Arbor Age

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2018 VTCC At Goulburn Park

We started planning for the 2018 VTCC at Goulburn Park six months before we ran the 2017 event at Yarra Bend, and in all that time we hoped it would turn into something fairly special.

With 75 competitors being helped out by more than 50 volunteers, not to mention the dozen ormore Seymour Venturer’s cooking for us all day, we think we may just have run the most successful 2017 Tree Chimbing Championships ever.

On the banks of the Goulburn River, south of the centre of Seymour, Goulburn Park is home to many stately Red Gumsand assortment of native and exotic trees, not to mention a few bees, as Matt Benn TreeJay extraordinaire found out half-way through setting up.

With so many competitors we ran nine different stations, and in hindsight should have made it ten. The pick of them was the Red Gum right on the bank of the river that was used for the Master’s Work Climb, which later transitioned into the Masters’ Challenge. Given the temperature of the day sat mid-30s, the best place to be was under the Oak used for the Open Aerial Rescue.

We’re getting a little bit better at planning these events and the great work of Karl Morrow, from Melbourne Polytechnic, saw us with a list of nearly 50 volunteers a few weeks out from the event. With past Victorian and National Competition winners

“Terry Boston and Sam Hardingham gave our boys a run for their money and they’ll all be better at next year’s Nationals for the run.”

Grant Cody and Pat Kenyon living locally we relied on their assistance to identify the right trees for the competition and get them ready for the event. They were helped out by Mitchell Shire who also made getting all the permits and paperwork completed really easy.

Setting up the day before were Grant and Pat, with VTIO committee members, Will Rheese and the guys from Smith’s Tree Services along with a bunch of really great people chipping in to get the event stations ready.

At this stage we were comfortable we would have more than 60 competitors and may crack 65 once I got the last update from the online registration system. I’d been trying to reach the 60-competitor milestone since we ran with 58 in Bendigo a few years ago. By the time we finished the paperwork in the early hours of Saturday morning, we had more than 70. By the time competitors had finished signing in Saturday morning, that number hit 75 and, for the first timein my 10 years of being involved in the competitions, I was going home without a big bag of unused shirts.

The volunteers made the day happen and we started the day with all the competitors thanking the judges, technicians, scorers and behind-the-scene people that had decided to give some of their time to the tree industry that has been so good to them over the years. Without these people we would not have an event, but the event would not happen without all of our sponsors.

Cannings/ATREAS have been a major contributor to VTIO for longer than my involvement and I can’t begin to imaging what a competition would be like without them. Energy Safe Victoria has become a significant contributor to the success of VTIO and they were there to spread the word about the importance of working safely around electrical installations. If you’re ever unsure about working near powerlines, don’t do it! Contact your State body or the distribution business in charge of maintaining the assets. It’s not worth the risk.

I’d like to thank all of the interstate competitors – we had representatives from every state and territory bar Western Australia; we’re looking to go one better next year! Terry Boston and Sam Hardingham gave our boys a run for their money and they’ll all be better at next year’s Nationals for the run.

Maja Blasch was in fine form on the day and had the wood on our Bec Barnes. In hindsight I think Bec was saving herself for the NSWArb Comp the following week, where she came home with the chocolates. Well, done Bec and the NSWArb, it looked like a great day and I can’t wait to steal some of those ideas for ArborCamp 2019.

There’re always things going wrong with an event of this size and, lucky for me, they are usually invisible to participants and audience alike. This year we had a significant issue with the scores which became apparent toward the end of the day. The next day I realised that many of the results we announced were wrong and completed a full audit of the scores.

The top three place-getters in the Men’s Masters remained the same, so we breathed a big sigh of relief knowing that Barton wining his sixth consecutive VTCC is undisputed. Well done on a run that is unlikely to be challenged any time soon Barton, you’ve been a great champion that has done much to improve the level of competitors coming out of Victoria; thank you.

Our worst-case scenario was realised in both the Men’s Open and Student grades when the audit showed we had handed out the Overall awards to the wrong people. On notifying Nicholas Bond (Open) and Asher Wedding (Student) of the mix-up, they both took the news with great grace and where genuinely happy that Joshua Kidman and Jake Nyhouse were correctly identifiedas the winners overall of the Open and Student grades. I continue to be impressed by the grace shown by our competitors and should stop being surprised by it as it happens so often.

VTIO is committed to promoting safe work place practices and improving the skill sets of all tree workers; these are our core issues. Recently we have focused on gender equity imbalances in the tree industry and promoting the awareness of men’s physical and mental well-being.

I’m both sad and glad to say this year we handed perpetual shield to the winner of the Women’s Masters for the first time ever; glad because Rebecca Barnes thoroughly deserves to be awarded the honour and sad that Kiah Martin, Jess Knott and Julia Chilcott never received the acknowledgement they deserved. I’m sorry we didn’t have this in place many years ago.

Holding the competition in ‘Movember’ each year helps us raise awareness of men’s mental health. The great Beaver Kindred has, with the help of some industry contacts, initiated the Tim Broadbent Memorial award. Tim put a lot of effort into helping develop young climbers and assist those new to the industry. This award is a fitting way to remember Tim and remind us all that we should always think about being there for those in need. The award is presented to a participant in the Student Grade that shows commitment and perseverance; it’s a difficult prize to award when there are so many dedicated students taking part in the day. The inaugural winner, Samantha McConnell, was a worthy recipient.

Words | Shane Hall, Vtio President

For more information visit VTIO –

February 15, 2019 / by / in
QAA News

QAA – actively representing and promoting the development of professional arboricultural standards; the lead industry body supporting the tree care profession in Queensland and Northern NSW since 1992.

2018 QTCC

So many people to thank! Everyone who assisted in the organising, preparation and successful execution of the 2018 QTCC. A big thank you to the QAA’s valued sponsors who ensured the success of this competition; judges, result scribes and competitors! Where to start?

Suffice to say, there are many photos and a lot of excited chatter about QTCC 2018 on QAA’s Facebook page including detail of our many competition place getters, wonderful sponsors and companies and individuals who graciously donated their time.

QAA’s legendary pinnacle climbing event, held in the grounds of the Sunshine Coast Motor Cycle Club over two days, October 6 and 7, 2018 was featured on Chanel 7 Nightly News via 7 News: Sunshine Coast and QAA’s executive team received plaudits from attendees, competitors and crowd members…..“sensational” … “great organisation” …“amazing prizes and competition” … “just keeps getting better each year”… “ best ever comp!” Congratulations to all competitors –your skill and agility are simply amazing.

Congratulations to all climbers including Jess Hamer, Female Competition Winner and Jamie Boston, Overall Points Champion and Master’s Champion.

Our scoring team worked exceedingly hard behind the scenes to catalogue all results! Competition was fierce. Our top three finalists received paid entry to the 2019 Australian National Tree Climbing Championship (ATCC). While climbers who placed in the top five were given the option to register for the 2019 Asia Pacific Tree Climbing Championships (APTCC).

Jamie Boston was the reigning champion of the weekend. Not only did he take out Master’s champion; winning a Husqvarna T536Li XP® chainsaw, he also won most total points. STIHL sponsored this prize with a MS 462 C-M chainsaw.

Congratulations to our other Masters’ podium winners: in 2nd place Josh Cole and in 3rd place Bryce Wilson.

QTCC Category winners were:

Rookie Category:

  • 1st Darcy Stephens
  • 2nd Hamish Clapham


  • 1st Jamie Boston
  • 2nd Bryce Wilson
  • 3rd Josh Cole

Work Climb:

  • 1st Darcy Olsen
  • 2nd Nick Sanderson
  • 3rd Jamie Boston

Ariel Rescue:

  • 1st Josh Cole
  • 2nd Jamie Boston
  • 3rd Jacob Cubis

Ascent Event:

  • 1st Jamie Boston
  • 2nd Josh Cole
  • 3rd Seb Bainbridge

Speed Climb:

  • 1st Josh Cole
  • 2nd Nick Sanderson
  • 3rd Brett Hamlin

Special award winners included:

  • VTIO Spirit of The Competition- Nick Sanderson; and
  • Special Award for Effort and Style- Tony Atkinhead.

QAA would like to thank all parties involved in the preparation, set-up, running and pack down of the 2018 QTCC. We would not be able to deliver the event without your support and we are extremely grateful. We hope to see you all again next year at the 2019 QTCC.

“Competition was fierce. Our top three finalists received paid entry to the 2019 Australian National Tree Climbing Championship (ATCC).”

2018 AGM

Elections for 2018-2019 QAA Executive Committee Members was held at QAA Cleveland Headquarters on October 23, 2018. QAA President, Roger Rankine; delivered the annual President’s Report which detailed the financials and activities of the Association for the past financial year. Mr Rankine thanked his fellow Executive Committee Members for their dedication and hard work over the year.

A special thanks was extended to the QAA’s administrative support team. Including: Paul Javé our Technical Officer for organising multiple workshops for the benefit of our members. As well as QAA’s Administration and Member Support Team; Jessica Jennings, Rebecca Dalton and Rebecca Tatum. Special mention to Rebecca Dalton who has continued to offer administrative support during her maternity leave. The administration team has been responsible for developing sponsorship, generating workshops and facilitating connections between qualified arborists and their prospective clients.

For more information regarding the elected 2018-19 Executive Committee, other AGM news and upcoming training and development opportunities please visit QAA’s Facebook page and our website On behalf of the QAA staff and Executive Committee we would like to say, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Enjoy your break and don’t work too hard! As always stay safe and cool in the upcoming Australian summer. QAA Executive Committee 2018

February 13, 2019 / by / in
Are You Covered?

Many Australians, especially those who own businesses, discover they don’t have the cover they need in the worst possible circumstances.

Insurance is one of those subjects that many people glaze over. So, just to test how knowledgeable you are about this important but unsexy topic, see how many of the following questions you can answer.

  • What type of insurance can provide cover if a natural disaster results in my business having to shut down for a period of time?
  • What type of insurance can provide cover if a client takes legal action against me?
  • What type of insurance can provide a payout to cover costs relating to everything from a broken window to a tax audit to a light-fingered employee?
  • What type of insurance is legally required if you employ staff? What is the penalty for failing to take out this insurance?


  • Business interruption insurance
  • Professional Indemnity insurance
  • Business insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • It varies from state to state but you’ll typically be at risk of jail time if an employee has been injured (or worse) NSW imposes a ‘double avoided penalty’ equivalent to double the amount you should have paid in workers’ compensation premiums

If you failed to get all (or any) of the answers right, you can take solace in being a typical Aussie. One in ten businesses don’t take out Business Insurance cover.

Australia is one of the most under insured nations in the developed world (under insurance is when an individual or business has no or inadequate insurance to cover their legal liabilities, or the cost of loss or damage to their assets).

There are two under insurance traps – not having any insurance at all and not having sufficient insurance. The perils of the first are self-evident. Many business owners only find out about the downsides of the second after they try to make a claim.

It is natural for any business to try and save money, and it is important to ensure you are not paying for things you are not covered. But it is more important to have the right cover and not just take the first policy you are quoted or see. Ask questions, challenge the insurer or broker and ask about what you want to know or what you want covered.

A number of under insurance claims come from clients who buy online without consultation with an insurance professional. Whilst some of these policies are good and can save you time, you need to ensure you are buying a policy that is right for you, and not just to save a few dollars, because in the end those dollars that you thought you have saved, may end up costing you your business.

Talking to your broker or insurer is also important to ensure you have the right cover. What was covered and relevant five years ago, may not be the same today. Particularly if your business has changed or grown, or you have employees doing different things. All is relevant to your insurance policy and ensuring you are not under insured.

Insurance has also changed significantly in the last few years and cover you thought you had may have changed, or their may be better policies out there for you or for your business.

How A Broker Can Help

The good news is that it’s possible to arrange the appropriate cover for your business without devoting countless hours to learning about the finer points of insurance. You can outsource the task to an expert who deals with business like yours on a daily basis. They can tailor a competitively priced policy to protect against the major risks your business faces.

For any questions or more information please contact Mick Le Grand, Director of Programs, at Fitzpatrick & Co. Insurance Brokers – [email protected] or call (3) 8544 1634. Fitzpatrick are Horticulture and Arborculture specialists who have been supporting these industries for over 20 years.

February 11, 2019 / by / in
The Next Journey – Avant Equipment Australia

Avant Equipment Australia is pleased to announce the opening of two brand new offices in Melbourne, Victoria and Brisbane, Queensland.

The past year has seen increased product demand for the quality and European built Avant Loadersand attachments across every state in Australia.

In particular, the Avant loaders have been especially popular within the key industries of Tree Lopping and Beekeeping. These fields enjoy the versatility and efficiency of the Avant loaders especially the ability to easily transport the loader across the tray of the truck. The efficiency and wide range of applications of the Avant Loaders, in addition to the comprehensive range of attachments has widely contributed to the success of Avant in Australia.

“We’re happy to launch the next journey of Avant Equipment Australia. We’ve seen good growth and a lot of interest from customers across the country. Whereas before we were mainly concentrated out of New South Wales, we’ve now seen a lot of growth in Victoria and Queensland. This was the logical next step to ensure we’re offering the best and quickest customer service Australia wide. Hopefully in a few years we will have offices in South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia as well,” says Steve Gage, Director.

For all enquiries please contact Avant Equipment Australia’s Head office at 1800 686 411, email [email protected] or visit or

February 8, 2019 / by / in
The 21-Day Challenge

Think right now about what you put into your body today.

Maybe you started with a pie for breakfast at the local servo, a coffee or a V to get you going, some Panadol at morning tea with a coke, a burger and chips for lunch, a donut and chocolate milk in the afternoon and finished with Macca’s for dinner.

Now I’m not going to sit here and shake my finger at you like your mum and tell you those things are bad for you and that you should never have them again. That’s a negative goal and working from a negative goal will not create any kind of permanent, positive change in your life. In fact, I don’t want you to give up anything – unless of course you willingly want to! What I want to suggest is that if you want to increase your energy levels, improve your quality of sleep, increase your body’s ability to function and cope with stress, decrease inflammatory processes in your body and be playing at your best in life, you’ve got to start adding sufficiency.

Sufficiency involves providing your cells with what they need to express health which may also help to negate many of the less healthy choices you are making.

If you want to be stronger, faster and more efficient, then give this a go. I’m inspiring you to a 21-day challenge. Get your workmates and friends involved and start adding sufficiency where deficiency and toxicity exist to counteract the negative effects of things like that high sugar, full-of-chemicals donut, or the stressful or poor postural position you’ve worked in for the last eight hours.

So to add sufficiency, I’d suggest having a bottle of water before and after your coffee. Walk instead of sitting when talking on your mobile. Have an apple before or after your pie. An apple eaten with a pie is so much healthier than just eating your pie. Your cravings will naturally start to change and your body will start to change the way it operates and you will see what giving your body the fuel it deserves actually feels like. If you’re still having challenges with a food that you’re wanting to shift away from, however it’s one of your favorites, then sit in front of a mirror naked eating that food and it will change the way you think about it!

It comes down to how seriously you take your health. Without your health you have nothing. Without health, work stops, play stops, enjoying your family stops. So now is the time! You have control over what level of health you are expressing and why would you want anything less for yourself, your coworkers and your family? It comes down to what are you willing to do and below are three suggestions for your 21 day challenge:

  1. Fresh fiber first: before every meal or snack ADD something fresh where possible so, a piece of fruit or stick of vegetable would be ideal. Pick your favourite, seasonal ones
  2. Fresh water first: before and after every drink, have a large glass of water and aim to look at getting two litres per day
  3. Get your golden hours of sleep: your body does all its healing and repair during your REM sleep which is between 10pm and 2am. If you are missing out on any of these hours then you are robbing your body of repair time and will likely feel in a constant state of jet lag.

I’m challenging you to do these three things for the next 21 days and at the end of those three weeks, I guarantee you will notice a huge change in what you are feeling, how you’re performing and how much more you want to play in this game of life.

If you want more information on how to get the most out of life contact the Chiropractic Central at (02) 9418 9031 or on [email protected]

February 6, 2019 / by / in
TTIA News – Casual Employment Under Threat

Employers in the timber contracting industry may be aware of the legal drama currently being played out with respect to casual employment. It is hard to avoid the issue as it has been in the media and its ramifications are significant for business in this country.

In a recent Federal court case, WorkPac v Skene, labour hire firm, WorkPac, found itself at the centre of a nationally significant court ruling that certain casual employees should not be deemed casual and, as such, deserve to be paid accrued leave entitlements in line with permanent employees. The case was brought to the Federal Court by the CFMEU representing the employee. This is despite the fact that the employee, in this case, was paid a casual loading to compensate for annual leave and other entitlements. Based on long standing industrial cases, it really does defy logic and create a potential nightmare particularly for small and medium size business.

In latest developments and after considerable pressure, the Federal government will become a party to federal court proceedings testing whether casual workers have the right to “double-dip” on entitlements by being granted leave accrual as well as a casual loading.

In the WorkPac v Skene case, the Federal Court held that the term ‘casual employee’ in the Fair Work Act has no precise meaning and whether any employee is a casual for the purposes of the Act depends upon the specific set of circumstances. The Court found that Skene had predictable hours set 12 months in advance and that both sides made a firm advance commitment to the duration of his employment and hours of work.

The very widespread and longstanding practice across virtually all industries is that an employee is a casual if they are engaged and paid as such. It is common for casuals to work on a regular and systematic basis for extended periods. These essentially are long term casuals and it offers flexibility to both the business and the employee.

The employment of casuals plays a vital role in Australia’s labour market, including the timber contracting industry. A loss in flexibility in this area would destroy competitiveness and jobs. One in every five Australian workers is a casual employee, with more than 80 per cent of casual employees working for small and medium businesses with fewer than 100 staff members.

The government and employers are rightly concerned that the legal right to offset an obligation against payments already made for the same entitlements was not confirmed in the WorkPac v Skene case.

The decision by the Federal Court up ends the long established industrial precedent and norm that a casual is an employee who is engaged and paid as such receiving a loading (25 per cent) to compensate for most award entitlements.

If this decision is not clarified or amended, the legal system has made it very difficult for an employer to employ a casual without the potential for future claims by the employee for entitlements even though the employer rightly believes they have already been paid an inflated higher hourly rate of pay as compensation.

Employers should review their existing contracts to ensure it is clear a casual loading is being paid and the employee has signed and aware they are under a casual contract of employment. It should be made clear preferably in monetary terms the amount of the hourly rate that is payment for annual leave, personal leave (sick leave) and public holidays.

If there is litigation at some point in the future, the payment of a casual loading may be able to be offset against annual leave and other entitlements where it is clear a specific amount or percentage is attributable to the payment of those entitlements.

Casual Conversion

As if to make matters more difficult at present surrounding the employment of casual employees, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has handed down a decision which is operative from October 1, 2018. This decision, dependant on relevant award, requires employers to offer a casual employee the opportunity to convert to full-time or part-time employment after 12 months regular and systematic employment.

The employer is required to notify relevant employees of their right to convert to full or part-time work by giving the employee a copy of the casual conversion subclause from the relevant award within the first 12 months of casual employment. Existing casual employees need to receive a copy of the conversion subclause within three months of October 1, 2018. For instance, employees covered by the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010 who were already employed as at October 1, 2018, must be provided with a copy of the subclause by January 1, 2019.

It is clear that some casual employees may prefer to remain in their existing arrangements and retain their 25 per cent loading. In these instances, it is crucial tree contractors record in writing the employees desire to remain casual and keep such record with the employee’s time and wage records.

Finally, an employer may refuse an employee request to convert to full time employment on reasonable grounds. Tree contactors should contact TTIA regarding these grounds as they will need to be put in writing to the employee. Employers will also need to be aware of the relevant provisions of specific industrial awards that apply to them as well as ensuring casual employees have a copy of the casual conversion clause.

TTIA will keep The Australian Abor Age magazine readers informed on any ruling by the Federal Court in relation to the “casual double dipping” on the entitlements case as outlined in the Skene decision above. In relation to the casual conversion issues, I strongly suggest you seek advice from TTIA if you are a tree contractor member.

If you are not a member of TTIA, seriously consider joining as employers need to take specific steps to review their current employment arrangements with casual employees or risk potentially difficult legal consequences.

Words| Brian Beecroft, TTIA CEO

If you have any queries about the operation of casual employment at your workplace, contact Brian Beecroft on (02) 9264 0011.

Brian Beecroft

Chief Executive Officer

February 4, 2019 / by / in
It’s Time – Words| LEN McKeown

Business is rapidly changing every day in Arboriculture. With new equipment, new ideas and greater knowledge our industry continues to grow and develop.

Having some adaptability is needed if, as business owners, we are to keep up with the pace of change. Depending on the size of the business, the owner takes on more tasks and the need to delegate more to staff increases. If your company continues to grow, your time becomes more precious and the pressure to hire more staff and improve your processes becomes critical for your success.

As a business owner myself I have been through and still continue to go through daily changes. I knew that I could do better and the need to develop the TreeHQ software became apparent. I found someone capable to work with and who could turn my ideas into a reality that would be worthwhile to my business, but also other arborists and their businesses.

Each step and component of TreeHQ was created as I thought about the need in our business and the benefit this could have for myself and others. TreeHQ has filled a void in my business and I am glad that I started the journey of its creation.

When I think about why I created TreeHQ and why it is needed the answer remains unchanged. As business evolves the need for TreeHQ remains the same. This system gives me the flexibility to grow with my company.

Ask yourself why improve your business systems, why look to improve things?

TreeHQ gives you the ability to create more time in your business, it allows you to have better communication with staff and clients, creates a database, invoices and tracks workflow. It has Google map integration and the ability to insert new quotes or inquiries on the spot.

It has changed my business personally through the ability to have video as a way of informing my staff what to do and capture visually and audibly the words of the client. This can remove the ambiguity of ‘he said, she said’ and to capture any previous damage on a site.

All this can be operated from your smart devices by you or your staff. Your workflows are literally in the palm of your hand making your job easier.

TreeHQ has become much more than software that runs my business. It’s become a way to give something back to an industry I love and enjoy. The ability to help others improve their businesses excites me. We are a team of people invested in better business practice for an industry which we are all a part of. I am hoping you will see a worthwhile investment for your business. So please give us a call, and we will do whatever is needed to help you in the transition on a better way of doing things using TreeHQ.

For a limited time, we are offering to build clients a free website. Please note terms and conditions apply.

For more details contact our office at 1300 106 033, send an email at [email protected] or visit

February 1, 2019 / by / in , ,
Be Sun Smart

Encouraging Australians to protect their skin is an ongoing challenge.

Australians could be unknowingly increasing their skin cancer risk, with new data released by Cancer Council earlier this year showing that 40 per cent of Australians are still confused about which weather factors cause sunburn. The study also shows that fewer than one in 10 Australians understand that sun protection is required when UV levels are three or above.

The Australian Skin and Skin Cancer Centre gathers every year to discusss trategies to improve Australians’ use of sun protection.

Heather Walker, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s National Skin Cancer Committee said the latest National Sun Protection Survey results showed a clear gap in Australians’ knowledge.

In summer 2016-17, 24 per cent of Australian adults surveyed incorrectly believed that sunburn risk was related to temperature, while 23 per cent incorrectly cited conditions such as cloud cover, wind or humidity.

“It’s important for us to reinforce the message that it’s Ultraviolet Radiation that is the major cause of skin cancer – and that UV can’t be seen or felt. It’s a particularly important message this time of year as we head into Christmas break. In Autumn, temperatures in some parts of the country are cooling, but UV levels right across Australia are still high enough to cause serious sunburn and the skin damage that leads to cancer.”

Professor David Whiteman, convenor of the Sunscreen Summit and head of the Cancer Control group at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, said that despite years of public education, encouraging Australians to protect their skin was an ongoing challenge.

“These findings show that very few Australians know when to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays,” he said.

“This is clearly a concern as it’s likely that Australians are relying on other factors, like the temperature or clouds, to determine when they need to slip, slop, slap, seek shade and slide on sunglasses.

“There is overwhelming evidence that, if used correctly, sunscreen prevents skin cancer – yet at the moment many Australians don’t even really understand when it’s required, and many are neglecting to use it altogether. We also know from previous research that 85 per cent of Australians don’t apply it correctly.”

Cancer Council’s SunSmart app provides local UV alerts and sun protection times and can be downloaded free on the App Store or Google Play.

When UV levels are three or above, Cancer Council recommends:

  • Slip on protective clothing
  • Slop on SPF30 or higher, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen
  • Slap on a broadbrim hat
  • Seek shade
  • Slide on sunglasses

The Australian Skin and Skin Cancer Research Centre is a joint collaboration of The University of Queensland and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

For more information visit call 13 11 20

January 30, 2019 / by / in
Power And Precision

Prepare for fire season with exceptional Skid Steer attachments for vegetational control and post-job clean up. Made in Australia for tough Australian conditions.

Skid Steer Slasher

Introducing Himac’s Heavy Duty Skid Steer Slasher with a new, improved design and even more value packed in. Harness the efficiency and power of this Skid Steer Slasher for slashing grass, creating fire breaks, clearing fence lines, trimming small trees before a stump removal along with other vegetation control and general landscaping duties.

This skid steer slasher features front and rear safety chains and a reinforced slasher deck, so you can work confidently knowing that this attachment will not put you at any unnecessary risk of causing harm on the job.

Features include:

  • Heavy duty 2 BLADE (3” diam cutting capacity) or Extreme duty 4 BLADE carrier (4”diam cutting capacity)
  • Reinforced 6mm thick slasher deck
  • Run down clutch protection
  • Safety chains fitted
  • Complies with Australian safety standards
  • High speed hydraulics
  • Includes hoses and couplings

Skid Steer Push Rake

The Push Stick Rake from Himac Attachments gives you amazing vegetation control with its heavy duty build and side wings. This unique skid steer attachment makes incredibly short work of clearing land, fence lines, debris and other vegetation. The spacing between its tynes provides excellent sifting to minimise waste and maximise productivity.

Designed and constructed here in Australia for harsh Australian conditions using only strong, high quality materials, you can be confident throwing your skid steer’s power behind this stick rake through challenging vegetation time and time again. If you’re thinking tough, you’re thinking Himac!

  • Robust construction with side wings
  • Ideal for clearing vegetation, fence lines… etc
  • High grade steel tynes
  • 155mm spacing between tynes, 900mm height
  • Rear tyne stabilisers for support when standing
  • Tynes feature curved front

Skid Steer Tree / Vine Puller

The Skid Steer Tree Puller will grab hold of small trees then pull up and out completely – roots and all! Simply grip and rip in a fast and effective clamping motion. Right from within the skid steer cab, you can clear large areas efficiently, or sneak in for more selective removal of saplings and other vegetation. Within a minute, this attachment easily locks onto your skid steer with no worries.

  • High grade steel frame construction
  • Cross over relief to protect over-pressurising
  • Fast and powerful hydraulic clamping
  • Pull out trees up to 4” diameter
  • Flexible hose support – protection within frame
  • Spring mounted strain relief hose holder
  • Non-slip strips for safe enter / exit of skid steer

Skid Steer Brush Grapple

Grapple onto scrub, unwanted vegetation, fallen branches, logs and more with power and precision that you only get with Himac Attachments’ Skid Steer Brush Root Grapple. With greasable pivot points as well as heavy duty and extreme duty models available, there isn’t a clean-up too messy or too heavy for this Brush Root Grapple attachment.

  • The design, with tynes angled up at front edge, allows a larger volume to be picked up by reaching over the debris piles without the front edge digging in and disturbing the ground
  • Greasable pivot points
  • Cylinder covers on heavy duty and extreme
  • Dual independent grapples

For the very best in machinery attachments for vegetation control and clean up after the job, contact the friendly team at Himac on 1800 888 114 or browse their product range online at

January 28, 2019 / by / in
Have Your Say – Words By Skills Impact

A review of the arboriculture training units is under way. Skills Impact invites you to provide your feedback.

Arboriculture qualifications and units of competency will be updated to reflect current practice, as part of a new project that also aims to remove significant barriers to training and assessment.

Arborists are on the National Skills Needs List and with falling training enrolment numbers, employers are facing severe challenges in attracting skilled staff. Some of the current qualifications have been identified as having structural barriers to entry. Some of the current units contain prerequisites and content which make them exceptionally difficult to deliver.

Six arboriculture qualifications and 42 units from the AHC Agriculture, Horticulture and Conservation and Land Management Training Package will be reviewed.

Skills Impact invites you to provide your feedback on the existing qualifications and units, which can be viewed on the project webpage: arboriculture-project.

Register your interest and ensure that you select Agriculture, Horticulture, Conservation & Land Management. You will also be notified when Skills Impact conduct public forums in your state.

The qualifications and units need to reflect real work experience. So if you work in the sector, Skills Impact would appreciate your input and help. They will keep you informed of project updates and consultation opportunities the project webpage.

The project is well under way but your feedback is welcomed at any time. Please feel free to contact the project manager, Tom Vassallo on (03) 9321 3526 or [email protected].


September – October 2018

Initial scoping – Complete

October – November 2018

Development of draft qualifications, skill sets and units

October – November 2018

Drafts available for broader consultation

February – March 2019

Validation of final drafts

April 2019

Finalisation of Training Package components

May – June 2019

Independent Quality Assurance, and Edit and Equity review of Training Package components

June 2019

IRC consideration for sign-off and submission for endorsement

Qualification And Units

Below is a list of current qualifications and units proposed for revision as part of this project. In preparation for the review of these components, we invite you to provide your input on the current qualifications and units. We would like to know what changes or updates should be made to the components so that they meet the skills needs of the industry.

Qualifications that will be reviewed as part of this project include:

  • AHC20516 Certificate II in Arboriculture
  • AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture
  • AHC41916 Certificate IV in Arboriculture
  • AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture
  • AHC60516 Advanced Diploma of Arboriculture
  • AHC80116 Graduate Diploma of Arboriculture
  • Units that will be reviewed as part of this project include:
  • AHCARB201 Apply a range of treatments to trees
  • AHCARB206 Operate and maintain stump grinding machines
  • AHCARB207 Perform ground based rigging
  • AHCARB208 Recognise trees
  • AHCARB209 Assist with aerial rescue from the ground
  • AHCARB210 Work effectively in the arboriculture industry
  • AHCARB301 Implement a tree maintenance program
  • AHCARB302 Inspect trees for access and work
  • AHCARB303 Perform pruning operations
  • AHCARB305 Dismantle trees
  • AHCARB306 Undertake aerial rescue
  • AHCARB307 Use advanced climbing techniques
  • AHCARB308 Install cable and bracing
  • AHCARB309 Implement a tree protection program
  • AHCARB310 Perform aerial rigging
  • AHCARB311 Tie, dress, set and finish arborist knots
  • AHCARB312 Use standard climbing techniques to access trees
  • AHCARB313 Identify trees
  • AHCARB401 Verify pruning specifications
  • AHCARB402 Supervise and audit tree operations
  • AHCARB403 Perform a ground-based tree defect evaluation
  • AHCARB404 Conduct a safety audit
  • AHCARB405 Perform geospatial data collection
  • AHCARB502 Identify, select and specify trees
  • AHCARB504 An arboricultural impact assessment report
  • AHCARB505 Document and audit tree work
  • AHCARB506 Prepare arborist reports
  • AHCARB507 Tree plans using computer-aided design software
  • AHCARB601 Examine and assess trees
  • AHCARB602 Diagnose tree diseases
  • AHCARB603 Interpret diagnostic test results
  • AHCARB604 Measure and improve the performance of urban forests
  • AHCARB605 Provide consultation in a legal framework
  • AHCARB606 Develop an operational tree management plan
  • AHCARB607 Review and develop strategic tree policy
  • AHCARB701 Analyse tree biomechanics
  • AHCARB702 Analyse mycology cultures
  • AHCARB703 Research urban forest performance
  • AHCARB704 Conduct an entomology research project
  • AHCARB801 Contextualise diagnostic tests
  • AHCARB802 Develop an urban forest management framework
  • AHCARB803 Analyse edaphic interactions of trees and structures

Stakeholder Consultation Process

A list of key stakeholder organisations is being developed for this project. Skills Impact will ensure contact is made with each of these organisations during the development of this project to seek their involvement and their views on the draft qualifications and units.

If you are aware of an organisation that you think should be involved, please contact the project team to ensure they are contacted by Skills Impact.

Of course, all and any interested industry participants are encouraged to engage in the consultation of this project, when the draft qualifications and units are available for feedback via this webpage and workshops that take place around Australia. Consultation is not limited to the organisations on this list. This list simply helps Skills Impact to identify those organisations that, because of their industry role, size or specialty, are likely to have a key interest in the development and outcomes of this project.

Opportunities For Stakeholder Input

Stakeholder input is appreciated throughout the duration of this project. The documents will be drafted in consultation with Subject Matter Experts and their networks. Opportunities to provide targeted feedback will occur for validation of final drafts which is expected in February 2019. However, your feedback is welcomed at any time, and will help us in drafting the qualification and units.

It is important that training provides a skilled and flexible workforce for the future. The qualification and units need to reflect real work experience. So if you work in the sector, Skills Impact would appreciate your input and help.

Please feel free to register your interest for project updates and consultation opportunities by following the newsletter subscription link below. Alternatively, please feel free to contact the project manager, Tom Vassallo on (03) 9321 3526 or http://[email protected]

Subject Matter Experts

Subject Matter Experts will be drawn on throughout this project to help review and draft the revised units, skill sets and qualifications.

If you are interested in applying to be a subject matter expert and are able to volunteer your time to this project, please email details of your expertise to [email protected]

January 25, 2019 / by / in