GOING STRONG: Graham and Marie McAully celebrate McAully Smash Repair's 60 years in business.
GOING STRONG: Graham and Marie McAully celebrate McAully Smash Repair's 60 years in business. Cordell Richardson

Trusted smash repair business reaches 60 year milestone

GOOD old-fashioned service clearly goes a long way.

McAully Smash Repairs is celebrating 60 years in business with an old-school approach and enduring commitment to quality still at the forefront.

It all began when painter John McAully moved from Boonah to the "big smoke" of Ipswich to set up a small shop in 1959.

The business expanded to introduce panel beating and the operation now employs about 28 people, which also incorporates a window tint division.

Its reputation for quality has resulted in the workshop being awarded recommended, selected or approved repairer status by several insurance companies.

Several employees have been on the books for decades including Marlene Gehrke, who has remained a constant presence for 35 years.

Mr McAully's son and managing director, Graham took over the management of the workshop in 1978 after completing his painting apprenticeship.

He has been in his current role since 1982.

"I left school on a Friday and started here Monday morning," he said.

"You've just got to treat people how you want to be treated yourself. We try to give what I call good old-fashioned service wherever we possibly can because I think that goes a long way. Be honest with people and sometimes you've got to tell them how it is.

"We always try to do a good job because that's what we're here to do."

Over its long history, McAully's has led the way in the industry.

"We had the first Lowbake oven in Queensland back in 1980," Graham said.

"I jumped on a plane and went down to Melbourne. It was a lot of money... about $45,000 back in 1980.

"You could buy a pretty decent car for $45,000 back in 1980. Now there's probably 2000 in Queensland.

"(The business had) the first Glasurit paint system (in Queensland) with German paint we still use today."

Graham said it was becoming more difficult to get people to fill jobs that require people to get their "hands dirty".

He welcomed the strong push from the State and Federal governments to get more people through vocational training or a trade.

Earlier this year, the State Government announced an investment of $32million to remove the cost of training burden on employers in an effort to assist an estimated extra 60,000 young people into a trade.

Graham said a push to get young people into universities had left businesses like his struggling to find people to fill positions.

"That's another thing that has turned young people away. People's head spaces have changed a lot," Graham said.

"If I closed the doors tomorrow, every single person here would have a job within two days I reckon because they're just so needed, (they're) so much in demand."



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