The Wagner family have been business stalwarts of Toowoomba since 1896 when John Henry Wagner first established the now legendary stone masonry business JH Wagner & Sons which continues to this day.
Henry, a grandson, eventually acquired control, expanded to include concreting, and in 1989 formed a partnership with three of his sons John, Dennis, and Neil. Later, a fourth son Joe, joined and became an equal partner in the business which has achieved regional, national and international distinction.
From 1989, the business expanded rapidly from one concrete plant to 19 within 20 years and a work force of 1,100. Diversification led the business into pre-cast concrete, re-enforcing steel, ground-breaking building products and major construction and infrastructure projects both at home and abroad. International projects across many countries became a growth opportunity and international reputation builder for Wagners, who demonstrated a relentless fearlessness and ingenuity in project completions most notably in sub-zero temperatures in Sakhalin, Russia.
In Australia, the business thrived in a range of diverse construction and infrastructure related activities. As well, through a deep commitment to, and investment in innovation, research and development, Wagners developed world-leading fibre technology products and the revolutionary earth friendly concrete. In 2017, Wagers successfully listed its building materials and mining services operations on the ASX.
Perhaps the crowning achievement of the Wagner family is the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, the first public airport to be constructed in Australia in 50 years, built entirely with private money and completed in less than 20 months. Built, owned and operated by the Wagner family, the airport is a thriving regional and interstate passenger facility with major airlines and is a hub for the export of regional produce to China via a weekly 747 service, with unlimited expansion potential.
A key to their success has been an iron-clad agreement that all differences of opinion are resolved, face-to-face in the boardroom. Common sense, shared vision and team work characterise their partnership ensuring that no vote has ever been required to deal with a crucial issue or decision.
The Wagner brothers strongly embrace the values of their parents Henry and Mary, namely honesty and fair dealing in their business activities and a commitment to improving communities in which they operate. They are humble, self-made Queensland entrepreneurs who, with their well trained and resilient work force, will continue to lead Australia’s infrastructure development.