Tag Archives: abattoirs currently operating


Current Operation

  • Currently accredited with AUS-MEAT as at 14.01.13, Establishment # 0041W2


  • Geraldton – 40km south of Geraldton

Australia. Greenough

Map. Greenough


  • D & K Hagen
  • Hagen Bros


  • Small plant1
  • Cattle, sheep, lamb, goat, pig & Deer2




  1. Parliament Hansard. P Omodei 17.08.05
  2. AUS-MEAT Accreditation list 14.01.13


Current Operation

  • Operating as at 20121


  Australia. Tully   

Map. Tully             




  • Small local processor1




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


Tolga is better known as Rocky Creek, a small multi species domestic abattoir located in far north Queensland.

Other Names.

  • Rocky Creek abattoir

Current Operation

  • Operating as at 20121


  • 80km SW Cairns

Australia. Tolga

Map. Tolga


  • Victor Byrnes           

Direct Contact to facility



  • Small local processor1
  • Source of most meat is from cattle sales on the tablelands2
  • Species Cattle, Goat, Pig, Buffalo, Deer, Horse3
  • Domestic prcessor only3
  • Certifications – Safe Food QLD, Halal, MSQA3
  • Employees – 6-503
  • Does service kill3
  • Abattoir is operated in conjunction with butcher shops in Cairns and on Atherton tablelands and property located in the cape Holroyd Station also owned by Byrne entities.5



  • Byrnes family purchased a butcher shop in the Atherton tableland area2


  • Purchased a slaughter yard facility at Tolga2
    • was ungraded in the following years to a fully accredited abattoir2


  • Abattoir Australian Meat accredited 16th March 19892
    • all workers have full accreditation through Aus-Meat2
    • Facility currently licenced to process 150 cattle per day2
    • Quality assurance program is in place at the facility2
    • After slaughter carcases are sent to factory at Manunda2
  • Combined with other enterprises of farms, abattoir and processing, including retail outlets – whole group employ 110 staff2


  • Plans to install a computerized slaughter floor and boning room ticketing system2


  • Listing in RIDC3


  • Discussion paper – Move towards establishment of a Tropical Grass Fed Beef supply chain and / or brand4
  • Within Tablelands regional council4
    • 289,293 estimated head of cattle4
    • region has potential to turnoff 40,000 high quality MSA cattle per year from 700 beef producers4
      • If $750 per head estimated turnoff $30M at gate4
    • 62,000 turnoff – 62% fats and stores, 40% breeders and followers4
    • 491 beef producers across area – herds range from few head to 250 head4
    • Over 80% producers have off farm income4
    • Only 3-4 producers actually employ others4
  • Dairy deregulation seen many properties converted to beef4
    • In April 2000 – 185 Dairy farmers producing 130ML milk4
    • Now less than 56 dairy farmers producing less than 56ML4
    • Most operations diary fewer than 300 cows and don’t employ external labour4
  • Major influences of local beef markets in recent years4
    • Closure of Innisfail abattoir (QLD). 2006
    • Nearest abattoir of any scale is located in Townsville – Owned by Swift & Co.4
      • Authors note – JBS now own this facility
    • Tolga abattoir is the nearest small abattoir to Tablelands4
    • Live export suspension to Indonesia (2011) made Northern producers look towards other marketing options.4
    • Land prices have increased astronically since 2000 (Tablelands Basalts average $5000/ac)4


  • Halal slaughter has been conducted at the abattoir for a long period of time.6
  • Animals are stunned prior to slaughter.6


  1. ‘Northern Australian beef Industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE. 2012.
  2. Byrnes Quality Meats website. Sourced 19.06.2014
  3. ‘New Animal Product Abattoirs in Australia’ RIDC 2007
  4. Discussion Paper – Move towards establishment of a Tropical Grass Fed Beef Supply Chain and/or Brand – Peter Spies 24.10.2012
  5. ‘Conservation and production go hand-in-hand at Holroyd’ Agforce 06.11.2009
  6. http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-08/kindness-in-killing-is-the-muslim-way/5439542


Current Operation

  • Operating (as at 2013)1


  • Ayr is 90 km south of Townsville

Australia. Ayr jpg

Map Ayr




  • Small1




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


Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #235 – JBS Australia Pty Ltd (Dinmore).13
    • registered as a Beef, Offal export facility.13
  • Direct employment enquiries to www.jbssa.com.au  


  • South east QLD
  • 40 km west of Brisbane. 9km east of Ipswich


  • AMH (1999)4
    JBS Australia


  • Export – Beef, Offal1
  • (1999) Nominal capacity 625,000hd per 50 weeks4
  • Slaughtering, boning, packaging, by-products rendering and hide processing
  • Spent 10’s Millions $ over past 10 years on environmental/sustainability projects, in areas like water treatment, establishing excellent performance creditials in the environmental area2
  • “Site operates with arguably the most stringent environmental license conditions on waste water management, motor and other noise abatement of any meat plant in Australia”2.

Dinmore photo. _edited-1Source 2007 Feedback MLA

Other historical and current meat processing facilities located in Australia can be viewed at;

Australian abattoirs inactive map


History of Dinmore #235


8. ABARES Nov 2011_edited-1

Proportion of cattle slaughtered by ownership of abattoirs 1990
Source ABARES foreign ownership 2011 Pg 31


  • 77 Beef export Abattoirs are in operation in Australia at this time.19
    • 27 have some level of foreign ownership.19
    • Ownership dominated by Japan, UK and the US.19


  • AMH intend to spend $50M upgrading Dinmore as part of $90M capital investment program across six Australian operations6
    • AMH controlled by big US rural commodities trader – ConAgra, a major exporter from North America6
    • AMH accounts for 16.5% of Australia’s beef kill.6
      • currently owns another 8 facilities but will be consolidating to 5 and closing Beaudesert (QLD), Guyra and Portland (Vic)7
        • others owned Dinmore, Townsville, Rockhampton and Aberdeen6
            • Author note – not sure of 8th.
        • Intended that 300 jobs would be replaced at Dinmore when expansion completed there6


  • AMH owned at this point4
  • Is the largest plant in QLD at this point.


  • Significant regions of drought across QLD.

QLD Drought 2003_2005_edited-1

Queensland drought situation 2003 – 2005 www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au


Queensland drought situation 2007 – 2009 www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au


  • Will drop from 11 to 9 shifts over a 5 day week this year in light of the livestock supply and demand challenges3
  • Between Townsville and Dinmore plant 430 people laid off.8
  • Dinmore current operating capacity 3,300 head a day.10
    • Mainly to Export 75% – Japan, US, Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia.10
  • Dinmore employs approximately 2,000 workers.10
    • About 1,700 work in production roles across 2 shifts Monday to Friday.10
    • The remainder are cleaning, maintenance and head office functions.10
    • Most Employees are male 70% employed and full-time casuals.10
    • Around 20% are from overseas – 457 Visa’s China and Brazil.10
    • 5 year EBA is currently in place, no piecework incentives provided.10
    • most workers said to be be union members.10
      • walking delegate employed on site.10
    • Company has strong internal promotion culture aimed at increasing retention.10

IBIS Jun 2010_edited-1

Major Companies in the Australian Red meat processing industry

Source IBIS world June 2010


  • January. Devastating floods across Central and southern QLD and large parts of NSW and Victoria.21
    • affected slaughter numbers to abattoirs.21
  • July.National slaughter rates decline 5%.22
    • Australian currency pressures.22
      • A$ is now above US108c.22
      • economic news out of US could send currency even higher.22
      • higher A$ would cripple Australia’s already limited price competitiveness for beef in international markets.22
    • QLD which does approximately half of Australia’s processing capacity.22
      • Down 8% from the previous week.22
      • lowest kill recorded in QLD in July for past decade.22
      • Down 21% on same period last year.22
      • Significant number of QLD plants only killing 3-4 days.22
    • listless export beef demand.22
    • Meat processing and export is low-margin business due to.22
      • Import duties.22
        • Indonesia 9%.22
        • Korea 40%.22
        • Japan 38%.22
      • New AQIS charges on meat inspection would add millions to processor costs.22
    • Is currently a big build up of meat in cold stores due to difficulty in selling into sluggish markets, Japan and the US.22

7. ABARES Nov 2011_edited-1

Red Meat throughput Australian abattoirs, Foreign and Australian owned 2011 Source ABARES foreign ownership 2011 Pg 29


  • Govt. grant $4.4M with JBS own $4.4M upgrade its waste water treatment system, installing new pre-treatment equipment and covered anaerobic lagoon technology2.
  • Company’s carbon tax liability was expected to cost $3.5M yr,($23/t) project will save $1M in energy costs and cut liability each year by $790,000.
  • Still doesn’t place Dinmore plant below 25,000t threshold, to get below that would cost a further $16M.


  • “JBS is in the process of supporting the transition of it’s 457 workforce to permanent residency”5
  • 457’s residency requires certain level of english speaking, International English language testing system level 5. – often above the level meat workers most parts of world can reach5
  • Recently completed a $50M upgrade employing most modern techonology available to ensure maximum efficency and consistency of the quality of the product9
  • Employees 235 people9
  • Daily processing 3,350 beef or 1,675 head per shift9
  • November. JBS Swift Australia install closed-circuit television camera’s (CCTV) in it’s Australian meatworks.16
    • For the purpose of animal welfare and meatworker safety issues.16
    • CCTV for internal use by only JBS, with no plans to allow outsiders to view the footage.16
  • JBS’s US beef division (which includes Australia) delivered drop in net sales and earnings in it’s third quarter financial results.17
    • Australia’s division performance and overall contribution to the overall result is impossible to distinguish due to inclusion with US and Canadian beef processing results.17
    • Earnings before tax $134M,.17
      • Down by 22.5% on previous quarter.17
      • Down by 28.4% on third quarter last year.17
    • result reflection of domestic North American markets.17
      • Improved performance had occured in Australian.17
        • Demand had increased in Chinese markets.17



  • July. JBS Australia purchase majority shareholding in NSW based Andrew Meat.15
    • specialise in high quality, portion cutting and further processing of meats for domestic and international restaurant and foodservice customers.15
    • produce ready-cooked meals.15
    • company banner Creative Food Solutions.15
    • Andrew Meat will allow JBS expansion into high growth retail and value-adding segments.15
  • Expansion of the Andrew Meats business will start in November .18
    • JBS global strategy to expand into value added meat protein – opportunity to expand margins.18
    • JBS have an existing value-added division – Food Partners.18
      • supplies food service customers like Pizza Hut and Domino’s with toppings.18
    • Andrew Meats focus will be produce ready meals.18
      • ‘grab & go’ beef roasts, designed to compete head on with hot cabinet roast chickens sold in supermarkets.18
      • Domestic markets were very immature but also with significant growth potential.18
  • At this time JBS operate.15
    • 10 processing facilities.15
      • Daily processing capacity of more than 8,000 cattle and 21,000 small stock.15
    • 5 feedlots.15
  • December. JBS currently operate 12 meat processing plants across 5 Australian states11
    • Wages & local procurement $730M (Excluding livestock purchases)11
    • Employs 8,500 people at the facilities11
      • Employs 12,000 people in Australia11
    • Total revenue of $6.5B11
  • JBS plants 2014_edited-1

    JBS processing plants in Australia

    Source JBS submission #50 Market Consolidation.

    • JBS estimates its current share of four eastern states beef kill – 20% (excludes service kill)11
      • JBS share of Australian beef production 16%11
      • Market share of national small (lamb, mutton & goat) 16%
    • JBS spent $2.4M on halal certification costs of approved religious certifiers in 20142


    • January. MLA forecast.20
      • Australian cattle herd has gone from 35 year high (2013) to 20 year low (2015).20
      • Australian cattle herd slip to 26.8M head by June 2015.20
        • by 2016 expected decline to 26.5M head.20
        • by 2020 27.9M head.20
      • Adult cattle slaughter expected to slump 15% year on year.20
        • 2015 to 7.8M head.20
        • 2020 expected 7.9M slaughter.20
      • Long term Female average in 2014 52%.20
        • Normally female kill percentage 47%.20
        • Only in years 1977, 1998 & 2003 has female kill been above 50%.20
      • Beef exports record levels in 2014 1.39M tonnes shipped weight.20
        • Expected to drop 20% to 1.3M tonnes in 2015.20
    • March. Foreign ownership of Australian red meat processing facilities
    • Nippon share_edited-1

      Share of Australian red meat processing

      Source The Stock Standard. VFF March 2015


  • March. Cyclone Marcia cross the Capricornia Coast some plants were damaged.70
    • Supply is exceeding capacity in QLD at this point.70

Cyclone Marcia Feb 2015_edited-1

Impact of Cyclone Marcia February 2015. www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au

  • June. Cost of processing in Australia 1.5-3 times the cost of processing animals in another country11
  • cost of processing grain-fed cattle in Australia is twice of the USA11
    • lower levels of productivity in Australia in regards to kg per unit of labour11
    • 2 major differences between Australia and the USA11
      1. Government regulation
        • $10 a head more in Australia11
        • Dept. of Australian Agriculture fully recover costs of meat export inspection and certification11
          • Australia wide DAFF costs $80M11
          • JBS contribute $14.5M11
        • Export plants don’t use DAFF but use approved employees, which plants fully cover costs11
          • JBS estimate an additional $30M at Export level11
        • USA & Brazil governments provide services at no or minimal costs to processors11
      2. Energy Costs
        • $15 a head more in Australia11
    • Technical barriers to trade (TBT’s)- Total value in Australia estimated at $1.25B as identified costs11
      • 261 TBT’s in 40 key markets11
        • 136 have significant trade distortion impacts11
  • July. The following charts are from a submission by the Australian government Department of Agriculture to the Senate rural and regional affairs and transport references committee inquiry into Market consolidation and the red meat processing sector.
  • abattoir capacities dept ag sub consolidation_edited-1
    • Capacity of major beef abattoirs in QLD. Pg 15

      T2 Throughput state beef_edited-1

      Share of throughput by state for beef in 2014. Pg 16

      T4 processing companies market share_edited-1

      Major Processing companies by market share May 2015. Pg 16

      M4 direct cattle movements NLIS QLD_edited-1

      Cattle Movements to abattoirs. Pg 25

      F12 hourly labour costs food manufacturing_edited-1

      Hourly labour costs for food manufacturing industry Pg 30

October. 10 mayors from Southern QLD form a mayoral group to act as a united lobby group for their region.24

  • represent 25% land area of QLD, quarter of QLD cattle and 75% of grain and crop production area24
    • support the Oakey abattoir push for rail transport improvements.24
    • $2M in State and Federal funding is required to fund new rails sidings.24
      • Federal government feel that private investors should fund the improvements themselves.24
      • will add to processor competition in the area.24
  • Only 2 abattoirs are currently contracted to be supplied cattle on the Western line.24 JBS Dinmore (QLD) and Teys Beenleigh (QLD)
    • Oakey is to be added, starting January 2016.24
      • Contractually Oakey can recieve cattle but as they have no rail siding this is not physically possible.24


  • AACo have animals processed at Eastern abattoirs as service kill.23
    • See year 2013.23
    • Gross processing costs had increased in the 6 months to September 2015.23
      • $1.13 risen to $1.21/kg, 7% increase year on year HCW.23



  • December. ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates.12
    • Data interpretation – Companies do not pay company tax on revenue (total income) they pay on profits after paying all expenses, including wages, capital replacement, supplier costs and other operating expenses.12
    • Income tax information is for 2013/14.12
    • JBS Holdco Australia Pty Ltd produced Total Income $4,040,948,610.12
      • Taxable Income $419,882,525.12
        • Tax Payable $44,809,334.12


QLD Drought Situation 2013 – 2015 www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au


Sources for Dinmore QLD. JBS

  1. AUS-MEAT Accreditation list 14.01.13
  2. ‘JBS offered $4.4M grant for Dinmore carbon abatement project’ Beef Central 04.02.13
  3. ‘Abattoirs under stress’ Beef Central 22.02.10
  4. Competition and exit in Meat Processing Agribusiness review Vol 7 1999
  5. ‘JBS to help 457 workers to Aussie residency’ Ipswich QLD 02.03.13
  6. ‘US beef exporters force three abattoirs to close’ SMH 15.05.1996
  7. ‘Guyra abattoir closure’ Mr Raymond Chappell 15.05.96 http://www.parliment.nsw.gov
  8. ‘Australia: Union shuts down picket of locked out meatworkers’ http://www.wsws.org. 28.12.2010
  9. http://www.jbsswift.com.au. Accessed 13.11.2013
  10. Work-skills-and-training-2301-1
  11. sub50_JBS Inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector
  12. ‘ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates’ Beef Central 18.12.2015
  13. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015
  14. ‘Big Beef producer cuts deal with Tasman group’ The Age 06.03.2008
  15. ‘JBS takes stake in Andrews Meat’ www.farmonline.com.au 09.07.2014
  16. ‘Swift CCTV camera action’ Weekly Times 13.11.2013
  17. ‘JBS delivers lower third quarter beef sales, revenue’ Beef Central 14.11.2013
  18. ‘What’s behind JBS taking a big stake in Andrews Meat Value adding Businnes? Beef Central 10.07.2014
  19. ABARES foreign ownership 2011
  20. ‘MLA forecasts beef market adjustment’ The Land 27.01.2015
  21. ‘Slow season opening for processors’ Beef Central 11.01.2012
  22. ‘Caualties emerging as export kill pressure continues’ Beef Central 25.07.2011
  23. ‘AACo’s Darwin abattoir projected to be strong finanical performer’ Beef Central 18.03.2013
  24. ‘$2M only barrier to better rail access for cattle’ Beef Central 20.10.2015


Other Names

  • HS Greenham’s
  • Greenham’s
  • Blue Ribbon

Current Operation

  • Operating as at 2013.


Australia. Smithton

Map Smithton 001Source – Hema maps. Australia Truckies Atlas


  • Blue Ribbon – established3
  • Ian Paterson 20015
  • Greenhams – 20024
    • Plant Manager Jack Erichson4
    • Greenham also own Tongala Abattoir (Vic)
      • have been operating in Victoria since 1860’s
    • Greenham’s is a family-run and operated business


  • Premium quality beef to USA. Japan, buying dairy cos, bulls, heavy beef cows, Jap Ox, calves and yearlings7
  • Greenham’s supply 2 annual burseries $10,000 to young people in Vic and Tasmania further their careers in dairy or beef industry7
  • Process 10,000 t beef annually
  • supplier catchment of 3,000 properties over Tasmania and King Island


Some articles are in reference to the meat industry in Tasmania in general and not just specifically the Smithton works


  • Meeting held at town hall to discuss proposal of establishment of abattoir and saleyards at Smithton2
    • At the time 17 slaughtering places existed in Circular head municipality2
      • hygiene and disease of serious concern due to lack of inspections and disposal of offal unsatisfactory with dogs and pigs having access.2
      • water availability  was inadequate for some with poor drainage2
    • New facility main purpose was to ensure clean, wholesome product assuring meat production under hygienic conditions.2
    • Paddocks to be provided for grazing free of charge some distance from abattoir so animals only walked to facility once a fortnight2


  • Josef Chromy – a Czechoslovakian who fled to Tasmania in 1950 after WWII.3
    • started a butcher shop in Bernie 19573
    • Changed the butcher shop name to ‘Blue Ribbon Meat Products in 19583
    • Initial turnover of $160,000 pa, 5 employees, over 20 years developed the company, acquiring farms, 18 butcher shops, piggeries, distribution centres, factories and abattoirs.3


  • Blue Ribbon aims to establish export standard abattoir3
    • sell to overseas markets premium lamb and beef cuts from Tasmania3


  • Blue Ribbon now operates Smithton, Camdale, Launceston and Hobart abattoirs.3


  • Red meat industry wide rationalisation Chromy sells all operations to RMI Group, in exchange for shares3


  • Rationalisation falls over and shares are rendered worthless3
  • Chromy rebuilt businesses.3


  • Blue Ribbon employ 540 people, annual sales of $75M3
  • Blue ribbon is floated on ASX.3


  • Blue Ribbon win Austrade Agricultural products category at the Australian export awards.3


  • Blue Ribbon post a loss of $3.18M18
    • esculated debts to $6M owed to Commonwealth bank and $4M to suppliers18
    • Company shares trading suspended at $0.13 down from 1993 price $1.6018
      • Peak operation annual turnover AUS$75M and18
      • processed 50% of states livestock18
      • Exports worth AUS$28M18


  • July. Blue Ribbon turn down a refinancing offer from a Melbourne based syndicate18
    • Announce company is put into voluntary administration18
    • Decision chosen as alternative to receivorship and allows 3 months of trading life18
  • Nov. Ian Paterson purchases Blue Ribbon5
    • Federal court hearing – collapse of Tasmainian meat works say Paterson ignore everyones warnings, including Blue Ribbons chief financial officer that the the company was insolvent, ignored repeated advice that works needed $2M in capital injection to function5
    • Paterson misled buisness partners and Blue ribbon administrators pretending he had backing from a group of investors when he was operating entirely on his own.5
    • Former Blue ribbon CEO Ray Joy was part of investment group4
  • Dec. Blue Ribbon go into recievership and close.4


  • Blue Ribbon sold to HS Greenhams.4
    • Employs 100 people7
    • Refurbish the plant to international export standards9
  • Greenhams (new owners of Smithton) develop marketing strategy and sourcing program to help secure cattle for the meat processing plant21
    • included better information to producers about types of animals suitable21
    • information feedback to producers about their animals.21
    • set up scholarships to reinforce commitment to area21
      • result – enough cattle secured for production to peak within weeks of plant opening21
  • Mar. To start production again, processing 100 cattle per day to build up to 200 head a day4
    • Processing capacity of plant 300 per day26
  • June. Smithton retrench 21 workers7


  • When original company went into receivorship employees fired from full-time positions19
    • rehired latter by a labour hire firm on 12-month traineeships19
      • Hire firmis a split company from Blue Ribbon called Newemploy20
      • meant to re-employ 300 workers20
      • Only employed 95 at beginning of dispute20
    • after traineeship period then offered independent contracts for $120 a day without sick leave or holiday pay19
    • Abattoir citing needs flexibility in employment structure19
  • August. Longest lockout in Tasmania’s history enters 21st week.20
    • In dispute – 23 workers locked out, 40 have left, 10 sacked in previous week20
    • sacked workers jobs outsourced20


  • Smithton set up buying centre for cattle in Devonport17
    • Producers take animals direct to site, weighed and paid on delivery.17
    • Acts as direct sale to abattoir with no agents17
    • Abattoir pays for freight to abattoir from selling centre17
    • Estimated to save producer $39 per animal in cartage.17
    • Authors Note – Normally when a producer sells at a point that is closer to property of origin the sale price of animal is reduced, therefore I question if producer in this case would actually get a saving of $39. Saving would be due to no third parties. Jo. 29.12.2013.
    • Devonport is the 6th selling centre established  by the Smithton abattoir since take over in 2002.17
  • HW Greenham and Sons Pty ltd is ranked 13th in top 25 Processors in Australia28
    • Statistics include abattoirs Smithton and Tongala abattoir (Vic)28
    • 2004 End of Dec. Throughput 52,500 ETCW (Estimated tonnes carcase weight) 2003 51,000 ETCW28
    • Kill share 2%28
    • Turnover 2004/2005 $230M (2003/2004 $200M)28
    • Employees 47028
    • Production 95% export – 5% domestic28
    • Major export markets USA, Japan, Korea, Canada, Taiwan28


  • Jan. Smithton (Greenhams) dismiss 6 workers before christmas after losing a key Asian customer6
    • Unfair dismissal case lodged with Australian Industrial relations commission (AIRC)6
      • AIRC found wages and other legal entitlements were paid but had no jurisdiction to determine if dismissal unfair or harsh.6
  • Jul. Signs a exclusive deal with large Korean retail group – Lotte Mart.8
    • Smithton facilities need expansion in boning room, if not undertaken run the risk of losing export opportunities8
  • Oct. Propose to install a coal briquette-fired boiler to replace the existing boiler that is currently fired by tallow and fuel oil.9
    • Rendering process converts by-products into value added products – tallow, meatmeal & bloodmeal9
    • Rendering uses large volumes of steam to cook the materials.9
      • Edible – frying fats, shortening, oils, bakery products, confectionary and industrial margarine9
      • Inedible – soap, cosmetics, lubricants, leather dressings, candles and tallow for tanning leather.9
    • Refurbished 10MW briquett-fired boiler – consume 1.2 t coal /hr at full production9
      • working on 5 day week basis, 10 hours a day – use 1,800 t a year, coal soarced from Victoria.9
      • Ash production 3,600kg pa9
  • Smithton express interest in upgrading port facilities at Stanley to allow King Island cattle imports25


  • Jul. Government – Federal and state supply $1.1M, North-West and Northern Tasmania Innovation and Investment (NWNTIIF)24
    • NWNTIIF created to assist manufacturing businesses, a number of which have closed in area due to GFC24
    • Greenhams contribute $3.3M to upgrade facilities10. –
      • build and fit out new enlarged boning room, freezing area and slaughter floor10
      • upgrade plants rendering facilities22
      • development of new value adding processing facility22
      • increase capacity from 320 head a day to 380, potential up to 45010
      • created 20 jobs with a further 7 likely10
        • other articles say 2422 jobs, and 1723 jobs.
        • upgrade created 17 jobs to date and will provide another 7 by December24
      • Deminished waiting time for producers in summer when larger number of cattle available10
      • Expansion 4 years in negotiations10
      • improvement in technologies increases efficencies22
  • August – Smithton again consider assisting with financial support to upgrade Stanley wharf – deep water24
    • Stanley is deepest port in Tasmania25
    • Would allow King Island cattle access, King Island abattoir (Tas) closed in 201224
    • Other ports are Devonport24 and Burnie26
  • December – Smithton and Tasport upgrade port facilities at Stanley to reintroduce shipping to the area25


  • Jan. MSA grading of meat cuts (had been implemented for a number of years)27
    • Smithton work closely with producers providing feedback on haveing cattle eligible for meat brands.27
    • certain cuts suite certain markets.27

MSA grading _edited-1Source – Peter Greenham Managing Director of Greeham Tasmania. 31.12.2013.
Cattle in MSA program are assessed for eating quality and marketed under particular brands.

  • Apr. American buyers looking to expand purchases of beef from $80,000 per week to $800,00011
    • Grass fed beef.11
    • Tasmania is the only Australian state to ban the use of HGP, therefore all stock are guaranteed 100% HGP free12
    • lot more market potential to be realised yet11
  • July. Cattle unloaded at Stanley port, utilising the port for the first time in 20 years.26
    • Use of Stanley port takes 5 hours off sea trip compared to Burnie and improved animal welfare26
    • Expect about 240 head each sailing26
    • 12,000 – 13,000 head from King Island each year26
      • similar to amount sourced from Island for last 5 years.26

    source animals _edited-1Source – Peter Greenham, Managing Director Greenham Tasmania.

Smithton abattoir sourcing of cattle for processing. They process approximately 500 animals per day which is about 112,000 cattle per year, currently employing 200 Full time staff plus casuals.26

  • Oct. Workers strike for higher wages.13
    • 160 beef processing workers set up picket line – 25.10.2013 with ongoing ban on overtime13
    • 115 of 160 workers belong to AMIEU14
    • previous work agreement had been made in 201014
    • Workers want 4% pay rise – Greenhams offered 2.5% over 4 years & cut of $200 a week to new employees13
    • Negotiations have been going for 6 months.13
    • AMIEU figures say production has increased 25% of number of stock being processed.13
    • Union requested figures to substantiate processing from Greenham, Greendhams declined to supply figures.14
    • Smithton processes 40 to 44 cattle per man per day, elsewhere in Australia averages between 20-2414
    • Longford abattoir (Tasmania – owned by JBS) get over tally for 24 head a man, effectively getting paid time and a half for anything over 24 head.14
  • Nov. Company re-negotiated offer15
    • Raising the pay increase but not wage structure.15
    • Greenham’s showed AMIEU union rep Troy Baker figures to suggest business would not be viable in long term unless new employees paid less “..sat back and looked at it with a percentage rises on top, over time it would have made the company hard to be viable in another 4 years time” Trot Baker – AMIEU15
    • with original offer 2.5% across the board, also accepted 2.5% increase in pay with a $750 sign on bonus for the first 2 years, which will increase to 3% increase in payfor last 2 years of an agreement15


  1. ‘Support for KI meatworks’ The Mercury. 18.06.13
  2. Public Opinion article. Advocate. 24.09.1941
  3. ‘Josef Chromy : an expert vintage’ http://www.dynamicexport.com.au. 30.07.2009
  4. ‘Australia: Smithton abattoir to reopen tomorrow’ Just foods. 04.03.2002
  5. ‘Blue Ribbon owner criticised over abattoir collapse’ ABC rural. 22.03.2002
  6. ‘Meatworkers dispute taken to federal IR commission’ ABC news. 07.01.08
  7. Company profile. http://www.greenham.com.au Accessed 13.11.2013
  8. ‘Delay in works at Tongala abattoir’ http://www.greenham.com.au 01.07.2008
  9. ‘Smithton abattoir coal fired boiler – development proposal and environmental management plan’ Ecowise. Oct 2008
  10. ‘A meaty boost to efficency at Smithton abattoir’ The Advocate 19.07.11
  11. ‘Tassie beef industry industry impresses US buyers’ The Advocate 12.04.2013
  12. ‘Our plants – Longford’ http://www.jbsswift.com Accessed 13.11.13
  13. ‘Meat workers to strike for higher wages’ ABC news 23.10.2013
  14. ‘Industrial action hits Greenham’ The Advocate 25.10.2013
  15. ‘Industrial action ended at Tasmanian meatworks’ ABC rural. 12.11.2013
  16. ‘Devonport City abattoir doing well’ ABC rural 26.06.2002
  17. ‘Liveweight cattle buying centre opens in Devonport’ http://www.greenham.com.au
  18. ‘Australia: Blue Ribbon meats to go into voluntary administration’ http://www.just-food.com 19.07.2001
  19. ‘Welcome to the revolution’ AMIEU 11.06.2003
  20. ‘Tasmania’s longest lock out enters 21st week’ Green left. 20.08.2003
  21. http://www.lib.uts.edu.au
  22. ’24 new jobs as Tasmania meat processor expands’ Manufacturers monthly 19.07.11
  23. ‘North west coast prospects beefed up by expansion’ Bavid O’Byrne MP. 19.07.2011
  24. ‘Stanley wharf left to rot’ The Examiner. 20.08.2011
  25. http://www.shipspotting.com – dated 30.12.11.
  26. ‘Port of Stanley ready to receive cattle ships’ The Advocate 04.07.2013
  27. ‘Red Meat Updates’ Tasmania. MLA 20.06.2013
  28. Feedback’s top 25 processors for 2004 MLA. oct 2005


Dubbo abattoir is located in central NSW and is the largest meat processor in Australia.

Current Operation

  • Operating (as at 2013)


Australia. Dubbo

Map Dubbo 002



dubbo plant_edited-1Source http://www.flectchin.com.au
The Dubbo processing facility

  • Is a world leading sheep meat processing plant that is fully integrated processing all parts of the animal4
  • processes own wool and significant quantities of shorn wool into tops, which are sold across the world for yarn4
  • main production is sheep meat, wool tops and various by products4
  • Exports to 95 countries4
  • Dubbo employs about 450 people, Processing capacity of 40,000 head13



  • NSW government enacted a policy of decentralisation, led to slaughter works being established at Gunnedah, Dubbo, Goulburn and Wagga Wagga.(Pg 223)


  • Establishment in NSW of central abattoirs in processing districts to supply all meat locally (Pg 224)
  • Six new abattoirs built Moree, Guyra, Blayney, Mudgee, Dubbo and Forbes.


  • Council abattoir had been closed and pulled down (Pg 248)10


  • Greenfield site was commissioned4
  • Roger Flectcher had tried to buy a number of other processing plants that were currently in operation or closed but others refused to sell or he was out bidded as rivals saw Mr Flectcher as a growing rival to their facilities.(Pg 248)10
  • Roger Fletcher designed, built and financed a new high tech plant at Dubbo, it was the first new plant for sheep processing in NSW for over a decade(Pg 248)10
  • Plant was innovative in way it was run10
    • new employment policies setting up first enterprise bargaining agreements in Australia(Pg 248)10
      • Allowed shift work, which other abattoirs couldn’t do due to union suppported tally system (Pg 248)10
      • worked with AMIEU, Minister of Agricultural Industries (Simon Crean) to establish new working culture and training programs (Pg 248)10
        • Dubbo was the first registered training organisation for the meat industry outside of TAFE (Pg 248)10
      • Dubbo was the first plant to hot-bone mutton10
        • Traditionally lamb was cold boned and packaged in carcass sold in stockings as legs, back straps and trunk, hot boning meant the carcass was broken up while still warm and cut into primal cuts12

plate freezers_edited-1Source http://www.fletchint.com.au

The Plate freezing equipment used that is automated


  • Fellmongery commenced operation (Fellmongery is the process of removing wool from the skin)4
    • previously skins had been going to France unprocessed(Pg 248)10
    • The fellmongery produced wool tops. Through support of then Keating government wool scouring and wool tops plant was established to to make clothing, textiles and footwear(Pg 248)10
      • First example in Australia of a wool processing plant incorporated with an abattoir (Pg 248)10
      • Economies of scale of the vertical integration using inputs of labour and water assisted production (Pg 248)10


  • Wool scouring and topmaking plant started operation4


  • Roger Flectcher awarded the Distinguished Australian of the Year Award (Pg 251) in recognition of his contribution to business’s and community  in advice and assistance on many matters, some outside of the meat industry10


  • Fletchers expand to Western Australia – Narrikup abattoir (WA)12 (Abattoir listing yet to be added to this blog site)


  • Transport difficulties were always a problem at Dubbo, NSW had maximum weight limits meant 40′ containers could not be fully utilised.10
  • Flectcher’s built their own rail siding and spur line as the NSW government wouldn’t finance it10
    • 1.2km long12
  • Fletchers purchase Mudgee abattoir (NSW)


  • Roger Flectcher was acknowledged for indigenous employment with Neville bonner Memorial Award, this award also commended his work in employing disadvantaged youth (Pg 251)10


  • Charles Sturt University bestowed an Honorary doctorate of Business on Roger Fletcher (Pg 251)10


  • December. Slashing production and reducing staff, Dubbo retrenched 300.7
    • Night shift will continue, traneeships suspended, employment no longer offered to Asian students, grey nomad travellers and gap-year students preparing for university11
    • Issues raised by Roger Fletcher in regards to production downturn – Devasting drought throughout eastern Australia, extensive world-wide industry changes, rising costs and plummeting sheep numbers11
      • Plans to gear back up facility when drought breaks11
    • National sheep herd at its lowest level sincer federation at 71.6M head7
      • fallen 7% in last year, down by 17.5M compared to June 20067
        • Citing Live export as major factor as many breeding ewes are being exported.7
        • Australia exported live sheep 3,578,182 (CY 2009)9, lowest export volume since 1990/91 and prior to that had never been lower after 1974/75.8 See Australian Sheep Industry
          • Authors note – I believe most sheep sent to Live export are older sheep or males, not suited for lamb slaughter in Australia.
        • Lee Norris (AMIEU) blamed Live export industry, particularly demand from the Middle East for pushing saleyard prices higher.7
      • Saleyard prices of sheep at historical highs7
      • Global financial crisis had failed to lead to expected falls in domestic and international demand.7
        • Surging demand for Australian lamb, domestically and internationally7
      • high Australian Dollar – Currently at US91.25c7
    • Tough times for entire meat processing industry, particularly exporters.7
    • December is normally a high throughput period, standdowns usually occur in winter.7


  • January. Shift reduction – forced to scale back production because of a drop in stock numbers caused by the drought1
  • Shrinking sheep flock and record lamb prices blamed for cutbacks5
  • Plant wanted to merge night and day shift into one 10 hour day6
    • AMIEU demanded redundancies6
    • Plant proposed one week on/one week off shift structure.6
  • Fair work Australia hearing – new arrangement6
    • 300 casual staff without work1
    • 10 hour shift, four days a week, as first proposed with no redundancies.6
  • May. Hiring 50 new staff – plans to operate one shift a day and not 25
  • could take up to 5 years to reach peak production due to drought impacts5
  • Producers are holding breeding sheep in restocking phase after good rain6
    • forced the price of lamb up6
    • If you have less sheep you’ve got to get the most from the product you have” Roger Fletcher, Company director6
      • to obtain extra cuts from sheep carcase, plant requires more people6
  • 5000 head of sheep being processed a day since end of January.6
  • Dubbo current capacity around 9,000 sheep a day.14
    • Exports over two thirds to 90 countries
    • Largest employer in the area that is inland regional
      • Around 40,000 population, 11% Indigenous
  • Dubbo employs 900 full time staff.14
    • Approximately 5% of all wage and salary earners in Dubbo
    • 70% of staff are full time and mostly male
    • 70 employees work in high-technology wool-top-making facility on site
    • Employ around 150-200 Indigenous people at any one time
    • Some overseas workers – Up to 65 overseas employees can be employed at one time under working holiday 417 visas.
    • Don’t use 457 visa holders to any great extent
    • All Halal accreditated slaughtermen are Australian residents
    • An EBA is in effect and provides pay and conditions above award rates
      • facility for staff to be paid piece rates
      • two thirds of workers are union members
      • AMIEU elected representatives on site
      • Joint consultative committee
    • Strong emphasis on internal promotion to act as reward and strategy to retain staff


  • April Plant processing at only 60%3
  • Wool processing plant shut down due to Chinese competition (Pg 249)



Source http://www.fletchint.com.au
Some of the 70 markets that the Fletcher company export too showing one of their brand labels.

Sources Dubbo.2  #2309

  1.  ‘Young reeling after abattoir closure’ ABC rural. 04.02.10
  2.  ‘Abattoir industry in disastrous state’ ABC rural 16.02.10
  3.  ‘Abattoir closures to come’ Weekly times 27.04.11
  4. ‘Roger Fletcher’ Lifting the Lid on Quiet achievers. 18.06.13.
  5. ‘Dubbo abattoir hiring new staff’ ABC News. 11.05.10.
  6. ‘Abattoir hiring new blood’ Daily Liberal. 11.05.2010
  7. ‘Lamb exporters make savage cuts’ The Australian 14.12.2009
  8. Australian Livestock export trade. N Austin 2011
  9. http://www.daff.gov.au, Sheep export voyages
  10. World on a Plate. Stephen Martyn. 2014
  11. ‘Fletcher chops 300 jobs at Dubbo’ The Land 09.12.2009
  12. ‘Roger Fletcher’ Meat Trade News Daily 01.01.2013
  13. Meat Processing in Australia. IBIS world. January 2014
  14. Work-skills-and-training-2301-1
  15. https://www.csu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/614359/Fletcher-Roger-James.pdf
  16. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-05-11/dubbo-abattoir-hiring-new-staff/429854. 11.05.2010
  17. https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2013/10/24/dubbo-abattoir-completes-religious-kill/. 24.10.2013
  18. http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/2856478/dubbo-abattoir-and-workers-trying-to-sort-out-pay-and-production-dispute/. 03.02.2015
  19. http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2015-05-04/fletchers-shut-abattoir-for-a-week/6443354. 04.05.2015
  20. http://www.farmonline.com.au/story/3297667/stock-agents-told-to-chip-in-to-saleyard/. 01.06.2015
  21. http://www.theland.com.au/story/4557324/energy-crisis-could-push-red-meat-processing-offshore/. 01.04.2017

Canon Hill (NT)

Authors Note – it is possible this is the same abattoir also called Oenpelli / Gunbalanya(10 west of Canon Hill)

Current Operation

  • Closed


  •  East Alligator River. 250km E Darwin. 100km N of Mudginberry

Australia. Canon Hill

Map - Canon Hill



  •  Capacity/species – Buffalo


  • Predominately relied on local supply buffalo and wild cattle during the BTEC periods


  • closed prior to 87, before Mudginberri closure1


  1. Savanna Responses to feral Buffalo in Kakadu National park (2007)
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