By Craig Zammit in Brisbane

BRISBANE: Pioneer officially unveiled its new Brisbane distribution factory yesterday and revealed early October as the opening date for a second large warehouse at the Bowen Hills site, allowing Pioneer to achieve full northern region distribution from the facility.   

Pioneer managing director Ken Barelli and Queensland Government executive director – manufacturing industries and investment, John Strano, officially unveiled the new premises before a room of assembled industry associates, media, staff and ‘the king’ Wally Lewis, who was on-hand to demonstrate his conviction in Pioneer and officially declare the new premises open.

“It is so great to see Pioneer expand into Queensland, get out of New South Wales, we are a wonderful state here in the Sunshine State [and present] a wonderful business opportunity,” said Lewis.

“Also a further 20 jobs are going to be offered to Queenslanders – we can beat New South Wales at anything, particularly on the footy field and in business.”

The opening of the Bowen Hills distribution factory, which will house reception and sales staff as well as in-house technical support, will allow Pioneer to better service the Queensland area and allow quicker delivery turn around and better customer service, while also relieving pressure from Pioneer’s Melbourne factory.

“Pioneer has been expanding quite rapidly over the last five to six years and realistically we’ve outgrown our facilities in Melbourne,” Pioneer chief financial officer, Graeme Mehegan told

“We had two choices, we could either move into bigger and better places in Melbourne, or we could spread it out and do something like we’ve done.

“We’ve always been able to provide fantastic service into Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide but the other big centre in Australia is Brisbane and we’ve regularly been at least a day behind in being able to give the same sort of service into Brisbane.

“So it just made sense for all sorts of purposes, to in fact have a dual operation where we have Melbourne, which will do the southern regions, and Brisbane, which will do the northern regions. It made economic sense,” he said.

The new facility has already commenced local distribution into Queensland but will come into full swing once the second factory becomes operational in October.

“There’s a large new warehouse being built here which should come online in early October, and when it does we’ll then switch over and start doing full northern region distribution. So that will be Queensland, New South Wales and maybe Northern Territory, which is roughly a 50-50 split geographically within Australia, half the country will be out of Melbourne, half out of Brisbane.

“We think we’ll be able to provide the Pioneer Experience to a far greater number of people in Australia. So we know what our expectations are of our customers, both consumers and retailers, and what Brisbane will do is allow us to completely satisfy the requirements of 90 per cent of our customer base,” said Mehegan.