By on July 30, 2015

MICHAEL Steel, CEO of Bamstone, reports on the development of the family business as well as its positive future growth in the stone industry.
A family owned and operated business. Bamstone started supplying Dimension Stone Bluestone to the world on a very signifi cant day in Australia’s history, 11 November, 1975.  Founded by Don and Yvonne Bartlett, Bamstone began its life with export contracts to Singapore as well as civil works with the City of Melbourne.

Michael Steel joined Bamstone in 1987 after studying Architecture at Geelong’s, Deakin University. Having always been involved in the building industry, his architectural skills are used almost on a daily basis. We deal with all elements of construction from civil engineering to interior design and he jokes that “bluestone is now in his blood”! The company, which employed eleven in 1987, now has a staff of fifty four at its Port Fairy Plant.


SITE PHOTO: Large Boulders at quarry faces

SITE PHOTO: Large Boulders at quarry faces

Bamstone dimension bluestone is the purest in the world and mined from the rich volcanic lava flows of Mount Rouse in Victoria’s Western District. The quarry is located in Yambuk, and production facilities in Port Fairy house Australia’s largest bluestone production.

Bamstone’s quarry extracts dimension stone boulders up to 80 tonnes in mass using Hitachi EX800 and ZX850 Excavators with minimal blasting required to release these large boulders from the quarry face. The boulders are then sawn into smaller blocks ready to be transported to the Port Fairy factory. Sawing takes place using ‘Pedrini’ multi blade block saw, CNC wire saws and associated detailing saws which are all diamond tipped and cooled by a constant flow of recycled water.

As a part of this growth, Bamstone has set a path whereby it traditionally grows by ~ 100% each year and this growth is made possible by the many projects they have undertaken in Melbourne – Bourke Street Mall, Swanston Street Mall, Collins Street and the Crown Casino. Michael proudly believes that they have “paved the streets of Melbourne”! Although the use of bluestone paving in cities is initially more expensive than, say asphalt, it lasts much longer and the ROI is much better in the long term for councils that take the bluestone paver option.

SITE PHOTO: Boulders sawn into smaller blocks

SITE PHOTO: Boulders sawn into smaller blocks

Work undertaken by Bamstone involved fabricating water features, war memorials and shopping centre features – both here and overseas – with work in New Plymouth, New Zealand being a pet project of Michael’s. Work on ANZAC projects, like that at the Shrine of Remembrance, the Weary Dunlop statue and various local war memorials characterise their commitment to the Anzac spirit. Other overseas work involved projects in Beirut (Lebanon), Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA.

Bamstone recently joined the CMPA to show members a different side of the industry e.g. Dimension stone, to develop a relationship with others within the industry and to utilise resources available within the association.

Michael is extremely proud of the awards that Bamstone have received. The Chelsea Flower Show in London, where they won a Silver Guild Medal, as well as consecutive “Best in Show” and  ‘Gold Medal Gardens’ awards at the Melbourne International  Flower Show 2014 and 2015. These three shows had a combined total of over 100 tonnes of dimension stone, paving and walling.


The flow-on effect of displaying at these prestigious exhibitions is beneficial in that the exposure keeps them at the forefront as the premier stone landscaping provider.

“At Bamstone, we are becoming ever more aware of the environment so our future direction is to reduce our carbon footprint. We also will develop dimension stone, sales and awareness of Australian products to councils and developers.”



60 Seconds with a voting member . . . 

mi1What is your name? Michael Steel.

Who do you work for? Bamstone.

How many years have you worked for this business? 28 Years Full time.

How many years have you been involved in the industry? 31 Years

What is your role at the company? Managing Director.

What does your job involve? Oversee day to day operations of quarry and stone processing plant, sales and marketing, maintenance and machine aquisition.

What is the best part of your job? Taking on major projects such as Crown Casino, Southern Cross Station, Rouse Hill and Charlestown Shopping Centres. I also get to play with the ‘Big Boy Toys’.


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