ICONIC NSW RIVERINA BUS COMPANY SOLD TO VICTORIA’S DYSONS

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Purtills


AFTER NEARLY 70 YEARS, Deniliquin-based operator Purtills has sold its bus division to Victoria’s Dyson Group of Companies, both entities have jointly announced.

ICONIC NSW RIVERINA BUS COMPANY SOLD TO VICTORIA’S DYSONS
The Purtill family has been operating in the bus and coach industry since 1951.

As reported in local media, the Deniliquin Pastoral Times, it is a significant sale for the area, with Purtills’ director Neville Purtill telling assembled staff this week it was a transition, "…from one family business to another" and that Purtills itself would still operate its range of other businesses.

"We have exciting times ahead, with the opening of our new museum and administration centre to take place in February, coinciding with the official opening of our newly renovated Hardinge Street roadhouse," Neville Purtill said, who was delighted that, as part of the deal with the Dyson Group, all staff involved in the bus and coach division would be invited to transition to the new owners.

The Purtill family has been operating in the bus and coach industry since 1951. In this time the business expanded to a fleet of 55 vehicles operating NSW government route and school services, and private charter.

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Key to the success of the Purtills operation are the 56 people currently employed across the Deniliquin, Finley and Hay depots, both companies say.

"In some respects the transition to Dysons on December 1 will be a sad day for the Purtill family, after nearly 70 years in the local bus and coach industry," Purtill said.

"However, we were presented with a unique opportunity for a transition from one family business to another, with all jobs protected. The Purtill business has been built around our staff and community, and we have ensured these both remained front of mind throughout this sale process."

Purtill says he looks forward to being in a position to concentrate on the opening of the new museum and administration centre in Hardinge St, Deniliquin.

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"It’s no secret that I have a great passion for this museum, which I am confident will become a tourist drawcard, but will also be of great interest to locals.

"Our staff are working diligently to ensure it is ready for an official opening in February. That will be an exciting day."

The local family company - started by his father, Keith, 68 years ago - would continue to be a significant local business through its service stations, Wired Entertainment, fuel distributorship, vehicle hire and car wash, Purtill confirmed.

"The Dyson Group has shown tremendous confidence in our region’s future and we warmly welcome them to our community," he added.

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The Dyson and Purtill families in Deniliquin: (L - R) Dominic Morardo, Roy Dyson, Phillip Kaine, Jamie Dyson, Jenna Kaine, Debbie, Neville, Matthew and Sarah Purtill, Lance and Greg Deacon and Brett Drinnan.

STAFF TRANSITION

The Dysons Group confirms that each of the Purtills’ bus division employees will have the opportunity to transition across to it as part of the sale process, and it says it is sure they will continue to deliver the same high standards of services to the local community in partnership with the Dyson family.

Joint managing director Lance Deacon says his is pleased to welcome the Purtills employees to the business.

"This is a high-quality operation that is an ideal fit with our northern Victoria and southern New South Wales regional operations."

"We look forward to continuing the high level of service Purtills has provided over many decades."

The Purtill and Dyson families are committed to supporting the transferring of employees and ensuring the transition process goes smoothly, both entities say.

It is anticipated that Dysons will commence operating the Deniliquin, Finley and Hay depots from 1 December, 2019.

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ABOUT PURTILLS

When Keith Purtill bought his first school bus in 1951 he founded a diverse business that is still successful today and one that is still very involved in supporting its local community, the company states.

His original idea was to start a trucking business, but during the time after World War II there was a shortage of trucks available in the country. Instead he bought a bus and started the Blighty to Deniliquin school bus run, beginning the important job of safely transporting the children of the Deniliquin, Hay and Wakool areas, it states.

With a ready supply of buses standing idle during school hours and holiday periods, a move into tourism and travel was a natural progression. A second-hand coach - the first of many - was purchased in 1976, which started the travel arm of the company. These coaches now cater not only for school runs and excursions but many trips and charters, according to the company.

In more than 65 years of business, the Purtills company has expanded to include service stations, Wired Entertainment (inc. Leading Edge Electronics and Leading Edge Video) and Caltex bulk fuel distribution throughout the Southern Riverina, it confirms.

Throughout the years, all of Keith and his wife’s, Pat, six sons have worked in the business at one time or another. Presently, his son, Neville, and his family - along with the support of their team – run the company.

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ABOUT DYSONS

The Dyson Group, a family owned and operated bus company, has been in business since 1952 and has four generations of experience in quality passenger transport, it states.

The Group operates more than 500 buses and coaches, while employing more than 900 staff in metropolitan Melbourne, regional Victoria and NSW, it confirms.

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