CSDAA President Jason Franken reports from the Australian market

Published 18/12, 2014

As 2014 draws to a close we look forward to the Christmas break and some time off to share with family and friends. I make special mention of this because of the recent tragedy in Queensland, Australia with the sudden passing of Jarrod Clayton. Jarrod was a respected and valued member of Condrill Services in Queensland, and will be sorely missed by those that grew up and worked with him.

There are very few words that can adequately account for the loss and suffering Jarrod’s parents, Graham and Leanne, sister Bree along with loving wife Leigh are feeling at this time. In support of Leigh who is expecting her first child in the coming months, I ask that we all provide support to ease some of their burden caused by his loss.
The Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association of Australia has set up a contribution fund to accept all donations on behalf of Leigh Clayton to provide financial support in their time of need. I would ask all employers to share this tragic event with their staff and join with us as a collective group to show support and help all those who knew Jarrod get through this difficult time.
To make a donation please go to the CSDAA home page at www.csdaa.com.au and look for the section titled Jarrod Clayton. For those that did not know Jarrod there is a moving tribute that was published in the Gold Coast Bulletin on the 23October 2014. To read more please visit: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/just-18-months-after-turning-off-one-sons-life- support-the-clayton-family-was-forced-to-do-it-again-for-their-27yearold-son-jarred/story- fnj94j0t-1227099148477. Jarrod’s passing was not a work related incident, rather a tragic accident. I think we all need to be reminded at times such as this, that our actions can have consequences.
In a work environment we have choices and make decisions that we sometimes consider routine and repetitive. The CSDAA charter is to represent the industry members without bias or favour, and to promote the greater good for all. A fairly catchy description that I guarantee will draw comment. In reality the CSDAA is struggling to achieve this crescendo, not through lack of resolve, but lack of resources.
The CSDAA has evolved over the years with humble beginnings and good intensions to a full time business with part time employees. This is an unsustainable business model and must be changed, as we are creating conflicts of interest with members and contractors inherited with this business model.
The executive committee meets four times a year with each meeting taking six hours to complete the agenda items. The association manages in excess of $250,000 (EUR166,000) in business revenue and expenses, as a non-profit organisation. This is all managed in a total of 24h actual sitting time with face to face communication. How many employers believe that this time is sufficient to run a business with this volume of turnover? The facts are it isn’t and this is an issue that needs to be addressed not only by the executive, but by all members and contractors that work in the sawing and drilling industry.
The business model I would like to see implemented requires full time employment, five days a week of an independent executive director. This position is independent of the executive committee and has overriding authority over the executive committee. This business model may sound familiar to some in the industry as it is used by the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association in the US with a proven track record.
The issue we face to implement this business model is simply support and funding. It is a catch 22 situation we face based on reluctance and doubt from too many sawing and drilling contractors. Yes we have made mistakes and guess what we will most likely make a few more but these are unintentional and brought about by limitations to manage association business over our own business interests.
In the next eighteen months the new course in concrete sawing and drilling will be in full effect. The increase in administration costs to ensure this training qualification is delivered and recorded to meet the auditing processes is massive and one more issue we need to find a solution for.
On the 28 September 2014 the course in concrete sawing and drilling was accredited by the VRQA and listed on the national training web site at www.training.gov.au to locate the course you will need to type in the course identifier number which is 22281. What you will see is a schedule of modules that make up the overall course. There is no additional information available on the module content at this time as it is still being developed by the course developers.
This course development process involves writing the training and learning materials for nine new modules relevant to the sawing and drilling industry. It is expected that this phase of development will be completed by June 2015. It will then take an additional two months to have the complete course approved and signed off for delivery.
Currently we are in discussions with RTO providers with the ability to deliver RPL assessment Australia wide along with a site facility that can accommodate the actual delivery of the 22281 course.
In closing I guess we have well and truly passed the point of no return as we strive to deliver a qualification standard unique to our industry. I encourage all contractors to look at the big picture here and assess the overall benefits this training will deliver in the years to come. We need your support to make the changes necessary to make the association more transparent. If you are not happy with what is going on within the CSDAA become a member and make the changes happen. Strength in numbers will see this done.

Jason Franken
President CSDAA, Australia

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