According to the latest Australian Industry Group Performance of Construction Index (see figure 1), our industry continues to expand at historical highs, albeit at a slightly softening rate. There is a confidence by most in our industry as utilisation of equipment continues to remain high. This is further confirmed by the number of new machines entering the CraneSafe program being approximately 40% up year on year across all-terrain and pick and carry cranes.
Housing, Commercial and Engineering segments all continue to see expanding activity, in contrast to apartment building activity which has experienced steady to declining activity over nine of the past ten months, as shown in figure 2.
CICA continues to roll out the launch of our CrewSafe program to industry. CrewSafe is the standardised VOC assessment tool for the Australian crane industry, providing machine-specific, impartial, peer assessment with documented evidence (video) of competency. CICA, as the peak crane industry body, has worked with crane owners, equipment manufacturers, and trainers, nationally and internationally, to develop a standardised assessment. In May, about 20 industry participants from companies such as BHP, Delta Group, Georgiou, McDermotts (formerly CBI), RCR, Rio Tinto, and UGL, attended a live demonstration of what the program entails. A special thank you to Freo Group for allowing CICA to use your new facility for the demonstration. There was some robust discussion and good suggestions for further expansion/improvement. Overall it was clear by all that this is going to be a powerful tool and game changer for our industry. CrewSafe will continue to develop and evolve as more people start using it, but just a reminder, CrewSafe is fully functional/live online now and there are obstacle courses available for hire in every state. So why not be an early adopter and use it as a differentiator for your business – sign up. on www.crewsafe.com.au.
For most of our members located in the Eastern states, road access for cranes is an ongoing and contentious issue. CICA and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) have been working together to improve road access for cranes in South Australia. CICA is pleased to report that the latest outcome of discussions is an increase in the validity of ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ permits for travel within stated areas/routes from one year to three years. This is a timely and welcome change and another example of the way CICA is working collaboratively with road management authorities to decrease the red tape burden. Other topics that are still under discussion in SA are the review of self-registration for new and used cranes and the allowance to tow up to a 12-tonne GVM pup trailer behind cranes.
In NSW, a bridge case study is being reviewed for expansion of a 60-tonne route which, if successful, will allow travel on over 300 new structures. The Rail Infrastructure Management is requesting a study of four- to seven-axle cranes to determine acceleration and deceleration capability to grant access over passive level crossings. For Victoria, CICA is working with VicRoads to allow for the reduction of a second escort when travel is on a dual carriageway structure. The CICA Queensland branch has re-appointed David White (Chalky) to collaborate with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and local government to seek access to the remaining problem areas on the SPV1 network. The access map (figure 3) clearly shows this approach works. CICA’s communications officer, Damien Hense, will be working closely with Chalky to replicate this approach in other states.
Whilst on the topic of Queensland, the Queensland Mobile Crane Code of Practice, which was first released in 2006, is currently under review. If you have any areas that you would like to be reviewed, please don’t hesitate to contact our CICA CEO, Brandon Hitch (0428 228 048).
Lastly a reminder to lock in the 17th – 19th October for this year’s CICA Conference “Raising the Bar” being held in the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. For the first time, we will have a combined crane display with exhibitor booths and the conference speakers all located under roof in the same complex – which means rain, hail or shine we will have a great show. Registrations are now open with early bird closing on 7th August. For further details, jump onto conference.cica.com.au. As always if you have any ideas of how CICA can better help our industry, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
General Manager Terex Australia
0419 384 962