Geoff Murphy in response to the recent allegations made about their business conduct in the wake of the liquidation of J M Kelly (Project Builders) Pty Ltd.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Geoff Murphy in response to the recent allegations made about their business conduct in the wake of the liquidation of J M Kelly (Project Builders) Pty Ltd.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka ROK010916ajmkelly

History of Rocky builder JM Kelly from loan to bust

GEOFFREY Murphy was one of six children and grew up in straitened family circumstances in Toowoomba.

After school he served a carpentry apprenticeship in the building industry.

Towards the end of that apprenticeship, Mr Murphy determined to improve his family circumstances and his future by going into business for himself.

He worked with Jack Kelly in Toowoomba.

He decided to drive to Rockhampton where he had heard work was available as a builder in the area had gone broke.

Mr Kelly lent him 50 pounds and Mr Murphy bought a car on hire purchase.

Mr Kelly had some conditions to his loan: that he owned a percentage of any company Mr Murphy set up and that it was called 'JM Kelly'.

Mr Murphy was true to his word and on August 5, 1969, JM Kelly Builders Pty Ltd was incorporated.

Mr Murphy became a director and secretary of the new company on its incorporation.

It was licenced by the Queensland Building Services Authority (now the Commission) in November 1972.

Burns and Twigg Pty Limited, an older company, had previously been incorporated on 31 July 1911.

Mr Murphy was appointed as a director and secretary of Burns and Twigg on January 9, 1979 and the company was licensed by the now Queensland Building and Construction Commission on January 21, 1994.

On April 6, 1982, BPM Cowlrick Pty Limited was incorporated.

Mr Murphy was appointed as a director and secretary of BPM Cowlrick on August 31, 1987 and the company was licensed by the now Commission on June 23, 1993.

On June 21, 1979, Kawana Joinery Co Pty Ltd was incorporated.

Mr Murphy was appointed as a director and secretary of Kawana Joinery and the company was licensed by the now Commission on January 21, 1994.

Mr Kelly remained part of Mr Murphy's business until around the early 1990's when Mr Murphy bought his share out.

In that same period, Mr Murphy undertook a degree at the Harvard Business School.

On July 28, 1981 JM Kelly (Project Builders) Pty Ltd, was incorporated and on February 22, 1984, Mr Murphy became a director and secretary.

John Murphy, Geoff's son, was a director of Project Builders from June 30, 1992 to April 27, 2000.

"I put all my heart and soul and everything I ever had into the company and that's why I worked so hard and the long hours and why I protected every little bit of interest in that company, because it was all mine,” Geoff Murphy said.

"My house was the only thing that was at risk, plus anything I owned.

"Nobody else had any skin in the game, for the want of a better word.

"And I'm very proud of my family and my wife who has put up with me for 54 years.”