Tag Archives: abattoir closures


Coonamble is located Northern NSW and closed in 2001 citing GST and crippling government charges. It is currently undergoing renovations for reopening in 2014.

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Is currently undergoing renovation to reopen in 2014


  • Coonamble is about 230km direclty south of the NSW/QLD border, Large cities closest Tamworth 292km by road or Sydney 700km in a straight line South east.

Australia Coonamble


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.


  • Castlereagh – Bill Scott1
    • Other directors John and Len Scott2
  • 2012 – Nasser Beydoun


  •  Operated butcher shops in Coonamble.3
  • Employed 52 workers.



  • Scott Brothers took over operation of abattoir3


  • May. Impending GST set to force sale or shutdown of abattoir2
    • Under GST – Meat processors required to pay GST on all stock purchases and claim tax back as refund2.
    • Problem is purchases need to be settled in 7 days and refunds not received for 2 months.2
    • Coonamble would require $200,000 in additional interest chargesto cover GST in first month of reporting period, then another $400,000 while waiting for refund2
    • represent a liability of $50 per head for owning a beast 24 hours.
  • Martin Ferguson (Labor) claims GST  was responsible for Coonamble closure1
  • Bill Scott – owner – “Cause of closure lies squarely at the feet of the Carr Labor government”, he called “never ending regime of charges and regulations”1
    • Government implemented pay roll tax, workers compensation changes and state departmental fees and charges – Bill scott identified as buisiness killers1
  • July. Abattoir closed.
    • Citing GST as catalyst and crippling state government costs3
    • Works to be mothballed but maintained to export standards for immediate start up.3
  • Operational costs in NSW higher than QLD.3
  • Coonamble had been larges buyer of yearling cattle in NSW3
  • On closure had 40 on last week payroll, and bought 1/3 of yarding at Coonamble sale3


  • Offically closed.4


  • Coonamble Shire Council commission a study which found the facility was a viable option.4
    • Used results of study to attract an investor4


  • June. Business sold to a Sydney Company4
    • when reopened will employ 30 people4
    • Produce Halal certified beef and lamb4
    • buy livestock from North west NSW and southern QLD4
  • refurbishment of abattoir currently 80% complete with opening expected in September4
  • July new owners, Nasser Beydoun, owner, manages sodt drink and dip business, first foray into meat5
    • Will start with 30 employees, number likely to grow5
    • working with council to ensure meet licensing requirements5
    • producer halal certified beef, lamb and goat meat5
    • Require new boilers, cookers, doing up slaughter room, power is upgraded and have started work on fridges and cool room8
  • Opening of an abattoir after being mothballed so long (11 years) is almost without precedent7
  • Halal meat – growing metroplitan market8
  • Expect to be opened January or February 20148
  • New owners are buying houses for staff in town of Coonamble8
  • Government’s upgrading program a loop line will be provided with new siding and loading area at Coonamble railway – is a good outcome for the abattoir operations9
  • Oct. Shire talk of developments to date of abattoir’10
    • 1 meat inspector position has been filled with another advertised10
    • Owners notified council – sheep and cattle to be processed in one line10
    • 17 points yet to be addressed prior to reinstatement of licence10
      • Previous operations residents on the opposite side of the river had complained of odour10
    • Consideration given to selling local sheep yards as they weren’t being used10
      • sheep yards were part of saleyard enterprise10
      • Sheep yards to remain11
  • Nov Coonabarabran abattoir (NSW) (located 112km SE of Coonamble) closed6.
    • Closed due to inability to recover from $190,000 fine for effluent spill & Owner had been diagnosed with leukaemia and unable to work6


  • Mar. Meeting held with owners, still compliance and investment funding issues12


  1. ‘Ferguson wrong again on abattoir closure’ John Anderson Dpt Prime Minister Media release. 05.07.2000
  2. ‘Coonamble abattoir early GST victim’ Stock Journal 31.05.2000
  3. ‘State rules shut abattoir’ The Land 06.07.2000
  4. ‘Plans to reopen Coonamble abattoir’ ABC news 11.07.12
  5. ‘Prosperous future of Coonamble abattoir’ ABC news 12.07.12
  6. ‘Closed Coonabarabran abattoir up for sale’ The Northern Daily Leader 13.11.12
  7. ‘Coonamble plant to re-open’ Beef Central 08.11.13
  8. ‘Coonamble abattoir reopening to create local jobs’ ABC news. 29.07.13
  9. Coonamble shire council meeing minutes 11.07.12
  10. Coonamble shire council meeting minutes 10.10.12
  11. Coonamble shire council Ordinary meeting 12.12.12
  12. Coonamble Shire council. Business paper 15.05.13


Camperdown abattoir was located close to Sydney and closed in 1991 following violent industrial confrontations over pay and conditions.

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Closed 19911


  • 8km SE Sydney CBD


Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.


  • Famicopr – Farouk Fami1




  • May. Fired 130 workers2
  • Oct. Mounted police charged meatworkers picketing abattoir 26th October 19912
    • Body Hire firm – ‘Troubleshooters Available’ assis abattoir to find contract labour2
    • Camperdown 1st abattoir to be staffed by contract labour2
  • Violent protests between unions against police and contractors over pay conditions and pay.1
  • Mangement decided to employ contract workers, never reached an agreement with unions, abattoir closed.1
  • Bitter and violent industrial confrontation forced plant’s closure1
  • Troubles arise from attempts by some exporters to cut  meatworkers wages and conditions” Bill Malcolm – Senior lecturer in Agricultural economics at Melbourne University
  • Several closures in Victoria abattoirs as a result of shortage of livestock
  • QLD meat industry seen as having advantage over Vic-
    • QLD – increasingly lot fed animals receving higher export prices, ability to export quicker to Japan2
    • Vic – grass fed animals,
      • Extracting difference in profit margins from meatworkers2


  • Poperty is carved into 6 lots and beng advertised for total price of $800,000 (dated 10.12.2007)1
    • old abattoir site nearly 10ha for sale for $230,0001
    • Is an abandoned site, in shocking repair, has asbestos1
    • Shire council asked management to clean up site1


  1. ‘Derelict abattoir for sale’ The Standard. 10.12.2007
  2. ‘Mounted Police attack abattoir pcikets’ Green left weekly. 30.10.1991

NSW Meat Industry Milestones

General Quotes and Information

  • Neville Newton – 50 years working in abattoirs, managing Blayney, now Goulburn1.

“There are far too many processing abattoirs out there and not enough animals to slaughter”1

“Industry plight has been caused by record low numbers of livestock”1

“We’ve had a drought for a long period of time”1

“In fact, the only time I’ve ever seen it a bit like this was in the late 70’s and early 80’s with beef, there were large herd numbers and there was a very big cow and heifer kill and then all of a sudden they just ran out of numbers, At that time there were a lot of corrections in who owned bee processing plants in Australia”1

  • Central west NSW used to have 11 abattoirs, now it has 4. Cowra, Dubbo, Goulburn & Oberon. Currently 29 licensed red meat abattoirs in NSW, down 30% decade ago. (Dated 16.02.2010)1
  • Atleast 6 red meat abattoirs in Central NSW shut since 2003 (Dated 16.02.2010)1

Timeline Information


  • Aus-Meat registered abattoirs in NSW – Not necessarily all abattoirs as it wasn’t mandatory to register with Aus-meat.
    • 16 – Export acrredited abattoirs2
    • 8 Domestic abattoirs2
    • 16 Boning facilities.2


  • Federal and State governments agree on mandatory code for processing red meat in export and domestic abattoirs and meat processing plants.
  • Federal had been pushing for compulsory code of conduct for meat inspectors in all states.
    • Under existing arrangements a national code of conduct of inspection was in force but was applied voluntarily by the states
  • “Australia has the most rigorous hygiene standards in the world, but there was a pressing need to continually update the codes of conduct in the industry” Senator Collins.
  • Community and Public sector union alleged that cartons of meat with pesticide levels 12 times above allowable limit were sold on domestic markets. Also said it had details of meat subsitution rejected from export sold into domestic.
    • Union declined to substantiate allegations at special senate hearing in Canberra


  • USDA reviewd Australian export abattoirs and found 14 of them unacceptable or marginally acceptable. Australian quarantine services conducted its own review and found all but 1 up to USDA standards5
    • Unacceptable abattoirs in NSW named6
      • NSW – Southern Country Foods – Wagga Wagga6
      • Rockdale Beef – Yanco6
    • Marginal abattoirs in NSW named6
      • Wingham abattoir – Wingham6
      • RG Gilbertson – Grafton6
      • Cargill Australia – Wagga Wagga6
  • We have too many abattoirs to be economic, as a consequence corners get cut. We are the biggest exporter of beef to the world so it is vital we drive a massive rationalisation of the industry or we will be cut out” – John Carter, 10 years head of NSW Meat Industry Authority.6
  • AQIS did suspend 2 abattoirs after its own inspection found deficencies not picked up by USDA5
  • Australia’s beef export trade worth $1B5
  • Method of operation that is in question not the meat being produced is contaminated or off8
  • Europe blacklist in 6 meat exporters – citing animal welfare breaches and technical faults7
    • Europe $85M market7
    • Europe told AQIS – killing procedures in some inhumane, Stun guns were inadequate in 1 abattoir7
    • 6 of the 11 abattoirs inspected banned from exporting to Europe7
    • Australian Meat Council – animal welfare standards depended on which side of scientific  debate one listened to7
      • “what is a breach and isn’t is widely disputed both on rational and irrational grounds” Christopher Creal. Aust Meat Council.7
      • “Europe had enormous problems with trade in unsafe meat. There is a blackmarket trade in meat grown in some pretty nasty hormonal promotants, and vets have been murdered for trying to clean up chemical regulation”Christopher Creal. Aust Meat Council.7
  • “Far too many abattoirs operate with low-level expertise and management, They must be upgraded or they should be closed”. John Carter. Former head of NSW meat Industry Authority9


  • Waterfront Industrial dispute – 1,800 process workers stood down.4
    • boycott of NFF and supermarkets and against the unloading of Australian products4
    • Abattoirs were unable to obtain empty containers for shipping requirements4


  • Aus-Meat Accredited
    • 16 Export accredited abattoirs3
    • 0 Domestic abattoirs3
    • 10 Boning facilities3


  1. ‘Abattoir industry in disastrous state’ ABC Rural 16.02.10
  2. ‘Aus Meat Accreditation Listing November 1987 – private email, Ausmeat. 16.01.13
  3. ‘Aus-Meat accreditation Listing – current at 14.01.2013
  4. ‘1,800 Meat workers stood down’ Sydney Morning Herald (SMH). 20.04.1998. http://www.abattoirs.com.au
  5. ‘Threat to beef export trade’ SMH 08.02.1996.www.abattoirs.com.au
  6. ‘US names abattoirs producing bad beef’ SMH 24.01.1996.www.abattoirs.com.au
  7. ‘Europe blacklists six abattoirs’ SMH 23.01.1996. http://www.abattoirs.com.au
  8. ‘Meat Exporters have bone to pick with us’ SMH 19.01.1996. http://www.abattoirs.com.au
  9. ‘US threat puts $1B beef trade at risk’ SMH 18.01.1996. http://www.abattoirs.com.au


Other Names

  • Bowen Freezing works
  • Merinda abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed 19972
    • Other articles cite closure as 1996.4


  • Merinda – 6 miles from Bowen          

Australia. Bowen

Map BowenHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.


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

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

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


  • Purchased stock from Western QLD & NT

History of Bowen Meatworks


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


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


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


  • In operation


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


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

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


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

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


  • Slaughter processing peak 58,500 head.10


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


  • Closed as part of Industry rationalisation.4


  • Closed.2


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


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


Current Operation

  • Operating (2012)


  • NT/SA border, 190 km NW of Mt Isa

Australia. Camooweal




  • Small local processor who supplies own butchers shop1




  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.


Authors Note – May be confusion in Darwin timelines as a packing plant was built and a number of abattoirs.Some articles contradict in dates therefore timeline may be inaccurate.

Other names

  • Angliss abattoir
  • Berrimah Abattoir
  • Central abattoirs5
  • Darwin abattoir (Pg 189)
  • 10 mile abattoir (Pg 190)

Current Operation             

  • reopened 1960’s3
  • Closed 1970’s for a period
  • Was operating in to the 1980’s9
  • site is closed and has been redeveloped now, 2013


  • Ten Mile abattoirs reserve5
  • Is an Angliss Road, Berrimah, off the Stuart Highway, south of Robbie Robbins reserve.

Australia. Berrimah

Map - Berrimah


  • North Australian Meat Company1
  • Sir William Charles2
  • Vesty’s (1934)


  • Export and Domestic accredited11


  • Sir William Charles (1865-1957)– Migrated from England, Engaged in butcher trade in Kent when young. Migrated to Roackhampton (QLD) 1884. Moved to Melbourne and opened two butcher stores in 1886.He began to export meat. Over the next 30 years became a dominant figure in Australian meat export trade. Sent meat to WA goldfields, latter to forces in South Africa and Britain. Built his own freezer works in Footscray 1905. Exported to NZ, opened offices in London and Liverpool. Brought meatworks in Forbes 1914 and Riverstone, Sydney 1920, Brisbane 1924 and with a rival (F.J. Walker) in Rockhampton 1927. Leased and bought cattle stations in 3 eastern states with Sir Kidney Kidman. Purchased QLD properties owned by the government in 1929. QLD properties could support 80,000hd. 1930’s claims William Charles owned the largest personally controlled  meat enterprise in the British Empire. 1933 Vestey’s acquired his Vic and the whole Angliss meat business except the QLD properties.


  • Vestey’s purchased Angliss meat business for £1.5M2
  • Improvements in refrigeration now made it possible to send chilled rather than frozen product6


  • Government requested in early days of war that Bovril (VRD) supply 400 head to Darwin per month at £5 each. Few stockmen left due to labour shortage and Bovril had difficulty filling this order7


  • Improved to meet stringent USDA (USA Dept of agriculture) hygiene regulations4
  • Combined with Katherine – capacity of 60,000hd per year, first time NT had export killing capacity3


  • William Angliss and Co began building Central Abattoirs at Ten Mile abattoir reserve. This was to serve as a central killing works for Darwin with the aim of adding an export annex5


  • Angliss began to trial Buffalo, product shipped to Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and some into the domestic market.(Pg 44)13
  • At this time feral buffalo could be shot in the field and the meat used for export as long as the carcase was at an abattoir within an hour(Pg 44)13


  • Prior to this abattoir (1963) and Katherine abattoir (1964) being built stock were walked along stockroutes to railheads in Alice Springs or across to Wyndham abattoir, QLD. Murranji stockroute last stock use was 1967 as cattle now went to Katherine and Darwin8
  • During this period road transport began to dominate and stock routes less used8
  • Vesteys opened4
  • Paid 6 shillings and half pence a pound, Hong Kong export market couldn’t afford to match paying 5 shillings and half pence a pound4


  • Robert Bright would capture wild baby pigs feed up and sell to Berrimah (then called Angliss abattoir) (Pg 241)12


  • Laurie Howard supplied Buffalo’s from Dorisvale station (then managed by Leo Whitely) (Pg 189)12
  • Manager at abattoir – George Welch, took over from Peter White (Pg 190)12


  • Buffalo were now required to be to delivered live to an abattoir for slaughter.(Pg 44)13


  • Berrimah abattoir not in operation (Pg 245)12


  • Couldn’t meet USDA standards – lost export licence, so did Broome,Derby, Wyndham and Katherine3


  • Berrimah closes.10



  1. ‘100 years of Northern Beef production’ Nth QLD Register 22.11.12
  2. Angliss, Sir Willam Charles – Australian Dictionary  of Bigraphy.
  3. ‘Sailing ahead’ Annabelle Coppin 2009
  4. ‘The Australian Livestock export trade’ Nigel  Austin 2011
  5. ‘Wild Cattle, Wild Country’ Ann Marie Ingham 2007.
  6. ‘The Rise and fall of the house of Vestey’ Phillip Knight 1993.
  7. ‘The Big Run – The story of VRD station’ Jock Makin 1970.
  8. ‘The Murranji track – Ghost road of the drovers’ Darrell Lewis. 2007
  9. Personal communication of person who supplied abattoir. 04.11.13.
  10. ‘New abattoir for $500,000’ Top Paddock newsletter #1 Sept 1993
  11. NT DPI Annual records dated 2000.
  12. ‘The Privileged Few’ Jeff Hill. 2008
  13. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn 2013

Katherine #1


Other Names

  • Bovril meatworks

Current Operation

  • Never completed to start operations.


  • 300km S of Darwin, Victoria Hwy Katherine 3km

Australia. Katherine

Map. Katherine. jpg


  • Bovril Australian Estate (English) owned VRD at the time(1947)


  • An abattoir was begun to be built and due to lack of government backing was stopped and demolished before even finished

Katherine. Bovril.Source – Northern Territory Library

Katherine #1 Abattoir – Bovril works, Photo dated 1951. construction was never completed

Is now the site of BOC gas, Bovril Street. Cement posts are still evident but roof is now a flat roof.


  • Bovril moved equipment and some infrastructure from Manbulloo site1
  • Bovril leased 2,260 acres, land close to racecourse area and began erecting ‘Bovril meat extraction plant’2
  • Meatworks never used. Rumour was Vestey’s were going to take over or Bovril Estates3


  • Project abandoned – Cost £300,0004


  • Extraction plant construction stopped and started several times finally abandoned 3rd January 19512
  • “To this day, the enormous concrete shell still stands, only now it houses a multitude of trades, including a panel beating shop, a mechanic and a furniture factory. Also standing a short distance up the road, are the staff quarters and engineer’s house which were erected by Bovril and which are now part of a caravan park”2


  • Victorian company Preston Meatworks & William Say & co. Considered purchase of Bovril equipment to build a plant between Elliott & Darwin, small scale to start them to eventually process 30,000 hd a year4. This never happened!


  1. ‘Pastoral Australia: Fortunes, Failures & Hard Yakka: A historical view.” M. Pearson, J Lennon. 2010
  2. ‘Katherine abattoir finally put down’ ABC rural 15.09.11
  3. ‘Meat Monopolies’ Northern Standard 07.03.47
  4. ‘Meatworks project for N. Territory’ The Canberra times. 21.11.52


Current Operation

  • Closed November 20092


  • 11km north of Margaret River.

Australia. Cowaramup

Map. Cowaramup


  • Western Meat Processors, Director – F.E Lee3
    • General Manager, J Mc Quillan2


  • Processed Cattle1
  • Employs 452
  • Workers numbers 572




  • Western Meat Processors begun operations at Cowaramup2


  • March. Expansion worth $750,000, would provide increased slaughter throughput in late 2009.2
  • November 16th. Closed due to plant where carcases were processed destroyed by fire and not other plants available to process meat.2
  • O’Conner Meat factory4.
    • Owned by Western Meat Packers, located in McNeece Place, O’Conner, established 27 years.
    • Owner of O’Conner, Rod Russell also owned lamb processing plant in Osbourne park
    • Employed 300 people.
    • Fire was caused by an electrical fault in an exhaust system, caused $10M damage
    • were processing 2000 head of cattle a week
  • Staff undertook maintenance work until December, when facility was shut down entirely, future work in January would continue maintenance.2


  • Licence issued 3rd February 2011to operate the works prescribed under the Environmental Protection Act. Issued for an extended period of 3 years5
    • Licence #L8036/1993/5. File SWB2063.
    • Category 15:Abattoir
    • Category 55: Livestock saleyard or holding pen


  1. WAMIA Meat Processors 2013
  2. ‘Cowaramup abattir to remain closed’ Farm Weekly 10.12.09
  3. http://www.mantra.com
  4. ‘Fire causes $10M damage to O’Conner meat factory’ Perth Now. 16.11.09.
  5. Environmental Protection Licence. Government of WA – Dept of Environment and conservation
  6. ‘Abattoir capacity in WA’. Letter by Terry Redman. Minister for Agriculture and Food. 18.03.09


Other Names

  • Nambeelup.

Current Operation

  • Closed 2004


  • Nambeelup – 90km S of Perth

Australia. Mandurah

Map.MandurahSource – Hema maps. Australia truckies atlas


  • Nebru Exports –
  • Nottle Family    


  • Chilling equipment was of a very high standard1




  • Closed – Sold by receivers – purchased by EG Greens & Sons $5M was immediately gutted.1


  • District structure plan has abattoir ceasing operation 2006. (pg 14)2


  1. Parliament Hansard. P. Omodei 17.08.05
  2. http://www.planning.wa.gov.au/dop_pub_pdf/Nambeelup_DSP_Complete_-_August_2012.pdf

Geraldton #104. WA

Export accredited facility that processed bee, sheep and mainly rangeland wild goats. Closed since 2015. Closure cited due to shortage of livestock due to wild dog preditation and farmer diversification into cropping. Competition due to Live animal export also a factor. Listed for sale in 2015.

Other Names

  • Geraldton Meat Works
  • Geraldton Meat exports

Current Operation

  • Closed (2015)6


  • Located Moonyoonooka. 424km N of Perth, WA Coast             

Australia. Moonyoonooka


Map. Moonyoonooka

Source – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas


  • Geraldton Meat Works (Geraldton Meat Exports) GME


  • Modern Tier Two export licensed plant6
  • Feral goats/Mutton, 6 way cuts to Mexico, US & Russia??1
  • Halal slaughter
  • 94 workers2
  • goats and sheep and lamb
  • Export accredited
  • only abattoir in WA that processed goat4
  • Capacity of 2000 sheep, lambs or goats a day6.

Other abattoirs in Australia

Go to this link to view Location of Australian Abattoirs


History of Geraldton #104. WA


  • At this time is listed as an export facility7
    • Operated by Metro Meat Ltd7


  • November. At this time is listed as an export facility7
    • Operated by Geraldton meat Exports Pty Ltd


  • Closed
  • Sept 09 – Lynn MacLaren citing lack of supply and Live export as having taken animals that otherwise may have been processed through this site2.
    • Author Note – Lynn MacLaren, http://wa.greens.org.au/content/mlc-lynn-maclaren
    • Lynn MacLaren is a supporter of banning live animal export programs and served on the board of the Animals Australia Inc. The political lobby group advocating to ban live exports.


  • Closed for maintenance and never reopened, could be a buyer currently looking.4


  • June. Abattoir is closed for seasonal shutdown.6
  • Reasons for closure was livestock supply6
    • Goat Numbers in the area are dwindling
      • largely due to dog preditation
    • Sheep are also difficult to source
    • Many producers in the area are moving out of livestock production to cropping
  • Facility was processing up to 200,000 rangelands goats a year6
    • Mostly sourced from Gascoyne, Pilbara and surrounding areas
  • Considering by a prospective buyer could be of conversion of the plant to large animal chain
    • allow access to northern stock6
    • plants location 5ookm from Perth could be beneficial
  • Plant at one time did have regular contracts to Halal certified markets in Malaysia and South East Asia6
  • Dec. Geraldton abattoir is placed on the market for sale.5


Source – Beef Central advert December 2015



Source – Geraldton Sale Brochure – Beef Central 15.09.2016


Source – Geraldton Sale Brochure – Beef Central 15.09.2016


Source – Geraldton Sale Brochure – Beef Central 15.09.2016



Source – Geraldton Sale Brochure – Beef Central 15.09.2016

  • Sept. Geraldton. Sale advertisements are renewed.6
  • Other abattoirs for sale at this time are;
    • Sarina. QLD. A small domestic facility that can process cattle, sheep or pigs
    • Forbes #656. NSW. Previously an export facility that is currently closed and stripped of equipment.
  • Geraldton plant has been closed since June 20156


Sources of Geraldton #104 WA

  1. Personal Communication #1. 16.01.13
  2. Lynn MacLaren (LM)– Questions without notice in Legislative council. 16.06.09
  3. WAMIA Meat Processors 2013
  4. ‘Abattoir gives up the goat’ www.efarming.com.au 14.06.12
  5. Beef Central Side advert on website articles December 2015
  6.  http://’Three meat processing plants hit the market – What’s behind it?’ Beef Central 14.09.2016
  7. Aus Meat lists 1987.



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