Cowra

Cowra abattoir is located about 250km west of Sydney, it is currently operating but not export registered. It was export registered in 1997 as a pig processing facility only.

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Is currently operating at time of writing 27.12.2013.

Location   

  • Cowra is located approximately 250km west of Sydney

Australia. Cowra

CowraSource – Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • David Mulligan – Up to late 20063
    • sole director
  • Chris Cummins ( 2007)

Operation   

History

1928

  • Discussion in town to establish abattoir

1966

  • Public meeting was held to discuss abattoir establishment. 250 people attended.
    • Decision to form company
    • 50% capital raised locally rest from Sydney company

1970

  • Abattoir commenced operation

2006

  • April. Workchoices legislation came into effect March 27th – Abattoir wanted to shed 29 workers, on the promise of taking back 20 under the federal award1
    • 16 beef and 13 pig slaughtermen told to finish up May 51
      • Managers Letter to workers1
        “We deeply regret this situation: however, given the current economic conditions we must take this action to ensure the ongoing viability of the abattoir” Ray Petterson Cowra abattoir manager.1
      • Abattoir wanted to amalgamate it’s pig and cow processing teams – reason gave for sackings.8
    • One slaughterman quoted his wages prior were $880 per week Federal award would be $580.1
    • had been prior enterprise agreements in place – it was being removed 12 months ahead of schedule.1
    • 22 workers offered jobs – would be paid less than before dispute but more than initially offered by abattoir, remaining workers offered redundancies.8
  • July. Federal Government workplace watchdog found – “Employers can sack workers and rehire them on lower pay and conditions in order to secure their company’s financial viability” Nicholas Wilson – Office of Workplace services director2
  • Abattoir backed down and took back the workers on the same original pay3
  • August Business was shut down and administrator appointed3
    • 200 workers told there was no money to pay their entitlements3
      • workers owed $2.8M – annual leave, long service leave4
    • Collapse of sale negotiations worth $8M3
  • September – Investigation into transfer of $2M moved between companies uncovered by administrator4
    • David Mulligan transferred $1.7M to another of his companies PD Mulligan Holdings4
    • last transaction nearly $1M transferred only weeks before closure4
    • Company had entered into uncommerical transaction aware that PD Mulligan my not have been able to repay4
    • Company may have also traded while insolvent4
    • Creditor – National Australia bank – owed $1M4
      • Liquidator – Frasers Insolvency said PD Mulligan a guarantor of the NAB loan, had discharged the abattoirs debt to NAB and now held the mortgage over the abattoir7
      • Instead of NAB being 1st mortgagee, now PD Mulligan was,7
      • Bank was charging 18% interest, PD Mulligan was charging 8%7
      • The bank charge was enforcable but before employee entitlements7
        • AMIEU advising members to vote against proposal of Frasers to take over administration of PD Mulliagan as there would be a conflict of interest – firm acting as liquidator of abattoir and administrator of priority creditor7
  • December – Liquidators announced they entered into agreement for facility to be sold $2M and reopen early 20073
  • Local businessmen behind purchase – Stock buyer Chris Cummins and local businessman George Kollas.
  • Possibly able to offer 120 jobs if re-open in February 20075
  • Plan to slaughter sheep, lambs, cattle and pigs at the plant and supply meat locally and to Sydney, Canberra, Southern Highlands, South Coast and Newcastle markets5
  • Other buyers had been considered but primarily interested in selling off abattoirs assets5

2012

  • June. upgraded facilities to improve animal welfare6
  • Installed surveillance cameras – $15,0006
  • Installed a head restraint to assist when stunning cattle with bolt stunner.  cost $150,0006
  • Pigs are gassed using carbon monoxide6
  • Operator of the facility at this time – Chris Cummins6
  • Chris Cummins wants animal welfare rules in Australia to go further to make it harder for the meat works with low standards (to operate)6
  • Cowra abattoir supplies 300 restaurants and butchers making it the largest domestic meat wholesaler in the state.6
  • July – Carbon tax starts – will make kill fees 5-6% greater9
    • Independent pricing and regulatory Tribunal (IPART) says electricity prices could rise by 18%, hald of rise attributable to the carbon tax.9

    Chris Cummins comments 25.12.13._edited-1Source NSW Business Chamber Comments by Chris Cummins

2015

  • February. National Sheep health monitoring project is begun
    • Provide information on diseases and conditions detected on the slaughter floor of abattoirs
    • Provide sheep producers with feedback
      • Provide information on conditions such as grass seeds, pleurisy, arthritis and sheep measles
      • Conditions requiring trimming at the abattoir include sarcocystis, rib fractures, cheesy gland and vaccine lesions

Sources Cowra. #3173

  1. ‘A lot of beef about for abattoir workers’ SMH 04.04.2006
  2. ‘Watchdog clears Cowra abattoir over sackings’ The Age 08.07.2006
  3. ‘Cowra abattoir set to re-open’ www.news.com.
  4. ‘Cowra abattoir owner faces investigation’ ABC Online 11.09.2006
  5. ‘Locals to save Cowra abattoir’ The Land 28.12.2006
  6. ‘inside the kill room at the Cowra meat works’ www.abc.net.au. 11.06.2012.
  7. ‘Abattoir boss in dash for cash’ The Telegraph 04.10.2006
  8. ‘Jobs on lower pay for Cowra workers’ The Advertiser 15.06.2006
  9. ‘Chris Cummins on Cowra abattoir on the carbon tax debarcle’ Meat trade News daily. 07.07.2012
  10. ‘Politics in Place- Social power relations in an Australian country town’ Ian Gray. Pg 38
  11. http://www.theland.com.au/story/3381290/thinking-outside-the-slaughter-box/?cs=4963#!. 10.11.2014. See Cootamundra
  12. http://www.farmonline.com.au/story/3380028/abattoir-surveillance-lifts-sheep-health-profits/. 24.02.2015
  13. http://www.farmonline.com.au/story/3376282/bush-towns-welcome-syrian-refugees/. 24.09.2015
  14. http://www.theland.com.au/story/4924111/passing-of-meat-industry-identity/. 15.11.2016
  15. http://www.theland.com.au/story/4924111/passing-of-meat-industry-identity/. 15.09.2017

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