• The Tumut Broom Factory opened in 1946 as the ‘Tumut Rural Co-operative Millet Society’.
  • The co-operative had a dozen employees, and this number nearly doubled in the sixties when millet production was at its peak in the Tumut district.
  • Cliff Wortes started working at the Co-operative just after it opened and took over the business in 1978 when the cooperative folded, staying until his retirement.
  • Cliff’s son Geoff worked on and off at the factory when he was young and returned in the late Eighties.
  • Geoff and Rob Richards owned and operated the business for 20 years.
  • The business continues to be a family business today, with Geoff’s son Andrew joining the business in 2020 and running it since 2022.

Robert & Brad Richards, Geoff & Andrew Wortes

Geoff Wortes stitching a broom on teh sewing machine

Geoff Wortes stitching a broom on the sewing machine

Broom Millet was grown by around 120 families in the Tumut area from the 1920’s onwards. These families produced 75% of Australia’s millet, with approximately 1200 tonnes of millet harvested when millet growing was at its peak.

Now in 2013 millet is grown on only 3 farms in the area, producing around 8 tonnes each season.
Originally there were 14 broom factories located all around Australia. Today the Tumut Broom Factory is the last millet broom factory left in the country.

Tumut Broom Factory workers in 1955

Tumut Broom Factory workers in 1955