair Anthony Heeks.

Chair of CICA: NSW/ACT branch Anthony Heeks provides a statewide update on the most pertinent issues to the crane industry and what the association is doing to protect the interests of its members. 

The crane industry in New South Wales continues to thrive, playing a crucial role in supporting various sectors, including construction, infrastructure, logistics, and manufacturing. Our region’s strong economic performance, coupled with increased government investments in major projects, has created a steady demand for crane services.

Our branch continues to grow and look for new ways to cater for our members. Most recently, a river cruise on Sydney Harbour saw CICA N.S.W. members celebrate ‘Christmas in July’ in a very memorable way. The river cruise provided the perfect setting for networking in a relaxed setting, away from the usual work environment. As the cruise continued into the evening, a sumptuous dinner was served, featuring a delectable array of gourmet delights. Thank you, Justina and Paul, for your help in organising this enjoyable night for our members.

The Canberra regional meeting was another great event held this year. We honoured John Farrier and Anthony Davis with an award for their hard work and dedication to the Crane Industry. Simon Gould, editor of Cranes and Lifting magazine hosted the manufacturer’s panel and the representatives provided us with some useful insights.

There is a growing emphasis on sustainable practices within the crane industry in New South Wales. Companies are exploring eco-friendly options, such as electric and hybrid cranes, to reduce carbon footprints and comply with environmental regulations. As our cities grow, the limited availability of space for crane setups in dense urban areas poses logistical challenges, so we’re working closely with local authorities to find innovative solutions that ensure seamless crane operations without compromising on public safety.

Amidst the challenges, there are several opportunities that we can harness to further strengthen our industry’s position.

Diversity Network Breakfast Launch: Held in early August, the CICA Diversity Network Breakfast launch was a well-attended event. Our diverse panel of experts delved into the heart of the matter, sharing their experiences, insights, and knowledge on how, in an increasingly interconnected world, diversity can foster innovation and thinking ‘outside the square’. They challenged the audience to see diversity as not just a buzzword but as an opportunity.

Collaboration with Government: Engaging with government bodies allows us to influence policies, regulations, and infrastructure planning. By participating in key decision-making processes, we can ensure that our industry’s interests are represented effectively.

Road Manager Engagement: By collaborating with road managers CICA has been working to improve road access across the state. TfNSW is working on the delivery of a new Heavy Vehicle Access Management System (HVAMS) for cranes which will result in far more efficient and flexible road access across NSW. 

Managing regulatory change: As of the first of July, all crane manufacturers are now required to comply with a number Federal ADR requirements, with full compliance to all relevant ADR’s needed by 1st July 2024. CICA has been collaborating with the Federal department and all crane manufacturers to ensure that the transition to the new ROVER system is seamless for companies in the market for a new crane. 

Education and Awareness: By actively promoting the benefits and opportunities within the crane industry, we can attract young talent and diversify our workforce. Emphasising the rewarding and lucrative career paths available will help address the labour shortage. As our industry evolves, the need for a skilled and qualified workforce becomes paramount. Training and development are essential to ensure that operators possess the necessary expertise to handle modern crane technologies safely.  

TAFE started the year with an intake of 25 trainees and we are expecting another 12 to start late in August 2023. We will be holding a traineeship information evening in early September for prospective employers and trainees to learn more about the benefits of the traineeship.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank former chair Jeff Wilson. Jeff has continued to provide me with ongoing support and guidance over the past 12 months which is greatly appreciated.

I would also like to thank the Vice Chair Stefan Becherand for his support and acknowledge our steering committee, Paul Churchill, Anthony Davis, Ari Debner, John Farrier, Kane Fuller, Grant Gjessing, Jay Gower, Neil Hollingshead, Adam Little and Emma Makinson who have volunteered their valuable time working to develop and implement initiatives with the hope to improve and raise the standards of our industry.

Thank you to all our members for your ongoing dedication and commitment to our industry’s growth, and I look forward to working together to overcome challenges and embrace opportunities in the year ahead. 

Anthony Heeks

CICA: NSW/ACT Branch Chair


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