WITH Queensland’s mining sector experiencing unprecedented growth, there is no better time to showcase what the industry has to offer.
The biennial Queensland Mining and Engineering Exhibition (QME), held in Mackay, is the largest regional event in Australia: bringing
together suppliers and thousands of trade visitors.
Organised by Reed Mining Events, the tenth QME (to be held from July 24 to 26 this year) will have more than 650 exhibitors, making it larger than the 2010 exhibition, which had more than 600 exhibitors and saw 10,700 visitors pass through the gate.
With exhibitors includingCaterpillar, Atlas Copco and Sandvik, as well as smaller national suppliers, the exhibition organisers expect that QME 2012 will provide the largest display of mining technology, equipment and services ever seen in Queensland.
Exhibition director Paul Baker said the exhibition allowed companies to acquire new products to help boost productivity and efficiency, improve safety and reduce business costs.
“QME provides an unparalleled opportunity for the Queensland mining industry to source the latest products and services to keep their
mines and projects state-of-the-art, operating at maximum capacity and with a high degree of safety,” Mr Baker said.
“It is also a great networking event, and a chance to catch up with colleagues, peers and friends in a trade-only, industry-specific event.”
This year, the organisers have placed an emphasis on community-focussed events and information sessions, including special presentations on overcoming issues associated with fly in, fly out (FIFO) and drive in, drive out (DIDO) schedules, women in mining
and the health of miners.
Mackay, 970km north of Brisbane on Queensland’s coast, is a major mining hub that is home to a large DIDO community.
To address this, QME 2012 will feature comprehensive advice sessions for families and companies on how best to deal with this kind of
The sessions will be presented by Mining Family Matters: an online forum that provides practical and professional information to families
in the mining sector.
“For the future of the industry, it’s essential that [mining workers] have the support of their families, who in turn need access to vital information and support services as part of a FIFO/DIDO workforce,” Mr Baker said.
The exhibition’s Women in Mining day is designed to recognise the increasing role of women in Queensland’s mining industry.
It will include a presentation and a networking event that will provide an opportunity for women considering entering the industry to learn more about it and discuss career paths with those already involved.
“Women are playing an increasingly important role in the mining industry, not only in Queensland but around Australia and the world,” Mr Baker said.
“Their participation in the mining industry is only going to increase as mines, suppliers and service providers look to attract new entrants in the face of the looming skills shortages.”
Reed also hopes to attract ‘frontline’ mining people to the 2012 exhibition, such as operators, maintenance crews, labourers and supervisors, to view the equipment and products they are likely to be working with in the future.
“Today, decision makers and influences can be anyone involved in a mining operation or mining service,” Mr Baker said.
“We want to ensure that they feel welcome at QME and that their participation and contribution is invaluable.”
Mr Baker said many exhibitors had greatly benefitted from attending past QMEs: either by launching new products or businesses, or by
having the opportunity to attract new clients.
“[QME] brings buyers and sellers together in a single location,” he said.
“We have had suppliers of big-ticket capital equipment make direct sales at or following QME as a result of meeting the many decision
makers and decision influencers who attend.
“We have also had visitors come along with specific problems, issues or challenges and find solutions to their needs.”
The 2012 exhibition will also include the two-day Mining Industry Conference and the one-day Bowen Basin Safety Conference, hosted by
the Mackay Area Industry Network.
The two-day forum will focus on issues central to Queensland’s mining industry and its future success, including maximising opportunities
to deliver a sustainable future, developing innovative transport infrastructure systems and meeting
skills shortages.
“At Reed Mining Events, our approach has always been, and will continue to be, to establish mining events when and where there is
specific demand from the industry and its suppliers,” Mr Baker said. “We are constantly looking at ways of better engaging with the mining community as a whole and at all levels.
“Community is a vital element of the ongoing success of the Australian mining industry and an event such as QME gives the mining community a unique opportunity to come together and engage with each other.”
Mr Baker added that the exhibition would make a significant injection into the regional economy, “not only through the business generated
between exhibitors and visitors, but also through the general economic stimulus provided by having a large event in Mackay, and all the
infrastructure and support services
“Mackay is an ideal location for QME: it’s a true hub for the mining industry, giving the mining industry access to the largest array of mining technology and innovation, including world-first releases and new equipment designed specifically for use in mines in this region,” he said.
“The exhibition has always had a positive impact on the local economy, particularly local businesses such as hotels and restaurants, and the Mackay community, which wholeheartedly embraces the event as its own.
“Industry growth is forecast to continue strongly, not only in the region but also further afield.
“The ongoing success of QME since 1993 is evidence of the need for a premium mining event in the region.
“We are continually looking at ways to further develop, grow and improve the event so that we deliver the best possible exhibition for the industry, our exhibitors and visitors.”


By Helena Bogle