CICA Annual Conference

Venue: Burswood, WA
PCO: Colin McLachlan, ACE Conferences

The Crane Industry Council of Australia holds an annual conference which rotates between the major centres of Australia. It had been five years since it was last in WA and the local organising committee, headed by Steve Lazenby, was determined to make this a good one. And it was. Good program, great facilities and Burswood and, of course, cranes. Lots of ’em!

You can’t really have a crane conference without a crane display and the rear car park of the Burswood had about $50-million dollars worth of huge, high-tech cranes on display for the duration of the conference. Talk about big boy’s toys!

CICA’s President is the affable John Gillespie of Gillespies Cranes in Sydney who has given a lot of services to the organisation. So much so that he was awarded with Life Membership at the conference dinner.

The conference dinner also saw the announcement and presentation of the “Lift of the Year”, an award which honours outstanding “lifts” in each of two categories. Sponsored by Aspermont and presented by CEO Colm O’Brien, Category A (cranes with over 130t lifting capacity) was taken out by John Holland for a mammoth lift of a ship loader with Category B (cranes with lifting capacity up to 130 t) was won by Kellys Crane Hire for a lift on Rex Range Road in Qld.

The conference also featured presentations from the Presidents of sister organisations in the US and NZ. Bill Stramer is President of the quaintly named US outfit, the Specialised Carriers and Rigging Association or SC&RA while in New Zealand, Tristan Williams has recently take over the presidency of Cranes Association of New Zealand or CANZ. Beaut blokes, both of them!

One of the more entertaining presentations came from Stuart Anderson. Stuart is a bit of a legend in the crane industry and gave a very entertaining presentation on the history of the mobile crane. He also has a book out called “Telescopic Boom”  which is his talk (and much more) in print. In the back-announce I described him as being to the world crane industry what Molly Meldrumn is to the Australian music industry!

It was my first time working with the crane industry and I found a group of people who are passionate about their industry and give a lot back in return to make it as professional as is humanly possible.

Next year’s event is on the Gold Coast and Albert Smith is promising a crane display to rival that of Steve Lazenby’s! Let the games commence!

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