After a century at the forefront of Australian construction, Liberty continues to play an integral role in nation building in this country.
Established in 2000 with the amalgamation of BHP Steel business units, Liberty has a rich history spanning more than 100 years.
For more than a century, Liberty and its forerunners have been at the forefront of Australian construction. Since its acquisition by GFG Alliance in September 2017 Liberty has entered an exciting new chapter in its already rich history, playing an integral role in the nation building of Australia.
Lysaght Brothers & Company Pty Ltd was established, the forerunners to the Liberty Steel Wire and Waratah brands. The company traces its roots to the manufacture of wire netting to help fight the rabbit plague on a then isolated site at Five Dock on the Parramatta River. Its operations continued for more than a century.
In 1896 Broken Hill Proprietary (BHP) pegged out claims over the Iron Knob and Iron Monarch areas of South Australia’s Middleback ranges to secure its supply of flux for the Port Pirie smelters. The leases were granted on 2 September 1899, at a cost of $4 per year, and extended in 1920 and 1937. The last extension was granted on condition that BHP would build a blast furnace at Whyalla. (source: Flinders Ranges Research). After 1915 production of iron ore increased as it now supplied the steel works at Newcastle.
Just after the turn of the century, Lloyd & Lloyd Ltd of Great Britain, the precursor to Liberty Metalcentre, opened its first Australian warehouse. Through a number of acquisitions over the years, the business continued to grow with some of the most recognised names in the Australian steel industry in its stable, including Stewarts & Lloyds, Tubemakers, Union Steel, Packer Bros, J Murray Moore, Alex Ross and William Adams, among others.
The pipe and tube business, started in Newcastle by Stewarts & Lloyds, continues to trade under the Austube Mills brand.
BHP built the Newcastle Steelworks in 1915 using iron ore from its leases at Broken Hill in NSW and Middleback in South Australia. It began rolling rail and steel products including barbed wire to support Australia during WWI. It quickly established a reputation as an innovative steelmaker delivering high-quality steel, which continues today in the form of the Liberty Steel Rod, Bar and Wire business.
With the amalgamation of BHP Steel business units, OneSteel was established as Australia’s only manufacture of steel long products. In May 2012, OneSteel announced that the company name would change to Arrium Limited, with the OneSteel brand continuing as the steel manufacturing and distribution divisions of Arrium.
In September 2017, the acquisition of Arrium was announced by the GFG Alliance, a global business group including Liberty Steel and SIMEC Mining, focused on metals, mining, energy generation and engineering. The Liberty businesses are now members of the GFG Alliance.
Liberty has helped build the roads we drive on, the houses we live in, the buildings we work in, the schools our children learn in and the iconic landmarks and cityscapes that symbolise Australia to the rest of the world.
The company remains Australia's only manufacturer of steel long products, with a steel-making capacity of approximately 2.5 million tonnes per year. It’s also Australia's leading steel distributor and reinforcing steel supplier.
Then as now, Liberty is proud to be an essential partner to the Australian building industry and will continue to lead through innovation, passion for customers and supply of quality products and services. Liberty remains focused on our unequivocal commitment to outstanding customer service, product quality and safety.
Liberty. Building Possibilities