Premier Transport Group

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Premier Transport Group
Premier Illawarra Pressed Metal Corporation bodied Mercedes-Benz O405 in Wollongong, September 2007
ParentJohn King
FoundedDecember 1987 (1987-12)
Headquarters Nowra
Service area Nowra
Gold Coast
Central Queensland
Service typeBus and coach
Alliance Hopkinsons
OperatorPremier Shoalhaven
Premier Motor Service
Premier Illawarra
Surf City
Premier Queensland
Premier Charters

Premier Transport Group is an Australian operator of bus and coach services in New South Wales and Queensland. Its origins can be traced back to December 1987 when John King purchased Nowra Coaches. It has since expanded through a number of acquisitions.


Premier Shoalhaven

In December 1987, John King purchased Nowra Coaches from Bill Gill. Nowra Coaches expanded in August 1988 when the school bus services of Sampson Tours were acquired. [1] An all blue livery was adopted. Following the purchase of Pioneer Motor Service, the turquoise and white livery of the express operator was adopted in the 2000s and the operation rebranded Premier Shoalhaven.

In July 2013, Premier Shoalhaven commenced operating a service between Moss Vale station and Goulburn under contract to NSW TrainLink. It also operates late night services between Bomaderry and Kiama for NSW TrainLink.

Local bus services operated in Nowra still under the Nowra Coaches name:

Premier Motor Service

Pioneer Motor Service commenced operating in August 1929 when Cecil Haigh commenced operating a service from Bomaderry station (Nowra) to Bega via Tilba, Bermagui, Cobargo and Quaama. In 1946 the Bega to Eden service was purchase from Edwards Bus Service. Towns north of Tilba were served by Bartletts Bus Service and Harrisons Motor Service. [2]

In 1962, Pioneer Motor Service purchased Bartletts Bus Service from John A Gilbert resulting in Pioneer Motor Service covering the whole of the South Coast between Nowra and Eden. Harrisons continued to operate the night service until it ceased operating the service in the 1970s. Pioneer Motor Service commenced picking up on the night service also, becoming the sole long distance operator on the South Coast. Following deregulation in the 1990s, Pioneer Motor Service extended its services north to Sydney. [2]

In May 1995, the Haigh family sold the business to John King with the depot relocated to the Nowra Coaches facility. [2] [3]

In June 1996, the Sydney to Brisbane services of Kirkland's Bros were acquired [4] followed in August 1996 by the Sydney to Brisbane services of Lindsay's Coaches. [2] [5] Both of these were rebranded as Pioneer Motor Service. In 1997 Greyhound Pioneer Australia took legal action to prevent the Pioneer Motor Service name being used on the services north of Sydney. This action was successful and the operation was rebranded as Premier Motor Service. [2] [6]

In November 1998, services were extended from Eden to Melbourne [7] This extension ceased on 12 December 2014. [8] After a takeover bid for Greyhound Pioneer Australia was unsuccessful, Premier Motor Service commenced a Brisbane to Cairns service in August 2000. [9]

In August 2008, the Lismore to Brisbane services of Kirkland Bros were acquired. [2] [10]

Premier Illawarra

On 14 June 2001, John King purchased the two largest operators in Wollongong, John J Hill and Rutty's Bus Service with 125 buses, and rebranded both as Premier Illawarra. [11] [12]

Since 2008, Premier Illawarra's routes have formed Sydney Outer Metropolitan Bus Region 10 in Wollongong's southern suburbs. [13] It operates depots in Shellharbour and Unanderra.

Surf City

In July 2007, the Surf City coach operation on the Gold Coast was purchased. [10]

Premier Queensland

In 2012, Premier Transport Group purchased the business of Busit Queensland with depots in Mackay and Moranbah. It operates school services and contracts for Central Queensland mines including for the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance. [14]

Premier Charters

On 2 February 2015, the business of Green's Northern Coaches, Thirroul was purchased with 18 buses and rebranded as Premier Charters. [15] [16] It operates two routes as part of Sydney Outer Metropolitan Bus Region 9 in Wollongong's northern suburbs. [17]


On 1 March 2015, a 50% shareholding in Western Sydney charter operator Hopkinsons was purchased. [18] [19] The other 50% was acquired by Gerard King of Kiama Coaches. [20]

Kiama Coaches

At the time Hopkinsons was acquired, Kiama Coaches also became part of the Premier Transport Group. [20]

Stonestreets Coaches

In August 2019, Stonestreets Coaches were taken over. [21]

Further reading

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  1. "Nowra Coaches" Fleetline November 1988 page 276
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 About Us Nowra Coaches
  3. "Ownership Changes" Fleetline July 1995 page 129
  4. "Nowra Coaches" Australian Bus Panorama issue 12/1 August 1996 page 54
  5. "Long Distance Services" Fleetline November 1996 page 202
  6. "Change of Name for Pioneer Motor Service" Australian Bus Panorama issue 13/3 December 1997 page 29
  7. "Express Coach" Australian Bus Panorama issue February 1999 page 21
  8. Travellers left scrambling as bus service axed Eden Magnet 2 December 2014
  9. "National & Manufacturing" Australian Bus Panorama October 2000 page 19
  10. 1 2 Kings Kirklands Takeover Opens Routes Australasian Bus & Coach 6 March 2008
  11. John's king of the road South Coast Register 19 June 2001
  12. "Private operators" Fleetline July 2001 page 112
  13. Outer Metropolitan Sydney Bus Contract Regions 9 and 10 Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine NSW Government Transport & Infrastructure October 2009
  14. About Us Premier Queensland
  15. Premier Illawarra has taken over Green's Northern Coaches Illawarra Mercury 4 February 2015
  16. "Premier Illawarra acquires Green's Northern Coaches" Australian Bus issue 68 March 2015
  17. Timetables Archived 27 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine Premier Charters
  18. "Hopkinsons" Australian Bus Panorama issue 30/6 May 2015 page 53
  19. "Hopkinsons" Australian Bus Panorama issue 31/1 July 2015 page 49
  20. 1 2 About Kiama Coaches
  21. NSW Premier Transport buys QLD Stonestreets bus business Australasian Bus & Coach 21 August 2019