New horizon for quarrying

Posted November 3, 2015

Paul Sutton_web

IQA general manager Paul Sutton


The theme of professional development and minimising future shock ran through the recent Institute of Quarrying Australia national conference titled: The infrastructure Boom: Our Industry Building Communities.

CommSec chief economist Craig James identified how infrastructure developers where responding to emerging market demand. He noted the trend toward building apartments. Change.

Keynote speaker, Denis Wagner from Toowoomba-based Wagners described how the family company built Australia’s first privately owned airport in 50 years. Change.

All the state and territory chief inspectors of mines gathered to address an IQA conference for the first time to speak of developments in the regulatory environment. Change.

Suppliers Groundwork Plus urged managers and owners to think of end of life use of quarries at the beginning of operations. Change.

Other speakers described the need to formalise certified status for managers and supervisors. Change.

Change was being embraced if participation in the conference was any indication said IQA general manager Paul Sutton who launched the IQA’s Smart Quarrying Research and Development Project at the conference.

“My sincere thanks to all IQA members who have provided positive feedback and support to the project,” Mr Sutton said.

“I also had the privilege of launching the project on the international stage at this week’s Institute of Quarrying Malaysia Conference in Kuala Lumpur attended by delegates from the Institutes of Quarrying in New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, United Kingdom and Malaysia.

“The project will undertake a futures research approach on predicting where the quarrying industry will be in the next five years, 10 years and 20 years.

“From there the project will identify what professional capabilities, continuous professional development programs and professional certification requirements our quarry professionals will require to achieve professional efficacy: profitable, productive and safe quarries.

“I look forward to liaising and working with our members on the project and now welcome our international colleagues to the table.”

Around 58 per cent of the 421 registrations were members and delegates and 42 per cent were suppliers, Mr Sutton said.

“A high percentage of our delegates are operators, quarry supervisors and quarry managers,” Mr Sutton said.

“The past dictates that things don’t stay the same. The IQA has to respond to that. Our first strategy is addressing what it takes to become a competent manager or supervisor, or a front end loader operator or a dump truck driver for that matter.

“Secondly we are looking at aligning our training programs to ‘fit for future’. The machine operator 20 years ago could only dream of the machines they have now. How do we have the industry prepared for the opportunities and challenges of the coming 20 years?

“What is and isn’t useful? Adopt, adapt, add and subtract. We need to respond now, we need to show initiative and get things underway.”

The QIA’s third strategy was innovation that would include members, suppliers and regulators, Mr Sutton said.

“None of this should be done in isolation,” he said. “Our message is that is be, ‘design to scale’. That is, you may have a great idea but if it’s not designed for those who are going to use it, then it is going to miss.”

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