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From the CICA President

The mission of CICA, to be the authority of the crane industry, is substantiated as we make unprecedented progress on several key programs, all of which deliver tangible benefits and value for our members. The CICA board has undertaken a review of our strategic plan and maintains the importance of CICA’s mission to be the authority for the crane industry.

It is pleasing to be a part of an organisation that consistently delivers new and progressive outcomes for its members. The board are equally mindful of the hard work that happens at a grass roots level in each state, through our state branches and with industry stakeholders collectively. For our association to strengthen its relevance through all layers of government and the regulatory bodies, this local volunteering is vital. On behalf of the board and the broader CICA organisation, I would like to thank all who contribute to delivering our mission.

Our new industry-wide achievements do not overshadow the success of some of our long-term programs that are continually improving and lifting industry standards. Our premium initiative in this field is CraneSafe – now firmly cemented as the only NATA certified inspection program in the industry. CraneSafe does more than offer a way for crane hirers to comply with statutory obligations surrounding annual inspections.  The web-based system requires assessors to upload photographic evidence to monitor equipment condition and, in the event there is a deficiency, the non-conformance is photographed and logged for improvement. The assessment can then only be completed as being successful once evidence of a repair or improvement is made.

CICA holds a progressive view regarding major inspections as we are in favour of a condition monitoring system rather than the use of ten years as a nominal basis to trigger a major inspection. The improvements in the integrity of CraneSafe have helped us gain support from manufacturers in this area. Building a logged history on the CraneSafe web interface of a machine’s condition means that an accurate assessment of the machine’s future longevity can be evaluated.

The old notion of a ten-year inspection is for mechanical components rather than structural components and the updated CraneSafe assessment demonstrates a historical assessment of rams, ropes, bearings, sheaves (among many others) with photographic evidence of their condition. If a manufacturer still recommends an inspection at a nominal figure of 10 years, a competent person as defined in the standard, is well equipped to use the condition monitoring history through historical CraneSafe reports, complete with photographic evidence, to assess and/or recommend an extension of the cranes working life. Other aids such as data logging also assist the competent person when assessing the history of the machine and grant an extension of its working life.

Data logging, coupled with the strengthened integrity of CraneSafe, have enabled CICA to deliver real benefits to hirers by providing an avenue for more efficient and less costly outcomes at the point a major inspection is required.

It is my hope that our CICA predecessors who had the vision to establish the CraneSafe program are aware of how significant the program is for our association, and that it continues to develop and establish new benchmarks for industry inspections.

On another note, the beginning of 2019 has delivered some pleasing outcomes in some of our key focus areas, being road access; and training and competence.

In NSW, a delegate of CICA representatives and crane owners gained access to a meeting with Hon Melinda Pavey MLA, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight NSW. This was an excellent opportunity to articulate the importance of broader road access for NSW crane hirers. The Liebherr facility in Sydney’s west was the perfect backdrop for our delegation to host the minister and her staff and to reiterate the efficiencies, improvements to road access and curfew changes will deliver for our industry. It is pleasing that CICA has been able to impact government stakeholders to enact change and deliver benefits to our members.

In Victoria, after many years of negotiations and a few false starts, a structured traineeship began on February 13  with eight trainees. This initiative is a joint venture with local crane owners and the CFMEU, with CICA receiving a grant through Incolink to fund a traineeship coordinator. CICA has employed Andy Chambers as the Crane Traineeship Coordinator to facilitate trainees with their two-year traineeship. Over in Western Australia, we have also gained some positive momentum in the traineeship space, which we hope will develop into a positive result in the coming months.

The broader economic outlook seems to be delivering mixed results for industry. We are all keen to see how 2019 progresses; with a federal election potentially delivering a change of government, possible industrial relations amendments and the impact the findings of the Banking Royal Commission will have on the banking sector.

The infrastructure projects in both NSW and Victoria have been well documented and continue to progress. Adelaide and Hobart are both showing reasonable signs of growth, with a greater presence of tower cranes on their respective skylines.  Western Australia is poised for development, while nowhere near to the heights of the mining boom, a more consistent long-term growth strategy in the state is no doubt welcome. Queensland is still performing consistently, providing a comfortable trade environment for hirers.

As I am sure we are all shocked at how quickly we are heading toward 2020, our vision at CICA remains clear; to foster a safe and progressive industry. We will watch with interest as the year unfolds and as the many facets of our industry react to changes in the economy and the potential change to government. Regardless of what happens, our CICA team has firm goals for industry improvement and will continue to press for better outcomes for our members.

Tom Smith

CICA President

Managing Director, McKay United

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