Tolga is better known as Rocky Creek, a small multi species domestic abattoir located in far north Queensland.

Other Names.

  • Rocky Creek abattoir

Current Operation

  • Operating as at 20121


  • 80km SW Cairns

Australia. Tolga

Map. Tolga


  • Victor Byrnes           

Direct Contact to facility



  • Small local processor1
  • Source of most meat is from cattle sales on the tablelands2
  • Species Cattle, Goat, Pig, Buffalo, Deer, Horse3
  • Domestic prcessor only3
  • Certifications – Safe Food QLD, Halal, MSQA3
  • Employees – 6-503
  • Does service kill3
  • Abattoir is operated in conjunction with butcher shops in Cairns and on Atherton tablelands and property located in the cape Holroyd Station also owned by Byrne entities.5



  • Byrnes family purchased a butcher shop in the Atherton tableland area2


  • Purchased a slaughter yard facility at Tolga2
    • was ungraded in the following years to a fully accredited abattoir2


  • Abattoir Australian Meat accredited 16th March 19892
    • all workers have full accreditation through Aus-Meat2
    • Facility currently licenced to process 150 cattle per day2
    • Quality assurance program is in place at the facility2
    • After slaughter carcases are sent to factory at Manunda2
  • Combined with other enterprises of farms, abattoir and processing, including retail outlets – whole group employ 110 staff2


  • Plans to install a computerized slaughter floor and boning room ticketing system2


  • Listing in RIDC3


  • Discussion paper – Move towards establishment of a Tropical Grass Fed Beef supply chain and / or brand4
  • Within Tablelands regional council4
    • 289,293 estimated head of cattle4
    • region has potential to turnoff 40,000 high quality MSA cattle per year from 700 beef producers4
      • If $750 per head estimated turnoff $30M at gate4
    • 62,000 turnoff – 62% fats and stores, 40% breeders and followers4
    • 491 beef producers across area – herds range from few head to 250 head4
    • Over 80% producers have off farm income4
    • Only 3-4 producers actually employ others4
  • Dairy deregulation seen many properties converted to beef4
    • In April 2000 – 185 Dairy farmers producing 130ML milk4
    • Now less than 56 dairy farmers producing less than 56ML4
    • Most operations diary fewer than 300 cows and don’t employ external labour4
  • Major influences of local beef markets in recent years4
    • Closure of Innisfail abattoir (QLD). 2006
    • Nearest abattoir of any scale is located in Townsville – Owned by Swift & Co.4
      • Authors note – JBS now own this facility
    • Tolga abattoir is the nearest small abattoir to Tablelands4
    • Live export suspension to Indonesia (2011) made Northern producers look towards other marketing options.4
    • Land prices have increased astronically since 2000 (Tablelands Basalts average $5000/ac)4


  • Halal slaughter has been conducted at the abattoir for a long period of time.6
  • Animals are stunned prior to slaughter.6


  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.
  2. Byrnes Quality Meats website. Sourced 19.06.2014
  3. ‘New Animal Product Abattoirs in Australia’ RIDC 2007
  4. Discussion Paper – Move towards establishment of a Tropical Grass Fed Beef Supply Chain and/or Brand – Peter Spies 24.10.2012
  5. ‘Conservation and production go hand-in-hand at Holroyd’ Agforce 06.11.2009

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