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Our History

For over sixty years Little Industries has been servicing the Goldfields. Never forgetting our humble beginnings in those early years of Noel and Gell Little, the founders of Little Industries, we’ve kept alive the spirit, drive and work ethic that has enabled us to evolve from a family-run timber supplier into a multi-faceted mining and contracting service provider.

Here is our story, created by Noel and Gell, and continued by us.

Microwave Towers Merredin to Eucla.

Microwave Towers Merredin to Eucla.

As the 20th century ground on, the existing telephone and telegraph infrastructure rapidly grew insufficient for the country’s transcontinental communication needs. While there was a copper wire between Perth and Kalgoorlie, and Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta, by the end of 1963 the system’s multiple 12-channel telephone circuits were falling behind demand for communication. Expensive and cumbersome, the decision was made to move away from cable to a wireless system, and the way paved for the Trans-Nullarbor Microwave Link, the first major communication link between the east and west coasts of Australia. In 1966 a $10 million contract for the 2GHz microwave radio system between Northam (WA) and Port Pirie (SA) was signed. Over the 2300km route, proposed were 60 repeaters for the main 600-channel telephony…

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Eyre Hwy Water Carting

Eyre Hwy Water Carting

The Eyre Highway is the only sealed road linking the states of Western Australia and South Australia. It runs east from Norseman for 1200 kilometres, stretching across the Nullabor Plain, along the top of the Eyre Peninsula and into the South Australian town of Port Augusta. First constructed during the Second World War, the Eyre Highway followed a telegraph link between the eastern and western coasts when a narrow horse-and-cart track was widened into a passable gravel road, ranging from 4 to 9 metres in width. But as the 20th century wound on, the Eyre wasn’t holding up to expectations. Despite yearly maintenance, expensive works were deemed unwarranted. The highway simply didn’t get enough traffic, with estimates being fourteen vehicles per day throughout the 1950s….

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Rockmelon Carting from Desert Farm

Rockmelon Carting from Desert Farm

Wiluna seems an unlikely place for a citrus farm given that it sits on the edge of the Western Desert. Yet in 1967, a man by the name of Jack Parr set about doing exactly that when he cleared 70 acres and planted mandarins, valencias, navel oranges and grapefruit. The land was surprisingly perfect for citrus trees that took to the dry heat and fertile soil and water was in plentiful supply, provided from a network of 15 bores that spread across the land. And as the trees grew, the aptly named Desert Farm rooted itself into financial success. Desert Farm was created to develop a strong supply of citrus for Australia’s eastern states that would come online out of season. The products could be…

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Tyre Trials

In October 1973, the members of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries declared an oil embargo in response to the United States’ support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War. By the end of the embargo in March 1974, the oil price had leapt from US $3 per barrel to nearly $12. The embargo caused an oil crisis worldwide with countless flow-on effects on politics and the economy, especially for a company that dealt in haulage. One of the more troublesome issues that Little Industries faced after the first oil shock shortage of truck tyres. At the time, the company was encountering a lot of tyre trouble from a part of the WMC causeway at Kambalda, surfaced with rough, sharp rocks. In those days,…

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Our Future

Today, carried on by Alan, Joe and all who work in his name, Noel Little’s story continues. To become a part of it, please contact us.

To find out more about the history of the Goldfields, check out the Woodlines of Eastern Goldfields Western Australia Facebook Group, supported by Little Industries.