EB Mawson & Sons

By on October 3, 2018

Mawsons makes quarrying history

Mawsons was founded in 1912 by E.B (Barney) Mawson, who began work as a contractor cutting thistles for the Kerang Shire. The company steadily grew, moving from horse-drawn tip drays to petrol-powered trucks. Barney’s three sons joined the business between 1940 and 50 with the number and scale of civil construction projects they undertook always expanding. As part of this growth Mawsons invested in a wide variety of heavy machinery and began building bridges. The more work Mawsons had, the greater the need for quarry products. This demand encouraged Barney to make a move into quarrying. Barney was a very honest and shrewd businessman; he would sell quarry materials to a wide range of customers but these products were always delivered in a Mawsons’ truck!

Truck loading in the 1930's with a then modern hydraulic crawler tractor

Truck loading in the 1930’s with a then modern hydraulic crawler tractor

A new opportunity for growth emerged in the 1960s when Mawsons began concrete production. By the mid 1960s the company had four concrete plants across the Murray Valley. Today, Mawsons operate more than 50 concrete and quarry sites stretching from Beechworth to Broken Hill and Deniliquin to Seymour. Mawsons are able to meet customer needs from 16 quarry sites, 40 concrete plants and five landscaping centres. The company also operates mobile crushing and screening equipment, and have a fleet of concrete, cement and quarry delivery trucks.

In 2007 fifty percent of Mawsons was sold to Adelaide Brighton Limited. Thus Mawsons became a joint venture between an Australian blue chip company and Mawson family interests.

John Mawson is the Managing Director of Mawsons and represents the third generation of the family business. John highlights the value that his business places on its people who are skilled, enthusiastic and passionate about their work. “Our employees are not just workers, they are the key to our success and underpin the future of our company,” he said.

While the human aspect and the value that Mawsons places on their people hasn’t changed, there have been some significant advances in technology that has impacted many aspects of the business. Mawsons has leveraged new technologies and moved to a highly integrated operation with online networking and shared resources. John also notes that over time the size of loads has increased considerably, “In today’s operations, trucks carrying 50 tonne payloads are not uncommon, this is 10 times more than the payload of a typical truck 70 years ago.”

Stripping and winning fill in the late 1960's

Stripping and winning fill in the late 1960’s

Mawsons had their centenary in 2012. This was an opportunity to celebrate the company history and the contribution the Mawson’s team have made to the development of the region. So much of the housing and infrastructure across Central and Northern Victoria and Southern NSW has been built using Mawsons materials. One recent large-scale project was the supply of concrete and quarry products to the $300 million Silverton windfarm near Broken Hill.

John explained that while they face many challenges every day, including the maintenance of machinery, development of good operators and ever increasing regulatory requirements, the success of the Company is something that the whole Mawsons’ team is very proud of.

On-going access to raw materials is an industry-wide challenge that John highlights with an increasing number of infrastructure projects being proposed. In order to meet these requirements, there is a need for increased access to stone and new quarries close to these projects. John explained that, “The industry is at a turning point and it’s apparent how inaccessible and thus expensive raw materials are becoming. While the majority of our quarries have extensive reserves, there are several sites, closer to Melbourne, which are coming to the end of their Work Authorities.”

To address this, quarry owners, regulators and the community are going to have to work together to find ways to accommodate both resource development and local environmental needs. “It will be interesting over the next 5 to 10 years to see how the need for raw materials is satisfied at reasonable prices without unduly compromising the amenity of neighbouring land users.” he said.

Mawson's Pyramid Hill Quarry 2000's

Mawson’s Pyramid Hill Quarry 2000’s

Mawsons are committed to the quarrying industry and are founding members of the CMPA. “The association provides a combined industry voice and a central point for industry views, where data can be collected and presented to government authorities and regulators. In addition to their communications with government, the CMPA is also a great facilitator of training and courses, further promoting a safe and sustainable quarrying industry,” John concludes.


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