Early 1987 Hills Industries bought Cole Hoists which had a Clothesline manufacturing business based in Sydney. Cole was supplying a Melbourne based company with it’s products which included Galvanized rotaries, the Hideaway Retractable line plus fold down lines. The Melbourne based company, Trimline had a contract with Coles that in the event of being bought out by Hills that supply would continue for a period of 6 Months. Dennis Skerry (now deceased) the owner of Trimline after trying to interest the owner of Alert Hoists in Sydney was put in contact with John Anderson who then looked over the proposal & decided that the proposal was sound & decided to invest. Austral needed Australia wide Distribution from the outset so John then approached Wally Genesin to come in on the project. Austral was then founded by two very smart pioneering friends, John Anderson and Wally Genesin, back in 1987. Both John and Wally are still the head directors of the International Austral clothes line company to this day. Together they have steered the company successfully through the economic hard times of the global recessions of the 90’s, to make Austral the Aussie success it is today.
John Anderson and Wally Genesin first met in October 1986 during the Royal Australian Navy’s 75th Anniversary celebrations in Sydney Australia. Austral then officially went into production in 1987. This led John and Wally to set up the first Austral production line in Mordialloc. Austral was able to secure the services of an ex Hills employee John Prior to be Factory/Production Manager. John assisted in the setting up of the White St., Mordialloc Victoria factory plus many of the design features in the Austral range. John Prior retired in 2004.
Outgrowing these premises, Austral moved to a larger factory in Dandenong where they still reside. Austral now have distribution warehouses in all states of Australia except Tasmania for customer convenience in getting the products quickly to suppliers.In more recent times, Michael Drapes from the Gold Coast has been drafted into the company and now holds the position of Company Secretary.
Austral has employed local workers for over 21 years now with continuous production and orders continuing to stream in. Austral is now the favorite of many large national building companies, Government bodies and architects specifications, this is due to the fact that Austral’s products are trouble free in operation, Australian made and high quality with many variations of product.
Today, Austral’s market share is as high as 50% and growing with John Anderson now taking on the new role of tackling the global economy of the internet to introduce the Austral product to the world and showcase Australian pioneering style engineering. This is especially important to countries who have yet to see the values of using a clothes line. In the USA where clothes lines have been ignored for so long, Austral has been making inroads as Americans have been beginning to warm to the clothesline for economic and environmental reasons. Other clothesline manufacturers have tried in the past, such as Hills in the 90’s, to make it in the United States and failed. This failure was mostly due to the environmental times and the fact that Hills are made in China. Austral has been accepted by some of America’s biggest retailers as the best quality product to come out of Australia to date and they are in the early stages of capturing the Americans hearts for our Aussie clothes lines.
Innovations include the powder coated Elite 4 Rotary, the first coloured rotary clothesline in Australia and they are continuing to this day to prove very popular. What sets Austral apart besides the fact that they are quality and Australian made is an application of the smooth operating Helical gearing to Austral galvanised Rotaries and Foldaway models 45/51, partial pre-assembly of all fold down clotheslines with bonus fixing packs and many other innovations such as patented line tension locks.
Many of the improvements over the years have evolved from expertise, patents held, packaging genius and other changes which have all been driven by consumer demand.
Today a letterbox division has been added, also a premium product, to the Austral range of Aussie manufactured products.