I get asked fairly regularly on her via the contact page the same question. So I am going to answer it here for once and for all.
Question: I have a British/ American/ Canadian/ Israeli tower crane license, can I use this license to operate a tower crane in Australia or do I have to get a new tower crane license in Australia. I was told my tower crane license is international
Answer: No and no. Firstly there is no such thing as an international license for tower cranes, there may be international certification for offshore oil rig work but thats a separate story. If you want to legally operate a tower crane in Australia you need an Australian WorkCover/WorkSafe national license to operate a tower crane.
If you require Australian certification you may be able to be fast tracked. Being Australian I have never had to go through the process but I hear its pretty quick and easy, if interested contact Craig from Koolat Safety on 0417 751 676, who is a specialist in this area
If you are a builder or builder/developer you may of put off the decision of who to use to operate the tower crane/s on your building site until the last minute.
You have a couple of options, such as using a generic labor hire company such as Hays, Skilled etc. these companies supply everything from traffic controllers, secretaries and crane operators and they do this poorly for the following reasons
The second option is to have one of your existing workers (usually the laborer or apprentice) do a one week tower crane course. This may be fine on smaller sites such as a high end house but on larger sites your newbie crane operator will be much slower than an experienced crane operator and you will have unnecessary delays. Personally I believe this is the best option for builders on small sites that are usually not very busy with the crane during the duration of the project. Make sure the worker that is selected is of good temperament, is calm and level headed and wont get stressed out or do things beyond their ability.
You can use one of the six or so unionized crane companies in Sydney. Whilst these companies are generally very professional it seems that their rates are set in conjunction with the union. There is not much difference in price and not much real competition between them. Workers are shared between companies and from an economic perspective we could describe this market structure as a cartel. Generally good workers although price may be cost prohibitive, the difference between using these guys and others can run into the 100s of thousands over the life of a project. Expect to pay around $90 per hour and $120 per hour on Saturdays and after 8 hours. That equals $16,560 a week before GST for a 3 man crew working 4 x 10 hour days and 2 x 8 hour days.
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