mbe History


The family business was started in 1921 by Roy Matthews and Victor Bradley when they took out a loan to mine and transport bluestone from a quarry near Newport, VIC.


During World War II the Matthews family were engaged by the military to produce a variety of equipment to support the war effort. This equipment included items such as practice mortar bombs and torpedo nose casings.

Noel Matthews, son of Roy Matthews, joined the family business in 1949.


With the war over the business diversified and began designing and developing implements for the Australian agricultural industry, pioneering a bulk wheat handling elevator machine. In addition to the agricultural machinery, the business manufactured a range of other equipment including cast iron pulleys, grates, suspension frames, and even track spikes for running shoes.

Ray Matthews, son of Roy Matthews, brother to Noel, joined the family business in 1963.

1970 – 1990

Roy and Victor retired, leaving Noel and Ray to step up to run and manage the family business full-time and saw the business name evolve to that which it still bares today, Matthews Brothers Engineering.

Having built a reputation for engineering expertise and willingness to develop and produce quality product, MBE secured the opportunity to supply several small 130 gallon (490 Litre) bitumen melting kettles for the Victorian Country Roads Board. Following the success of the contract MBE began to specialise into bitumen spraying equipment.

In 1985 Paul Matthews, son of Noel Matthews, joined the family business as an auto-electrician. Bringing fresh new ideas to the business Paul built on the existing foundation to develop the first MBE sprayers to feature electronic control panels, improving efficiency and ease of use for operators.

In the following years the innovations continued to flow, with the introduction of the first twin bar bitumen sprayer in the early 90s.

2000 – 2020

Never content with resting with the status quo, MBE began developing a new spray bar system which would be simple and robust whist excelling in the field. The results of the team’s dedication lead to the introduction of our ‘Ozibar’ spray bar system which is exclusive to Matthews Brothers Sprayers.

Once again driving innovation in the industry, MBE invested heavily in the development of computerised controls and automation. These efforts yielded the launch of MBE’s first ever computer-controlled interface for a bitumen sprayer. Dubbed ‘G-TAR’ (Guaranteed Target Application Rate) this system delivered improved efficiencies and safety for sprayer operators.

In 2015 MBE moved from its original facility on Mason St, Newport into a new purpose-built production facility in Altona North, VIC.

Noel Matthews passed in 2018 followed a couple of years later by his brother Ray Matthews in 2020. The two brothers remained active within the business and left the company with a legacy and the respect of the industry and our clients.

In 2019 Paul Matthews stepped up to become Matthews Brothers Managing Director marking the third generation of Matthews at the helm of this unique Australian family business.

Here at MBE our job is never complete as with each build we critic and dream up further improvements to keep our sprayers the best product available for our customer. In early 2020 the first MBE 14,000 litre bitumen sprayer rolled out of production which was only surpassed in 2021 when we manufactured a 14,000-litre sprayer featuring our double row G-TAR Maxi spray bar and control system. She was a beauty!

Matthews Brothers have come a long way from the early bitumen melting kettles which is a testament to the business still thriving ethos of quality and innovation.


In 2021 Matthews Brothers Engineering celebrated its 100th Year Anniversary. Here’s to another 100 years in the future.

Noel & Paul Matthews

Ray and Noel Matthews

G-TAR Control Panel

Early Promotional Flyer

Early Bitumen Melting Tank

Circa 1980s Bitumen Sprayer

Circa 1960s Bitumen Tanker

14K Ozibar Bitumen Sprayer