Batchelor is a multi species abattoir located south of Darwin. Licensed to process cattle, buffalo and camels. The facility recently underwent significant improvements. Prior to re-opening in December 2019, It had been out of operation for 16 years .
The current facility is operated by Central Agri Group Holdings, operating as Rum Jungle Meat Exports.
- Meneling abattoir (Pg 202)7
- Rum Jungle meat exports8
- Is currently in operation (May 2020)
- 165 Meneling Road. Batchelor NT 084513.
- 100km S of Darwin
Other abattoirs in Australia
Go to this link to view Location of Australian Abattoirs
- Windy Hills Australian Game meat. 5 year lease.
- Ivan Coulter (Operator)1
- A. Phillips 5
- Land title – Freehold Sec. 2894. – Tadmansori (Australia) Pty Ltd (ACN 612 804 583)9.
- Registration of title 03/11/20179.
Previous operations – prior to 2019.
- Domestic and Export3
- 350 hd day (could be limited by wet season)2
- Halal approved, was originally designed for onshore processing of halal meat products3.
- It used to be the largest abattoir in the NT3.
- Process other free range animals, goats, water buffalo1
- Stockyards, races and interior have changed to suit dimensions and animal welfare requirements of camels1
After 2019 As per Environmental management plan.
- Remaining land area of Lot 2894 is used for grazing cattle and growing feed crops.13.
- A cattle export yard is located 1.2km south of the facility but is not currently used.13.
- At full capacity the facility should process 160 head / day. (expected March 2020)
- Operation will be mainly during March to December, facility to be shut during wet season due to supply of stock13.
- Facility is expected to process up to 30,000 head per year of mainly cattle, but also buffalo and donkey’s.13.
- Holding yards have capacity 320 head onsite.13.
- One truck will likely deliver 160 head a day.13.
- Meat and Offal to be produced for export.13.
- Hides ( Not brined) also exported
- Tallow and meat meal products will be produced on site in low temperature rending facilities.13.
- Likely main export site to be Darwin (NT)13.
- 3 carcass chilling rooms, 3 blast freezers and 2 blast chillers.13.
- Main effluent pit – 5,000lt.13.
- Bunded waste storage area for solid waste bins.13.
- Low temperature rendering with 10m high dryer stack.13.
- Wastewater treatment ponds 19ML storage.13.
- 20,000 lt LPG tank for rendering plant and bore water supply.13.
- Water requirement estimates 1 ML per week.13.
- Water to be supplied from an existing bore on site.13.
- Sid Parker involved with abattoir (Pg 202)7
- Original abattoir – Meneling abattoir was built during this time and stood where the current Batchelor abattoir is sited.13.
- Meneling was the name of the property on which the abattoir was built.
- Sid Parker principal of Meneling meatworks, approached producers about supply of Brahman cross animals for local trade (Pg 205)7
- Product was sent to Woolworths Darwin store who offered a premium price (Pg 205)7
- Beef Crash, came unexpectedly and hit hard.(Pg 205)7
- Properties supplemented income by slaughtering brumbies and buffalo for pet meat (Pg 205)7
- Robert Bright was mustering Finniss River Station. Sent cattle and buffalo mainly into Batchelor (then called Meneling abattoir)(Pg 244)7
- Money from sale of cattle was paid to a local store to cover wages and goods – cheques were bouncing and people weren’t able to claim their earnings.(Pg 244)7
- Batchelor – Manager Bill Coleman didn’t realise no-one was getting paid –
- $80,000 was owed to Robert Bright. Abattoir wasn’t in a position to pay. (Pg 244)7
- Another creditor lodged summons to wind Batchalor up.(Pg 244)7
- Creditors meeting – abattoir didn’t have any money to pay anyone and was going to appoint administrators to take over the abattoir. (Pg 244)7
- Creditors asked Judge if they could take over running of the abattoir instead of installing an administrator- permission was granted (pg 245)7
- Robert Bright appointed solely to take control, Merl Sharples set up bookwork (Pg 245)7
- Asked creditors to supply animals to kick start abattoir.7
- Townsend family from Stapleton agreed to supply animals as they were 2nd largest creditor.(Pg 245)7
- Abattoir at the time was supplying 60 bodies a week to Woolworths (Pg 245)7
- Started to contract kill pigs for Angliss meat works as Berrimah abattoir (NT) had closed7
- Pigs allowed a 2 day a week kill.(Pg 245)7
- Litchfield abattoir (NT) later processed pigs but wasn’t built until 1993. It was closer to Darwin when Berrimah officially closed in 1991.
- Meneling only had local licence to supply meat to domestic use, meaning they could only supply Australian market7
- Facility established contacts with Steiger’s – Waxy Pearce (Pg 245), who had previously been involved with Katherine abattoir (NT) 7
- Contracts were paid upon loading of the freezer trucks at the abattoir (Pg 245)7
- Wally Wegscheider – used to work at Meneling, ran the slaughter floor (Pg 246)7
- Freddy Robinson – ran the boning room7
- Both Wally and Freddy agreed on a per head price and they would supply their own labourers7
- Bill Coleman stayed on for period when Robert Bright took over. (Pg 246)7
- Creditors eventually paid 70c in the dollar to settle legal directions.(Pg 245)7
Source – ‘A privileged few’ Jeff Hill. Pg 244
Old Meneling abattoir
Source ‘A privileged few’ Jeff Hill. Pg 246.
Meneling abattoir yards in 1980
- November 1. Registered land title owner Meneling Station Pty Ltd9.
- Transfers 02/02/1989 to Meneling Meat Processors Pty Ltd9.
- Robert Bright bought out major shareholders and debt of creditors to be sole owner (pg 247)7
- Meneling was upgraded to an export abattoir – allowed to sell anywhere in the world (Pg 247)7
- Contracted Herman Lind – German contractor who built export abattoirs for the Tatiara Group7
- Lind was engaged to design new abattoir (Pg 247)7
- Incorporated part of the old abattoir into the new (Pg 247)7
- slaughter 10 – 300 animals a day with minimum labour (Pg 247)7
- Bright needed a loan of $1M, found a bank to lend $650,000 (pg 247)7
- Used and located second hand abattoir equipment7
- Owners did a lot of the installation work themselves7
- Abattoir was built for $800,000 (Pg 247)7
- Bank supplied rest of money needed. (Pg 247)7
- Export abattoir required specialised labour, previously as domestic abattoir all workers had been locals, tried to employ non-union with export set up but ended up with some staff that were union (pg 247)7
- Only killing for one week before labour problems started.(Pg 248)7
- Union rep at the time – Trevor Surplice (Pg 248)7
- All boners had walked off job – had called a stop work (Pg 248)7
- Boners saying they didn’t like the conditions they worked under (Pg 248)7
- Workers were given choice to stay or leave under the conditions they had originally agreed before strike, a few left.(Pg 248)7
- Meneling didn’t lose days to strikes even though it had a picket line (Pg 248)7
- Robert Bright bought Mudginberri abattoir (NT).7
Source ‘A privileged few’ Jeff Hill. 2008. Pg 247.
New abattoir at Meneling
- Went into partnership with a German company that the abattoir supplied buffalo meat7
- Terms were that Bright had to stay and operate abattoir.(Pg 249)7
- after couple of years was sold.(Pg 249)7
- For a long period Meneling was the major employer in Batchelor and killed close to 40,000 head (Pg 249)7.
- February 2. Registered Land title Owner Sec 2894 (Plan/s S78/129) is currently Meneling Station Pty Ltd9.
- Transfers 25/03/1993 to Meneling Meat Processors Pty Ltd9.
- March 25. Registered Land title Owner is Tenarra Pty Ltd9.
- Malaysian company ,kept facility closed in preference that stock be sent Live Export to Malaysia3.
- Reportably the facility is mothballed at this time.18.
- Currently closed but would be capable of still operating – 250 head a day capacity8
- March 27. Lapsing Cavaet is registered against title.
- Global Livestock Corporation (Aust) Pty Ltd (ACN 117 228 412)9.
- Cavaet will expire 27/06/20079.
- Authors note – a Cavaet is a registered interest in the land9.
- June 6. Registered Land title Owner is currently Global Livestock Corporation (Aust) Pty Ltd (ACN 117 228 412)9.
- Mortgage Dealing 646674. Listed against the title – Mortgagor was Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad9
- Camel culls in North of south Australia instead of shoot to waste could have been processed at Batchelor, Company could have increased production from 250 to 500 animals per week.6.
- September – Facility is upgraded, cost $5M, will process cattle, camel, buffalo.4.
- Owners state\ that the facility isn’t alternative to Live animal export, as they have markets in the US and others.4.
- Indonesia possible to sell small amount boxed beef
- Main intention to process wild cattle.
Note – Some countries prefer wild run cattle they see them as healthier. Markets have been lost once these wild herds tamed, ie Buffalo Katherine meatworks contracts with Germany.
- July. Recomissioning former plant to process 250 camels a day1
- $2M already spent with further $6M earmarked to do further work1.
- Problems with Malaysian owners not being able to sell as they owe debts and title won’t be released on land5
- Reportably the last operational period of the abattoir before re-opening in late 2019.13.
- May 5.Lapsing Cavaet is registered against title9.
- PGA Capital group SDN BHD.9.
- Cavaet will expire 08/08/20149.
- August 8. Notice of commencement of proceedings by the Caveator registered on title9.
- Issues of Caveat are not finalised until July 20169.
- July 18. Caveat issues on title are finalised9.
- Transfer of certificate of title to Tadmansori (Australia) Pty Ltd ACN 612 084 583 occurs $4,585,6329.
- December. Central Agri Group (CAG) is formed.
- National meat processing company that includes multiple processing plants, large scale farms, feedlots and live export depots11.
- Meat processing facilities include Victoria Valley plant in Trafalgar (Vic), Esperence (WA)11.
- Partially built facility on a grazing property – Cataby (WA)
- Entity of CAG will come into operation 01/01/2018.11.
- Central Agri Group is part owned by Tadmansori Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd.13.
- Batchelor abattoir will be operated by CAG subsidiary – Rum Jungle Meat Exports Pty Ltd.13.
Source – Various ASIC and company search extracts – 05/02/2020
- CAG at this time also purchase Esperence abattoir.17.
- Esperence had previously been placed into Administration in May 2017.17.
- Shark Lake Holdings was in hands of liquidators and still owed debts.17.
- CAG hope to have it back in operation by February 2018.17.
- CAG also own a property North of Perth, Joanna Plains. A custom feedlot, backgrounding facility
- Joanna Plains was also a live export depot.17.
- Beef abattoir was in the process of being constructed on Joanna Plains, CAG hope to finish the building.17.
- Central Agri Group begin significant investment and upgrading of the facility with plans to re-open in 2019.13.
- May. Renovations begin on facility, with intentions to be fully operational April.18.
- Australian Agriculture Company (AACo) annouce it will suspend operations at Livingstone abattoir, Darwin.38.
- Yeeda (WA), a new facility completed in 2016 is processing 1,100 – 1,200 head and day.39.
- Project’s backer saying the facility is profitable.39.
- 30 abattoirs have opened and shut in the NT in the last 100 years.40.
- July. AACo Livingstone abattoir, Darwin NT closes.21.
- AACo conducted a review of its asset performance and found the Livingstone abattoir was a major contributing factor with significant losses of $60-65M over the last 12 months.37.
“We are focused on a small and niche plant. We are looking to process between 160 and 200 head a day, made up of buffalo and cattle” Peter Polovinka.18. Shareholder of CAG, Director of Rum Jungle meat exports.
“It will be all boxed chilled and frozen product, depending on the orders; if they want quarters, we can do that”. Peter Polovinka.18.
“We want to target at least 35 countries in Asia.” “We do have the demand, We already supply them with meat from our other abattoirs so there is no problem with market access – we already have it”. peter Polovinka.18.
- AACo invested more than $100 in building a new facility.18.
- CAG purchased (Batchelor) an existing plant that hadn’t been run for 15 years.18.
- Batchelor is currently getting fully renovated.18.
- Renovations about 80% complete.18.
- Strong Live export market in the NT. Batchelor wouldn’t compete with Live export, it would complement it.18.
- Batchelor facility will focus on cull cows and bulls left over from live export.18.
- Feedlot at the Batchelor site that can hold 3,500 may be utilised to assist with stock supply.18.
- Batchelor refurbishment has provided a boost to local economy.18.
- Workers who had previously become unemployed when AAco Livingstone plant were shut down were employed by CAG.18.
- Some workers were sent to WA Esperence (WA) to stay in work until the Batchelor facility is ready.18.
- Likely require 35-40 people initially, with possible 100 people later.18.
Batchelor abattoir layout – EPA Management Plan. Fig 4.
- Previous experience of CAG operating other abattoirs have installed and adopted certain operating procedures to minimise environmental risk and odours.13.
- installed new raw material chillers.13.
- Hours of operation of rendering plant will reduce odour units produced.13.
- Size of anaerobic ponds allows greater average retention of waste.13.
- 34 days as opposed to minimum 16 days.13.
- Facility will be shut over wet season.13.
- March. Batchelor is undergoing renovations and will only be months away from being operational.21.
- When in operation it will be the only large scale works functioning in the NT.13.
- Livingstone closed in July 201813.
- Batchelor is believed to be successful where the AACo failed because it won’t compete with Live export.21.
“We can’t compete against the live export trade, they are paying far too much” .Peter Polovinka. CAG.21.
“Anyone running a herd of cattle in the NT has felt the impact of AACo abattoir closing”. Markus Rathsmann. Speaking in reference to Livingstone abattoir closing and not able to process out of spec animals suited to Live Export.
- Batchelor expects to process 200 head a day when in operation.13.
- Buffalo industry will have benefit with the abattoir re-opens, as animals not suited to live export can be processed for sale.21.
“I think it will be an absolute godsend for the buffalo trade.” NT Buffalo Industry Council Michael Stewart. Speaking in regards to Batchelor re-opening.21.
- Buffalo meat processed at Batchelor will be exported to Asia, much to Indonesia, where it will compete with frozen Indian buffalo meat.21.
- May. Batchelor will begin processing of buffalo, cattle and donkey’s from 01/07/2019.19.
- Facility is expected to recruit workforce of 60 people.19.
- Seeking Tier 2 accreditation to allow greater market access.19.
- Shade and water facilities are currently being installed at the holding yards.19.
- Once processing begins buffalo will be received.19.
- July. NTCA meet with Chinese owners of Darwin Port to discuss opportunities to export beef from NT to China.23.
- Landbridge group had already invested in cold-storage facilities at the port and were interested in boxed beef trade between NT and Shandong Province.23.
- Chinese were circling other mothballed abattoirs in the Territory.23.
- NTCA had a vision of “network of meatworks” through the central NT corridor to include.23. –
- Currently undergoing refurbishment with likely operation to begin March 2020.
- Livingstone (NT)
- Currently mothballed and closed due to operational costs
- Wamboden (NT)
- Currently closed and not in operation.
- Chinese investment company commit to construction of new facility – Hughenden (QLD) processing abattoir to begin operating in 2020.24.
- August. Batchelor refurbishment has been completed.25.
- Quality assurance has been done with 2 processing trials completed.25.
- No firm date for opening has been advised yet.25.
- Indonesia is shifting to buying meat online, Instagram.32.
- Online purchases could significantly disrupt Live export trade.32.
- Australian cattle industry needed to embrace digital platforms, danger of killing the live trade.32.
- Online purchases are being distributed via scooters due to cheap delivery through a ‘decacorn’ company. Delivery allowed people to avoid crowds.32.
- Indonesian government had opened up trade to Indian Buffalo and was currently considering trade with Brazil.32.
- September. Imported Australian lean grinding meat in USA has hit a 4 year high. 90CL. 721c/kg.33.
- Risks of US recession by mid 2020.33.
- Possible trade war between China and US may affect markets.33.
- November. 90CL grinding beef reaches new high. $AUS 840.6 c/kg.34.
- Australian Eastern states medium cow indicator has risen to highest level since 2016.34.
- 70% of cows sold through sale yards in 2019 have been purchased by processors.34.
- Oct – Dec. Batchelor – Dry commissioning is scheduled subject to approvals applied for in 2018.13.
- Facility will operate for one month 50% capacity.13.
- Moving to 100% capacity in following months.13.
- Full operation planned to commence March 202013.
Rum Jungle Branded products. – Central Agri Website Accessed May 2020
Rum Jungle branded products are produced in Victoria.
- October. Newly renovated Batchelor plant is awaiting NT government approvals to allow commencement of operations.26.
- Australian abattoirs – Since 2013 there have been 20 publicly announced proposalsto build facilities with only 2 greenfield projects proceeding and operation.26.
- New. Livingstone (NT). Opened in 2014. Mothballed 2018, after 4 years of operation.
- New. Yeeda (WA). Opened 2016. Has been in continuous operation.
- December. Batchelor is receiving first animals on site to process.27.
- Stock will be sourced from Kimberley, Booroloola, Tennant Creek.27.
- First cattle were due to be processed 03/12/2020 with about 120 expected to be processed each day by the end of the week.27.
- Facility currently employed 40 people, that would increase in 2020.27.
- Buffalo will be processed at the site
- Many international enquiries have been received for buffalo meat.27.
- NT’s feral buffalo population was on the rise and the abattoir would be important to help control them.27.
- At the moment only limited types of Buffalo can be sent to live export.27.
- Currently 161,250 buffalo are roaming wild in Top end (225,000 sq km).35.
- Buffalo cause significant damage to natural waterholes, destroying wetlands and spreading weeds.35.
- Majority of Buffalo live in woodland. Large numbers also lived on Aboriginal land.35.
- In past 5 years 3,000 – 9,000 feral buffalo had been exported to South East Asia.
- Natural increase of the feral herd was 27,000 per year.35.
- Natural increase was exceeding numbers harvested by muster’s or culled by rangers.35.
Source ‘More than 160,000 feral buffalo roaming the top end..’ ABC.net.au
- Batchelor wasn’t accredited to process donkey’s yet but management were looking into it.27.
- Initial boxed Beef first consignments would be exported to Japan, Vietnam and Singapore.27.
- March. Planned full operational capacity to be started.13.
- March 2. Ausqual certifications or organic status and certified USDA are approved.31.
- Ausqual AQ620160. Valid to 31/03/202131.
- USDA Audited yearly31.
- Following pictures are sourced from Tadmansori Holdings website.
- Show livestock at various stages of pre slaughter to carcass handling after slaughter.31.
- All photos accessed 10/05/2020
- Record livestock prices are forcing some abattoirs in NSW to cancel shifts or shut down operations in the short term.36.
- JBS. Scone (NSW).
- Southern Meats. Goulburn (NSW) – processed lambs
- AMIC – Calls to cut government charges to assist and keep abattoirs in operation.36.
- Relief in export certification fees – cost the industry $100M per year.36.
- state level payroll exemptions would save a medium abattoir $1M per year.36.
- Impacts on abattoirs due to CoVid 19 has led to downturn in chilled export beef market.36.
- Exported meat to China demand had dropped due to movement restrictions with pre-booking of containers required 3-4 weeks in advance.36.
- March 23. Pandemic CoVid 19 restriction on border access and workplace activities impact businesses across Australia.29.
- Border controls are enforced with limitations on access into the NT and within regions via road, rail, sea and air.29.
- From this point social distancing is required including workplaces.29.
- People entering the NT and moving within some NT regions require people to quarantine for 14 days.29.
Source – http://www.AMIC.com.au
- April 3. Rum Jungle products are supplied to BP service stations and convenience stores.31.
- April. 9. Batchelor start to pack meat into their own branded box for distribution to local and export destinations.31.
- April 17. Batchelor’s 1st container of meat is sent to Korea.31.
- Facility is approved for Halal / Islamic certification. HAC3777 / 202. Expires 3/12/2020.31.
- Batchelor meatworks is running flat out, with orders for cattle to kill booked in until up to June.28.
- Processing of stock is going well, cattle and buffalo, with likely bookings to be taken further than June.28.
- Over the wet It is likely only half workforce will work.28.
- Currently processing 120 animals a day, hopefully this will increase to 200-250.28.
- for now management don’t want to increase throughput as staff are still being trained and a double shift would be required.28.
- Buffalo are more difficult to process due to thicker hides.28.
- Most buffalo meat going to Asia.28.
- Covid 19 restrictions are causing significant impact on product distribution with containers on some wharfs awaiting pickup due to lock down restrictions in those countries.28.
- Hong Kong – containers is sitting on the wharf.28.
- Korea is open.28.
- New Guinea is open.28.
- Trafalgar (Vic) facility is having trouble getting product into Vietnam and through Asia.28.
- Sales and restrictions on container movement are a world wide issue for all processors and the world market due to lockdown and transport restrictions.28.
- May 4. Rum Jungle products are offered through Ocean Tree online sales – Hong Kong31.
Rum Jungle Branded Product – From Central Agri Website. May 2020, these products may have been packed in Gippsland facility (Victoria)
- Northern Territory once again has an operating Major Abattoir, export facility.18.
- Livingstone currently mothballed.
- Batchelor is not showing on Aus-Meat Accreditation listing at this time (Accessed 10/05/2020)30.
- Certificates are displayed on Tadmansouri website. (10/05/2020).31.
Source – Batchelor