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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

Southern Cross Water – A rural Australian icon

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Southern Cross Water is one of Australia’s oldest companies still in operation today. Born out of Toowoomba Queensland, in what would become the iconic Toowoomba Foundry. Having undergone many name changes throughout the years, from Griffiths Bros & Co. to Toowoomba Foundry and Railway Rolling Stock Manufacturing Company Limited (which was quite a mouthful), which was later shortened to Toowoomba Foundry Co. Ltd. before they finally landed on Southern Cross.

Southern Cross, through all of its changes of name and ownership has been servicing Australian water storage markets for 149 years, and continues to do so to this day, operating under the banner of Southern Cross Water, existing as Southern Cross Windmills and Southern Cross Water Tanks.


Southern Cross Windmills

Southern Cross Windmills is Australia’s oldest windmill company, and currently services all parts of Australia for windmill installation, maintenance and repair.

Windmills are an integral part of life for many rural Australians, as they remain one of the most reliable and efficient ways of ensuring long term water security. Not only are they fully self-sufficient, operating using renewable energy, but they have proven longevity – most windmills in operation today have been operating for 30-40 years. All they need is a light breeze in order to pump water, day or night, in all weather conditions.

Southern Cross has provided windmills to thousands of rural Australians in our long and storied history, but our best customers will always be graziers and stock feeders. A windmill is a great way of ensuring water tanks and water troughs stay full, even on hot dry days.

A Windmill is an investment in your future water security, and will secure your water harvesting capabilities for decades to come. As a complimentary accessory, Southern Cross Windmills also manufacture and sell Float Valves, ensuring that your watering points always have adequate water, without depleting your water storage solutions.

Southern Cross Windmills sell a wide range of windwheel and windmill tower sizes, along with a range of spare parts for current and past models that are available for purchase, and with a team of dealers and repairers in every state, Southern Cross Windmills can assist you with all of your water harvesting needs.


Southern Cross Water Tanks

Southern Cross Water Tanks are a supplier and manufacturer of water tanks for a variety of water storage needs. Our tanks range from water storage for fire protection, sprinkler systems, commercial water storage, liner tanks and much more.

Our range of rural tanks includes squatter tanks for more affordable and efficient water storage, and liner tanks for storage of potable water used for home use or stock feeding.


Squatter Tanks

Southern Cross Squatter Tanks are ideal for storing large amounts of water not intended for potable, or drinking purposes, at a more affordable price. Squatter tanks have no liner, so the water is not kept in food safe conditions, but for the purposes of irrigation, fire protection, or raw water storage, a Squatter Tank can be ideal.

Squatter tanks are available in a range of colours and sizes, and also with flat, open, or conical rooves. They can also be fitted with a range of internal and external coatings and/or paint finishes to increase corrosion resistance, design life, or for aesthetic purposes.


TL Series Liner Tanks

Southern Cross Liner Tanks are perfect for water storage of potable, household or stock watering water. All Southern Cross TL Series Liner Tanks are backed by a ten year warranty, and are ideal for Potable Water, Bore Water, Raw Water, Stock Watering and Rainwater Harvesting.

TL Series Liner Tanks are fitted with a food grade polypropylene liner, which is resistant to acidic/alkaline water, and is essential for keeping your stored water fresh, healthy and safe to drink

Our liner tanks are available in a range of sizes from 26kL up to the larger storage sizes of up to 600kL. All Southern Cross liner tanks are built from heavy duty galvanised steel, and are available in a range of Colorbond colours for aesthetic purposes. Fixtures such as water level indicators, ladders and roof vents are also available.


Tank Stands

For instances where gravity feeding is required, tank stands can help pump water across longer distances with greater water pressure. When it comes to water tank stands, Southern Cross are the experts, with stands that can support tanks from 4.5kL to 22.5kL at heights of up to 15m.

These tank stands can be installed for both Southern Cross tanks, or for existing poly or steel tanks from other manufacturers.


History of Southern Cross

In 1871, George Washington Griffiths, newly arrived in Toowoomba from Manchester, set up a mechanical repair shop and ironmongery, which later came to be known as The Toowoomba Foundry. Shortly after, his brother, Joh Alfred Griffiths, joined him after graduating from an engineering course from Manchester University.

Through the early 1870’s the Griffiths Brothers worked on designing windmills for pumping water, based on designs by American inventor, and the father of the modern windpump, Daniel Halladay.

In 1893, the windwheel was replaced with steel parts, and in the ten years that followed all parts of the windmill were changed to steel construction, lending itself to a longer service life of these Simplex Windmills.

By 1911, John Alfred Griffiths was listed by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as a world authority on windmill design, and Southern Cross began to establish itself as a well-known brand across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

In 1953 the “IZ” Pattern Windmill was introduced, and remains the current range of Southern Cross geared, self-oiling mills manufactured by Southern Cross Windmills.

In late 1999, Southern Cross was acquired by Tyco Flow Control Pacific, before relocating to a new world-class manufacturing facility in Withcott, while Southern Cross Water Tanks made the move down the highway to Loganholme. In 2012 Tyco merged with Pentair water, where Southern Cross remained until 2019, when Southern Cross Water returned to Australian ownership.

Southern Cross Water remains one of the most iconic Australian brands when it comes to water harvesting and water storage, and continues to service Australian and International water storage markets almost 150 years after the Griffiths Brothers set up shop in Toowoomba.

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