History

Brickworks Limited
– 80 years’ strong

Brickworks Limited has a long and unbroken history that stretches back to 1934.

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BKW acquires Masonry plant from Boral Ltd. in Prospect, NSW

2013

BKW completes the acquisition of the remaining 50% share of Daniel Robertson Australia Pty Ltd (following the formation of a 50/50 Joint Venture in 2006)

BKW acquires CPS Precast operations in Salisbury, Queensland

Austral acquires a masonry production plant from Boral Ltd.

BKW acquires Masonry plant from Boral Ltd. in Cairns, Queensland

2012

BKW acquires a timber mill and processing centre from Gunns Ltd in the South West of Western Australia

BKW creates Austral Precast – making Brickworks Building Products division Australia’s largest producer of precast concrete panels.

BKW acquires East Coast Masonry operations in Coffs Harbour, NSW

2011

BKW acquires Gocrete Pty Ltd from Boral Ltd.

BKW acquires Girotto Precast Pty Ltd from Boral Ltd.

BKW acquires Sasso Precast Concrete.

BKW acquires Masonry plant from Brick and Block in Port Kembla, NSW

2010

Brickworks Ltd acquires Smart State Blocks.

BKW acquires Ayr Masonry.

BKW acquires Whitsunday Concrete and Block.

BKW acquires Caloundra Blocks.

BKW acquires GB Masonry.

BKW acquires Western Australian timber producer, Auswest Timbers.

BKW acquires 100% of Bristile Limited.

BKW acquires Bowral Bricks.

BKW acquires Eureka Tiles Pty Ltd, a Victoria-based floor tile manufacturer. Eureka Tiles Pty Ltd and The Austral Tile Company combine to form Eureka Tiles Australia.

BKW enters agreement with Collex to manage waste disposal at the Horsley Park site.

Austral commissions a new $2 million floor tile factory at the Punchbowl site.

Terraçade, Austral's Terracotta Facade system is launched.

BKW purchases a 19.6% stake in Western Australia-based, Bristile Limited, a manufacturer of brick, pavers and roof tiles.

Austral launches its online ordering system – E Brick.

2000s

BKW acquires the Pioneer brick factory at Riverview, Queensland.

Austral launches Slick Brick.

Austral Pipes Australia is renamed The Austral Tile Company.

BKW’s Punchbowl site is converted into a terracotta floor tile operation.

Brookvale Brickworks is closed, having been in operation since 1907.

Punchbowl Pipes Pty Ltd is renamed Austral Pipes Australia Pty Ltd.

No. 1 Plant 1 is re-commissioned and the first Austral Governor Sandstock produced.

1990s

Upgrade of No. 1 Plant to a fully automated facility.

Rochedale factory in Queensland is completely refurbished.

BKW now owns a 42.8% stake in Washington H. Soul Pattinson.

No. 3 Plant at Horsley Park closes for upgrade and reopens in 1984 with a fully automated line.

Production ceases at the Bedford yard on the corner of Mitchell Road and Princes Highway.

Austral Bricks burns its last bricks at the company’s main yard on the corner of Canal Road and Princes Highway.

Death of W.K. Dawes

1980s

No. 3 Plant opens at Wallgrove.

1970s

BKW and Washington H. Soul Pattinson (WHSP) enter into a cross-holding arrangement.

No. 2 Plant opens at Wallgrove with the addition of a second kiln in November 1969.

No. 1 Plant opens at Wallgrove. By June 1965 three tunnel kilns are in operation.

Brickworks Limited (BKW) listed on Australian Stock Exchange

Brickworks acquires Punchbowl Brick and Pipe Company Pty Ltd, comprising Heathcote Brickworks, Kirrawee Brickworks and Punchbowl Brick & Pipe Works at Punchbowl.

Construction of tunnel kilns for extruded texture bricks commences at Wallgrove, Horsley Park.

1960s

Brickworks acquires substantial landholdings to ensure reserves of shale. This includes land at Rochedale, at Duffy’s Forest, and in Sydney’s west at Horsley Park. Modern brick plants are planned as the St Peters brickyards run out of shale reserves and face government controls over pollution from the kilns.

Forced sale of the Austral and Bedford brickyards to the City of Sydney Council for use as landfill. Extraction of shale and the production of bricks continued at these sites. Derelict quarries were prepared to receive garbage. Waste disposal in the quarries adjacent to the Austral site along Canal Road still continues.

Brickworks gains total control of Austral Bricks, making it the biggest and most powerful single brickmaking company in Australia.

Brickworks buys Rochedale Brickworks, Brisbane for the bargain price of £29,500, establishing a foothold in the Queensland market. Over the next decade the plant was progressively modernised with the construction of Swindell-Dressler tunnel kilns.

1950s

The NSW government resumes the Homebush site under the State Brickworks Act 1946 and pays compensation to Brickworks.

Wartime regulations are eased and permits are no longer required to build single unit dwelling houses.

Brickworks acquires most of the shares in Austral Bricks.

Austral shareholders vote to sell shares to Brickworks and amalgamate. This is conditional on the appointment of Dawes for 10 years, the first five years as managing director, the second five years as general manager.

The Department of the Navy requisitions the State Brickworks facilities and converts the kilns into ammunition stores. Brickworks makes a claim for compensation and is paid out, although it still owns the site and plant.

Government approval is needed to construct a building costing more than £5,000. By June 1942 the threshold is £25 including repairs. Sydney building completions fall from 8,138 in 1940 to 582 in 1943. Dawes keeps the yards running, stockpiling bricks to sell at premium prices after the war.

1940s

Strict wartime controls are introduced, which include setting the price of bricks and placing lending restrictions on building cooperative societies. Price controls are only removed in 1955.

Brickworks votes to revert to its original status as a public company.

Brickworks buys the Suburban Land and Investment Company (SLIC), an investment company which owns several brickworks. It gains an extra four fully equipped yards, the Burwood, South Ashfield and Great Northern National. Brickworks Pty Ltd now owns 11 brickyards.

Brickworks purchases City Brick Co. Pty Ltd at Euston Road, Alexandria, on what is now Sydney Park. It continues to acquire more unprofitable companies or those running out of workable clays.

Brickworks votes to become a private company. It raises capital and buys the assets of the Excelsior and Flemington Brick companies.

Brickworks purchases State Brickworks at Homebush from the New South Wales Government, further consolidating industry capacity.

Roofing tile manufacturers rationalise production through the newly-formed Roof Tiles Limited. The 14 members restrict output which prevents the further decline of prices.

Austral Bricks amends its Articles of Association, and becomes a private concern, ceasing to trade as a public company.

Clay Industries Limited, a subsidiary of Brickworks Limited, buys the Manly Brick & Tile Company at Brookvale. This yard contains millions of bricks but has not produced a single brick since the start of the Depression

Council members sign the ‘St Peters Agreement’. This divides Sydney into zones serviced by local brickyards.

Brickworks Limited continues to buy shares from its investors (brickyard owners). Some sell up completely and close their yards. By September 1939 Brickworks dominates the Sydney market.

Acting on behalf of the Council, W.K. Dawes and other prominent brickmakers, form the 'Brick Committee'. A member levy of 6d per 1,000 bricks is set to cover the cost of selling, distributing and promoting bricks and clay products. They approve an increase in the price of bricks.

Weakened by internal disunity, the New South Wales Brick Masters’ Association is no longer able to speak for the industry.

The Board of Brickworks Limited votes to establish a new representative body, the Council of Brick Manufacturers. Members of the Association are entitled to nominate as a member of the Council.

William King Dawes, general manager of Austral Bricks and managing director of Brickworks, is appointed chairman. Through the Council, Dawes forges a 10-year agreement between various companies, individual brickyard owners and Brickworks Limited.

At the height of the Great Depression brick manufacturers in the New South Wales Brick Masters’ Association take drastic action to save the industry.

They register Brickworks Limited as a public company, close unprofitable yards and rationalise production. The new company is better able to market and distribute bricks and clay products, especially pipes and tiles.

1930s

History

Brief History

Brickworks Limited is proud of its history – a long, unbroken tradition that stretches back to the days of the Great Depression. It was in 1934 that a group of leading Sydney brick manufacturers formed a company to ensure the ongoing viability of the local brick industry. The expansion of the company was rapid and its success assured through technological innovation and strong management.

In 1961 the company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and in 1969 entered a share-swap arrangement with the investment group, Washington H. Soul Pattinson. The cross-holding is one of the most successful in Australia’s corporate history and continues to prosper.

Determined to bring stability to the industry during the Depression years and provide leadership, the brickmakers appointed William King Dawes as general manager. Dawes was also general manager of the highly successful Austral Brick Company Pty Limited. Under his direction Brickworks Limited prospered, becoming the single most important player in the brick industry, a position it retains to this day. Dawes continued to serve as managing director with both companies until his death in 1981.