Acquisition of Gascoyne Trading
The sealed road from Perth used to end just beyond Northampton, leaving some 490 kilometres of sandy, potholed and treacherous roads to be traversed before arriving in Carnarvon. It was into this challenging environment that Westralian Farmers ventured when it bought the loss-making Ashburton Transport in 1949.
A year later, it bought its main rival Gascoyne Trading, which had lost business to Ashburton after the latter introduced air-conditioned trailers which got bananas to Perth in better condition.
Gascoyne’s intrepid drivers faced immense distances and harsh terrains, often without roads as they transported wool and bananas to stores and mail to remote stations.