CICA, New South Wales

CICA NSW Industry Day a big success

In mid March, the New South Wales division of The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) staged its Industry Day in Western Sydney’s Parramatta.

The CICA Industry Day presented a forum for both crane hire companies, related businesses, and Sydney’s major building and construction firms. The Industry Day attracted over 100 delegates and the interaction between the different groups proved a popular formula.

A broad range of topics were presented during the day, which was mc’d by Anthony Heeks, managing director of Pace Cranes and vice chair of CICA NSW. Jeff Wilson kicked off proceedings reflecting on how the crane sector has developed over the last 50 years. He provided the example of how all terrains have progressed from a maximum lifting capacity of 50t, 50 years ago, to 1,200t capacity today. He also highlighted how construction processes have changed to reflect this progress, with construction design and methodology based on the availability of the capacities in today’s cranes.

Finlease generously sponsored the appearance of economist and the ‘media’s money man’ Peter Switzer. He posed the question: “In 2022 are we facing an economic doomsday or a boom?” He highlighted many of the key economic indicators that have market analysts a little nervous, including increasing interest rates in the US, the Ukraine conflict, fresh outbursts of Covid, a looming federal election, and unions pushing for six per cent wage rises. 

But he also confirmed the Australian economy is very strong, with unemployment down to four per cent, tourism – the third largest export for Australia – is back, and the Central Bank is impressed with the way the economy is rebounding post- Covid. Switzer credited the JobKeeper program for keeping the economy on track during the pandemic and concluded 2022 would reflect other major economies that are predicting a fast growing global economy, post-pandemic. 

The Industry Day presented a forum for both crane hire companies, related businesses, and Sydney’s major building and construction firms.

Michael Selinger, partner in Sydney law firm Holding Redlich, presented a number of case studies around the topic ‘Contractor or Employee’. This remains a grey area for many industries, with various courts handing down varying outcomes. Selinger concluded there still wasn’t enough clarity on the subject.

Alice Edwards, technical project engineer with CICA, made a presentation regarding multi-crane lift operations and the challenges of tailing lifts. Kane Fuller from Fuller Mobile Cranes, Stephan Bercherand from Preston Hire, the team from WGC Freo Orange, and Dave Brown from Two Way Cranes presented lift case studies and recently completed projects for their businesses. 

Brandon Hitch, CICA CEO, provided a national overview of activities and started by acknowledging the passing of three CICA Life Members, Rob Way, Bob Parker, and John Gillespie. They will be sadly missed. 

His presentation confirmed 100,000 cranes had been inspected over the last 20 years through the CraneSafe program and the data captured from these inspections had been used to lobby authorities to the benefit of CICA members. 

Alice Edwards, technical project engineer with CICA, made a presentation regarding multi crane lift operations and the challenges of tailing lifts

Hitch also confirmed CICA’s role in harmonising standards around the globe and how CICA is working with Standards Australia and ISO in adopting international standards. He also spoke about the proactive role CICA is playing with the International Crane Stakeholders Assembly.

Transport for New South Wales Working Group, including Pete Church, Cam Wheatley, Brian Sheedy, and Andrew Taylor, presented the progress being made on the Dogging and Rigging Handbook. They explained this is a work in progress project and when the details are finalised, the handbook will assist in ensuring the correct rigging equipment is being specified for any particular lift.

The final presentation of the day was also very interesting. Moderated by recent retiree Paul Churchill, the panel included Angela McDonald from Worksafe NSW, Kenny Smith from AW Edwards, Ian Sheils from Lendlease, David Solomon from the Masters Builders Association NSW, Ryan Melrose from Melrose Cranes, and John March from JPM Cranes. 

The question and answer panel session covered a number of important topics including the importance of lift plans and lift studies and how frustrating it can be to a crane hire business to agree on a lift plan and get the crane to site, only to find the configuration of the site, and therefore the lift, have completely changed. 

The session also covered the importance of Safe Work Method Studies (SWMS) when it comes to High Risk Construction Work (HRCW) and how the compliance processes for SWMS could be streamlined by Tier One builders. The conversations were robust but overwhelmingly positive and it was obvious the audience was highly engaged with a detailed question and answer session with the panel to conclude the day. CICA should be commended for bringing the different elements of the construction industry together to better understand the challenges we all face. 

Send this to a friend