Category Archives: Tolga

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







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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