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National Conference puts a spotlight on precast

National Conference puts a spotlight on precast

Gathering leaders from the precast industry, from manufacturers and suppliers to allied professionals, the National Precast Concrete Association Australia’s Sydney National Conference has emerged as a pivotal event for the sector.

On 1 November 2023, members of the National Precast Concrete Association Australia (National Precast) travelled from far and wide to attend its National Conference in Coogee, New South Wales.

Hosted by National Precast CEO Sarah Bachmann and president Jeff Stratford, the three-day conference commenced with a welcoming reception alongside an exhibition featuring prominent industry players including Leviat, Reid Construction Systems, CONQA, PSA, ConXedge, BOSFA, ECOTONE, PROGRESS GROUP, Barrason’s Engineers, Actech, Peikko, Hagane Systems, APTUS and Bennett Equipment. The exhibition showcased a diverse array of innovative products and solutions for the precast industry, from quality assurance software to structural precast connections.

As the exhibition continued on day two, industry leaders took the stage to share their insights during the official conference, sponsored by Leviat.

Leviat Australia national technical manager Brett King and engineering team leader – Precast Ali Asgari discussed durable and resilient solutions designed to withstand the challenges posed by precast connections, while also reducing the overall cost and complexity of precast construction.

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Fair Work Commission deputy president Peter Hampton shared an update on the implementation of multi-employer bargaining options.

WorkSafe Victoria senior construction advisor James Webster delved into WorkSafe’s ‘Pre-cast Panel Project’, an initiative involving a comprehensive review of six primary hazards within precast businesses in Melbourne: respirable crystalline silica (RCS), cranes and lifting equipment, panel storage, hazardous manual handling, vehicles and traffic management, and panel design and quality assurance.

Daniel Nassar, managing director at Alpha Precast, revealed his strict contracting approach, outlining the strategies he employs to maintain his position, and illustrating the positive impact these measures have had on his business.

Attendees also heard from Fleur Heazlewood, director at The Blueberry Institute, discussing psychological safety; Sarah Hammond, partner at Moray & Agnew, addressing the termination of project contracts; and Matt Press, executive director, Compliance & Dispute Resolution at SafeWork and Fair Trading NSW, sharing perspectives on modernisation opportunities and roadblocks.

Concluding the conference, Stratford, in his position as general manager QLD at Euro Precast, shed light on the company’s adept handling of the challenges involved in manufacturing and installing precast elements for the high-profile Mondrian Gold Coast project. He explored the implications on reinforcement congestion, mould manufacture, drafting considerations, utilisation of form liners, the company’s in-factory and onsite quality assurance procedures, offsite payment processes, audits, inspections and approvals, delivery and installation. Additionally, Stratford highlighted the support from National Precast partnerships that played a crucial role in navigating and overcoming challenges as they emerged.

To cap off day two, attendees enjoyed a networking dinner, sponsored by PSA and PROGRESS GROUP, before embarking on an interactive factory tour of the Metro West Tunnel on day three.

During the dinner, National Precast honoured several members for achieving membership milestones of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. Notably, Rod Mackay Sim was bestowed with Life Membership for his remarkable dedication to the precast industry over the past 40 years.

“Rod’s commitment to the precast industry, in particular his passion for improving safety, has been nothing short of outstanding,” says Bachmann. “We are proud to know Rod and incredibly appreciative to have him involved with National Precast.”

Additionally, Sarah Bachmann was acknowledged for her 20 years of service as the CEO of National Precast. “Sarah’s passion, dedication, sleepless nights and laughter have helped all of us grow and be successful in our respective businesses,” says Stratford. “On behalf of the association and our members, I was so pleased to recognise Sarah’s amazing tenure with a 20-year service award and gift.”

Inside Construction was proud to support and attend the event as an official media partner of National Precast.

National Precast Sydney Conference 2023

Sarah Hammond, partner at Moray & Agnew

Sydney Conference 2023

National Conference 2023

National Conference 2023

National Conference 2023

National Conference 2023

James Webster, senior construction advisor at WorkSafe Victoria .

(Images: National Precast)

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