120 years of history with UGL

November 03, 2022
  • Manufacturing

In 1899 Alfred Goninan started a business which supported the local coal industry. Over the next 120 years, the business grew, diversified and developed into what we know as UGL today. The Broadmeadow site has been the home of Goninan and its subsequent entities for over 100 years.

To mark this milestone event in 2019, UGL’s Broadmeadow team celebrated with a lunch, and viewed historical and recent site photos, and drawings dating back to 1893.

Take a stroll through history. Below are some of the historical and modern-day photos from the Broadmeadow site.


Goninan’s history

Alfred Goninan initially set-up shop as General Engineers and Agricultural Implement Makers, with just 12 employees. In 1900, the first major job was for 100 (eight ton) coal wagons for Rhondda Colliery. Within two years the total workforce grew to 90. The fortnightly wages bill was in excess of £250 – more than $36,000 in today’s money.

1905 saw the business incorporated as a company as ‘A. Goninan & Co. Limited.’

In October 1919, Goninan took ownership of the Broadmeadow site, previously a copper smelter owned by the English and Australian Copper Company.

By 1923, leading engineers considered the Broadmeadow site as the best layout in the Commonwealth. This was due in part to the acquisition of cutting-edge machinery.

Goninan Bridge Corporation Limited formed in 1924 to quote on a cantilever design for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Between the 1950s and 1980s, most people in Australia were using products made by Goninan such as riding on public transport, sugar for their coffee, the lining in refrigerators and plastic margarine tubs.

In 1999, Goninan was bought by United Constructions. Over the next few years, the company name changed to United Goninan, to United Group Rail, then finally to UGL in 2012. UGL became a member of CIMIC Group in 2017, and today is the Group’s market leader in end-to-end asset solutions.
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