In 1969 Lloyd Taylor came to Moura in the middle of Central Queensland’s fertile Brigalow area and opened a Stock and Station Agency. He had followed his parents Steve and Addie and brother’s Robert with wife Rita, Owen and his wife Margaret and sister Elizabeth to the district as they had drawn a Ballot Block just North of Bauhinia Downs that they named “Kurrajong Park”. Rita became the bus driver for the local Bauhinia School and Elizabeth married Bernie Shelton from Moura.
Lloyd and his wife Dawn (nee Brumpton from Mitchell) had come to Moura from Surat where he had been a branch manager with Mactaggarts. His family had come originally from around Millmerran.
Australian Estates were already in town and owned the sale yards down near the Dawson River so Lloyd set about establishing his business on paddock sales of cattle, property sales, clearing sale auctions and town real estate, as Moura was fast becoming a new coal mining town. He set up office in the old Clarkes grocery store in the corner of the Dawson Highway and Gillespie Street, opposite the Hotel.
After much canvassing and many delivered newspapers and loaves of bread his business started to thrive and he eventually employed Max Webster to help him.
In those early days, Australian Estates did not employ commission based property salesmen and most of their staff focused on the weekly cattle sales. Estates also constructed a set of yards at Bauhinia and held sales there from time to time. The local Estates manager was Des Muller (who went on later with his daughter Vicki and son in-law Steve Bottomley to establish Country Co at Blackwater – now owned by Greg Hardgrave). With the Estates staff tied up with cattle, Lloyd Taylor & Co soon became the number one local rural property specialists in the Moura district.
In late, 1976, Max Webster had left and Greg Blackmore joined Lloyd’s business and remained there for 10 years. Greg had just come from Mt Isa where, for 6 months, he had been a commercial pilot for North Australian Pastoral Co during the BTEC scheme. Lloyd had also just sold Greg’s family property “Clovernook” through his agency to Warwick and Trevor Power, accountants from Biloela and Keith Morris of Grevells Furniture, Biloela.
During the following years Lloyd’s office staff included Cathy Phipps and Christine Wragge who also looked after the on site offices at property clearing sales along with Lloyd’s wife Dawn.
The Moura district, with fertile Brigalow soils and a 28” rainfall, was soon discovered as an alternative cropping area for many farmers from Central NSW and other states, so, before long the property market there was booming, with any properties coming on the market being sold almost immediately and prices rising.
Lloyd’s business began to focus mainly on properties, clearing sale auctions and the late night trucking of paddock sale cattle began to diminish.
Lloyd also began training as a pilot and they initially rented a Cessna 172 from Kooyman Engineering in Biloela to fly clients to more distant properties. Lloyd then purchased a Cessna 182 and based it at his property “Zandal”, at Banana. (This aircraft VH-EHZ was later to be purchased by another property agent, Phil Black, who was based at Longreach some years later)
The aircraft enabled Lloyd and Greg to service a much larger area and soon they were selling properties to the North of Dingo on the Mackenzie River to Middlemount and further North to Barmount and as well, further West to the Arcadia Valley, Rolleston and Springsure.
For several years the business was also the local district franchisee for Logan Units Modular Homes.
Around the same time, Rodney Scott of Springsure had established Springsure Agencies, which was primarily a merchandise business, and he became involved with Lloyd Taylor & Co as their Springsure representative until such time as he acquired his own real estate licence. Greg Hardgrave had also joined Rodney about this time and worked with Lloyd and Greg to sell many properties in the area.
Greg Blackmore left Lloyd Taylor & Co in late 1986 and after about 6 months in Rockhampton, started Greg Blackmore Property sales at Cooroy on the Sunshine Coast. This business was later sold to Murray and Lyndal Brown and still trades today as Hinternoosa Realty. In the late 1990’s and up to 2004, Greg also worked with Tim Maguire at Maguires Real Estate & Livestock, Emerald, a family business originally started by John Maguire around 1963
After Greg left Moura, Rod Pharaoh joined Lloyd in his business at Moura and later, after Rod left to re-enter farming at Wandoan, John Burge from “Parraweena”, Banana worked with Lloyd for a time. John had previously been a stock and station agent with AML&F at Cunnamulla in 1963.
Lloyd sold his business in 1991 to Wayne Murray and for a number of years it continued to trade under the name Lloyd Taylor & Co, however the land rush to Central Queensland for farming was virtually over and grassed cattle properties were realising higher prices than those that were farmed. Australian Estates had become Elders and now all agencies employed commission based property salesmen prepared to travel. Wayne eventually closed the business to focus on his grazing properties and later retired to Rockhampton. Lloyd had retired to the Sunshine Coast, near Maleny, and later moved to Crows Nest.
An interesting post script from Mark Simpson of Ray White Biloela, previously Hamilton Simpson (with Bill Hamilton) – “I have Lloyd Taylor’s cadastral map cabinet full of maps which I regularly use. I brought them off Wayne Murray about 12 years ago (2010) for a tidy sum, most people would not appreciate how valuable these are and the history they hold”.