MEDIA RELEASE - A Glittering Evening as Macarthur Celebrates Regional Excellence
29 August 2008
Bruno Lopreiato, Tony Perich and Stephen Heraghty were inducted into the 2008 Macarthur Business Hall of Fame and presented with a stunning glass trophy as a memento of the occasion.
Guests at the event watched as the achievements of these three prominent Macarthur businessmen were highlighted on footage projected on to a giant screen.
MACROC President, Councillor Rob Elliott explains the significance of the Event, “In creating the Macarthur Business Hall of Fame in 2006, the Councils of the Macarthur Region wanted to publicly acknowledge the significant contribution that certain individuals make to the success of this Region. These individuals recognise that business success is more than just about making a profit, it is about actively supporting the area in which you conduct your business. It is about developing a strong sense of commitment to place and community.”
“This year MACROC is delighted to acknowledge three business entrepreneurs who have contributed not only to the creation of employment and economic growth in the Region but who have also been actively involved in contributing to the social fabric of our community.”
“These three men from such different backgrounds and in such diverse industries have one thing in common,” says Cr Rob Elliott, “they have all actively sought to increase the economic and social capital of our Macarthur community. And for that we thank them.”
The Macarthur Business Hall of Fame can be found at www.makeitinmacarthur.com
Bruno was born in the little village of St Onofrio in Italy. He left school at 12 to work on the family farm and at 13 became an apprentice mechanic. In 1965 he immigrated to Australia.
He started work as an employee, first as a crane chase and later as mechanic. In 1981 Bruno and his brother Frank bought a closed down service station at Cabramatta.
The business prospered and in 1986 Bruno purchased the old service station at Silverdale, which consisted of an old house with a couple of pumps out the front. He replaced this with the current Mobile service station and garage. He later moved the general store inside the service station.
From the mid 1990’s Bruno built the Silverdale Shopping Centre, which has expanded to include the post office where his wife is the Licensee, a supermarket and a medical centre, as well as other shops providing services to the community. Bruno has a passion for the community he lives in.
Bruno also has a passion for flying. He has his pilot's licence and he and two business partners established Coast Jet in 2005. The company operates 27 planes and cross hire planes across Australia. They have established an air ambulance and the company also train pilots using a state of the art simulator. Coast Jet also runs a flying college where students from all over the world come to be trained.
Tony’s parents, Kolombo and Julia Perich, immigrated to Australia from Croatia and started making their living as market gardeners. Tony left school at an early age to work with is family. Keen to expand the business he and his brother persuaded their father to move into the dairy industry.
In 1963 the family purchased 242 ha of land at Bringelly and built a dairy, milking 200 cows. Together with his wife Catherine and his family, Tony established the Leppington Pastoral Company and set about building a state of the art dairy, currently milking 3,000 cows per day.
Over the years the Leppington Pastoral Company has diversified into other areas including Freedom Foods, Organic Fertilisers, Oran Park Raceway, Narellan Town Centre and Greenfields Development Corporation.
Oran Park Raceway, an extremely well patronised sporting venue, will close in 2008 to make way for Oran Park Town Centre. Developed by the Perich Family’s Greenfield Development Corporation in conjunction with Landcom, Oran Park Town Centre will provide housing as well as retail, schools and community facilities.
Tony is a strong supporter of local charities, for example he was a principal fundraiser for the Resite Care Facility for the Spastic Centre in Liverpool. He is also a strong supporter of the local business community. He is a member of The Narellan Rotary Club and The Narellan Chamber of Commerce as well as a former member of The Greater Western Sydney Economic Board. Tony is still interested in the Dairy Industry and is a member of the Dairy Research Foundation of the University of Sydney.
From simple beginnings on the dairy farm at Bringelly, Tony and his family have played a key role in the development of the Macarthur Region.
Stephen Heraghty started his working life 30 years ago with just one truck but soon realised that he needed to expand. And expand he did! With business partner Tony Lamattina, they built up a transport company first locating in Mascot, then at Chipping Norton. When one of their competitors announced free demurrage by train from the Port, Stephen and his partner bought land on the train line at Minto to better compete.
So began Stephen’s expansion into rail transport! He is now Group Managing Director of Bowports Allroads Transport, Macarthur Intermodal Shipping Terminal (MIST) and Independent Railways of Australia.
The Group currently owns 17 locomotives and has another 6 on the Port at Newcastle at the moment.
MIST provides their customers with a dedicated rail shuttle to and from Port Botany. Owning and operating road and rail container transport services with storage, MIST offers premium facilities. On average MIST transports over 200 containers in and out of Port Botany each day by train, considerably reducing the congestion on the M5 Motorway and the resulting pollution. The locomotives are currently being refitted to use gas, which will result in a 50% saving in emissions as well as a reduction in fossil fuels..
Mr Heraghty’s Group of Companies employs about 150 people, most of them from the Macarthur Region. It remains a family business with several members of Stephen and his partner Tony’s families working in the business.
The company is involved with supporting local events and charities and also supports Committee Assist, an aid organisation that operates in Tanzania.
Rob Elliott, President
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