Australia, CICA

The crane sector will always play a critical role

Throughout the devastating flooding seen by the nation in March and April we saw crane businesses step up and help those in most need. Although our industry continues to face many challenges, we know our capabilities and our self-belief will be important to see us manage the increasing demand on our collective services.

Throughout the last few months, things have been opening up again, restrictions are easing, and life is moving into a post-Covid phase. We’ve since had our Victorian and New South Wales Industry Days, which were of a high standard and well attended. Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, and participants from outside of the crane industry found the days particularly informative.  The regional day in Bathurst went well and branch meetings have also been growing in numbers.  It is great to see more and more members becoming invested and working towards positive outcomes.

Road Vehicle Services Act

Under the former Motor Vehicle Standards Act (MVSA), the crane industry was exempt from complying with the Australian Design Rules (ADR) due to the width of vehicles, steering, and other design features that are unique to cranes and how they operate safely on-site.  The MVSA was superseded by the Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA).

While the MVSA was in desperate need of reform, it was becoming increasingly clear that the complexity and major significant costs of the RVSA’s legislative and regulatory requirements, as well as pandemic-linked workplace and supply chain disruptions causing major delays for businesses, was making the 12-month transition period to full RVSA impossible to meet.  

Without changes, the RVSA would have had marked negative consequences for the crane industry, which was compounded by the fact that neither CICA nor the crane manufacturers were consulted (or invited for consultation) until May 2021, one month prior to implementation of the Act.

CICA lobbied the Department for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development for sufficient extra time to work through the issues and make adjustments to the new RVSA requirements.

A simple amendment to the Road Vehicle Standards (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2018 was passed in Federal Parliament in March to extend the current transitional year by 12 months from current deadline of 30 June 2022 to 30 June 2023. This was an important achievement for our industry and we appreciate the bi-partisan support from both sides of Parliament for this reasonable solution.

Federal Election

At the time of writing, the date of the Federal Election has just been announced, but by the time this report goes to print, the outcome will have been determined.  Regardless of the result, we know that a low interest rate economy reduces government stimulus options and skews it toward spending on infrastructure.  

With the potential of the Russian war in Ukraine spilling into Europe, the growing aspirations of imperialism by China, the prominence of manmade climate change as a key community issue, Covid recovery, and a renewed focus on local manufacturing to reduce international dependency, for example, in areas such as semi-conductor shortages; we know investment in critical infrastructure will be supported by the newly elected federal government.


This issue you’ll see how Lindores Mobile Cranes quickly despatched its Frannas and crew to help with the clean-up of the devastation from the Queensland floods in March. Chantelle Lindores and her crew make me extremely proud to be a part of the crane industry and on behalf of CICA, I thank them for their quick action and willingness to help their community, especially those in need. Our thoughts go out to those in Queensland and New South Wales who were impacted and now face the difficult task of rebuilding.  I also extend this gratitude to all members and volunteers who have pitched in and helped during these unforeseen events. 

Crane Operator Traineeships

Traineeships continue to be a major focus for CICA, as we are acutely aware of the need to replenish our retiring workforce with competent operators.  

Hopefully, by the time you are reading this, the WA traineeship has been given the go-ahead. This has been a long time coming and I thank Anthony Grosser and the WA branch executive for their vision and perseverance.

I would also encourage our experienced folk to consider taking on a trainee, you will be contributing to the next generation of crane operators and the Federal Government trainee rebates are there to assist. We are all where we are because someone was willing to invest in us, at some stage.

HRWL and CrewSafe

The High-Risk Work Licence for Crane Operators is currently undergoing a welcome and necessary review.  As we head towards winter, and the potential downtime due to storms and wind, please consider using this time to have your crew complete CrewSafe assessments. 

This standardised Verification of Competency for the crane industry uses the peer assessment model, which has been found to be the most effective model as: it is not just a ‘tick box’ or ‘teach to the test’ exercise; the people who know the crane best are assessing the operator’s competency, using preloaded assessments and an obstacle course to test knowledge and practical ability; CrewSafe reinforces an internal safety culture and builds a web of accountability within your organisation; you are able to identify knowledge gaps among your team and address them; and assessments can be done during ‘downtime’ on site.

2022 CICA National Conference

The CICA Conference planning is well underway, with Underwriting Agencies of Australia (UAA) as this year’s platinum sponsor. CICA is very appreciative of UAA’s tremendous support. Remember to keep 10–12 November free.

It’s a wrap

And finally, Cranes and Lifting magazine are moving from a bimonthly magazine to a monthly magazine.  The magazine has really grown in size and quality over the last couple of years, a testimony to the hard work of Simon Gould and his team.  So you’ll be seeing more, albeit shorter CICA President updates from now on.

Thank you for your support and interest, stay safe.

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