The Weekly Advertiser

Grampians-Pyrenees Business Awards unveil ‘untapped potential’

BUSINESS CELEBRATION: Action Steel Industries owner Martin Grace is flanked by sons and company directors Vince, left, and Lennie, as staff members and Neoen senior project manager Matthew Parton and Northern Grampians mayor Tony Driscoll, rear, join in Grampians Pyrenees business of the year celebrations at St Arnaud. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

BUSINESS CELEBRATION: Action Steel Industries owner Martin Grace is flanked by sons and company directors Vince, left, and Lennie, as staff members and Neoen senior project manager Matthew Parton and Northern Grampians mayor Tony Driscoll, rear, join in Grampians Pyrenees business of the year celebrations at St Arnaud. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER


PHOTOS | Success and innovation on show at 2017 Neoen Grampians Pyrenees Business Awards at St Arnaud

By DEAN LAWSON
The owner of Grampians-Pyrenees business of the year believes Stawell district is perfectly placed to develop into a major regional manufacturing hub.
Action Steel Industries’ Martin Grace said while industries such as tourism had attracted considerable development attention, manufacturing also represented untapped potential.
Mr Grace added, while reflecting on award success, that Stawell had proven to be strategically ideal for his family business.
He said Stawell’s geographical location had allowed for a free flow of freight to and from the Wimmera centre, providing a reliable connection for goods and services to the western suburbs of Melbourne, across Victoria and interstate.
“Stawell is absolutely brilliant for us. I am very passionate about regional areas and see huge potential for manufacturing generally in Stawell,” he said.
“We are involved in freight deliveries every day. We are incredibly well positioned considering the area we can cover in a two-and-a-half-hour radius.”
Action Steel Industries, a third-generation family business that specialises in pre-engineered steel-framed industrial, commercial and rural buildings, won Business of the Year at Neoen Grampians Pyrenees Business Awards at St Arnaud Town Hall.
Its win from a high-quality field of businesses from across Northern Grampians, Ararat and Pyrenees municipalities was the highlight of the dinner presentations.
The business, which employs a staff of about 20 and eight sub-contractor teams, is an in-depth family affair, with Mr Grace’s sons Vince and Lennie operational directors and wife Elspeth and daughter Kristy also involved.
Mr Grace confirmed the firm was exploring expansion through sustained growth. It has planning approval to develop an office complex to improve the working environment at its Playford Street factory.
“We will be launching that fairly soon,” he said.
Action Steel Industries also won an Excellence in Manufacturing category on the night and Mr Grace revealed it was the first time the business had entered the awards.
“Someone sent us some information suggesting we enter and we thought ‘yeah, why not?’ – we had never pushed that side of things before,” he said.
“We were surprised to win the first award and then when we were announced as business of the year it was very humbling – but we also felt very honoured,” he said.
Mr Grace said he was keen to support a regional area when he shifted to Stawell from Adelaide in January, 1993.
“We had diversified out of steel fabrication into buying and selling metal-working machinery and we basically ran that until 2001,” he said.
“But I went back to what I knew best, steel fabrication, concentrating on specialty steel-framed buildings.
“We service a wide area, with 80 percent of our work within a 200-kilometre radius. But we’ve also built in northern Queensland, the Northern Territory and Tasmania and even sent a large workshop to Cote d’Ivoire on the west coast of Africa.”
A variety of guests including Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford, local government leaders, development officials and sponsors and business representatives spoke at the event.

The entire November 1, 2017 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Nov 1 2017

Posted by on Nov 1 2017. Filed under Business & Finance, Community, FEATURED, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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