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Paul and Chris Burton. Paul and Chris Burton. Featured


Burton boys carry on tradition

FORTY two years after starting his business, John Burton still likes to come into the Homebush office to keep an eye on things.

Not that the 80-year-old founder of Burton Civil Engineering Contractors needs to worry - his sons Paul and Chris continue to steer the company along the path he had set in 1973, when he started with three employees, an old back-hoe and a grader.

A true family business, wife Trish ran the office for many years and the boys had to start from the bottom. Sister Maree is a schoolteacher but, as a shareholder, is included in company decisions.

Paul, now managing director, said his father insisted he and his brother Chris, who is general manager, get their hands dirty before rising up the ladder in the company.

“Dad always told us that you can’t be a boss of a man if you don’t know what that man does in a day,” Paul said.

Now with 200 employees and 100 pieces of earthmoving equipment that is based in the Hunter, Burton Contractors is getting its fair share of government contracts for road and infrastructure building.

Current and recent projects include improvements to Richmond Rd, Bells Line of Road, James Ruse Dr and major work at an UrbanGrowth development in Penrith.

John Burton, known as JB to all, including his sons, attributes the company’s success to the calibre of its employees.

“At Burton Contractors, we have always recognised that our people are the life blood of our business,” JB said.

“We would like to congratulate and thank all Burton Contractors employees for their hard work and commitment over the past 42 years. We hope it will continue with Paul and Chris to keep the success and achievements that have made Burton Contractors what it is today.”

But the Burtons are not just about delivering quality projects and resting on their laurels.

Charity also plays a part, with the Burton boys involved in good causes, such as the Hands Across the Water Ride in Thailand that raises money for at-risk children.

Paul says the family rarely has disagreements, which is a big part of the company’s success.

He says their father is now happy to step back a bit, although he likes to pop into the office unannounced to keep his finger on the pulse.

However, JB cannot abide the modern way of running a company, Paul said with a chuckle.

“He doesn’t understand why companies need HR for example and he hates sitting in on meetings,” he said. “But JB has a great work ethic and that has flowed down to us.”


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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