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This month we look into new minimum wage rates in place since July 1, 2019, as well as into a significant ruling on a workers compensation case.

National Wage CaseTTIA News

The Fair Work Commission released the tenth annual minimum wage review decision under the Fair Work Act, 2009 on May 30, 2019.

This decision increased the modern award wage rates by 3.0 percent and the national minimum wage from $719.20 per week to $740.80 per week, or $19.49 per hour based on a 38-hour working week.

Last year’s increase was 3.5 percent. The increased rates took effect from the first full pay period starting on or after July 1, 2019.

All tree contractors should ensure they are meeting the new minimum obligations from July 1, 2019. Please note that the increase was fully absorbable into over-award payments.

Tree contractors with any queries in regard to paying rates, please contact TTIA on (02) 9264 0011.

Ruling On Workers Compensation At A Work Event

When I hear employers and Members talk of their experiences with the worker’s compensation system, I normally see the abject pain and helplessness displayed on their normally pleasant facial expressions. Invariably, the issue of unfair liability arises from business owners who rightly claim many injuries seem to have originated from a previous employer, or outside an employee’s working time, yet somehow the medical profession and/or the court/tribunal system pulls them into a costly liability situation.

In a recent South Australian Employment Tribunal hearing (Power v Return to Work South Australia, May 2019), a significant matter was dealt with where an employee sustained an injury at a workplace function; namely, he fell over and hit his head after attending an awards night hosted by his employer.

Whilst the employee had not consumed alcohol during the ceremony, it was noticed by several witnesses that he was walking unsteadily, and his eyes were rolled back. It was observed the employee collided with a bathroom door handle before falling backward and hitting his head on the hard bathroom floor.

A witness left the scene immediately to seek assistance as blood flowed freely from the back of the employee’s head and ears.

In the aftermath, the employee sustained serious head injuries and had amnesia from the injury and absolutely no recollection of the incident. He took the firm legal position that he had been attending the function at his employer’s request and therefore the injury was sustained in the course of his work.

The South Australian Employment Tribunal considered the incident as it applied to the State’s Return to Work Act 2014. This Act provides that for an injury to be considered work-related and compensable, there are two basic requirements. Firstly, the injury must arise in the course of the person’s employment. Secondly, the worker’s employment must be a significant cause of the injury.

In this case, the judge found that only one of these conditions was satisfied. The judge found that while the injury had occurred in the course of the man’s employment, the injury arose from a pre-existing medical condition that just happened to manifest itself at work but without his employment being a contributing factor.

The key finding in this judgment was that his employment was not in any real or meaningful sense a significant contributing cause of the injury.

Now, none of this means that as employers we don’t need to take steps to limit liability when hosting workplace functions. TTIA has provided guidelines on this issue in the past which tree contractor members are welcome to access.

However, the significance of this case is that it is not enough for an employee’s injury to occur in the course of his/her employment. The employment must also be a significant contributing cause of the injury.

Please contact TTIA on (02) 9264 0011 if you wish to have further information.

Brian Beecroft

Chief Executive Officer

September 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.

As QAA’s 2018-2019 Executive team’s term draws to a close, the Association is in a sound financial position with plenty of activities scheduled for the rest of 2019. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul Jave (QAA Technical Officer) for his valued contribution to the Association and wish him well in his future endeavors.

Bec Dalton returns to the QAA Office three days per week to focus on workshops, Contractors & Consultants register, sponsors and assisting with her knowledge and experience within the QAA office. With our Office as busy as ever, Bec Hoad is in the office five days per week assisting members with inquiries and keeping the association running.

More than ever, practicing and Consulting Arborists are called on to ensure that trees are looked after in a professional and safe manner. Members of the wider public are increasingly seeking the services and assistance of qualified and insured Arborists who can provide informed advice and assistance in the care of their trees. Inclusive and gender equitable, QAA is run for the benefit of all Members, promoting safety through training in Arboriculture.


Congratulations to QAA members who competed in the National Climbing Championships held during the Arboriculture Australia, May 2019 Conference in Alice Springs, NT. We wish all winners well as they go on to represent Australia on the international stage in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA at the ISA 2019 Conference.

Continuing our busy Calendar of sessions, attendees at our sold out “The Kingdom of Fungi” workshop presented by Dr Frances Guard enjoyed a most informative day. This is Dr. Guard’s first workshop with the QAA, and it has been highly commended by all attendees.

Responding to the many people who wanted to see QAA’s ArborCampTM return in 2019, Subcommittee leader Ben Inman has led a hardworking team to bring this much-loved event to this year’s Calendar of Events.

Grateful thanks are extended to the many volunteers who worked so hard over the weekend of June 15-16 in preparation for QAA’s ArborCampTM 2019. Our venue is ready for a fantastic weekend of excitement. See further details below.

ArborCamp™ is a much-loved equal opportunity event bringing likeminded people together in a relaxed community setting. Everyone is welcome.

A camp style format is designed to provide opportunities for open discussion and exchange of ideas in a relaxed and picturesque setting; an ideal occasion to catch up on some professional development and learning. No set levels of understanding or skills are required.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from some of the best and experienced in our profession. All you need to bring to enjoy this event, whether you are young or old, a budding or experienced Climber Practitioner or Consulting Arborist or attending to support your participant family member, is your gear, some sunscreen and a shady hat. Come along to enjoy a great weekend of positive learning, relaxation and great fun.

Returning favourites include the crate climb, safety talks, high tea, wine and cheese tasting, Saturday night dinner, bonfires and games to keep  you entertained.

Rocky Creek Scouts group will be running the two-day kids program catering for all age groups, sign the kids in, sit back and relax. Sponsors displays will be setup including new equipment to try before you buy or to compare what you have against something new and different.

Planned displays for Arboricultural Consultant equipment and information sessions events include GPS equipment to update VTA skills.

Arboriculture Australia will be setting up a display on the new licensing system as well as information in relation to the soon-to-be released new Australian Standards. Veteran Tree Group will have a display highlighting the importance of veteran tree management practices.

There is also a new building, craft, and educational stand offering display opportunities highlighting the many different uses of timber products. Please contact the QAA ArborCampTM Coordinator Ben Inman: [email protected] If you have an exciting idea to share, if you are doing something different and of interest or you would like to display at this year’s ArborCampTM

See you there! Please come on down to see the best of the best in a skilful display of arboricultural talent!


As always, QAA acknowledges and extends grateful thanks to our 2018/2019 sponsors. Too many to list here, their details, including contact details, can be found on our webpage. We could not do this without your continual support.

Please contact our office to speak with our Office Admin Team and Executive Members for further interesting QAA sponsor opportunities.

Events Calendar

ArborCampTM 2019

Where: Rocky Creek Scout Camp. 3246 Old Gympie Road, Landsborough QLD 4550

When: September 20, 21, 22 2019 (the first weekend of the School Holidays)

Who: This event is open to all people interested in trees and the environment. Family friendly environment events, kids’ activity centre, sponsor and other displays.

Note: The site has full amenities so bring your tent, caravan (some powered sites available) and if you’re lucky and book early you can even get a bunk bed in one of the dormitories located within the site.


Upcoming Training Sessions Include:

TRAQ Renewal – October 8, 2019

TRAQ Full Course – October 9-11, 2019

Please let the office know if you have any workshops or courses you would like to see run in the future.

2019 AGM

QAA’s AGM will be held on Saturday 12th October 2019 at Cleveland Headquarters, 26-40 Delancey Street, Cleveland. Members are invited to forward written submissions for matters of business they wish raised, ideas, suggestions supported by a business case where appropriate, as well as nominations are all most welcome. All attendees or those voting by proxy are reminded that (their) Membership must be current and financially up to date to cast their votes.

Keep a watch out as we release more details of upcoming workshops through QAA’s App, Facebook and webpages. As always, staff safe. Stay informed.

For more info call Queensland Arboricultural Association on (07) 3821 1488, go to, email [email protected] or like/follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

QAA Editorial Committee on behalf of QAA Executive

September 5, 2019 / by / in , ,

South Australian Society of Arboriculture Seminar – Trees and the Law.

The South Australian Society of Arboriculture (SASA) has recently been restarted by chairman Tom Stevens and a small group of other board members who are working hard to help the organisation thrive again. With growing membership numbers and big plans for the future, SASA aims to begin by building trust back within the SA arboriculture industry. Their first initiative was to run a mini seminar on ‘Trees and the Law’ which was delivered by Michael Palamountain.

The event cost attendees $5 for a two-hour seminar, followed by a BBQ and drinks, which was a great opportunity for participants to network in a relaxed environment.

The seminar focussed on managing trees in the urban landscape of metropolitan Adelaide. Arborists and tree contractors must be familiar with how trees are protected under the law. Arborists must be aware of the legal status of trees, what is permitted under the law and when development applications are required. The information covered important legislation based on the Development Act 1993.

This discussion forum provided an opportunity for members to review, discuss and;

  • Understand what legislation applies to trees in metropolitan Adelaide
  • Understand the framework of the legislation
  • Understand what exemptions apply under the legislation
  • Understand what is permitted under the legislation
  • Understand when a development application is required and when tree reports are required
  • Ensure staff/contractors understand when tree works are permitted

After receiving some very positive feedback from attendees, SASA has taken confidence to move forward and continue offering ‘value added’ events to all those interested. SASA and its members are striving to help the South Australian arboriculture industry be a safe, respected and well-connected network of people that take care of our beautiful trees.

SASA is still looking for more members.

To become a member or for more information, please email [email protected] or Call Tom on 0478 982 994.

September 3, 2019 / by / in , ,

Benefits of Membership Organisations, the Victorian Tree Industry Organisation.

Joining the VTIO

All things are connected and an industry membership association like the VTIO provide fertile conditions for exchanging ideas and promoting best practice in arboriculture. I arrived at Arbortrim in early 2014, my seventh training organisation over the last 20 plus years and by far the most fascinating. I brought with me a particular interest in educating people about trees and our natural environment. In the 1990s, I studied a Bachelor of Education in Environmental Science and Biology and a Graduate Certificate of Natural Resource Management. I also spent time supervising vegetation management crews along Melbourne’s bayside costal vegetation strip.

In 2014, Arbortrim was already a VTIO sponsor and my first introduction to the VTIO was through Arborcamp. The value of the VTIO and those that contribute to it was evident, so I volunteered to join the organisation’s committee. I had experienced other industry associations before, however, I was not prepared for the level of genuine passion that VTIO leadership and its members held for their industry and the commitment displayed for nurturing members to develop themselves as arborists through education.

Benefits of VTIO Membership

Information and opportunities for professional development Membership in a trade association like VTIO means immediate access to any news or developments that affect your business and the industry. Outside of the usual communication of members to each other, associations generally provide newsletters, email updates and informative resources that help its members stay on top of recent developments in their field. Arbortrim’s participation in VTIO’s Committee of Management provides immediate and regular access to industry news and events and our students benefit from membership updates and activities.


This is the most common and most obvious benefit of joining a trade association such as the VTIO. In every industry, who you know matters, and trade associations are filled with potential contacts, clients and partners who can help your business move to the next level. They provide a forum for like-minded individuals to come together to make connections and identify opportunities that may not otherwise be possible. Trade events such as VTIO’s Arborcamp as well as other seminars and presentations throughout the year provide opportunities to interact with a wide range of industry representatives and connect directly with customers.

Certification And Accreditation

In addition to the usual training and education provided by professional associations, many organisations provide certifications and licensing programs that are not available to non-members. Not only do these certifications make for better practices in the industry, some are an absolute necessity for a business to compete. The certifications and licenses available in trade organisations provide a level of prestige and reliability in the minds of clients and customers. VTIO members can obtain certification of their participation in professional development activities providing valuable inclusions to the resumes of developing arborists.

The Victorian Tree Climbing Championships is another prominent industry event which recognises outstanding achievement in a range of tree climbing pursuits. The growing popularity of the VTCC demonstrates the value that the industry places on the development of technical arboriculture skills.

Continued education and development is crucial in getting to the top of any industry. If your company is already a leader in the arboriculture field, education is a key to remaining on top. Professional associations such as VTIO hold events with seminars, workshops and classes that help members to learn and grow in their profession. Even outside of official events, members have constant opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and mentorship that allow members to share experience and knowledge. The VTIO’s objectives align naturally with Arbortrim’s. We are both promoting the knowledge and education of arboriculture within the industry.

Influence to Promote Best Practice

One of the key benefits of joining a trade association is the ability to support the mission of the organisation and possibly influence legislation that affects the industry. The combined resources of the members of an association can be used to lobby lawmakers and sway public opinion more positively towards the goals of the association.

Arbortrim’s association with VTIO provides us with opportunities to add our voice to improving best practice through regulation and education.

One such example is Arboriculture Australia’s Industry Licence system. The development of the Australian arborist Industry Licence is designed to better regulate the industry though training qualifications and professional development activity.

Any line of work has a specific set of best practices that is vital to efficient and quality work. Especially for anyone new to the industry, membership in a trade association is vital to learning these practices and performing the best work possible. One of the critical benefits of Arbortrim’s association with VTIO over the last five years has been to utilise industry feedback for improving our training services. Arbortrim’s VTIO membership provides ongoing opportunities to consult with industry leaders to ensure that our arboriculture qualifications are designed to deliver best practice outcomes that align with current industry standards.


Aside from all of the professional benefits that are available through trade associations such as VTIO, they also provide an opportunity for members to build friendships and personal relationships that can last a lifetime. Arbortrim’s partnership with VTIO has given myself and the rest of our team opportunities to get to know hundreds of fantastic people that share our commitment to supporting the arboriculture industry through education and training.

The Arbortrim of today is not the same as it was when we took custodianship of the training service in early 2014. Our organisation has developed into a national leader of arboriculture training services through strategic investment and a focus on quality outcomes for our customers. Our sponsorship and collaboration with the VTIO over the last five years has been a clear factor in our success. The VTIO and Arbortrim will continue to learn from each other and thrive for the betterment of the arboriculture community.

Words | Robert Buick

If you would like to learn more about the VTIO and the benefits of becoming a member visit the VTIO’s website –

June 5, 2019 / by / in , ,

Underpayments: New Reverse Onus of Proof Laws Put to The Test.

In a deliberate warning to employers, the Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced the first legal action involving new reverse onus of proof laws that require employers with inadequate employment records to disprove alleged underpayments.

It has launched proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court against an operator of two fast food outlets. The FWO has also instigated proceedings against the company’s directors.

Fair Work inspectors audited the company, based on the Sunshine Coast, in 2018 as part of targeted auditing activity.

According to the FWO, nine workers across the two outlets were underpaid a total of $19,467 in entitlements. It is alleged they were not paid minimum ordinary hourly rates, weekend penalty rates, overtime rates or superannuation, and that their annual leave and personal leave entitlements were not accrued.

It also alleged the company breached workplace laws by failing to issue pay slips and keep proper time and wages records between October and December 2017.

The company faces penalties of up to $63,000 per contravention. The directors are facing penalties of up to $12,600 for their alleged involvement in the leave contraventions. Additionally, one of the directors is facing penalties of up to $12,600 for his involvement in the recordkeeping and pay slip breaches.

The matter is listed for directions hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane.

What This Means For Employers In The Tree Contractor Industry

Well, this is the first legal action to be taken using new reverse onus of proof laws introduced late last year. Under these laws, employers who do not meet record-keeping or pay slip obligations and cannot give a reasonable excuse will need to disprove allegations in wage claims made in a court.

The reverse onus of proof applies to breaches of the National Employment Standards, a modern award or an enterprise agreement, and the reverse onus of proof laws can be found listed under section 557C of the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017.

This Act applies to conduct that occurred after it came into effect on September 15, 2017. It also includes provisions increasing penalties for ‘serious contraventions’ and banning employers for asking for ‘cashback.’

According to the acting Fair Work Ombudsman, the FWO plans to make full use of the new laws.

The FWO noted that in the past some employers had avoided facing litigation by the FWO because while they had breached their record-keeping obligations, there was not sufficient evidence present to prove underpayments in court.

Put simply, businesses who don’t meet record-keeping or pay slip obligations and can’t give a reasonable excuse will need to disprove allegations of underpayments in court.

I can assure you this is not a scare mongering exercise but a very real danger for some businesses in our industry that have not kept their knowledge of award/ payroll conditions and record keeping documentation up to date in recent times.

I would urge you to contact TTIA and get your house in order on this issue. We provide an in-house wages and payroll audit service by qualified staff.

TTIA can be contacted on (02) 9264 0011 should you wish to book this service which is available in all States.

Brian Beecroft

Chief Executive Officer

May 1, 2019 / by / in
QAA News

It is a cliché but sadly true! The 2018/19 Summer break is really all over!

Looking back over the summer of 2019 A typical Queensland summer will include at least one cyclone; in fact Qld relies on these heavy rain events to top up parched soils and groundwater tables! This year though, we experienced extraordinary Bush Fires, more typically experienced in Australia’s southern regions, a monsoon of epic proportions in north and north-western Qld and the driest ever summer in south-east Qld as well as continuing drought in the mid and lower western regions of Qld. Our thoughts are with all our colleagues and those affected regions.

In such trying conditions it is no wonder that Arborists are increasingly fielding so many queries from worried tree owners, tree custodians and gardeners more generally. Weather patterns seem to be increasingly erratic and we are now heading into late autumn with little to no rain in sight.

This, of course, is not news to that offering advice or tree services however a sound understanding of how trees are or are likely to react is not only helpful but is important to our role in caring for trees and assisting to ensure they can survive these trying times. Also invaluable in explaining to our clients how resilient trees can be, what to expect of trees in questions and how to best manage their (Arboricultural) needs.

QAA’s 2019 Workshop Programme

QAA’s 2019 Workshop programme is full to the brim and those who have already participated in recent Workshops continue to update their skills and share knowledge with fellow colleagues. Improved understanding of tree biology, risk assessment and pest and disease identification can make the difference between early detection and successful management of tree health issues or tree health and structural failure. Attendees at our February course included employees from Swann’s Arboricultural Services and City Tree Services who enjoyed their course provided by Cliff from Trained Up.

Our grateful thanks to Tom Vassallo (VIC), Mark Roberts (NZ), Mike Ellison and his team and Janet McDonald (DAF) who have presented recent and upcoming Skills Impact, TRAQ and QTRA courses. Looking to make it easier for Arborists located outside of the immediate Brisbane area, QAA strives to provide courses in regional centres. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if there is an opportunity to bring a training course to your workplace or regional area! If you let us know QAA will be only too happy to arrange it for you!

QTCC 2019

If you are reading this and thinking; I’d like to compete in the Queensland Tree Climbing Championship, please mark your calendars for the weekend of 26th and 27th July! With a fantastic selection of Fig Tree Pocket’s famous Eucalypts, QAA’s popular feature event will be held in Fig Tree Pocket Riverside Reserves. Watch our website and social media pages for more information and to lodge your entry. Ps. Early entries will go into a special raffle to be announced closer to the date.

ArborcampTM 2019

Yes that’s right! Thanks to a hard-working team led by Ben Inman, Arborcamp™ is returning to QAA’s Event Calendar this year. Rocky Creek Scout Camp is the venue and the date is the weekend of 20th and 22nd September, 2019. Once again, keep a watch on our website and social media pages for more information and to lodge your entry.

Wondering what it takes to offer your services as an approved Arborist or to see your company listed on QAA’s Register of Approved Tree Contractors or Consultants?

Here’s a quick checklist! You should be able to provide:

Proof of experience and qualifications including AQF Level III for Registered Tree Contractors or AQF Level V for Registered Arboricultural Consultants

Proof of Insurances

  • Proof of experience and qualifications including AQF Level III for Registered Tree Contractors or AQF Level V for Registered Arboricultural Consultants
  • Proof of Insurances
  • Assurance and proof that you know how to prune correctly and have a thorough working knowledge of Australian Standards 4373:2007-Pruning of amenity trees and 4970:2009 – Protection of trees on development sites
  • Assurance and proof of work practice. That you, as a qualified Arborist know when to use climbing spikes – definitely not on your client’s prized feature garden tree!
  • Assurance and proof that as a qualified Arborist your kit contains PPE (personal safety gear including steel capped boots) and that
  • Assurance and proof that your machinery in good repair – your career and life depends on nothing less!

How to Start

If you are wondering where to find insurance cover for your gear and the work you will be undertaking look no further than your local association QAA. QAA and its valued Sponsors can help you attain your AQF qualifications and purchase all the

arboricultural gear you will need! It’s easy and it all begins with a call to the Office on (07) 3821 1488, an email to http://[email protected] or enquiry through either our Webpage or message through Facebook Messenger.

In short, if you display the QAA’s Logo you are driving the significant benefit of its advertisement. Members of the public expect that your Membership and insurances are up-to-date, your crews are skilled and experienced and that you are able to give the assurance (to your clients) that you are able to carry out the work that you have promised. Using this logo is a privilege not a right and it has a proven track record of qualifying your services or that of your company when competing for work.

Your questions are always welcome. Safety through education and training is central to everything QAA does for its Members! As always, stay safe, stay trained and stay up-to-date!

The QAA Executive 2019

April 22, 2019 / by / in
TTIA News – Casuals: An End to Double Dipping

Tree contractors may be aware from previous TTIA correspondence and seminars, of the uncertainty that has existed in recent months over the entitlements of casual employees as a result of a recent Federal Court case.

Specifically, in the Workpac v Skene case, a decision by the Federal Court ruled that a casual employee may be entitled to double dip on employment entitlements already paid in their 25 per cent loading depending on the nature of their engagement and work rosters.

Proposed regulations are to be introduced by the federal government to prevent ‘double dipping’ by casual workers. Jobs and Industrial Relations Minister, Kelly O’Dwyer, has revealed that the government will introduce a new Fair Work Regulation to end the uncertainty around casual entitlements that arose from the abovementioned federal court ruling — i.e. that workers could potentially receive the 25 per cent casual loading and at the same time have legal rights of permanent leave entitlements.

It is envisaged that the new Fair Work Regulation will provide greater clarity of existing general law rights to offset payments when claims are made to pay for the same entitlements twice. This follows concerns by small businesses that the recent federal court case may give rise to claims to pay amounts for leave entitlements when a casual loading, in lieu of those entitlements, has already been paid.

Without the new regulations, the Fair Work laws are not fair and do not align with the reality of casual employment in the modern workforce. Casuals are often employed to meet the operational demands of a business and many employees choose to be employed as casuals so that they receive the 25 per cent loading and flexibility.

The move by the government comes after employers’ associations like TTIA have voiced their concern that protection needed to be given to business to employ casuals without the threat of double payments “hanging over their heads”.

A new regulation will provide that, where an employer has paid an identifiable casual loading to an employee engaged as a casual, it may potentially be offset against any subsequent claim for NES entitlements. It will of course, still remain a matter for a court to decide to apply an offset in any particular circumstances.

This decision follows on from an announcement that new legislation would be introduced to allow casual employees the right to request they be moved to full or part-time employment. The reality is the Fair Work Commission has already dealt with this casual conversion issue during the latter part of 2018 by inserting a model casual conversion provision in many modern awards. This latest move has merely extended the casual conversion provision to those not covered under the awards system.

TTIA Members are welcome to contact the Association if you wish to further discuss specific casual arrangements at your workplace on (02) 9264 0011.

Safety Alert

Tree contractors should be aware that SafeWork NSW has released a safety alert on the Dangers of working on or near energised (live) electrical equipment.

This safety alert reminds electrical workers of the hazards associated with working on or near energised (live) electrical equipment. These hazards include electric shock, arc flash explosion and fire.

This alert, and others, can also be viewed on the SafeWork NSW website – Safety Alerts.

Brian Beecroft

Chief Executive Officer

March 1, 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.

It is a cliché but sadly true! The 2018/19 Summer break is really all over!

Reflections and Appreciation

Just as all Arborists would love a dollar for every time someone says “I really love trees but…” it is equally rewarding to hear someone say, “thank you for explaining how trees function and how to look after them”.

Maybe you or your office have taken a phone call, responding to a request “Do you have an Arboritrist”, uhm – a qualified Arbor something…?” “Oh yes, that’s the one, I need a qualified Arborist!”

If you can answer “Yes, we are qualified Arborists,” then you’ll know all about the benefits of attending regular training Workshops, Climbing Competitions and more. If you are located in Queensland you’ve probably attended one of QAA’s Workshops, a National or International Conference or Climbing competition.

You have also recognised that learning is lifelong. Just when you think your training is up-to-date, new technologies, new gadgets and new and improved ways to manage trees are developed. Read on to hear more training opportunities available to Members (at discounted rates) and those interested in all things arboriculture in Queensland.

Workshops and Training

QAA’s 2019 comprehensive Training programme has got off to a flying start. Head to QAA’s App, Facebook Page or Website to see what’s happened and details of upcoming sessions including Qualification and Refresher Courses for TRAQ and QTRA.

If you’d like to know more about Pest and Disease Damage and Symptom Recognition, do make sure you enrol early for Janet McDonald’s very popular and always sold out workshops. Pruning for Trees Workshop is scheduled for late February with a strong focus on tree biology and correct pruning techniques.

Paul Jave (QAA Technical Officer) is always interested in new ideas for workshops and happy to discuss any scheduled ones in further detail. Don’t hesitate to ring or email Paul to further discuss workshops in greater detail.

QAA Executive Team 2018-2019 Congratulations are extended to QAA executive team for 2018 -2019, Office Bearers for the 2018-19, include Roger Rankine (President), Simon Londsdale (Vice President), Bill Wilcox (Secretary), Kristy Howe (Treasurer). Committee Members include Jamie Boston, Ben McDonald and Dave Vizer. Ben Inman heads up the ArborCampTM Committee.

QAA’s 2019 Administration and Member Support Team is run by the two Becs, Rebecca Dalton and Rebecca Tatum. Technical Officer Paul Javé has an exciting Workshop and Training program prepared for the year ahead – remember, all current QAA members can access great discounts for Training Days and also when shopping at our fabulous Sponsors.

So, if you are looking for great deals for insurance, arb equipment, vehicles, finance, webpage design and set up, and much, much more, check in with QAA’s fabulous Sponsors who so generously lend their support to our Membership!

Just let them know you are a current financial Member and please thank them for their support.

Do take the opportunity to say thank you to the Volunteers and Staff who run your Association – they continue to juggle a hectic but very rewarding schedule indeed!

Members who would like to join one of the Subcommittees or Executive are very welcome. Volunteering is an opportunity to gain new skills, make new friends and broaden your contact with fellow colleagues not only in Queensland but across Australia and the world – just ask any of your past or present Committee Members.

“Just when you think your training is up-to-date, new technologies, new gadgets and new and improved ways to manage trees are developed.”

To keep up with QAA’s news and happenings, including upcoming training and development opportunities, please visit QAA’s App, Facebook page and our website

February 18, 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
Silky Saws Ambassador

What is a Silky Saw Ambassador and what’s the big deal?

We were going to publish an article where we said the usual journalism stuff. Silky Saws are proud to announce the first Australian Ambassador as… yada yada yada.

When we showed this to an arborist for an opinion, she asked “Why would I want to waste five minutes of my life reading that”? That made us think a bit because we were pretty proud of what we had written but realized we had written it for us to feel good and not for any benefit of the reading audience. So we had to do a re-write.

So what is a Silky Saw ambassador anyway?

An ambassador for Silky Saws is someone in our industry who has used Silky Saws extensively, knows their advantages and is proud to use them and talk about them. The ambassador also has to be somebody who, in our opinion is an outstanding individual in the industry who people can relate, communicate with and aspire to. They also have to be willing to use all of the Silky Saws range of arborist and pruning saws from the Pocket Boy to the Hayate 7.7m pole saw.

After meeting Jamie Boston in our showroom at Capalaba in Brisbane and talking with him about the saws and the role of Ambassador, we agreed to request Silky Japan’s approval for Jamie as the Ambassador representative for Australia for the next twelve months (2018/2019).

As most of you reading this are in the tree industry, you will know that the majority of climbing arborists will use a Silky Saw as their handsaw of choice attached to their belt or leg with leg straps. They are fairly attached to the Zubat and difficult to persuade to use other saws. This is where Jamie comes in.

Who is Jamie Boston?

If you don’t know Jamie, he is a very personable young man who has had this dream since he first donned a harness to compete in the world tree climbing championships. This year Jamie travelled to Columbus in Ohio to compete in the World Tree Climbing Championship from August 3 to 5. We wished him well in his quest. He not only made his dream of competing come true, he also won the Ascent Climb. Now he can boost world domination!

Silky Innovations

Many of the innovations from Silky Saws have originated from Australia and Australian arborist suggestions. To mention a few, the Tsurugi was developed because an Australian arborist wanted a sturdy, narrow (from top to bottom) saw for de-nutting coconuts. The first iteration was rejected, but Silky came back with a thicker blade kerf, and the vibration absorbing handle and the rest is, as they say, history.

The 7.7m Hayate was at first produced only for Australia after a request for it. And originally the Hayate was produced after a trip to Australia by the owners of Silky Japan and they saw how hard the working conditions are here, the toughness of the trees and the roughness their pole saws had to endure.

And don’t forget the new Zubat Professional Arborist Saw that was produced after a consultation with Silky Japan representatives visiting Australia. They agreed that a bigger tooth Zubat would be a great addition to the range.

Go Ask Jamie

So, to all you arborists out there reading this, if you see Jamie at a climbing gig or competing, go up and ask him what he knows about Silky Saws and see if you learn something new. I’m sure you will. And if you have any ideas regarding the saws or the design, also let him know so we can pass your ideas back to Japan. You never know, you maybe the next Aussie that gets to boast that the guy next to you is using your saw!

For more information visit or call Arborlab Tree Care and chat with Jannita on (07) 3823 1599.

November 9, 2018 / by / in