Category Archives: Goat processor


Other Names

  • Cudgeong abattoir

Current Operation


  • Mudgee is located 120 kilometres north of Lithgow in NSW on the western side of the Great Dividing range.


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.


  • Cudgegong Shire Council ( ? – 1988)1
  • Flectcher International exports – 19881


  • Last council-owned meatworks to survive the rationalisation of the meat processing industry1



  • Built as a service works for local butchers2


  • Roger Flectcher – started his meat processing career when he leased the boning room at Mudgee and operated until 19882 when he built Dubbo abattoir (NSW)


  • Up to half of NSW abattoirs could close with the loss of up to 5,000 jobs1
  • Authors Note – Majority of live export cattle during this period would have been Bos Indicus or crosses to South East Asia markets, sourced from mainly northern Australia. Not animals suited to heavy slaughter in Australia and from herds whos’ production was not likely destined for abattoirs in NSW.

LE exports 1990_1998_edited-2Source – Live Cattle Exports. Australian Commodities Vol 5 #2 June 1998

 Chart showing the high volume of South East Asia live cattle export destinations period 1990 – 1998


  • August. Mothballed1
  • Had employed 230 people1
  • Accumulated debts of $13M, had appointed an administrator.2
  • 2002/2003 processed2
    • 32,000 cattle2
    • 600,000 sheep, lambs and goats2
    • 1,300 deer2
  • Liquidator – Steve Parberry of PPB chartered accountants2
  • Tender Sale conducted by David Nolan Rural and Project marketing2
  • Previous 5 years of operation it had worked almost entirely for 5 major export customers including2
    • Mudgee co-op for sheep2
    • Melbourne beef processor – GH Keily2
  • December. Purchased by Fletcher International Exports.1
  • Would be atleast a year or later before the plant will be sufficently renovated to enable operation1
    • $3M rebuilding program at the plant1
      • New freezers would need to be installed to allow for more freezer capacity1
      • the current coal-fired boilers need to be replaced with natural gas to cut operating costs1
      • Beef line was good, boning room had heavy investment1
      • Utilise as a single species abattoir – beef1
        • enable plant better chance to survive as cattle numbers not as severely depleted due to drought1



  1. ‘Abattoirs revived’ Stock and Land 24.12.2003
  2. ‘Meatworks jobs saved’ The Land 25.12.2003
  3. 5,000 jobs at risk:Abattoirs facing closure’ Sydney Morning Herald. 21.05.1996

Cootamundra.1 #87. NSW

Cootamundra is located in south eastern NSW. It was operated by one owner for over 30 years to be recently sold to another Australian group, Manilda in 2014. The same year it obtained tier 2 export status. The facility was mothballed in February 2017 due to lack of sheep supply but remains registered under Aus-meat. (Accessed 02/10/2017)

Other Names

  • GM Scott lamb and beef processing plant2
  • Manildra Meat Company, from 2014.

Current Operation

  • Is currently mothballed as at 25/02/2017
  • Ausmeat accreditation Number 0087.6
    • Accredited as a domestic abattoir current in 1987 as #35N7
  • MSA accredited plant Establishment Number 0035 current as at 27.08.20138
  • Accredited as a Export abattoir current in 2013 as #876


  • Cootamundra is located approximately 95 km north east of Wagga Wagga
  • Facility is located on the Temora road19

Cootamundra 1

Cootamundra 2

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Other Australian Abattoirs.

This link will lead to a interactive page that lists past and present abattoirs, meatworks and processors in Australian.


  • GM Scott1
    • Owner Barry Noble.3
  • Manilda Group (2014)4


  • Cootamundra is a multi species abattoir that has capacity to process22
    • 4,000 small stock and22
    • 600 head of cattle per day22
    • Has a goat processing line22
    • Export access to 160 countries including Asia, The Middle East, Northern America and Pacific Islands22
    • Employs 300 people23
  • GM Scott – Is a privately owned business with an annual turnover of $25M3
  • Gas-Flushed cryovac system for products produced3
    • Product is sold into export and domestic markets3
  • Brand name used is – Noble farm brand.3


Source. ‘Manildra remains committed to town’ Cootamundra Herald 11.06.2015

Manildra Meat Company, Cootamundra abattoir


For employment enquiries contact Manildra Meat website and go to contacts.




  • Cootamundra facility established3


  • Cootamundra facility is currently operated by Conkey & Sons Ltd34
    • Export facility that has chilling, freezing and freezing storage capacity34
    • Authors Note. This facility could actually be in relation to Harden NSW


  • Noble family purchase facility3
  • Manager / Owner is Barry Noble12
    • Originally the facility was established by Mr Noble’s wife’s (Colleen) parents12.
    • GM Scott name is derived from Mrs Colleen Noble’s mother’s name. Grace Margaret Scott12.
      • Mr Barry Noble had worked at an abattoir in Homebush12..
        • Homebush was Government owned and closed down12..
        • Upon closure Mr and Mrs Noble looked at sites for their own establishment12.
  • Area of Cootamundra was centrally located with an abundance of top quality livestock in the area to source supply12.


  • Facility is currently registered as a domestic processing facility under Aus-meat #35N35
    • Registered name under GM Scott as a domestic facility35
  • Authors Note. It is possible that Cootamundra had 2 abattoirs operating in the region at this time. (Note made 04.01.2018)
    • Another domestic facility is operated as Cootamundra Abattoir see Harden NSW



  • July. Cootamundra abattoir is currently Domestically registered under Aus-Meat as #35N36
    • Operator – GM Scott P/L.36
      • Processing Beef and Sheep36


  • March. Cootamundra abattoir #35N is currently registered as a domestic processing facility37
    • Operator – GM Scott P/L37
      • Processing Beef and Sheep37



  • June 7. Major product recall occurs for lamb products supplied by Cootamundra to Woolworths supermarket chains9
    • Lamb products brought between May 27 and June 5 in NSW, Vic, Tas, SA and NT have been recalled9.
      • QLD products brought between June 7 – 14, only lamb and cheese rissoles, lamb mini roast and economy burgers are recalled10
      • No products are affected in WA10
      • Safeway has issued a recall of some of lamb products in some of its Victorian stores10
    • strange odour emanating from some of the products9
    • no specific health risks but issuing the recall as a precaution10
  • Manager at Cootamundra abattoir, Arthur Cullen resigns11
  • GM Scott Current Director – Peter Noble11
  • July. Cootamundra abattoir #35N is currently registered as a domestic processing facility38
    • Operator – GM Scott P/L38
      • Processing Beef and Sheep38


  • July. Cootamundra abattoir #35N is currently registered as a domestic processing facility39
    • Operator – GM Scott P/L39
      • Processing Beef and Sheep39


  • Meat processed at Cootamundra was sold in all Woolworths stores throughout NSW22
    • boneless leg of lamb or a French rack of lamb22
  • March. Cootamundra abattoir doesn’t appear on Aus-Meat registration listing40


  • June. Facility received a significant industry accolade award for development work with a robotic carcase cutter.2
  • Current capacity to process 200 cattle and 3,800 lambs daily2
  • Principally supplying supermarket group Woolworths.2
  • Robotic arm development – Robotic Ovine Cutter (ROC)2
    • First of its kind in the world2
    • Originated from a prototype installed at Midfield Meats in Victoria around 20062
    • Can cut up to 4 cuts per carcase2
    • Processing 360 carcases an hour (Average 10 seconds per carcase)2
    • If doing 2 cuts per carcase can process 450 carcases per hour (Average 8 seconds per carcase)2
    • Cutting system is designed to2
      • handle wide range of carcase size2
      • utilises vision-profiling2
      • dustless blade-cutting technology which prolongs shelf life2
      • High cutting efficiencies that increase accuracy and yields2
    • ROC is expected to have significant impact on the meat processing industry over the next 5 years2
    • Eliminates 4 bandsaw cuts that would otherwise be made manually by an operator2
    • Increases OH & S significantly2
    • With further refinement anticipate speeds up to 600 carcases per hour (Average 6 seconds per carcase) could be achieved2
  • August. Cootamundra abattoir is the first abattoir in Australia to receive Federal Government funding for carbon mitigation project.3
  • Facility will undertake $200,000 project to help industrial refrigeration units to run more efficently3
    • Include upgrading or recycled rainwater project3
    • will combat rising energy costs and improve productivity3
  • Current processing capacity 3500 lambs and 200 cattle daily3
  • Currently employs 200 people3
  • December. Patriarch Barry Noble passed away4
    • Owner of the Cootamundra facility Mr Barry Noble dies of a respiratory illness12.
      • Died at 85 years old. Established the abattoir in the 1980’s12.
    • Installation of improved technology had always been very important to Mr Noble to enable the facility to keep ahead of competition12.


  • Facility placed on the market as family members pursued other professional interests4
  • Facility had recently had $17M invested on a new processing floor with a view to upgrading from tier one to tier two export status4
    • Allowed opportunity to export markets like Japan, Korea and the US4
  • January. Cootamundra abattoir is registered with Aus-Meat as an export processing facility #8741
    • Operator – GM Scott P/L41
      • Processing Beef, sheep, goats and offal41


  • April. Plant cuts production from five days to four due to lack of lamb supply19
  • June. Manildra Group Purchase facility4
    • Manildra is Australian owned4
      • Manildra is 100% Australian owned13.
        • Family owned and run business13
          • Honan Family17
          • Interests in ethanol, flour, sugar and value added products such as starch13
          • Stockfeed business with crop processing ventures in 5 regional centres17
        • Company is 62 years old13
          • Employs over 1,000 people13
            • Most are located in regional Australia, head office is located in Sydney13
        • Manildra also recently purchased a beef boning room and retail ready meat packaging facility in Bomaderry (150km South of Sydney on the East Coast)13
        • Also operated starch and gluten plants in the US for 35 years17
        • Purchased Argyle Prestige Meats in the South West Slopes17
          • Manildra purchased a 50% stake17
          • Argyle meats moved from leasing boning and packing facilities at Harden abattoir to a high tech operation at the former Dairy farmers factory in Nowra17
  • 2 Chinese entities and 2 Australian entities considered or placed bids for facility4
  • Manildra plan to lift processing capacity beef kill immediately to 150-200 a day4
    • processing mainly company owned cattle.4
    • The existing beef line has been under-utilised in the past13
      • Modestly working 100 head per day initially13
  • Facility has current service kill contract with Woolworths to process and bone 1,400 lambs a day4
  • Lambs are sourced from Wagga to Griffith, Forbes, Goulburn up to Cooma4
  • The local area is very high MSA (Meat Standard Australia) capabilities
    • Major selling point for Manildra with easy access to stock13
  • Manildra had been a client of GM Scott in the past13
  • July 1. Official takeover of Manildra group of the Cootamundra abattoir 13
  • Management team
    • Launches the Manildra Meat Company 17
    • GM Scott business manager – Bill Scott13
    • Manildra Group director of business development Peter Millard13
    • GM Scott CEO Len Jones13
  • Full export licence granted – expanded potential overseas markets from 18 to 1485
    • ‘tier two’ export13
    • Has taken 14 months in application of process to obtain the licence13
      • Market export increase capability from 22 to 18413
    • GM Scott already had connections with USA & Hong Kong13
      • working toward ties with China13
  • Cootamundra abattoir is the largest employer in the area13
  • Target markets will be5
    • Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan and Papua New Guinea5
    • China – Took over the Middle east as Australia’s biggest lamb and sheep meat market5
    • Middle East markets – take a lighter lamb, most sourced locally or from the New England area5
      • recently was a good market for mutton to ME but now is not viable to produce for5
  • Most prime lamb is sourced within 100km of abattoir5
    • 70% of the meat processed is service kill.5
    • 30% is export5
  • Currently processing 4000 lambs and 200 cattle a day, with 200 employees5
  • Cootamundra abattoir is confident of continued source of supply even if abattoir at Young opens5
  • Cootamundra compete with abattoirs in Victoria and Queensland for livestock5
  • September. New Goat abattoir is proposed at Blayney, off Newbridge road14.
    • Blayney is located approximately 200km North East of Cootamundra14
    • Goat specific abattoir $38M project14
      • Only one of its kind in the state of NSW14
        • Capacity 13,500 goats14
          • 4,500 processed daily14
        • located at the current SeaLink Freezer site14
      • could employ 165 people likely 5 days per week14
    • Environmental impact will be completed mid October14
    • Strong opposition from neighbours, residents and business in regards to noise, traffic, smell and impact of the facility14
  • Cootamundra livestock producers are looking to a 2nd abattoir in Cootamundra to process livestock for the domestic market15.
    • Export lines are given priority kill over other supplies of kill space15.
      • Facility and management require large numbers and would desire full vertical control of all animals and outgoing meat products15
    • Many farmers in the area are organic producers15.
    • Manildra investment is great for the town has meant some producers have had to seek other facilities to kill stock15
    • Manildra meat Company have offered producers services of its plant on commercial terms appropriate to the operation of the business15.
  • October. Cootamundra abattoir is currently export registered #8743
    • Operator – Manildra Meat Company43
      • Licensed to process beef, sheep, goat and offal43
  • November. 2nd abattoir in Cootamundra gains momentum with a proposed location identified along Turners Lane16
    • Facility would focus on service kills16
    • small multi-species abattoir16
    • Local farmer David Booth leading the push for the abattoir16
      • previously had lambs and goats processed at Manildra16
      • Not allowed to open a small abattoir on his property due to Council Local Environment Plan of the area zoning16
    • Investment funding is being sought16
      • Potential investors have pledged support16
        • wholesalers in Canberra, butchers and small farm operations16
    • Proposed abattoir would be independently run16
    • New proposal could exist with current abattoir16
      • We will focus on small, domestic service kills, They will be all about processing only  with no packaging or wholesale from the site. We don’t intend to put anything in a box” Mr David Booth16.
  • December. $10M upgrades are occurring at the Cootamundra abattoir17.


  • March. Facilities staff and management commit to very high standards of Animal Welfare18
    • Livestock manager David Alexander18
    • Abattoir aimed to not only meet industry standards but be industry leaders18.
  • Animal Welfare is the single biggest issue currently being faced18
    • Improvements are made to ensure the animals are calm and as stress free as possible18
  • A new shed will increase the undercover capacity to 7,000 animals18
    • sheep will be kept dryer and cleaner18
    • New pens will enable better access to water18
    • flooring used will be steel mesh18
      • Previous timber floors break and cause injury18
  • Vets are in attendance each day and asses each animal for injury and ailments18
  • Any animals deemed unfit for slaughter are euthanased18


Source ‘Animal Welfare awareness at the abattoir’ Cootamundra Herald 26/03/2015

Working dogs are muzzled to prevent biting. The dogs are restrained in purpose built dog boxes when not required and used sparingly.

  • Graded steel ramp used for the sheep to reach the initial restrainer stunning area is about 3 – 5 storeys high. Sheep were unsettled when the sheep could see they were elevated. Construction of a corrugated iron floor beneath the ramp, concealed the height and allowed the sheep to move up it more calmly18.
    • Eventually the entire ramp will be concealed18.


Source ‘Animal Welfare awareness at the abattoir’ Cootamundra Herald 26/03/2015

Sheep following each other towards the restrainer


Source ‘Animal Welfare awareness at the abattoir’ Cootamundra Herald 26/03/2015

This sheep stands at the top of the ‘restrainer’ before it is electronically stunned by the device pictured

  • 4 men herd the sheep through the gates and towards the stunning area18.
  • 3 men are stationed at the helm of the operation of the stick hole18
    • 1 is the stunner and 2 hang the limp carcases18
  • Manildra process 3,400 sheep and lambs each day18
    • and 100 head of cattle18
    • Site is being upgraded to process 4,000 sheep and lambs18
      • and 300 head of cattle a day18
  • June. Seasonal downturn allows for upgrades to the meatworks19
  • Rumours working hours have been reduced19
  • Lamb prices were up to $6.10/kg carcase weight at the last Cootamundra stock yard sale19
    • Higher prices are believed to be part of the reason for cut in production19
  • Other abattoirs are facing similar issues19
    • Dubbo, Fletchers had shut its plant for a week due to a shortage of sheep19
      • Non-production week used to do maintenance on the plant19



  • September. Abattoir nears completion of capital works20
    • Expansion of the beef slaughter floor20
    • Improvements to staff amenities20
  • Had been a contraction in beef processing line  due to on farm and saleyard cattle prices22
  • October. Dam located on Manildra meats property bursts it banks and nearly derails a train21
    • Dam is located 2km from the abattoir facility21
    • Dam only contains run off storm water21
    • Dam had burst its banks and washed away part of a railway embankment21.


Source ‘Train nearly derailed as dam bursts’ Cootamundra Herald 06.10.2016

Dam located on Manildra Meat company land bursts its bank and undermines the train track.

  • As of December this year the Cootamundra abattoir would no longer process meat for Woolworths22.
    • Traditionally Woolworths had been a major customer22
    • Well known in 2010 that lamb meat processed in Cootamundra was sold throughout NSW Woolworths stores22.
    • Followed a competitive tender process24
    • Loss of Woolworths will provide Cootamundra opportunity to expand domestic and export business22
  • Staff numbers would be assessed according to seasonal demands and industry challenges22
  • Contract to process lambs for Woolworths has been lost to the Junee Abattoir24
  • Local producer Ron Ward and ACT’s Griffith butchery win 3 awards at the Official Great Aussie pie competition25
    • Mr Ron Ward used to have his meat processed at Cootamundra but since 2014 now has his stock processed at Cowra25.
  • November. New General Manager Jason Graham26
    • Managed New Zealand abattoir 3 years26
      • New Zealands’ largest red meat processing facility26
  • Accessible abattoirs willing to process organic produced animals is of concern to local producers27.
  • Very important to local producers to have the capability to diversify to spread risk and enable a spread of earning possibilities27
    • Manildra closed its beef floor to organic animals27
    • Cowra’s Breakout River abattoir beef line is fully booked at the moment27
    • Young abattoir may re-open for beef, but not sure when27
    • Sheep can be service- killed at Cootamundra27
    • Goats can be killed at Cootamundra27


  • February. Manildra Meat Company, Cootamundra Abattoir will close28
    • Last kill will occur 24/02/201728
    • Plant will be mothballed28
  • Authors note – Mothballed is a term used to describe placing a facility in shutdown but still keeping up maintenance and all required standards to re-open and begin operation of animal slaughter in a short period of time. Facilities may maintain Aus-meat registration status even though they are not actually processing any stock.
    • A maintenance team will be at the facility28
  • Very difficult meat processing environment at the moment28
    • Near record high slaughter cattle prices28
    • Intense export market competition28
      • particularly Brazil28
    • Processors have taken heavy losses in the last 12 months28
      • A QLD processor was reporting losses of $200 per head on heavy grass-fed steers28
  • Facility currently employed 150 permanent and 70 casual staff28
    • All employees will be paid full entitlements28
  • All outstanding financial obligations will be met28
  • Plant will not be sold29
  • “We cannot continue to maintain a viable business in the current industry environment, particularly given the record high livestock prices and the inability of our customers to absorb these price increases” Manildra Meat General Manager Jason Graham29
  • Abattoir operations can be a volatile industry especially when cattle prices are at the level they are at now. My thoughts are with the individuals and families as they go through this tough time” Member for Cootamundra. Katrina Hodgkinson30
  • Cootamundra township has a current population of 7,500 people32
    • Loss of 220 jobs in that size of a town has a huge impact32
    • Some staff have applied and obtained work at other meat processing facilities such as Wagga Wagga #291 NSW, Gundagai #106 NSW and Young #128 NSW. 33
    • Some staff have also been accepted to work at the Junee Correctional centre33
  • Roger Fletcher, Owner of abattoirs at Dubbo.2 #2309 NSW  and Narrikup in WA comments on the current trading conditions of processing lamb and sheep at the moment and that it is a tough industry32
    • “I do the numbers and it’s unsustainable where we’re at”. Roger Fletcher32
    • “It’s a bit like if there are six hotels in a town and there’s only enough room for five drinkers, one’s got to close. And there will be more close.” Roger Fletcher32
  • April. JBS Australia announce they will temporarily close two of its southern lamb processing plant due to current livestock supply and price conditions31.
  • Other facilities that have also stopped production or reduced throughput recently are31
  • Some plants are currently operating on loss-making skeleton 3 day weekly kills31
  • Recent spate of abattoir closures raises questions in regards to over capacity of the processing sector with oversupply of stock due to drought31
  • Has been high levels of foreign investment interest in investments directed into processing31

Sources Cootamundra #87

  1. ‘5,000 jobs at risk: Abattoirs facing closure’ Sydney Morning Herald 21.05.1996
  2. ‘Productivity: Cootamundra’s robotic carcase cutter wins innovation award’ Beef Central 04.06.2012
  4. http:’Manildra secures Cootamundra beef, lamb abattoir, despite Chinese competition’ Beef Central 27.06.2014
  6. AUS-MEAT accreditation list 01.01.2014
  7. AUS-MEAT accreditation list 1987
  8. MSA Licensed Plants Meat and Livestock Australia 27.08.2013
  9. ‘Woolworths not to blame for product recall: GM Scott’ ABC News 07.06.2008
  10. ‘Woolies recalls lamb products’ ABC News 07.06.2008
  11. ‘Meatworks manager leaves in wake of Woolies lamb recall’ 11.06.2008
  12. ‘Loss of noble man’ 05.12.2012
  13. ‘Abattoir purchase official’ Cootamundra Herald 27.06.2014
  14. ‘Blayney neighbours unhappy with plans for goat abattoir’ Western Advocate 26.09.2014
  15. ‘Farmers look to a second Cootamundra abattoir’ Foodmagazine 08.09.2014
  16. ‘Second abattoir proposal gains momentum’ Cootamundra Herald  21.11.2014
  17. ‘Manildra Group’s meaty move’ Stock and Land 13.12.2014
  18. ‘Animal Welfare awareness at the abattoir’ Cootamundra Herald 26/03/2015
  19. ‘Manildra remains committed to town’ Cootamundra Herald 11.06.2015
  20. a
  21. ‘Train nearly derailed as dam bursts’ Cootamundra Herald 06.10.2016
  22. ‘End of an era for Cootamundra abattoir’ Cootamundra Abattoir 26.10.2016
  23. Manildra Meat website
  24. ‘Competitive process results in end of Cootamundra contract’ Cootamundra Herald 27.10.2016
  25. ‘Vote of confidence for local farm’ Cootamundra Herald 28.10.2016
  26. ‘Manildra director pays tribute to former CEO’ Cootamundra Herald 01.11.2016
  27. ‘Spreading risk at Cootamundra’ Cootamundra Herald 15.11.2016
  28. ‘Cootamundra plant closure could flag more widespread processor shut-downs’ Beef Central 17.02.2017
  29. ‘150 permanent and 70 casual staff out of a job’ Cootamundra Herald 17.02.2017
  30. ‘Member for Cootamundra, Katrina Hodgkinson saddened by decision’ Cootamundra Herald 17.02.2017
  31. ‘Indefinite closures for JBS lamb plants, as supply challenge reaches critical point’ Beef Central 20.04.2017
  32. ‘Shortage of lambs for slaughter pushing up prices, forcing abattoir closures’ ABC Rural 24.02.2017
  33. ‘Meatworkers consider their fate after abattoir shuts down’ Cootamundra Herald 24.02.2017
  34. ‘World on a plate, A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn. 2012
  35. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing 1987
  36. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing November 1997
  37. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing March 2000
  38. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing July 2008
  39. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing July 2009
  40. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing March 2010
  41. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing January 2013
  42. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing October 2014


Charleville. #101. QLD

A goat processing facility that is currently operating located in central QLD. This facility exports all its production. Charleville had past problems of securing visa workers to ensure ability to continue production. Floods have affected operations and government costs. Currently goat values are very good with a significant increase in various export markets

Other Names

  • Western export abattoirs
  • Western Meat Exporters

Current Operation

  • Currently operating.
  • Aus-Meat accreditation #01014
  • 100% export3
  • Processing capacity of up to 15,000 animals per week.26
    • 3,000 head a day26


  • Charleville

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.


  • Western Exporters2
    • totally Australian owned3
    • Managing Director – Neil Duncan6


  • Processes mainly Goats,1
    • is licencsed to process sheep but not currently doing so3
  • Minimum dressed weight 10kg, ferals dress out about 42% with skin off.1
  • Producers use goats to supplement income with beef and sheep1
  • The largest goat processor in Australia3
  • Established with the main purpose to produce Halal goat and sheep meat products for all export markets3
    • United states3
    • European union3
    • Asia3
    • Middle east3



  • Before the Charleville abattoir was built the government were spending $16M a year to control goats27.
    • Goats were regarded as feral27
  • August. Facility rebuilt after devastating fire3
    • Facility had only been  six months old27
  • Major flooding occurs in the Charleville area20


  • October. Charleville abattoir refuse to pay $12,929 accreditation fee for 1999/2000 to QLD Livestock and Meat Authority (QLDMLA)2
    • QLDMLA served notice it would suspend licence if not paid2
    • Cause closure of abattoir currently employing 94 people2
    • Fee is due for any abattoir operating in the state of QLD2
    • Fee structure had been lowered from $15,000 to $12,9292
  • Abattoir and QLDMLA long running dispute concerning payment of fees2.
    • Had paid QLDMLA last 3 years yet a representative had never been on premises or conducted an audit2
    • QLDMLA is not the regulating body for export2
    • Abattoir do not sell meat domestically2
    • QLDMLA say fee is to maintain integrity of States meat processing system2
      • set by legislation and payable by all red meat processors2
      • Equivalent entry level fees NSW $2,000, Victoria $1,6002
  • Abattoir already paid fees for AQIS Export accreditation $30,000 pa2
    • Also paid $1,200 per month Ausmeat inspection fees2
    • Further $1,200 per month for AQIS audits2


  • Major flooding occurs in the Charleville area20


  • Western Exports win by bidding tender for Broken Hill Exports company5
    • Broken Hill abattoir at Broken hill shut down by  AQIS in November 2005, failed to meet guidelines5
  • May. 22 employees at the Charleville abattoir are on 457 temporary visa program38


  • April. AQIS close facility as notice issued in November 2005 wasn’t complied with to improve yards to meet animal welfare standards of export abattoirs6.
    • 140 laid off for 2 weeks while improvments are made6
    • Director, Neil Duncan claimed could have been negotiated and stoppage not occur6
  • May. Abattoir employs 15 Vietnamese skilled workers and wants to employ another 50 immediately7
    • Visa applications are not being processed and is a problem being faced by meat abattoirs around the nation7

“This is Australia-wide…the Government has put a hold on all applications for the meat industry and, you know, I see on TV the unions up and down saying they’re going to lose Australian jobs…. well where are they?” Neil Duncan, managing director7

“Send them out to Charleville….there’s work here for them straight away” Neil Duncan. Managing Director7

  • Immigration department say there is no hold on visa applications7
    • allegations some employers are abusing the program and the department is in discussion with the industry over the concerns7
    • department understands Australia is experiencing a significant skill shortage7
  • July. Charleville abattoir begins a $2M expansion8
    • Enable production up to 3,000 head in an 8 hour shift of skin-on goats8
    • create another 50 jobs and boost export income by $15M8
    • US consumes 70-80% of the product produced8
    • Taiwan is big for 6 months for their winter season8
  • August. Charleville abattoir wants to employ 20 employees from Vietnam with visas9.
    • Federal government blocks application as meatworkers do not qualify as skilled workers9
    • Charleville had struggled 15 years ago because of decline in wool, now the abattoir was an important employer9
    • Senator Ron Boswell says he will help the abattoir overcome the visa restrictions by meeting ministers of immigration and workplace relations to push to have visas approved.9




  • October. Australian dollar currently at 90 cents US, Is not good for exports10

“Overseas in the US they are actually paying the highest rate they have ever paid for a kilo of goat meat, but when you revert it back through our exchange rate we’re actually receiving the lowest we’ve received in 12 months” Neil Duncan. Managing director10

  • November. Neil Duncan travelled to Vietnam on a recruitment drive for workers11
    • Once worker shortage is filled in Charleville, work can resume at the Broken hill meatworks11



  • Major flooding occurs in the Charleville area20
  • March. Charleville closes down temporarily due to critical staff shortages12
    • 100 workers laid off for an indefintie period with full entitlements12
      • Authors note. Another article cites. 90 workers laid off25
      • Included 15 Vietnamese workers who entered Australia on 457 visas25.
    • Need at least 50 more staff12
      • Need at least another 60 staff to remain viable25
    • $2M worth of product is being thrown out a year that should be boxed and exported12
    • Applications for visa workers are being held up by Federal government12
      • Immigration department was rejected repeated applications for more meatworkers from Vietnam25
        • Abattoir failed to meat 457 rules requiring Australians to be trained for jobs held by the foreign workers during the 4 year span of their visas15
      • Charleville facility has been trying to get immigrant workers for over 2 and a half years25
    • People are going to the mines, city for better conditions, bigger money and better lifestyle13
    • There is a chronic shortage of both skilled and unskilled workers25
  • Current Proprietor of Western Exporters – Neil Duncan25
  • Minimum wage at the present time is $803.00 a week25
    • AMIEU believe closure is a tactic by Charleville abattoir to pressure Canberra to allow the abattoir to employ migrants on lower than minimum wage awards25
  • April. Federal government will not allow employees from overseas unless the abattoir signs an agreement to employ the same number of local workers14
  • Agforce  says will be a significant drop in income for goat producers if the abattoir remains closed15
  • November. Overseas workers been allowed under the 457 visa program16
    • Employment from 90 to over 150 people now16
    • 24,000 goats processed in the last 2 weeks16
    • Setting new records for its production16
    • Should have been doing these sort of numbers years ago to keep up with the goat industry16


  • February. Abattoir faces charges under the Land Act and the Integrated Planning Act, Department of Natural resources alleged it was land clearing without a permit17
    • Issued compliance notice to restore 240 ha native vegetation17
    • Millions of goats had been held on the land while they awaited processing, Mulga trees had died due to grazing pressure and drought17
    • All the company did was remove dead timber17
    • Before the Charleville magistrates court17
    • If company has to revegetate will have to lay off 40 workers and cut production of number of goats being processed17
  • December. New production record set18

“We hit our record of 2,780 skin-on goats for an eight hour period but we should have been at these levels probably five years ago but we’ve struggled with labour” Neil Duncan Managing director18


  • March. Major flooding occurs in Charleville area20
  • Abattoir closed due to flooding19
    • Roads leading in and out of Charleville all flooded21
      • Unable to export or import product21
    • 180 workers stood down21
    • no time frame in place for re-opening21
  • Abattoir is too expensive to keep operating19
    • Needs government assistance to reopen19
    • Pay AQIS whether working or not $8,000 or $10,000 per week19
    • $60,000 in electricity a month19
    • Running costs are basically $400,000 a week19
  • re-opening of abattoir crucial to regions economy22
    • Government, Prime Minister assured abattoir nothing get in the way of reopening and workers on visa’s don’t leave region and stay for the plant to re-open22
    • Regional economy is losing $1M a week while abattoir is closed22
    • throughput in the community is in the order of $5M a month from abattoir operations22
  • April. Abattoir re-opens23
    • Getting access to goats has been a problem but abattoir is in full operation23


  • At this point in time Charleville abattoir is the largest goat meat processor in the world26
  • May. Charleville participates in a sponsored Meat and Livestock Australia food expo in Shanghai with 14 other mostly beef and lamb producers26
  • July. Since the Shanghai food expo Charleville have signed $3M worth of orders with more to come26
  • US and Taiwan were traditionally the biggest goat meat importers26
    • Flat US economy and loosening of import regulations to China has made China more attractive export proposition26
  • Currently processing 15,000 animals per week26
    • 3,000 head a day26
  • Largest line, skin on product, Europeans call ‘Smokie’26
  • Western Meat exporters is the only processor in Australia that doesn’t have a boning room26
    • bone is left in with the meat frozen and cut into cubes26.
      • Packed into 1kg bags26
    • Customers traditionally use their hands to eat – they want warm product and to hold the bone” Trade and Investment QLD spokesman Morgan Gronold26
  • Operational costs of Charleville abattoir are getting too expensive26.
    • would be willing to move his operations offshore26
    • We just can’t compete, and electricity prices are making things pretty tough” Neil Duncan Western Meat Exports managing director26.
  • Charleville abattoir has operating capacity of 200 employees but at the moment only has 17526.
    • employees are too difficult to source26
  • Western QLD suppliers are urged not to move to far to pure Boer goat genetics26
    • Boer goats tend to put too much fat cover26
      • Most goat is slow cooked where high fat content isn’t desired26



  • Number of new chillers had been added to facility extension27
  • July. Currently operating at full capacity.24
  • 80% of the feral goat herd is coming from the Surat Basin area.24
  • Roma #2 – Proposed (QLD) not looking to compete against Charleville.24

Source. Goatmeat-Fast-Facts-2014_EMAIL

Source Goatmeat-Fast-Facts-2014_EMAIL

  • October. Two 40-foot containers back up to the 1300 carcase capacity fridges for a daily trip to Brisbane port27
    • Output is set to grow27
  • Charleville abattoir has a 100% export focus27
    • Current director at this time – Campbell McPhee27.
    • Since free trade talks with Korea, exports to that country had increase 140-fold27
  • New techniques to reduce hair contamination and modern equipment keep pace with the stringent health requirements demanded by overseas markets27
    • Sprays and vacuums are in use to achieve zero tolerance hair control27
    • Workers have colour coded hair nets to show what jobs and areas of the abattoir they are allowed27
      • separate eating rooms to prevent possible contamination between different parts of the plant27
  • Current livestock purchases of 16,000 goats per week27
    • 75% of supply comes from NSW27
    • Processing 3,000 head per day27
      • the kill line moving 6.5 goats every minute27
  • Currently employing 185 people and another 15 in the trucking company27
    • Western meat exporters use their own trucks to collect goats from properties and depots26


  • January. Goat is worth $3.70 (12.1 to 16kg carcass weight)39.
  • There are approximately 6 million wild goats in Australia29.
    • Generally regarded as a pest, increasingly becoming regarded as a good alternative income29.
  • Australian exports of goat meat have doubled to 35,800t in 2014 since 200429.
    • Most is sold to the USA for Hispanic population29.
  • Live exports of goat have jumped from 50,500 head to 88,500 from 2004 to 201429.
  • Wild goats are purchased for $1.70/kg live weight29.
  • Live export goat price is $4.20/kg live weight29.
    • Average goat sells for $55 per head29.
  • August. Charleville (Game meat) abattoir that had closed in 2009 due to the collapse of the Russian kangaroo market proposes an upgrade to the facility to process 350 head a day of cattle35.
    • Employ 140 people35
    • Chinese investor $45M, who has become a partner in the business35
    • Expected to be in operation within a year35
  • October. Bourke Shire backs a proposal to build the abattoir29.
    • Expected to cost $61M. Bourke. Currently under construction. NSW
      • Aims to process 6,000 goats a day40
      • Employ 200 people 40
      • Abattoir should be up and running by mid 201740.
      • Developer Capra Pty Ltd40.
        • Capra is made up of partners with experience in both export and market processing operations and supply37
  • Another proposal to build a facility at Blayney NSW
    • Developer – Metziya40.
    • Would process 4,500 animals per day40
      • but it had received public opposition.
  • Bourke goat abattoir is expected to cost $60M to build30
    • Create 200 jobs30
    • World’s largest goat processing abattoir30
  • Currently 90% of the states (NSW) goats are transported interstate to be sold30
    • 95% of those transported are killed and processed in QLD, Victoria and South Australia30

Source. mla_goat-fast-facts-2015

Source. mla_goat-fast-facts-2015

  • Rangelands goats are currently the star performers of Australian red meat sector in 201531.
    • Farm-gate prices for goats have almost doubled in past 12 months to over $5 per kg31.
    • There has been a fundamental increase in demand relative to supply31.
      • In the past Australia has largely relied on one market the USA to take its product31.
      • Had been no other high volume markets to force price upwards pressures31.
    • Now there are new and emerging markets61.
      • Competing against the USA for goat meat product31.
      • Increasing markets to Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, and China31.
    • Demand is likely to grow as trade tariff barriers are reduced with recently secured Free Trade Agreements31.
  • A number of southern Sheep processing plants are now processing goats in response to positive demand outlook31.
  • Supply pressure of goats has not been as constant this year due to increased demand31.
  • Goat populations  in the past have mostly been sourced by opportunistic harvesting of wild herds31.
    • MLA estimates there are around 4M head of goats in Australia at present31.
      • Only 500,000 are in managed herds31.
    • Challenge for industry is whether it can build a supply base to fulfil and sustain new levels of demand31.
  • Prices for goats have traditionally fluctuated31
    • To encourage sustainable development of the industry a five year strategy has been released31.
    • Goatmeat and Livestock Industry Strategic Plan 2020
  • Goats have a low cost of production that has some advantages over raising other stock31.
  • December. Bourke abattoir gets Federal government funding $10M32.
    • Grant will assist the facility to overcome challenges of isolation and lack of infrastructure at the remote site32.


  • January. Goat meat is worth $5 /kg (12.1 to 16kg carcass weight)39.
  • Charleville #101. QLD. Says its future will be jeopardised if the Bourke plant goes ahead33.
    • Goat supply in QLD, NSW and Victoria is too low to accommodate a new abattoir33.
    • Charleville #101 QLD processed 70% of the goats sourced from producers across the border in 201533.
      • Charleville processed 620,000 animals last year for export33.
    • If the Bourke plant is successful in being built it would threaten processing jobs at Charleville facility33.
    • Charleville never received a similar grant from the government and feel it is an unfair advantage to the Bourke site33.
  • Currently in NSW there are seven different abattoir processing goats33.
  • Authors note. The above reference was by the speaker of the article, it may include domestic facilities that are not on this blog.(03/12/2017)

Source Australian Abattoirs Locations – Australian goat processing abattoirs as per Aus-meat as at 02/10/2017

Above diagram. Bourke is indicated by the green pointer slightly above centre of picture. Charleville is located directly above Bourke to the far north. Abattoirs are marked as red for Export or blue for Domestic accreditations. No abattoirs specialise only in goat processing. Most are combinations of beef, sheep and goat. There are facilities in WA and one in Tasmania not shown on this diagram

  • Murweh Shire council Mayor, Dennis Cook speaks and writes to Federal government explaining his shire don’t want to see ‘a big lot of government money coming in and propping them up, because our business here is a wonderfully run business…”, Charleville #101 QLD Shire council explains is a privately run business34.
    • Charleville shire don’t want to interfere in what happens in NSW but they are concerned the Bourke facility will negatively impact on the employees at Charleville34.
  • February. Bourke Site Plans are developed and submitted for approval36
  • March. NSW Planning and Environment release a media statement for community views on the Bourke abattoir36.
    • Bourke abattoir will have capacity to process 6,000 goats, sheep or lambs per day for export36.
    • Submissions close 26/04/201636
  • Stock Supply. Bourke abattoir make an agreement with a goat depot located in Bourke to supply the facility (Pg 2)43.
    • Depot currently sends 200,000 outside of Bourke for sale or process(Pg 2)43
  • August. Proposal to revamp existing closed Kangaroo abattoir at Charleville Game meat. QLD 35
    • Facility will be refurbished to suit killing cattle35
    • Chinese Investor $45M35
  • December. Development consent for the Bourke abattoir has been approved37.
      • Now in the construction certificate phase37.
        • Project spokesperson JPA Business Managing Director – James Price37.
        • Slaughter level of 6,000 head per day will take some time to reach at an operational level37
          • When fully operational the facility will have the potential to almost double the value of goat exports from Australia37.
  • Bourke abattoir will be a useful outlet for producers who rely on meat exporters slaughtering in other states37.
    • Major priority  is to capture the goat meat demand in the international market37.


  • January. Goat meat is worth $6/kg (12.1 to 16kg Carcass weight)39.
  • May. Currently employ 165 staff28
    • 52 of the 165 are undertaking the 457 temporary visa program38
    • Federal government had announced they would abolish the 457 program but have rectified the decision to not impact the meat industry38

Source ‘Vietnamese farmer moved to Charleville to  give his children a better education’ QLD Country Life 12/05/2017

  • June. Construction of the cement foundations begins39.
    • Plant is expected to be operational early 201839.
  • When in operation it is expected to boost Bourke regional economy by 30%39.
    • approximately $50M is expected to be injected into the Bourke local economy per year39.
  • Estimates of 5.8M goats in Western NSW39.
    • 50-60% of all of Australia’s feral goats located in NSW44.
    • Others dispute these figures39.
      • Bourke. Local producers ‘economics’ would play a major role to determine if they sent their stock to the facility39.
  • DPI is about to start a new goat count across NSW39
  • This week goat carcasses hit $7.50/kg, averaging $6.50/kg14.
    • January 2015, the monthly average was $3.70 (12.1 to 16kg carcass weight)14.
    • January 2016 $5/kg14.
    • January 2017 $6/kg14.
  • Australian Goat industry is currently in a rebuilding phase39.
    • Market potential in Europe39.
    • Goat meat was being included in new Brexit trade talks39..
  • it was a big challenge to get more western graziers to produce goats39
  • August. A new goat abattoir is proposed for the Goulburn Valley, Gillieston (Proposed) Vic.41.
    • Capacity of 3,000 head per day41.
    • Plant could be operational in about 18 months if approvals go through41.
  • November. 2,197 solar panels are installed on the roofs of the facility42
    • rising energy costs are a major threat to the profitability of the meat processing sector
    • Cost $1.4M42.
      • 756KW system, equivalent to power requirements of 252 homes42.
      • Panels are designed to operate independently in case one is covered by shadow or dust42.
      • Initiative was wholly privately funded42.
        • Australian Renewable Energy agency didn’t provide assistance as they were more interested in new and emerging technology42.
      • Costs of the installation expected to be re-couped within 5 years42..
      • cost of panels was actually less than the plants annual electricity bill42

Source ‘Charleville’s solar innovator’ QLD Country Life 23.11.2017

  • December. NSW Department of primary Industries conduct a rangeland population survey of goats46.
    • Show goat herd has declined from 5.7M in 2016 to 3.4M in 201746
    • Aerial survey was conducted of central and western NSW46
    • Lower numbers could be due to 46
      • Dry seasonal conditions46
        • Poor reproductive rates of livestock and goats46
      • Efficient goat harvesting operations in the area46


  1. ‘Goats prove Winton winners’ QLD Country life 13.06.2013
  2. ‘Closure looms for Charleville abattoir’ QLD Country life 13.10.1999
  3. – Accessed 07.03.2014
  4. aus meat accreditation as at 01.01.2014
  5. ‘QLD company set to become leading goat exporter’ ABC News 16.12.2005
  6. ‘Goat abattoir lays of 140 in quarantine dispute’ ABC news. 04.04.2006
  7. ‘Immigration delay hampers goat meat abattoir expansion’ ABC news. 29.05.2006
  8. ‘Expansion of Aust largest goat abattoir gets under way’ ABC News. 31.07.2006
  9. ‘Boswell vows to help meatworks secure visas’ ABC news 14.08.2006
  10. ‘Strong dollar hurting goat meat exports’ ABC News 16.10.2007
  11. ‘Meatworks owner hopes new government frees up foreign worker recruitment’ ABC news 27.11.2007
  12. ‘Goat meat exporter to shut Charleville abattoir’ ABC News 20.03.2008
  13. ‘Goat abattoir closes outback QLD plant’ ABC News 26.03.2008
  14. ‘Govet unmoved on abattoir worker conditions’ ABC News 03.04.2008
  15. ‘Abattoir closure ‘will hurt goat producers’ ABC News 03.04.2008
  16. ‘Goat abattoir breaks production records’ ABC News 04.11.2008
  17. ‘Goat abattoir owners face land clearing charges’ ABC News 10.02.2009
  18. ‘Goat production hits high’ ABC News 10.12.2009
  19. ‘Goat abattoir too expensive to run’ ABC News 09.03.2010
  20. ‘Flood-drunk Charleville’
  21. ‘Floods close abattoir’ The Chronicle 10.03.2010
  22. ‘Meatworks re-opening crucial’ ABC News 17.03.2010
  23. ‘Goat abattoir re-opens after flood woes’ ABC News 09.04.2010
  24. ‘Roma ramps up abattoir study’ QLD Country Life 31.07.2014
  25. ‘Lack of migrant staff forces Charleville abattoir to shut’ The Australian 22/03/2008
  26. ‘Charleville’s China forey’ QLD Country Life 01/07/2013
  27. ‘Charleville goats full bore’ QLD Country Life 21/10/2014
  28. ‘Developers say $38M Blayney goat abattoir will provide …..’ Central Western Daily 07/05/2015
  29. ‘Growth in goat farming in Bourke for halal butchers and restaurants’ 08/06/2015
  30. ‘Bourke goat abattoir could be a “game-changer”, says MP’ ABC News 22/10/2015
  31. ‘What is behind the rise and rise of goat prices? Beef Central 29/10/2015
  32. ‘Bourke goat abattoir gets Federal government funding’ ABC rural 08/12/2015
  33. ‘QLD goat processor says jobs will go if government-backed Bourke abattoir is built’ ABC news 05/01/2016
  34. ‘Cross border goat abattoir competition’ Charleville Plus More. 14/01/2016
  35. ‘Charleville set to get abattoir in 2017’ Sunshine daily 02/08/2016
  36. Proposed Small Stock Abattoir. Capra Developments Feb 2016
  37. ‘Bourke abattoir gets OK’ The Land 07/12/2016
  38. ‘Vietnamese farmer moved to Charleville to  give his children a better education’ QLD Country Life 12/05/2017
  39. ‘Bourke abattoir on way’ The Land 08/06/2017
  40. ‘Two new goat abattoirs planned in Bourke and Blayney’ The Land 09/07/2016
  41. ‘Abattoir in the works’ Country News 09/08/2017
  42. ‘Charleville’s solar Innovator’ QLD Country Life 23/11/2017
  43. Bourke. Small stock abattoir. Environmental Impact Statement March 2016
  44. media release 27/07/2017
  46. ‘Latest goat industry data’ NSW DPI 13/12/2017


Other Names

  • Cradoc Hill
  • Cradoc Blue Hill abattoir

Current Operation

  • Currently operating at time of writing 03.01.2014


  • Cradoc Hill is located approximately 10km north west of Cygnet. Cygnet is located approximately 70km by road south west of Hobart in southern Tasmania

Australia. Cygnet

CygnetHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.


  • Dave, Rita Stephens and Michael Munnings8
  • James Lord (2011)1


  • Cygnet is only major abattoir south of Cressy abattoir (Tas) in the northern Midlands.4
  • A small service kill abattoir for the use of local producers who may only have one or low number of animals to process.3
  • Some product is now commercially being sold to retailers under brand names7
  • Producers may retain ownership of product and use for their own purposes or value add and further sell to retail.7
  • Process large animals cattle7
  • Process small animals calves, sheep, lambs, deer, rabbits, poultry and pigs.2



  • Cygnet is featured in the ‘Gourmet Farmer’ SBS series with local producer Mathew Evans3
  • In reference to Cygnet abattoir and  taking two of his pigs to be slaughtered there3

” run by people who want to help smallholders. Who understand you may only have one sheep, one pig to kill at at time. They make it easier for people who want to rear their own meat, to get it killed legally and affordably. If there’s one thing I’m happy about with the death of my pigs, it’s that the abattoir at Cradoc hill will do the right thing by them” Mathew Evans3


  • June. Dave and Rita Stephens had operated the abattoir for a number of years and wished to retire.1
    • Possible a consortium of interested parties may pool resources to buy the freehold and operate the business1
  • Loss of this abattoir to the community would have been a severe blow to the local producers small and large.2
    • Important to know the animals are free-range and killed humanely with many producers following their animal through process of delivery to final product of meat cuts.2
    • some producers larger animals sheep and cattle while others have pigs, goats, rabbits.2
    • Some are niche market meats and by-products2
    • Economies of the dairy and fleece buisinesses would be marginal or impossible without access to an abattoir, local market for vealers and wethers2
    • Producers would be forced to send stock to northern processing works – some over 4 hours drive from Cygnet3
    • Products also sourced for bone, pig ears for pets, blood and bone for gardens, organs for university and forensic research2
  • July. Abattoir closes for two weeks when new buyer moves in.2
  • James Lord purchases Cygnet facility2


  • Development of two meat brand logos7
    • Blue Logos – Cradoc Hill meat – targets premium interstate markets7

logo _edited-1Source – Cradoc Hill website – Logo used to promote products to Interstate markets.

meat selections _edited-1Source – Cradoc Hill website – Example of meat cuts offered in a box sale being offered direct to door of customers through website sales.

meat selections _edited-2Source – Cradoc Hill website – Example of meat cuts offered in a box sale

    • Green Logo- Huon Valley meats – targets the Hobart market and surrounds.7

Huon valley logo _edited-1Source – Huon Valley Meats website – Logo used to promote products local markets.

“We source our produce from farmers we know and trust, We are particular in who we work with, seeking out growers who genuinely enjoy raising their stock and who take pride in growing the highest quality produce” James Lord

  • Cygnet now processing 20-30 cattle, 100 lambs and 20-30 pigs a week.7
    • employs 8 people, 4 permanent and 4 casual7


  2. ‘Save Cradoc Hill Abattoir’ Tasmanian Times 14.06.2011
  3. ‘Killing the pigs’ Gourmet Farmer. SBS. 18.12.2009
  4. ‘James meats his destiny’ The Mercury. 29.07.2011
  5. Huon Valley Meats website
  6. Cradoc Hill website
  7. ‘Huon meat goes for fine dining’ The Mercury. 20.12.2013

Deniliquin. #2123. NSW

Deniliquin was an export abattoir accredited to process beef, sheep, goat and offal.

Deniliquin temporarily closed in 2007 due to drought with plans to re-open. It was re-opened in 2014 after it changed hands and was refurbished with the assistance of government funding. It closed again in 2017.

Last registered Aus meat export October 2017. Site was visited in March 2020, it was derelict and undergoing demolition.

Current Operation

  • Currently undergoing upgrades to reopen.6
  • Aus-Meat Registration as at 02/10/2017 #2123


  • Deniliquin is located South west of NSW about 75km from the NSW/Victoria border and city of Echuca in Victoria.
  • 285km north of Melbourne, 723km south west of Sydney3

Australia. Deniliquin 16.06.13


Hema Maps – Australia Handy Map. 9th edition


  • Klastin (2007) – Managing director – Tony Karuse1
  • Famicorp – Owned by Farouk Fami, inherited from the Estate of Nordon Becker3
  • Global Crown9
  • Tasman Group – Managing director Joe Catalfamo

Outside building _edited-1Source – Steers Auctioneers – Meat Processing Plant Deniliqiun, 28.08.2007


  •  Halal and HACCP accredited5
  • Small stock abattoir – sheep, small calves,lamb and goats.3
  • Uses an inverted chain system3
  • Processing capacity 3500 sheep/lambs per day5
  • 8 hanging carcase chillers – 5 carton blast freezers5
  • Export registered – Japan, Egypt, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Mexico5
  • modern Ammonia refrigeration plant5

Inside #2 _edited-1Source – Steers Auctioneers – Meat processing plant – Deniliquin 28.08.2007

Inside #2 _edited-1Source – Steers Auctioneers. Meat Processing plant. 28.08.2007

Yards #1_edited-1Source – Steers Auctioneers – Meat processing plant. Deniliquin 28.08.2007


Deni_edited-1Source History of Frozen Meat. Undated.
Historical picture of the Deniliquin freezing works – known then as the Riverina Freezing works

  • Authors note. The original freezing works I guess would have been situated near a main water source, in Deniliquin that would have been the Edward river a tributary of the Murray River. I don’t think the original Freezing works owned by the Riverina Freezing Company would have been where the current meat works is.


  • Halal certified3


  • Closed – reasons cited due to drought and limited numbers of livestock2
    • Employed 120 people on kill days, mainly casuals.2


  • Meat processors hard pressed meeting their requirements because of major shortage of lambs bought on by the drought9
  • Prices as high as $158 a head, five years ago was $80 a head at Deniliquin9
  • Meat processors forced to pay high prices for good quality lambs to keep thier abattoirs operating and to retain market share9


  • Begun to employ overseas workers to fill vacant meatworker positions1
    • 6 workers through a Vietnamese employment agency1
    • Advertising in Australia failed to fill postions1
    • If had not got Vietnamese workers the plant would not be operating1
  • Abattoir is closed at some period during this year18



  • Klanstin with drew from the facility – closure5
    • Was only meant to be a temporary closure
    • Operated with Halal accreditation from 1990 to closure in 2007 due to drought
  • Issues with market and meat industy had forced temporary closure4
  • Closure due to issues of sourcing quality stock13


    • Deniliquin has faced a gradual but sustained and significant reduction in population over the past 15 years.2
      • Centralisation of policies of both state and commonwealth governments2
        • RTA divisonal headquarters closed9
        • Department of education – regional headquarters9
        • Murray Health headquarters9
      • prolong drought that have prevailed in much of last decade.2
    • If MDBP implemented2
      • result in 58% reduction in the amount of water available to irrigated agricultural activities.2
      • Deniliquin is heavily reliant on irrigated agriculture for its ongoing survival.2
      • If MDBP implemented would jeopardise abattoir and rice mill re-opening due to reduction of water available.2
    • Current circumstances in Deniliquin2
      • Deniliquin abattoir currently closed2
      • Negotiations currently underway for the abattoir to be sold and re-opened given improved rainfall and forecast availability.2Deniliquin council write a submission  to the inquiry into the impact of the Murray Darling basin plan (MDBP) guide in Regional Australia.2
  • Region has suffered a decade long drought26
  • Abattoirs in operation in NSW with more than 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff – 477
    • Includes meat processors, poultry and pigs.
  • Meat processing facilities closed in NSW since 2000 with more than 50 FTE – 97
    • Includes meat processors, poultry and pigs
  • November. facilities advertised for sale, land, equipment, structures and fittings3
  • Attorney for the Estate under instructions to liquidate all assets3


  • December. Abattoir sold to Global Crown9.
  • Chief executive of Global Crown – John Wynan
    • Facility could reopen 20139
      • Would focus solely on sheep, production runs 1,000 sheep a day9
      • Goal to increase production to 3,500 sheep a day9
      • Halal certified with full accreditations for export9
    • create up to 100 jobs9


  • January. Global Crown Pty Ltd – John Wynan negotiation for sale, settlement delayed due to ‘legal issues’4
  • Proposes to open abattoir this year4
  • November. Abattoir has been purchased and is expected to reopen
  • Tasman Group purchase9
    • estimate to employ 80 people9
    • Upgrades to some facilities is required.9
    • would continue as Halal slaughterhouse – for which it was fully accredited9
    • would focus solely on sheep, production starting at 1000 head a day to process building up to 3500 head.9
  • Australian Meat Group Pty Ltd (Formerly known as Tasman Group)13
    • Tasman group previously operated abattoirs at31


  • March. Joe Catalfamo is confirmed as purchaser of Deniliquin11.
    • Has also purchased Dandenong #3085. Vic11.
      • Dandenong is focused on cattle processing11.
    • Plans to create state of the art processing sites at each facility11
  • Seasonal conditions at the time have decimated livestock numbers in QLD and NSW11
  • August. Deniliquin abattoir is still not in operation10.
  • Plan for the facility to be refurbished10
    • Facility has now been out of operation for 7 years10
  • NSW government will provide support to the Australian Meat Group to re-open the plant10
  • Facility is anticipated to employ up to 130 full time jobs in the first year10
    • After 5 years expected to increase to 460 full time equivalent positions10
  • NSW government pledge to provide $1M to upgrades for the facility13
    • Upgrades will allow facility to meet best practice standards13
    • Improve efficiency and provide full range of meat cuts13
  • Total cost of upgrades wasn’t able to be confirmed13
  • Australian Meat Group Pty Ltd (Formerly known as Tasman Group) have purchased the facility13
    • Managing director Gilbert Cabreal13
  • Detailed Environment Impact Statement is yet to be completed13
  • Preparatory work has begun at the facility13
  • Pending development application for facility improvements13
    • upgrades to the kill floor, receiving yard and amenities13
  • Plans for a new boning room, rendering plant and cold storage facility13
  • November. Property investment in the Deniliquin area has increased in recent weeks due to the abattoir plans to re-open15
  • Facility will be opening Mid December or early January 201515.
  • 50 staff have already been appointed15
  • Kill trials are expected to start in November16
  • Deniliquin plant manager – David Bridge from Gundagai16
  • Deniliquin Operations manager – Bernie Cabral16
  • Opening is expected to be early February 201516.
  • Audit has been completed but some refurbishment still needs to be continued16
  • Submission has been sent for new plant, with construction hoped to begin February16
    • Current facility would be suitable for another 2-3 years20
    • Plans to a new state of the art facility in the process of approval20
  • Deniliquin is in a strong growth phase with the opening of the Rice Mills also occurring16


  • November. Deniliquin abattoir is the 10th abattoir that Joe Catalfamo has remodelled29
    • Deniliquin proposal is construct a new plant on vacant land next to the existing facility29
  • Deniliquin plant is now officially US licensed30.
    • This will allow the company to further develop and expand its product range when the new facility is built next door30.
  • Currently processing 2,200 – 2,500 small stock units per day30
  • Australian Meat Group Livestock Manager – Ben Davies30
  • Location of Deniliquin abattoir is very good because it is centre of Australia’s most heavily populated sheep production area30.
    • Southern most export plant that has road train access30
  • Growing global markets  that can be harnessed for mutton, lamb, goats and bobby calves30
  • December. Deniliquin abattoir is recommissioned and is again in operation17
  • $5M were spent on refurbishments17
  • During the commissioning phase the facility will process 1,000 sheep a day17
    • Working up to 3,000 a day at full capacity17
  • 70 people are now employed17
  • Second stage of production will employ a further 250 people17
    • Accommodation and houses are yet to be available to accommodate some workers17.
  • Abattoir production will be both domestic and export17
  • Exported meat will go to;17
    • Japan, Middle East, Vietnam17
    • Plans to secure a US export licence soon17

Source ‘Renovated Riverina abattoir re-opens driving property boom’ ABC Rural 14.01.2015


  • February. Meat processors are finding conditions very difficult with livestock prices increasing for both beef and lamb99
    • Prices to consumers expected for meat to increase by at least $1 per kg19
  • Lambs at some saleyards are selling for 750c per kg99
  • Also a shortage of lamb supplies19
  • Numbers for kills is expected to be less by 1M head across Australia19
  • March 17. Deniliquin abattoir operations are temporarily halted20
    • due to unsustainable lamb market20
    • Complete shutdown is hoped to only last 2-3 weeks20
    • Return to operation depending on market conditions20
      • Australian dollar was currently very high21
  • Currently 180 workers were employed at the site20
  • Have been operating the facility for 2-3 days a week due to stock prices20
  • Focus on markets is currently into South America20
    • Current stock values were at $6 /kg carcase weight20
      • To be competitive the abattoir needs the value to be $5/kg or less20
  • Company had decided not to pursue further infrastructure developments at the site20.
  • April. Other abattoir closures are occurring around Australia due to stock availability and prices24
  • Some facilities that have significantly reduced operations24
  • Over-capacity in the lamb processing industry relative to supply pool is exasperated by the expansion of formerly only domestic plants now being export accredited and having export market access24
    • Export markets are unwilling or unable to pay more for Australian meat24.
  • Reports equipment from the Deniliquin facility is being removed25
  • Operations and Managing directors aren’t responding to calls95.
  • Employees under 457 visa’s have been sent home25
  • Lamb prices have actually risen higher to $6.60 /kg25
    • Indications are that the lamb prices will stay relatively strong25
  • Prices hit 700c /kg proving to be a breaking point for some abattoir operations
    • Total setback of 6 closures (not including Esperance) in eastern Australia will result in 50,000 less lambs processed in Victoria and NSW27
  • September. “With a high currency, low numbers, and high cost of production and processing in Australia, we are a little bit like the Murray Goulburn of the beef industry” – Australia’s red meat processing sector is in crisis. MLA CEO Richard Norton26


  • March. Author visited this site, property and buildings were derelict and obviously not used for some time.
    • scrap metal workers actively removing equipment and items
    • All stock yards and infrastructure around the facility was removed.

Sources  – Deniliquin #2488

  1. ‘Deniliquin abattoir defends hiring overseas workers’ ABC News. 11.09.2006
  2. Deniliquin shire council submission to senate inquiry, Murray Darling basin plan. 22.01.2011.
  3. ‘Deniliquin abattoirs – For sale’ 04.11.2012
  4. ‘Deniliquin abattoir sale stalls’ 08.11.2013
  5. ‘Meat Processing plant – Deniliquin NSW’ Steers Auctioneers 28.08.2007
  6. ‘Deniliquin abattoir to reopen’ The Pastoral times. 05.11.13
  7. Mr Buckingham questioning Minister of roads and ports. http://www.parliament.nsw 31.05.11
  8. ‘Lamb prices soar as suppliers struggle to meet demand’ Sydney morning herald. 14.09.2003
  9. ‘Sale deal close on abattoirs’ The Border mail. 19.12.2012
  10. rel_stoner_20140820_deniliquin-abattoir
  11. ‘Abattoir plans for Deni’ The Land 20.03.2014.
  12. ‘New life for old export abattoir’ Liberal Party of Australia 21.08.2014
  13. ‘Cash for abs’ 22.08.2014
  14. ‘Deniliquins abattoir to reopen with investment from NSW Government’ The Weekly Times 26.08.2014
  15. ‘Meat money flows’ 25.11.2014
  16. ‘Abs trial’ 25.11.2014
  17. ‘Renovated Riverina abattoir re-opens driving property boom’ ABC Rural 14.01.2015
  19. ‘Record lamb prices killing off country abattoirs’ ABC News 24.02.2017
  20. ‘Abs work halted’ Shepparton News 17.03.2017
  21. ‘Meat Commitment – Administrator to meet with abattoir executives’ Shepparton News 21.03.2017
  22. ‘Sawmill could fill lost jobs’ Shepparton News 24.03.2017
  23. ‘Statement of temporary closure of Deniliquin abattoir’ Edward River council 17.03.2017.
  24. ‘Indefinite closures for JBS lamb plants, as supply challenge reaches critical point’ Beef Central 20.04.2017
  25. ‘Fears for abattoir’s future’ Deniliquin Pastoral Times 11.04.2017
  26. Deniliquin council submission to inquiry into the impact of the Murray Darling basin plan. 22.01.2011
  27. ‘Door shuts on sixth abattoir’ QLD country life. 11.05.2017
  28. ‘Red meat crisis the new MG says MLA boss’ The Weekly times. 27.09.2017 27.09.2017
  29. ‘Catalfamo’s abattoir industry return’ The Stock and Land 11.11.2015
  30. ‘Deniliquin: sheep, lambs, goats, calves’ Stock and Land 11.11.2015
  31. ‘What’s iin store: pointy end of the year’ Stock and Land 09.11.2013
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