History


Great Western commenced business in Toowoomba in 1934, by Mr J.C. (Cyril) Anderson, C.B.E., when he bought a two ton truck to carry goods from Brisbane to his general store and garage in Toowoomba. By 1936, he was operating four vehicles. This business eventually became Western Transport, which operated Australia wide using 100 prime movers, 100 other trucks, 340 semi-trailers, 14 refrigerated trailers, bulk fuel tankers and many other pieces of specialised equipment.

Development of the Great Western Group of companies stemmed from the growth of Western Transport, with the first venture being entry into the marketing of motor vehicles in 1953, when Westco Motors was formed. During the next period, various existing companies were added to the group and in 1972, Leader Trucks Australia was established.


 

The 1970's saw the business enter directly into the agricultural sector, with the establishment of Great Western Tillage. This complemented the manufacturing business greatly by having the ability to manufacture the tillage equipment directly, giving control over the Tillage business's supply chain. The acquisition of Excel Agriculture in 1996 greatly expanded the group's agricultural offering and capability, expanding the product set available to the workers of the land.

1998 saw the expansion of the Trucking business, which was solely in Toowoomba at that stage, with the acquisition of what is now known as Westco Truck Sales Rockhampton. This marked the start of the Queensland regional expansion of the trucking business. Mackay was added to the group in 2006, and in 2009 the Queensland regional spread was complete with the addition of Cairns and Townsville.

Drawing from the deep experience in the group across manufacturing and truck sales, the group took hold of an opportunity in 2005 to establish Leader Truck Bodies. The market had pent up demand for a consistent, quality built product in this space, which could be manufactured in a timely fashion. This has become another highly complementary product to our group's range.

The tillage business has seen expansion in recent times, when in 2006 GV Cultivation and McCoy Tillage were acquired, as well as more recently in 2010 when Agpoint Australia was a highly successful addition to the group. The addition of Agpoint Australia greatly enhanced the reach throughout Australia our Tillage business could achieve.

2017 brought change to the Truck Sales business, as the decision was made to divest the dealerships located in Mackay, Townsville and Cairns, and go back to the roots of Toowoomba and Rockhampton. 

The Truck Sales and Manufacturing sites in Toowoomba became the original base of the property group, as core Industrial properties. Then as businesses were acquired to expand the group, it was often the case that the land was procured also, if it was the right fit. This included a number of the original regional Queensland Truck Sales sites, as well as Agpoint in South Australia.

Other property projects were also completed during the property group's life, such as the iconic Q1 tower joint venture on Queensland's Gold Coast, at the time the world's tallest residential building, having a project value in excess of $420 million. The property group has evolved over the years, with expansion into quality commercial property. Various A grade commercial assets have been held during the last 20 years, but the two current Brisbane properties of 25 Montpelier Rd and 500 Queen St were acquired more recently in 2012, as the market presented attractive opportunities.

Moving forward, Great Western Corporation will continue to build on its extensive abilities and depth of experience, seeking to identify and focus on further opportunities to grow the group, internally or via acquisition. GWC is focussed on servicing customers in the agriculture, mining, public utilities, manufacturing and transport industries, providing customers with market driven value propositions that enhance their businesses.