Deniliquin. #2123. NSW

Deniliquin was an export abattoir accredited to process beef, sheep, goat and offal.

Deniliquin temporarily closed in 2007 due to drought with plans to re-open. It was re-opened in 2014 after it changed hands and was refurbished with the assistance of government funding. It closed again in 2017.

Last registered Aus meat export October 2017. Site was visited in March 2020, it was derelict and undergoing demolition.

Current Operation

  • Currently undergoing upgrades to reopen.6
  • Aus-Meat Registration as at 02/10/2017 #2123


  • Deniliquin is located South west of NSW about 75km from the NSW/Victoria border and city of Echuca in Victoria.
  • 285km north of Melbourne, 723km south west of Sydney3

Australia. Deniliquin 16.06.13


Hema Maps – Australia Handy Map. 9th edition


  • Klastin (2007) – Managing director – Tony Karuse1
  • Famicorp – Owned by Farouk Fami, inherited from the Estate of Nordon Becker3
  • Global Crown9
  • Tasman Group – Managing director Joe Catalfamo

Outside building _edited-1Source – Steers Auctioneers – Meat Processing Plant Deniliqiun, 28.08.2007


  •  Halal and HACCP accredited5
  • Small stock abattoir – sheep, small calves,lamb and goats.3
  • Uses an inverted chain system3
  • Processing capacity 3500 sheep/lambs per day5
  • 8 hanging carcase chillers – 5 carton blast freezers5
  • Export registered – Japan, Egypt, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Mexico5
  • modern Ammonia refrigeration plant5

Inside #2 _edited-1Source – Steers Auctioneers – Meat processing plant – Deniliquin 28.08.2007

Inside #2 _edited-1Source – Steers Auctioneers. Meat Processing plant. 28.08.2007

Yards #1_edited-1Source – Steers Auctioneers – Meat processing plant. Deniliquin 28.08.2007


Deni_edited-1Source History of Frozen Meat. Undated.
Historical picture of the Deniliquin freezing works – known then as the Riverina Freezing works

  • Authors note. The original freezing works I guess would have been situated near a main water source, in Deniliquin that would have been the Edward river a tributary of the Murray River. I don’t think the original Freezing works owned by the Riverina Freezing Company would have been where the current meat works is.


  • Halal certified3


  • Closed – reasons cited due to drought and limited numbers of livestock2
    • Employed 120 people on kill days, mainly casuals.2


  • Meat processors hard pressed meeting their requirements because of major shortage of lambs bought on by the drought9
  • Prices as high as $158 a head, five years ago was $80 a head at Deniliquin9
  • Meat processors forced to pay high prices for good quality lambs to keep thier abattoirs operating and to retain market share9


  • Begun to employ overseas workers to fill vacant meatworker positions1
    • 6 workers through a Vietnamese employment agency1
    • Advertising in Australia failed to fill postions1
    • If had not got Vietnamese workers the plant would not be operating1
  • Abattoir is closed at some period during this year18



  • Klanstin with drew from the facility – closure5
    • Was only meant to be a temporary closure
    • Operated with Halal accreditation from 1990 to closure in 2007 due to drought
  • Issues with market and meat industy had forced temporary closure4
  • Closure due to issues of sourcing quality stock13


    • Deniliquin has faced a gradual but sustained and significant reduction in population over the past 15 years.2
      • Centralisation of policies of both state and commonwealth governments2
        • RTA divisonal headquarters closed9
        • Department of education – regional headquarters9
        • Murray Health headquarters9
      • prolong drought that have prevailed in much of last decade.2
    • If MDBP implemented2
      • result in 58% reduction in the amount of water available to irrigated agricultural activities.2
      • Deniliquin is heavily reliant on irrigated agriculture for its ongoing survival.2
      • If MDBP implemented would jeopardise abattoir and rice mill re-opening due to reduction of water available.2
    • Current circumstances in Deniliquin2
      • Deniliquin abattoir currently closed2
      • Negotiations currently underway for the abattoir to be sold and re-opened given improved rainfall and forecast availability.2Deniliquin council write a submission  to the inquiry into the impact of the Murray Darling basin plan (MDBP) guide in Regional Australia.2
  • Region has suffered a decade long drought26
  • Abattoirs in operation in NSW with more than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff – 477
    • Includes meat processors, poultry and pigs.
  • Meat processing facilities closed in NSW since 2000 with more than 50 FTE – 97
    • Includes meat processors, poultry and pigs
  • November. facilities advertised for sale, land, equipment, structures and fittings3
  • Attorney for the Estate under instructions to liquidate all assets3


  • December. Abattoir sold to Global Crown9.
  • Chief executive of Global Crown – John Wynan
    • Facility could reopen 20139
      • Would focus solely on sheep, production runs 1,000 sheep a day9
      • Goal to increase production to 3,500 sheep a day9
      • Halal certified with full accreditations for export9
    • create up to 100 jobs9


  • January. Global Crown Pty Ltd – John Wynan negotiation for sale, settlement delayed due to ‘legal issues’4
  • Proposes to open abattoir this year4
  • November. Abattoir has been purchased and is expected to reopen
  • Tasman Group purchase9
    • estimate to employ 80 people9
    • Upgrades to some facilities is required.9
    • would continue as Halal slaughterhouse – for which it was fully accredited9
    • would focus solely on sheep, production starting at 1000 head a day to process building up to 3500 head.9
  • Australian Meat Group Pty Ltd (Formerly known as Tasman Group)13
    • Tasman group previously operated abattoirs at31


  • March. Joe Catalfamo is confirmed as purchaser of Deniliquin11.
    • Has also purchased Dandenong #3085. Vic11.
      • Dandenong is focused on cattle processing11.
    • Plans to create state of the art processing sites at each facility11
  • Seasonal conditions at the time have decimated livestock numbers in QLD and NSW11
  • August. Deniliquin abattoir is still not in operation10.
  • Plan for the facility to be refurbished10
    • Facility has now been out of operation for 7 years10
  • NSW government will provide support to the Australian Meat Group to re-open the plant10
  • Facility is anticipated to employ up to 130 full time jobs in the first year10
    • After 5 years expected to increase to 460 full time equivalent positions10
  • NSW government pledge to provide $1M to upgrades for the facility13
    • Upgrades will allow facility to meet best practice standards13
    • Improve efficiency and provide full range of meat cuts13
  • Total cost of upgrades wasn’t able to be confirmed13
  • Australian Meat Group Pty Ltd (Formerly known as Tasman Group) have purchased the facility13
    • Managing director Gilbert Cabreal13
  • Detailed Environment Impact Statement is yet to be completed13
  • Preparatory work has begun at the facility13
  • Pending development application for facility improvements13
    • upgrades to the kill floor, receiving yard and amenities13
  • Plans for a new boning room, rendering plant and cold storage facility13
  • November. Property investment in the Deniliquin area has increased in recent weeks due to the abattoir plans to re-open15
  • Facility will be opening Mid December or early January 201515.
  • 50 staff have already been appointed15
  • Kill trials are expected to start in November16
  • Deniliquin plant manager – David Bridge from Gundagai16
  • Deniliquin Operations manager – Bernie Cabral16
  • Opening is expected to be early February 201516.
  • Audit has been completed but some refurbishment still needs to be continued16
  • Submission has been sent for new plant, with construction hoped to begin February16
    • Current facility would be suitable for another 2-3 years20
    • Plans to a new state of the art facility in the process of approval20
  • Deniliquin is in a strong growth phase with the opening of the Rice Mills also occurring16


  • November. Deniliquin abattoir is the 10th abattoir that Joe Catalfamo has remodelled29
    • Deniliquin proposal is construct a new plant on vacant land next to the existing facility29
  • Deniliquin plant is now officially US licensed30.
    • This will allow the company to further develop and expand its product range when the new facility is built next door30.
  • Currently processing 2,200 – 2,500 small stock units per day30
  • Australian Meat Group Livestock Manager – Ben Davies30
  • Location of Deniliquin abattoir is very good because it is centre of Australia’s most heavily populated sheep production area30.
    • Southern most export plant that has road train access30
  • Growing global markets  that can be harnessed for mutton, lamb, goats and bobby calves30
  • December. Deniliquin abattoir is recommissioned and is again in operation17
  • $5M were spent on refurbishments17
  • During the commissioning phase the facility will process 1,000 sheep a day17
    • Working up to 3,000 a day at full capacity17
  • 70 people are now employed17
  • Second stage of production will employ a further 250 people17
    • Accommodation and houses are yet to be available to accommodate some workers17.
  • Abattoir production will be both domestic and export17
  • Exported meat will go to;17
    • Japan, Middle East, Vietnam17
    • Plans to secure a US export licence soon17

Source ‘Renovated Riverina abattoir re-opens driving property boom’ ABC Rural 14.01.2015


  • February. Meat processors are finding conditions very difficult with livestock prices increasing for both beef and lamb99
    • Prices to consumers expected for meat to increase by at least $1 per kg19
  • Lambs at some saleyards are selling for 750c per kg99
  • Also a shortage of lamb supplies19
  • Numbers for kills is expected to be less by 1M head across Australia19
  • March 17. Deniliquin abattoir operations are temporarily halted20
    • due to unsustainable lamb market20
    • Complete shutdown is hoped to only last 2-3 weeks20
    • Return to operation depending on market conditions20
      • Australian dollar was currently very high21
  • Currently 180 workers were employed at the site20
  • Have been operating the facility for 2-3 days a week due to stock prices20
  • Focus on markets is currently into South America20
    • Current stock values were at $6 /kg carcase weight20
      • To be competitive the abattoir needs the value to be $5/kg or less20
  • Company had decided not to pursue further infrastructure developments at the site20.
  • April. Other abattoir closures are occurring around Australia due to stock availability and prices24
  • Some facilities that have significantly reduced operations24
  • Over-capacity in the lamb processing industry relative to supply pool is exasperated by the expansion of formerly only domestic plants now being export accredited and having export market access24
    • Export markets are unwilling or unable to pay more for Australian meat24.
  • Reports equipment from the Deniliquin facility is being removed25
  • Operations and Managing directors aren’t responding to calls95.
  • Employees under 457 visa’s have been sent home25
  • Lamb prices have actually risen higher to $6.60 /kg25
    • Indications are that the lamb prices will stay relatively strong25
  • Prices hit 700c /kg proving to be a breaking point for some abattoir operations
    • Total setback of 6 closures (not including Esperance) in eastern Australia will result in 50,000 less lambs processed in Victoria and NSW27
  • September. “With a high currency, low numbers, and high cost of production and processing in Australia, we are a little bit like the Murray Goulburn of the beef industry” – Australia’s red meat processing sector is in crisis. MLA CEO Richard Norton26


  • March. Author visited this site, property and buildings were derelict and obviously not used for some time.
    • scrap metal workers actively removing equipment and items
    • All stock yards and infrastructure around the facility was removed.

Sources  – Deniliquin #2488

  1. ‘Deniliquin abattoir defends hiring overseas workers’ ABC News. 11.09.2006
  2. Deniliquin shire council submission to senate inquiry, Murray Darling basin plan. 22.01.2011.
  3. ‘Deniliquin abattoirs – For sale’ 04.11.2012
  4. ‘Deniliquin abattoir sale stalls’ 08.11.2013
  5. ‘Meat Processing plant – Deniliquin NSW’ Steers Auctioneers 28.08.2007
  6. ‘Deniliquin abattoir to reopen’ The Pastoral times. 05.11.13
  7. Mr Buckingham questioning Minister of roads and ports. http://www.parliament.nsw 31.05.11
  8. ‘Lamb prices soar as suppliers struggle to meet demand’ Sydney morning herald. 14.09.2003
  9. ‘Sale deal close on abattoirs’ The Border mail. 19.12.2012
  10. rel_stoner_20140820_deniliquin-abattoir
  11. ‘Abattoir plans for Deni’ The Land 20.03.2014.
  12. ‘New life for old export abattoir’ Liberal Party of Australia 21.08.2014
  13. ‘Cash for abs’ 22.08.2014
  14. ‘Deniliquins abattoir to reopen with investment from NSW Government’ The Weekly Times 26.08.2014
  15. ‘Meat money flows’ 25.11.2014
  16. ‘Abs trial’ 25.11.2014
  17. ‘Renovated Riverina abattoir re-opens driving property boom’ ABC Rural 14.01.2015
  19. ‘Record lamb prices killing off country abattoirs’ ABC News 24.02.2017
  20. ‘Abs work halted’ Shepparton News 17.03.2017
  21. ‘Meat Commitment – Administrator to meet with abattoir executives’ Shepparton News 21.03.2017
  22. ‘Sawmill could fill lost jobs’ Shepparton News 24.03.2017
  23. ‘Statement of temporary closure of Deniliquin abattoir’ Edward River council 17.03.2017.
  24. ‘Indefinite closures for JBS lamb plants, as supply challenge reaches critical point’ Beef Central 20.04.2017
  25. ‘Fears for abattoir’s future’ Deniliquin Pastoral Times 11.04.2017
  26. Deniliquin council submission to inquiry into the impact of the Murray Darling basin plan. 22.01.2011
  27. ‘Door shuts on sixth abattoir’ QLD country life. 11.05.2017
  28. ‘Red meat crisis the new MG says MLA boss’ The Weekly times. 27.09.2017 27.09.2017
  29. ‘Catalfamo’s abattoir industry return’ The Stock and Land 11.11.2015
  30. ‘Deniliquin: sheep, lambs, goats, calves’ Stock and Land 11.11.2015
  31. ‘What’s iin store: pointy end of the year’ Stock and Land 09.11.2013

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