Association News, CICA

CICA Regional Industry Day a big success

In early April, The Crane Industry Council of Australia (CICA) held the New South Wales regional meeting at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. 

During the day, there were 45 delegates in attendance, and this number swelled to just under 60 for the dinner, which included a fundraiser for the charity Foodbank.

Various topics were discussed during the day, including updates from CICA CEO Brandon Hitch. He spoke about the New South Wales Traineeship program and thanked the Traineeship Sub-Committee of Andrew Esquilant, Danny Adair, and Emma Makinson for the time they have afforded the program.

The major update related to TAFE NSW, which has made a significant commitment to training by investing in a 50t Liebherr all terrain. This will be permanently based at the Nirimba Campus in Quakers Hill, providing students with a great opportunity to learn about cranes and rigging in a hands-on environment.

There were two keynote addresses during the day. The first was from the Honourable Sam Farraway, New South Wales minister for regional transport and roads. The minister discussed the critical nature of infrastructure projects in the region, including the $4.5 billion upgrade of the Great Western Highway. 

In a question and answer session with the minister, all agreed the plans for tunnelling through the Blue Mountains, the new rail projects, and road upgrades will lead to a far quicker and safer passage through the mountains to Lithgow and beyond, with the crane industry playing a critical role in these projects.

Scott Greenow, director operations at Freight Branch Transport NSW, provided an update on issues relating to road accessibility. He said the use of data generated from telematics systems was helping to speed up what has been a slow and cumbersome process. Tasmania was heralded as the gold standard where crane and transport groups have partnered with the Tasmanian Department of State Growth and an Automated Access Assessment Program was recently launched, speeding up the application processes for permits.

Minister Sam Farraway discussed the critical nature of infrastructure projects in the region, including the $4.5 billion upgrade of the Great Western Highway.

Brandon Hitch presented updates on the CraneSafe and CrewSafe programs and, for the first time for many attending, he presented details of CICA’s StartSafe pilot scheme. StartSafe received a ‘soft launch’ 12 months ago with a number of crane hire businesses embracing and working with the electronic pre-check, pre-inspection daily logbook. 

StartSafe is designed to collect data providing crane businesses with accurate records for each crane. When it comes to inspections, CraneSafe Assessors can examine the body of data and view an accurate record of the crane’s pre-check and inspection history. In the future, it is hoped StartSafe will help negate the need for compulsory Major 10-year inspections. 

The Crane Manufacturers Panel always provides interesting insights into the approach from the crane OEMs. The panel consisted of Bruce Carden, TRT’s Manufacturing director; John Stewart, VP/general manager Manitowoc Australia; Andrew Esquilant, general manager mobile and crawler division Liebherr Australia; Anthony Heeks, managing director Pace Cranes; and Tadano’s Jay Gower, sales manager NSW/ACT.

Various topics were covered, including how the crane original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are managing the current difficulties with supply chains and how this is impacting the lead times of new cranes and the delivery of spare parts. They were asked how the various factories are approaching sustainability in the design, engineering and manufacturing processes.

The evening dinner included the auction of various items, with the funds raised donated to Foodbank.

Foodbank is Australia’s largest food relief organisation, operating on a scale that makes it crucial to the work of the front-line charities who are feeding vulnerable Australians. Foodbank provides more than 70 per cent of the food delivered to food relief organisations nation-wide. More than one in six adults can be categorised as severely food insecure. This means they experience multiple disruptions to their eating patterns and often have to reduce their food intake. 1.2 million Australian children live in food insecure households. More than two in five severely food insecure parents (43 per cent) say their children go a whole day without eating at least once a week. 

As with previous auctions, Sydney ‘big hitters’ Larry Fuller from Fuller Mobile Cranes and Frank Zammit from Two Way Cranes were the highest bidders on the main auction items. Larry outbid everyone on a framed cricket ball signed by Shane Warne and Frank walked away with the main item of signed memorabilia, including a signed boxing glove from Tim Tszyu, as well as a sparring session in the star’s gym. $25,000 was raised for Foodbank, another incredibly generous donation from our industry. 

Send this to a friend