Forbes #656. NSW

Located southwest NSW, built in the 1950’s, owned and operated by Japanese 1988 to 2003. Plant required significant capital upgrades which the owners were not prepared to do and it closed in 2003. Talk of reopening in 2013.

Other Names

  • Lachley meats

Current Operation

  • Unknown


  • Forbes is located approximately 600km east of Sydney in central NSW, Abattoir located in the Lachlan valley.4


Forbes #2

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.


  • Lachley Meats ( when closed 2003)1
    • Owned from 1988-20034
    • Japanese owned – The Hannan Corporation2
  • Tasman Group4
    • Currently operates other abattoirs.4


  • export beef works2
  • Specialised in grainfed beef for Japanese and Korean Markets5
  • 170ha site, that is 8km from the CWLX livestock selling centre14.

picture 2013._edited-1Source – ‘Abattoir industry in disastous state’ ABC Rural. 16.02.2010.
Forbes abattoir also known as Lachley meats.

History of Forbes #656.


  • Built


  • Liberalisation of Japanese beef markets meant reduced import quotas and reduced import tariffs over the next 3 years. (Pg 82)9


  • Plant in operation at this point1.
  • Lachley meats take over2
    • Trading company Mitsubishi were important investors in Australian beef cattle lot feeding and were involved in ‘paddock to plate’ supply chain control. Mitsubishi invested in Lachley meats and Mid Coast Meats – Macksville NSW.(Pg 124)7
    • Japanese firms invested in Australia feedlots and processing facilities especially in QLD, in order to supply the liberalised Japanese market, to ensure product quality and safety standards and to create a more secure supply chain for their parents in Japan (pg 123)7
    • Cattle feedlots in Australia had increased in the 1960’s solely to supply the Japanese markets, when the 1974 (Oil Crisis) occured massive losses occured to Australian feedlotters and producers with little impact on the Japanese buyers as they had little equity in the investments. When trade was rebuilt Japanese importers had to invest in the feedlots to share some of the risk (Pg 81)9


  • At this point Forbes abattoir is Aus-meat registered as an Export Beef, sheep facility11
    • Operator – Lachley meats (Forbes) P/L11


  • August. Abattoir closes.1
  • 170 permanent employees, plus another 70 part-time1
    • company committed to meet all workers entitlements1
  • Another article cites 300 jobs were lost due to the Forbes abattoir closure
  • Forbes abattoir at one stage had employed up to 450 people14
    • 4.5% of the then Forbes population14
  • Unlike Cities of Geelong and Illawarra when Ford factory and Bluescope steel closed, Forbes didn’t receive anywhere near the same level of government support14.
    • Both cities had received about $25M together14.
  • Lachley closed operations rather than invest in capital in a plant that had a bad trading history since 19881
  • Japanese owned pulled the plug on further financial support.2
    • citing high operating costs of an aged plant2
    • shortage of labour2
    • capital requirements needed to comply with by-products results since acquisition in 19882
  • Hannon Corporation was the 2nd largest importer of beef into Japan3
    • Owned a plant in Japan that could process up to 150,000 head a year3
  • Increased tariff on beef imports by Japan earlier had claimed it’s first Australian victim3
    • Major factors are the economic situation in Japan3
    • Situation in Australia and markets is exasperated by the drought3
  • All creditors and liabilities will be paid out in full2
  • Abattoir had closed and re-opened 3 times in the last 20 years.2
  • Local council willing to help to facilitate sale of plant as abattoir or conversion to some other type of factory6
    • Money was available for industrial developement6
    • Special abattoir displacement retraining fund to help retrain people through TAFE6
    • Assist in reducing costs of worker’s compensation, public liability and insurances overall, “..because abattoirs pay right at the top of all those services and that is working against abatttoirs in general” Member for Lachlan Ian Armstrong.6
  • Closure of the abattoir would impact by taking a major premium buyer for cattle out of the market throughout the region.6
  • December. Abattoir sold to Tasman Group services.4
  • Tasman Group also operate Brooklyn (Vic) and Altona (Vic), Yarrawonga (NSW) Longford (Tas) and King Island (Tas)4
    • Also feedlot Yambinya – Wakool4


    • Six red meat abattoirs in Central NSW have closed since 200313
    • Outlook for the sector looks bleak13
      • “It’s disastrous. There are too many processing abattoirs out there and not enough animals to slaughter” Neville Newton, Goulburn abattoir operator13
  • There are currently 29 red meat abattoirs in NSW, down 30% 10 years ago13


  • May. Equipment from the Killarney #22Q. QLD abattoir is used to refurbish Forbes10
    • Equipment is kept in storage and not actually installed but is included in sale deal offered September 201614
  • Sale of facility is thought to have occurred about this time – Australian owner14.


  • Abattoir to be re-opened, had be closed last decade.8
  • Will be over 12 months before improvements are carried out and plant in operation.8


  • NSW Government is questioned if it will offer potential buyers of the Forbes abattoir financial assistance12.
    • Governments reply – Mr Ian Armstrong, Minister of Regional Development, Minister for the Illawarra and Minister for Small business answers that the NSW government would be willing to work with any potential buyer of Forbes abattoir12
    • Grafton #157 NSW had received financial assistance in the past12


  • September. Forbes abattoir attracted strong overseas investment enquiry – principally Chinese10
    • With a view to re-opening as a beef processing plant10
    • Half of the 10 or so interested parties in the purchase were overseas interests10
      • Looking to vertically integrate10
  • Some investors looking to demolish the plant entirely and build a brand new facility14
    • One Korean interest is looking for an Australian shareholder partner14
  • Other facilities in Australia listed for sale at this time

Source ‘Three meat processing plants hit the market…’ Beef Central 14.09.2016

Forbes abattoir

  • Three abattoirs are on at the market in Australia at this time14.
  • Equipment removed from the Killarney abattoir in 2011 kept in storage is included in the sale deal offered at this time14
  • Current owner of Forbes abattoir is thought to have owned the site for 4-5 years14.
  • Stockyards, ponds and office infrastructure are intact at this point in time14
  • October 6. Forbes abattoir site is auctioned14

Source Ian Simpson Property sale advert.



Sources of Forbes #656

  1. ‘Dubbo stands while Forbes falls’ Daily Liberal. 21.08.2003
  2. ‘Meat jobs go at Forbes’ The Land. 28.08.2003
  3. ‘Agriculture’ The World trade review. 16-30 September 2003
  4. ‘Abattoirs revived’ Stock and Land 24.12.2003
  5. ‘Meatworks jobs saved’ The Land 25.12.2003
  6. ‘Council offers aid as abattoir closes’ ABC News 22.08.2003
  7. ‘Japanese investment in the World economy: extract’ Roger Farrell.
  8. ‘Forbes council confirms towns abattoir be re-opened after a decade in mothballs.’ ABC Rural. 30.08.2013
  9. World on a plate. Stephen Martyn 2014
  10. ‘Chinese still showing interest in processing assets’ Beef Central 04.10.2016
  11. Aus meat registration list July 1997
  12. Questions 18.09.2003
  13. ‘Abattoir industry in disastrous state’ ABC Rural 16.02.2010
  14. ‘Three meat processing plants hit the market – What’s behind it? Beef Central 14.09.2016
  15. viewed 04.03.2018

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