Category Archives: Bowen

Queensland abattoirs listed – regions

North Queensland

Ayr abattoir (QLD)

Small processor located 90km south of Townsville, currently in operation

Biboohra abattoir (QLD)

Historical abattoir closed in 1927, Also known as Baron works, located near Mareeba.

Owned by MJ Munro, operated as a slaughterhouse in the early days and then a cannery.

Bowen abattoir (QLD)

Located 230km south of Townsville on the QLD coast.Was in operation at 1919, went through fires, labour disputes and temporary closures. Purchased by AMH, the final owners and permanently closed in 1997.

Cairns abattoir (QLD)

Cairns (more commonly known as Queerah meatworks) was located in far north QLD received cattle from mainly north Australia, often by Barge from the NT and Normanton that had travelled from the gulf of Carpentaria in the 1960’s to 1975. Began to export in 1950’s closed in 1989 as part of the AMH rationalisation strategy of its abattoir capacity through the 1980’s.

Camooweal abattoir (QLD)

Located 190km northwest of Mt Isa, small processor currently operating that supplies own butchery for retail.

Canon Vale (QLD)

A small local processor currently in operation, located 70 km south of Bowen between Townsville and Mackay.

Cape River abattoir (QLD)

Located  south west of Townsville. Closed in 1986 due to the AMH  rationalisation strategy of its abattoirs capacity through the 1980’s.

Pentland abattoir (QLD)

Built prior to WWII, At one stage was the 2nd largest meatworks in Queensland. Last owned by AMH consortium, closed in 1989

Ross River abattoir (QLD)

Built in 1882, QLD meat export agency formed supplied contracts for supply of product to England. Plagued by industrial action its whole operating life most notably in 19919 when a violent clash between the unions and police occurred. Been through ownership receiver, beef price crash, strikes, droughts and market changes. Smorgons meat processors, last owner collapses in 1994, facility closed in 1995. Site now developed as a residential site with only the chimney still remaining as a historic site.

Tolga abattoir (QLD)

Small processor currently operating near Cairns

Townsville – Stuart

Owned by JBS. Large beef processor located in far north QLD

Tully abattoir (QLD)

Small processor currently operating between Cairns and Townsville

Weipa abattoir (QLD)

Small local processor

Central Queensland

Charleville abattoir – goat processor (Central QLD)

A goat processing facility that is currently operating located in central QLD. This facility exports all its production. Has had past problems of securing visa workers to ensure ability to process production. Floods have affected operations and government costs while plant has been closed at different periods.

Clermont abattoir (QLD)

Small local processor

Cloncurry #1 abattoir (QLD)

Small local processor currently operating

Cloncurry #2, proposed abattoir (QLD)

Proposal sponsored by DAFF 2012. Consider establishment of an abattoir at Cloncurry to process cattle from north west QLD and NT. Based on processing 100,000 heavy cattle per year, costing $49M to build not including land or government services. Marginal return expected on investment.

El Arish abattoir (QLD)

Located near Innisfail, a small processor that is currently operating.

Giru abattoir (QLD)

Domestic abattoir currently operating south of Townsville

Innisfail abattoir (QLD)

Owned by CMG then Teys, Hit by cyclone Larry in 2006, never to be reopened, equipment scrapped and auctioned off in 2011.

Mt Isa abattoir (QLD)

Built in the war years and closed in 1986

Southern Queensland

Beenleigh abattoir (QLD)

Large facility owned by Teys, currently in operation located south of Brisbane.Recently had a number of wage disputes. Invests heavily in new technology to optimise labour efficencies, currently operating 2 shifts processing 1,300 cattle per day

Caboolture abattoir (QLD)

Located in Queensland, one of only 2 abattoirs in Australia accredited for export of horse meat.

Dinmore abattoir (QLD)

The largest meat processing plant in Australia, currently operating and owned by JBS Australia. Located near Brisbane QLD.

Kilcoy abattoir (QLD)

Located northwest of Brisbane and primarily processes grainfed cattle. 4th largest abattoir in Australia, currently operating.

Oakey abattoir (QLD)

Located near Toowoomba, a large processing facility of mainly grain-fed beef, owned by Nippon. Currently processing up to 1300 animals per day. Has undergone significant upgrades to enable traceability for organic certification and assurances, with current work being carried out on methane gas collection. Problems in the past have been market fluctuations, unions and costs of production

Surat abattoir – Kangaroo processor (QLD)

Games meat abattoir located south of Roma. Processes Kangaroo. Started in mid 1980’s, possibly now closed due to floods, debt and costs of services to operate.

Queensland abattoirs listed – A-Z

These are the abattoirs currently listed on this blog, it is not complete of all actual operations at this point in time

Ayr abattoir (Nth QLD)

Beenleigh abattoir (Sth QLD).

Biboohra abattoir (Nth QLD)

Bowen abattoir (Nth QLD)

Caboolture Abattoir (QLD). Owned by Meramist Pty Ltd. A beef and horse processing facility.

Cairns abattoir ( Nth QLD)

Camooweal abattoir (Nth QLD)

Canon Vale (Nth QLD)

Cape River abattoir (Nth QLD)

Charleville abattoir – goat processor (Central QLD)

Clermont abattoir (Central QLD)

Cloncurry abattoir #1 (Central QLD)

Cloncurry #2. proposed abattoir (Central QLD)

Dinmore abattoir (Sth QLD)

El Arish (Nth QLD)

Giru abattoir (Nth QLD)

Innisfail abattoir (Nth QLD)

Kilcoy currently in operation

Mt Isa Owned by AMH, closed in 1986

Oakey abattoir (Sth QLD). Owned by Nippon. Currently operating.

Pentland (Cape River). Built originally prior to WWII, Eventually owned by AMH, closed 1989

Rockhampton – Lakes Creek Owned by Teys Australia, currently in operation.

Roma #2 (Proposed) Maronoa council seeking funding to conduct a feasibility study in 2014

Ross River Built in 1882, transformed from boiling down works to cannery to abattoir and meat processor. Finally owned by Smorgons closed 1995, Now demolished.

Surat (Wild game – kangaroo) Kangaroo processing facility, was in operation as at 2013

Tolga abattoir (QLD) 

Townsville Stuart  Owned by JBS, Currently in operation

Tully abattoir (Nth QLD)

Weipa Was in operation as at 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Bowen

Other Names

  • Bowen Freezing works
  • Merinda abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed 19972
    • Other articles cite closure as 1996.4

Location   

  • Merinda – 6 miles from Bowen          

Australia. Bowen

Map BowenHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Bergl (Australia) Ltd3
  • Thomas Borthwick & Son – owned 5-6 abattoirs in Australia (1933)3
  • AMH (1986)2
  • Nippon Meats (Japanese) purchased 1989.4
  • Nippon Meat Packers6
    • Subsidiary of a Japanese Multinational
    • Nippon meat packers incorporated 19786
  • products_edited-1Source Nippon Meat Packers Australia interactive beef products

    This is a great diagram that is able to be clicked on in the Nippon website and illustrates where the various cuts of beef and offal are located in the animals bodies

  •  Nippon currently own 3 operating abattoirs in Australia ( as at 2016)

Operation          

  • Purchased stock from Western QLD & NT

History of Bowen Meatworks

1890’s

  • Recognition that the export trade of meat needs to be developed for the economic benefit of Australian producers (Pg 1041).9
    • Existing low values are due to fact that half to one third of surplus meat is exported.9
    • Should be exporting 250,000 to 300,000 carcases of beef.9
    • £1M pounds is required to construct meatworks.9
    • If not constructed £10M pounds could be added to existing capital of the banks and still their securities would be unprofitable(Pg 1042).9
  • Parliament develope “The Meat and Dairy Produce Encouragement Act”(Pg 1042).9
    • Levy imposed on both cattle and sheep.9
    • 2 funds .9
      1. Dairying herds
      2. Beef herds
    • Fund allows for establishment of meatworks at.9
      • Pinkenba
      • Bowen
      • Redbank
      • Cardwell
      • Broadsound
      • Gladstone
      • Brisbane
      • Charleville
      • Mackay
      • Biboohra (Mareeba)
      • Burketown and
      • Sellheim

1894

  • Operation was started by local cattlemen.11
    • Cattle were selling for as low as 30/ per head.11
    • Only in operation for one year.11
  • Bergl purchased
    • Had connections with Houlden Bros – Boats known as Grange Line.11
  • Works employed 200-400 men.11
  • Killed an average of 15,000 cattle per annum.11
    • the best year being 30,000 head.11

1905

  • Bergl Australia acquire the small plant, at this time known as Merinda.9
    • Prior to this had been by Bowen Meat Export and Agency Co.10

1919

  • In operation

1932

  • November. Bowen works is purchased by Borthwick’s with the intention of commencement of export operations in 1933.11
  • Borthwicks had been operating Burdekin meatworks previous 2-3 years.11
    • have not continued with the lease.11
  • Prior to Borthwicks purchase the Bowen meatworks had been idle for sometime.11
    • Bergl had installed modern machinery in the previous year.11
    • Bergl did not intend to carry on in QLD.11
  • Borthwicks had obtained prominent army contracts.11
    • In 1923 securing bulk of the war office yearly contract of 6,000 tonnes for home command.11

1933

  • Borthwick & Son purchased. Rebuilt and made extensions.3

Thomas Borthwick_edited-1Source – QLD National State Library. #137304
Thomas Borthwick & Sons Freezing works. Undated

1941

  • Oil stove used to heat bitumen to seal cork insulation in the storage section caught fire3
  • Was 800t of meat in the store at the time.3
  • 300 employees killing 376 cattle a day for export

Bown - fire_edited-1Source QLD National Library. #137256
Thomas Borthwick & Sons Freezing works

1958

  • Slaughter processing peak 58,500 head.10

1960’s  

  • Closed overnight – Lord Borthwick unable to meet demands of unions and strikes1

1963

  • Is currently registered as a meat export works (Pg 314).5
    • Proprietor – Thos. Borthwick & Sons (A/Asia) Ltd

1980’s

  • The Australian beef trading/processing environment is worsening(Pg 119).5
    • QLD Cattle herd in 1975 was 14M head.5
      • QLD Cattle herd in 1987 is 9M.5
    • There is low utilisation rates through meatworks and the need to reduce the number the meatworks is seen to improve efficency and reduce operational costs (Pg 120).5

1983

  • Federal Industries Assistance Commission produce a report that reveals the Australian meat processing industry has 38% excess capacity (Pg 126).7

1986 

  • April. Joint Venture Proposal is begun to amalgamate.7
    • FJ Walkers (Owned by Elders IXL)
      • Already own 10 abattoirs, including 4 key export works and meat packing plants in Australia (Pg 119).5
    • Metro Meat Industries
    • Smorgon Consolidated Industries
    • Tancred Bros
    • Thomas Borthwick & Sons
      • Borthwicks to add their plants of Mackay (QLD) and Bowen.7
  • Wide spread concern of potential domination of the QLD beef market by the merger entity (Pg 127).7
  • May. Trade Practices Commission (TPC) holds a investigation.7
  • June. TPC announce will not place legal impediment to the merger.7
  • July. Borthwicks  withdraw from talks(pg 120).5
    • Borthwicks had operation problems of it’s own and wanted to sell all Australian assets including hides and skin processing not just jewels of Bowen and Mackay.5
    • Portland (Vic) would be particularly difficult to sell due to union unrest.5

1987

  • Is listed in Aus-Meat Accreditation List as Establisment #723.8
    • Borthwick. T & Sons Ltd.

1988 

  • January. Teys Brothers are in discussion with Borthwick to purchase Borthwick Australian assets and a Japanese branch of the company (Pg 121).5
  • Teys had been in a joint venture with Canada Packers (Pg 121).5
    • Canada Packers withdrew from the joint venture which influenced Teys to seek financial backing from Kerry Packer in bidding for the Borthwick assets
    • Purchase price $25M Australian
  • AMH saw the ‘new entrant’, Teys as a threat to AMH’s ability to remain profitable and achieve further rationalisation in the northern region (Pg 122).5
  • AMH commented that Borthwick operations were the main price competition in QLD (Pg 122).5
    • If Borthwicks not in the market AMH would earn $10 a head more per animal.5
  • AMH offered Borthwicks $29M for Australian Assets (Pg 122)
  • TPC advised AMH not to proceed without their consultation as they would likely contravene Sec 50 Trade Practices Act and likely dominate the QLD cattle market (Pg 123).5
  • TPC placed an injunction for AMH to withdraw offer (Pg 123).5
    • AMH resisted arguing the the order would likely allow Teys to purchase without actual determination of contravention of section 50.5
    • AMH  offered undertaking that Borthwicks business’s would be maintained and conducted independently and in competition with the business of AMH.5
    • TPC accepted but possible divestiture order was of significant commercial risk to AMH.5
      • TPC announced an inquiry was to be held.5
    • Borthwicks sale to AMH was accepted 26/01/1988
  • Borthwick Hides and skins business were immediately sold.5
  • All remaining parts of Borthwicks were combined with AMH
  • February. TPC begins inquiry.5
    • TPC accepts that northern QLD is a seperate market to central and southern QLD.5
    • AMH control 5 of the 10 abattoirs in the region.5
  • Bowen abattoir could lift total regional slaughter capacity to over 76.76%.5
  • TPC ruled AMH had contravened section 50.5
    • Ruling was AMH must divest itself of Bowen & Mackay
      • Could retain control of Portland (pg 128).7
    • 3 months to do so
    • appeals and cross appeals conducted.
  • Trade Practices Commission forced sale due to AMH having dominant market share.2
  • March. TPC final judgement ruling on AMH case (Pg 123).5
    • Case is held as precedent on what constitutes the geographical limits of a product market
  • While the court case was in process AMH had been operating the plants(Pg 123).5
    • Profits from them had been above market expectations.5
    • Bowen was of marginal importance
    • Mackay was significant because of the access to lucrative Japanes market (Pg 128).7
  • AMH offered QLD plants to Anglo Irish $32M (Pg 124).5
    • initially Anglo Irish accepted but revalued plants at considerably less and withdrew from the deal
  • TPC increased pressure on AMH to sell plants (pg 124).5
    • If AMH didn’t sell them TPC would put plants up for public auction at market price
  • Nippon Meat Packers, in consortium with Mackay Sugar to purchase the Bowen and Mackay plants (Pg 123,86).5
    • reported $32M

1996

  • Closed as part of Industry rationalisation.4

1997  

  • Closed.2

1998

  • March. Petition – Abattoirs,  presented to Parliament – 1,248 signatures. requesting4
    1. Revoke export licence for the Nippon Meat abattoirs at Mackay and Merinda: and4
    2. initiate a review of foreign investment guidelines in Australia to ensure that multi-national companies investing in Australia are bound by a code of conduct which protects the interests of all stakeholders, and not just overseas stakeholders.4

Sources

  1. Facebook KBS 16.01.13
  2. ‘Northern Australian Beef Industry – Assessment of opportunities and risks’ ABARE 2012
  3. ‘Fire Damages Bowen meat works’ Courier Mail 05.07.41
  4. House of Representatives Petition. Abattoirs. 09.03.1998.
  5. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn
  6. ‘Meat Processing in Australia’ IBIS World. June 2010
  7. ‘Employers & Industrial Relations in the Australian Meat Processing Industry’ J OLeary 2008
  8. ‘Aus-Meat Accreditation list November 1987
  9. QLD beef industry 1962. pdf
  10. ‘Triumph in the Tropics’ www.oesr.qld.gov.au 1959
  11. ‘Purchased by Borthwicks’ www.trove.nla.au 28.11.1932
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