All males love operating anything with a motor. I've been driving since I was 10, had a driver's license since 14 and will jump at the chance to operate just about any kind of machinery, the louder the better. I therefore have nothing but envy for nine-year-old Dane Karreman, who has been operating his family's heavy machinery for years:
It was revealed yesterday that Dane first started visiting the quarry when he was aged two and began operating the equipment by the time he was six.
His father Danny told the court he believed Dane to be competent at operating a Caterpillar 980H loader.
"Dane has some 500 hours of operating experience - mainly loaders, but also excavators and Bobcats - plus some 250 hours of training," he said.
The Karremans have, of course, run afoul of meddlesome bureaucrats:
The Courier-Mail revealed last month Dirk Karreman had appealed against a directive by the Department of Mines and Energy prohibiting Dane from working at Karreman Quarries, despite promises he would be isolated and supervised at all times.
Yesterday, the court was told that Dane was operating heavy machinery including a 30-tonne front-end loader, excavator and bobcat, at the family's quarry up to 10 hours a day.
Today, child psychologist, Dr Michael Beech, said if you ask Dane about the experience "he'd say he was doing it for fun."
"I don't see he's being exploited," Dr Beech said.
Will the court apply common sense and allow Dan to continue having fun or will it ban the boy doing what every red-blooded male wishes he could do? Stay tuned for the answer.