Changing face of Quarries in Victoria

By on October 16, 2019

GAVIN MOREIRA, Members Services Manager of the CMPA provides an insight into the changing face of Quarries in Victoria.

As the CMPA celebrates 20 years supporting the Extractive Industry in Victoria there is an ever changing face within our quarries. The demand and supply for construction materials today has never been greater; so too is the demand to generate interest in our younger generation and to give opportunities to those wanting to become quarry men and women.

The roles involved on a quarry site are varied depending on the type of operation (hard or soft rock, sand or recycling) and the size of the business. The Secretariat has recently approached three different members to gain an insight into how the new generation became involved in working for a quarry.

Plant Operators

DE Quarry Solutions in Central Victoria are involved with supplying material to the Stockyard Hill Windfarm project at present. The last twelve months has seen them employ four new operators to their Skipton Quarry all of whom have provided a valuable resource to their workforce.

Lacey, currently a Dump Truck Driver always wanted to work in the industry. She had no previous experience prior to her current role. She enjoys the variety of the job and the different challenges that are presented every day. Apart from driving the dump truck she is involved with loaders, excavators and maintenance of the mobile crushers.

Lacey

Tony also a Dump Truck Driver applied for the role suggested to him by a friend. He saw the prospects at the quarry in the area with the increased work with the wind farms. He made himself more employable by getting his Heavy Rigid, Excavation Operations, Wheeled Front End Loader operations tickets and the Construction Induction white card. He is also involved with the maintenance and repairs of the crushing plant and enjoys working in close proximity to home, the great team environment and the supportive and flexible management team.

Tony

Lenny had just finished high school when the Loader Operator job was advertised, what an opportunity to work close to home and to learn something completely new. His role is currently in sales, loading trucks that come in through the gate.

Lenny

Paul was looking for a career change when he applied for the operator role at the quarry. He had no prior experience, but the last twelve months has seen him trained in driving the loader, excavator and dump truck. He loves the variety and opportunities that come up every day.

Paul

Administration

Conundrum Holdings a passionate family-run quarry business shaped by four generations in the industry and has three quarries in Epping, Stawell and McKenzie Creek as well as a concrete plant in Horsham. Its Head Office is based in Kilmore where Grace Hill is currently the Trainee Administration and Personnel Manager. She began as a Trainee Administration Officer and also spent some time as a Trainee Weighbridge Officer. Her current position involves various accounts payable, administration and personnel duties.

She started at Conundrum Holdings fresh out of high school with minimal work experience and no quarrying experience. She has since had the opportunity to gain skills and experience through internal and external training in an office environment and the extractive industry.

With Conundrum Holdings, she has completed her Certificate III in Business Administration, Work Safely and follow WHS Policies and Procedures and Apply Risk Management certified units and multiple short courses.

Grace Hill

“I enjoy the working environment at Conundrum Holdings, from the people to the capital. I am continuously learning and am surrounded by a safety conscious, approachable and supportive team. Due to this, I now understand and appreciate the importance of an industry I had no prior knowledge of.”

Weighbridge

Peninsula Quarries, the new guys on the block, are located in Somerville providing sand and clay based products to the South East Region of Melbourne.

Gemma Johns Weighbridge Operator/ Administration Assistant has been working for the quarry for a year and a half. Prior to starting at the quarry; she came from a Human Resources background, so had no real knowledge of the industry. She has always enjoyed hands on work and is very keen to learn all about the extractive industry.

Since starting at the quarry, she has been trained in weighbridge operation, MYOB accounting software, has completed her first aid and has obtained her articulated haul truck competency. She hopes to gain as much experience as possible to then become a full time machine operator.

She has been exposed to new opportunities from learning how important the weighbridge responsibility is all the way to being taught how to use machines.

Gemma Johns

“I enjoy that every day is different, I am always learning and being given new challenges to excel my skills and I’m always being given opportunities to give new things a go.”

Quarry Operations

Jo Murray a recently appointed Operations Manager has brought extensive experience and knowledge to Peninsula Quarries. Having started on the other side of the fence, so to speak working with Beltreco Pty Ltd a supplier of conveyor belts and rubber liners to having a family and then landing a dream job at Pioneer – Harkaway Quarry for a two week casual contract.

“I prayed that the onsite manager would agree with my placement as I was instantly in love with the quarry, the machinery movement and the fact that I could put my previous knowledge and experience into practice not to mention continue the learning process.”

Moving on from Administration, she progressed through Weighbridge Operation to Southern Region Trainer/Assessor to Risk Co-Ordinator.

Needless to say, the two week role lasted 15 years, when she left Hanson (formally Pioneer) to pursue other opportunities and challenges.

One of the key roles Jo undertook at Metro Quarry Group was as a mentor for a young quarry employee undertaking a Heavy Machinery Mechanical Apprenticeship – assisting her to gain knowledge of Safety Management Systems along with ensuring that she kept up to date with schoolwork and other items relating to her role.

Being new to clay will be the challenge so too will be undertaking the Diploma in Surface Extraction along with Diploma of Workplace Health and Safety – both which she hopes to commence soon.

Peninsula Quarries joined the CMPA in 2017 and Jo has played an integral role ensuring they attend as many CMPA workshops as they can and take full advantage of the education and networking opportunities that the association has to offer.

Jo Murray and the new loader

About Gavin Moreira

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