Tag Archives: AMIEU

Inverell #218. NSW

Located in northern NSW, privately owned abattoir more commonly known as Bindaree Beef. Recently received $23M government grant for a biogas project. Negotiations with union regarding EBA have stalled, workers have had a number of stop works in recent months over pay disagreements.

Other Names

  • JR Meats – Owner is JR McDonald
  • Bindaree Beef – Owner is John R McDonald
  • Yolarno Pty Ltd
  • Purchased by Archstone Investment in August 201761

Current Operation

Location   

  • Inverell is located in north east NSW.
  • Abattoir is located Gwydir Highway Inverell.

Inverell

Inverell 2Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner/s

  • North West Exports Pty Ltd3
  • Smorgons35
  • Bindaree Beef2
    • Family owned and operated2
      • John McDonald.
    • Manager Leigh Belbeck4
    • Took over operation around 1995/964
    • Owned in the past other abattoirs at Murgon (QLD) and Orange (NSW)
  • Archstone Investment purchase a 51% stake in business61.
    • Hong Kong based, Australian citizens. The Hui Family61.

Operation 

  • Ausmeat Accreditation #021822
    • Yolarno Pty Ltd.22
  • Export abattoir, beef and offal.22
  • Process 1,300 cattle per day  2

    • 5,600 cattle per week16
  • Employs over 600 people2
  • Location is strategic to ensure source of cattle 12 months of the year2
  • Abattoir and holding pens 143ha, adjoining farm 491ha8
  • Inverell is the largest abattoir in NSW25

History

1970’s

  • Near fatal blow to private processors when State governments stepped in to assist financially troubled council-run abattoirs6, such as Gunnedah abattoir (NSW)

1951

  • Abattoir established as North West abattoir2
    • originally processing both sheep and cattle2

1976

  • Plant becomes single species plant only processing sheep.2

1995

  • At this point in time owned by North West Exports Pty Ltd.3
  • Abattoir closes3
    • Loss of 450 jobs3
    • Abattoir was the districts largest employer.53
    • Inverell at the time had population of 10,000 people.53
  • Operations of the facility
    • Plant had been affected by strikes from time to time.53
    • Was a poor water supply at the plant.53
    • Processing plant was old and in much need of refurbishment.53
    • Was a forlorn hope the facility would be reopened.53
  • Area is still suffering from aftermath of catastrophic floods few years before3
  • Abattoir purchased by Bindaree Beef around this period4
    • confirmed Bindaree beef acquired plant at this time2
    • clearly communicated to all that employees must be drug and alcohol free.53
      • work would be hard but teamwork was main.53

1996

  • Up to half of NSW 56 abattoirs could close with the loss of up to 5,000 jobs1

    Authors Note – Not sure if Inverell is solely a sheep abattoir at this point as in latter years it processes cattle. In regards to cattle processors, the 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

1999

  • February. 143 head of cattle are condemned after tests show endosulfan residues 5 times higher than Australian maximum residue limit (MRL)23
    • Animals had been worth $525 a head – $75,000 in total23
    • Residue level of 1mg/kg had been detected23
  • $180,000 worth of processed beef was downgraded from export standard for being above 0.1mg/kg but below domestic requirement of 0.2mg/kg23
  • Authors note – Endosulfen was a product found in herbicides and some agricultural chemicals used on crops such as cotton, tropical fruits, vegetables and nuts.
    • Endosulfen was banned from Australia in 2010.

2001

  • Census figures show 7,800 abattoir jobs lost in regional Australia between 1996 to 200150.
    •  A further 2,160 were lost from Abattoir closures to 26/10/200350
  • Authors Note – these figures don’t match ABARES.
    • 1996/97 ABARES ACS 1999 Employment in meat processing 28,900 people
    • 2000/01 ABARES ACS 2003 Employment in meat processing 28,000 people

2002

  • July. recommenced slaughtering cattle but don’t hold the complete environment protection authority licence to kill cattle15
    • regarded as a clerical error when EPA licence was sought for an increase in volume, wasn’t picked up until July 2003.15
  • December. Facility is not meeting Environment Protection Authority standards on odour control24
    • odour is caused by effluent currently stored in dams at the site24

2003

  • June. Forced to lay off 70 employees4
      • 30 casuals4
      • 40 permanent staff4
    • First time in 8 years employees laid off.4
    • Reasons cited for lay off4
      • Drought causing a drop in stock numbers was the greatest problem4
      • High Australian dollar – makes less attractive in export4
  • Production dropped by 20% in last 6 months, many abattoirs having the same problem4
  • Recently odour problems from the plant have been occuring15
    • failure of aerobic and anaerobic ponds to break down organic matter, in particular blood15

2007

  • Bindaree Beef sell Murgon abattoir Otherwise known as South Burnett works.

2009

 

2010

  • April Inverell council refuse an application to financially back the abattoir27
    • Money was to be for expansions27
    • Amount applied was $30M27
      • Create 600 jobs27
    • Council refused as it could not afford the money without reduction of services to the community27
      • Legislative laws that restrict council finanical support of private enterprise27
    • Abattoir was appealing to the community to lobby council to change position27
      • Abattoir want to stay but need finanical support to expand27
  • July. Fear that beef imports will shut down facility4
    • due to Australia negotiating free trade agreements and abolishing  9 year ban on beef imports from mad cow countries.4
      • Mad cow disease is only present in spinal column, only muscle cuts are imported.4
  • currently employs 600 people at Inverell.4

 2011

  • Bindaree Beef Inverell on video showing Cattle slaughter from live animal to point of retail.
  • Authors note – I highly recommend viewing of this video it is an extremely informative short narration of how a live animal is prepared for slaughter, stunned and the carcase processed – From Farm gate to your Plate.
  • Bindaree Beef video 2011
  • Transformation of organic waste into methane idea begins39
  • Approximately 65% of production is exported50
    • 35% sold on domestic markets50
  • Census figures show 7,800 abattoir jobs lost in regional Australia between 1996 to 200150
    •  A further 2,160 were lost from Abattoir closures to 26/10/200350
  • Authors Note – these figures don’t match ABARES.
    • 1996/97 ABARES ACS 1999 Employment in meat processing 28,900 people
    • 2000/01 ABARES ACS 2003 Employment in meat processing 28,000 people
  • Australian meat processor corporation predicts that 20% of the currently remaining Australian abattoirs will be closed within the next 10 years50
  • Most abattoirs that have closed in the past 15 years have been supplying the domestic market50

2012

  • Bio-digester and rendering plant proposal7
    • $43M project7
    • highly effective waste treatment system to produce biogas, clean water and liquid fertiliser.7
    • utilisation will generate power and steam for on-site use7
    • replace rendering plant that will use less electricity and steam7
    • First of its kind in Australia7
    • Planned construction to begin July 2014, in operation March 20157
  • Current waste process8
    • waste effluent travels to floatation tank, then pumped to anaerobic lagoon8
      • waste water from the lagoons is used for farm irrigation8
    • Paunch material (internals of guts and stomachs) is used on farm as land fill8
    • steam is produced by 2 coal fired boilers8
    • All animal by products are cooked to be pressed and used at meat meal or tallow8

biogas #1_edited-1Source – Bindaree Beef Preliminary environment Assessment – Rendering plant and biodigester plant.

The current abattoir meat processing facility showing the current lagoons

biogas_edited-1Source – Tony Windsor Independent MP, Media release. 03.07.2013.
Proposed establishment of biogas and rendering system

  • November. Pilot biogas and rendering plant is installed31
    • Cost $2M31
    • Making adjustment to find best operation33
    • results are far better than they had hoped for33
      • Amercian suppliers have been amazed33

2013

  • Biogas system Federal Government contribution9
    • Total Project to cost $45,833,306.009
    • Grant Amount $22,941,653.00 (50%)9
      • funding not provided by ‘Australia’s carbon price’ via clean technology Food and Foundaries investment program’ but directly from government revenue from carbon tax.10
    • Total taxable emissions 2011/12 23,345 tonnes CO2-e9
    • Total taxable emissions after project 1,253 tonnes CO2-e9
    • Carbons emissions reduced by  98.58%9
      • equivalent to removal of 60,000 cars from the roads over 10 years10
    • Total annual projected operating cost savings $2,442,544.009
    • Total annual additional income $1,1796,150.009
    • Utility cost of processing cattle cut by third for every animal9
    • extra production shift create 200 new jobs9
    • fertiliser for sale will create 10 new jobs9
    • Previously Class D nutrient rich water produced, project will produce Class A9
    • No need for landfill use9
    • saving 7,200t coal burning a year9
    • no odour from lagoons or smoke from coal.9
  • The system will be a world first biogas project.11
  • American technology, methane is retrieved,liquid fertiliser and Class A water.11
  • Pennsylvania-based organic waste-to-energy specialist28
  • Bioconversion Solutions28
    • methane is captured and stored, cleansed and then used to fire gas-fired boilers11
    • technology has the capacity to bio-digest the stomach contents of animal, which has never been done in Australia.11
    • undigested grass, manure & blood will go into an equalisation tank, pH levels are corrected before pumped into a anaerobic bio-digester33
      • 1st gut of the animal – normally very difficult to process and was previously disposed of in landfill37
    • organisms do work in bio-digester to generate bio-gas33
      • also produces fertiliser & Class A water for irrigation33
  • $2M had gone into research of the project10.
    • on-site pilot project is already operating to prove the system works10
    • Bindaree staff visited a site in USA Philadelphia to see the technology at work
  • Installation of project means Bindaree Beef no longer liable to pay carbon tax price.10
    • site had previously been identified among 10 or 12 largest Australian processing sites10
    • directly liable for carbon tax based on yearly carbon emissions above 25,000t10
  • July. Estimates of 700 workers now at Inverell.12
    • almost 5% of the city’s population13
  • September. Project and grant have now been formally approved.13
    • site preparation to start early 2014, completed within 2 years.13
  • November. Article questions the issue of transparency of the grant and its sheer size compared with other grants in the industry14
    • A copy of the grant submission isn’t available, “commercial in confidence” reason cited by government and accounting firm who assisted with grant application.14
    • Independent MP of New England – Tony Windsor was instrumental in keeping Gillard labour government in power.14
    • John Clements – who was advisor to Windsor now works for Bindaree14
    • When Abbott liberal government got in power – announced would disband the Clean energy finance corporation14

Photo. coal pile_edited-1

Inverell Abattoir coal pile. Source ABC rural 07.03.2013

2014

  • February. Plant infrastructure expansion enabled employment of 150 new employees25
  • Pay dispute over negotiation of bargaining agreement (EBA)16
  • Meat Workers Union (MWU) say – Grant Courtney – radio interview16
    • 450 people directly employed at plant, 165 are union members .16
      • Authors note – 36% of workforce are union members
      • Grant Courtney claims union represents 50% of the workforce17
    • Another article cites 800 workers at this point in time25
      • 238 employees eligible to vote25
        • 162 actually voted25
    • Company fears stoppages would cripple production
    • Union members allowed to vote Protected action ballot – 88 chose not accept agreement16
      • Authors note – 19.5% of workforce being union members voted for non acceptance of EBA.
    • Under the Commonwealth government Fair work Act – right to strike.16
      • voted to proceed with industrial action19
      • rolling stop bans and stoppages are threatened17
      • 2 to 8 hour stoppages to begin from 24th Februrary.19
      • MWU – Grant Courtney spoke to JR McDonald (Owner Bindaree Beef) – if stoppages occur, plant would be shut down.19
        • Authors Note – If a plant is under industrial action, stoppage or ban (control of workers) there is a point at which the workers receive entitlements, plant may still be in partial operation so some are still working. If it is shutdown then the control is in the employers hands and the rules of payment are different for entitlements and all workers are affected irrespective of if in a union or not.
    • Strike at this point not an authorised action by union as that requires 72 hours notice to employer16
    • MWU say Bindaree Beef offering16
      • Want to take away gauranteed pay for Christmas and Boxing day16
      • force work on ANZAC day16
      • offering 0.2% wage increase per week in16
        • 1st year – ($1.46 for lowest paid to $2.17 for highest)16
        • 2nd year – 2.8%16
        • 3rd Year 2.8%16
    • MWU say they want 3% wage increase in first 12 months16
      • Fair work increases minimum wage is $17 per week16
      • Increased payment for slaughtermen, boners, carcase graders and cleaners19
  • Bindaree Beef say they voluntarily increased the wages $25 per week when the previous EBA expired in mid 2013 for all workers.16
    • Company and AMIEU had agreed on arrangement for next 4 years.16
    • Grant Coutrney part of the negotiation and agreed to it, verbally stating support.16
    • Production based incentives mean 3% will be easily exceeded as production expands.19
    • since agreement union has come back twice wanting additional benefits and company agreed.16
    • Now is the third time and the union are asking for another $2 per week.16
  • 800 workers employed at Inverell.19
  • Latest offer is extra $25 -$75 a week, depending on grade of the worker.19
    • union demand amounts to $27-$77.19
  • Bindaree workers receive19
    • $80 attendance allowance – for turning up to work 5 days in a row19
    • $5 a day – ‘awful allocation allowance’ – paid to workers for dealing with back tripe.19
    • Grade 1 slaughtermen get $7 ‘handling bonus for every animal processed over 2019
      • worth an average $77 per day19
  • Former agreement19
    • Grade 1 slaughtermen and neck boners earn basic wage $689.3019
      • is actually $1,166 with bonus’s on average for 201320
      • will be more in 201420
    • Carcase graders get $643.7019
  • Wage increase agreed too with Bindaree and AMIEU will cost Bindaree $8M more.20
  • March. Workers stop work at Inverell18
  • Stop work meeting occured 05/03/201429
  • 120 Union members attended off-site meeting29
    • First time work is stopped in 18 years.18
    • Minister of Environment – Luke Foley says18
      • 85% of voting employees rejected proposal of 0.2% increase.18
      • Past 16 years workers have been forced to work ANZAC day18
      • meatworkers are among lowest paid manufacturing workers in this country18
      • NSW abattoirs are very full and are doing very well.18
      • The Mudginberri abattoir (NT) dispute pioneered new right attacks on wages and conditions.18
    • AMIEU pushing for 3% – 0.4% above CPI29
      • $19.60 for lowest paid per week29
      • $27-$28 for highest29
      • …that is a reasonable wage claim, clearly this company can afford it, (because) this company is doing record kills at the moment” Grant Courtney29
    • Bindaree offered 2.8%, includes 2.6% passed on in June 201329
      • Will adopt National Employment Standard in regards to public holidays29
        • company has the right to ask employees to work and employees have right to refuse29
      • irresponsible to offer further pay increases without productivity agreements29
        • Wages increase over next 4 years $8M29
  • New range of high quality grass and grainfed beef brands21
    • based on Meat Standards Australia’s Optimisation model and MSA index21
    • improve communication with both producers supplying the plant and end-user consumers.21

brand #2_edited-1

brand #2 edited

Source www.bindareebeef.com.au
Only some of the brand names promoted by Bindaree Beef.

  • June. Application is lodged with NSW major projects to build rendering and bio-digester plant30
    • Capital outlay $43,945,00030
    • construction jobs required 64 people30
    • Operational jobs 1 person30
  • July. Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) agree to co-finance Bindaree Beef project at Inverell.31
    • Clean Energy Finance invests commercially to increase flow of funds into renewable energy, energy efficency & low emissions technologies32
    • Invest by way of direct investment that attracts private sector finance32
      • with stategic co-financing partners32
      • CEFC operates under Clean Energy Finance Corporation Act 201232
    • Funding is via special statutory appropriations to ensure capital and ability to undertake investment32
      • CEFC Act establishes a CEFC account which receives $2B per year32
        • Funding 01/07/2013 to 201732
        • Amounts can be rolled over into future years if not invested entirely in one year32
  • Abbott government tried to dismantle CEFC in early 201437
  • pressure from power and fossil fuel companies37
    • CEFC will provide finance of up to $15M31
      • commercial terms with no concessionality31
      • worked with Bindaree for 2 years31
        • initially as Low Carbon Australia31
    • Australian Government will provide grant $19.7M31
      • through AusIndustry31
    • Bindaree Beef and it’s own bank will provide rest of funds31
    • Project total estimates now $46M
  • Purpose of the project31
    • Deliver significant boost to the competitiveness of the Bindaree Beef operations31
    • Employs 830 people31
      • Inverell population 16,00033
    • Annual Turnover $400M31
    • Estimated market share 2.5-3%31
    • Plant is capable of processing 1,200 head of cattle a day31
  • Project Impact31
    • Cut energy bills by 50%31
      • save $2.4M in operating costs33
    • Eliminate use 7,300 tonnes per annum of coal31
    • Avoid shutdowns due to power fluctuations31
      • power fluctuations or brown outs cause the boiler motor to shut down33
    • Produce 1.2MW – 1.6MW of power31
    • Reduce annual GHG emissions by 76%31
      • 32,720 tonnes Co2 pa31
      • Lifetime savings of 654,400 t Co231
      • Taxable emissions will go from 28,000 tonnes to 1,200 tonnes33
        • elimation of 95% taxable emissions33
        • Equivalent to removal of 60,000 cars over 10 years33
    • Generate income through fertiliser sales $1.7M per year33
    • Reduce direct pollution from smoke33
      • When boiler motor stops light grey smoke from chimney stack turns thick and black33
    • Reduces all odours as the anaerobic lagoons will no longer be needed33
    • Company is value adding to it’s core agriculture business rather than exporting the raw product.37

bio digester. meateng_edited-1

Inverell abattoir proposed biodigester and rendering plant
Source www.meateng.com.au

  • Australia is allowed re-opening of beef exports into China following a 9 month stoppage55.
  • September. Some of the workers have been at the facility since the current owner JR MCDonald purchased the facility 18 years previously (about 1995/1996)35
  • JR McDonald speeks about reform in the industry36
    • MSA grading36
      • 8M head Australian cattle slaughtered every year36
        • only 2M head graded under MSA36
      • MLA plans to increase to 3M head36
      • Vast majority of cattle sold through saleyards are not under MSA36
        • Yet very good types of cattle are sold36
          • Not under MSA if sold as mixed consignments36
            • means 2 good beasts in a mixed lot don’t meet MSA36
            • Large lots of hundreds of head meet MSA but boning group represents lower end of scale36
        • MSA started as simple system36
          • grades ranging from 1 to 6, based on marbling and age36
            • mainly a system to grade British breeds36
          • Now MSA is unwieldy – with 18 boning groups36
            • include old bullocks and old cows36
        • Beef industry is renowed for manipulation and control36
        • Dumping of old cows on the domestic market is a particular problem36
          • Cow being sold beside prime, skinless chicken36
    • Domestic market should not be given more importance36
      • 65% of meat is exported36
        • represents 80% of the industry value36
      • old cow should be labelled ‘economy’ steak rather than low grade36
    • Trimming costs in abattoirs needs to be lowered36
    • Australia is expensive place to do business36
      • Australian Government costs $18 per beast36
        • US $136
        • Argentina $036
      • Costs should be able to get back to $2 head in Australia36
      • Costs $300 a beast to process in Australia36
        • US is one third of that36
      • Inverell power costs at the plant $10,000 a day36
      • AQIS costs $6,000 a day36
      • Workers Compensation $10,000 a day36
        • plus wages for 830 staff36
    • Currently record kills are bringing in big money for abattoirs36
  • Bindaree beef looks to sell ‘retail ready’ beef to China38
    • Deal signed – Bindaree Beef / Sanger Australia38
      • Packing Australian beef in Chinese language packaging and air-freighting to China38
      • Bindaree already sell primals to China38
        • this opportunity will allow value add of product that normally went to US grinding38
      • Product is MSA graded to align with cooking methods38
    • Increasing market for high-quality meat38
      • increasing mistrust for low-grade produce due to food substitution and poisoning scandals38
      • Small percentage of Chinese who can afford Australian produce38
        • small percentage of a huge population is still a substantial market38
    • Bindaree will release new payment grid in October38
      • provide incentives to producers to meet brand specifications38
      • acknowledge processors fortunes are tied to producers38
      • supports Bindaree moves from shipping a commodity to supplying a product38
  • November. Australian-Sino 100-Year Agricultural and Food Safety partnership (ASA 100) is established57
    • Initiative between Australia and China to position Australia as a supplier of premium agricultural products that are friendly and safe for the next 100 years57.
      • Unite Australia in market approach57.
      • Competitive markets supported by efficient modernised operations57
        • Energy efficiency and better access to workers including 457 visa applicants57
  • December. NSW Minister grants permission approval for the rendering plant and digester to begin construction39
    • Work should begin in February and completed 18 months39
      • Actual power output when fully operational is difficult to estimate39
      • Should supply one-third of energy needs at the plant39
      • Coal fire system will stay as a back up incase needed39
  • Chinese free trade agreement signed with Australia expected to enable red meat producers$11B boost through abolition of tariffs over the next 9 years.40

2015

  • January. Bindaree Beef seek a strategic investor to make $100M cash injection40
    • Aim to increase processing capacity and enter new export markets40
    • Hired PricewaterhouseCoopers Securities – Brisbane40
      • Calling for first round bids in late February40
    • Bindaree is one of top five red meat processors40
      • capacity to handle 1,300 cattle daily40
    • Includes Sydney based sales & trading arm40
      • supplies beef, lamb, pork, veal and poultry to more than 40 countries40
    • Bindaree Trading in 2013/2014 year40
      • Over $40M in earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITDA)40
      • $571M revenue40
      • Forecast ambitious 61% EBITDA in 201540
        • Difficult to see how 61% can be supported if Bindaree/Sanger relationship is simply Sanger selling Bindaree’s product41
          • Means Bindaree don’t control sale of it’s own product41
    • Industry sources estimate value of business $400-$500M40
      • Typical processing sector benchmark trading 4.5-5 times EBITA41
        • Values Bindaree at $200-$250M41
    • Possible sale process masqueradeing as strategic stake auction40
    • Sales pitch
      • growing global beef consumption40
        • Particularly China’s emerging middle class40
      • Industries high barriers to entry40
      • large-scale processing facilities40
      • Bindaree brand portfolio40
  • If overseas injection occurs makes a mockery of JR McDonald’s longstanding public opposition to foreign ownership of Australian beef processing assets41
  • Bindaree agree to a 3 year Beef Supply deal with a customer Chinatex64
    • Involves processing 900 head of cattle per week for export to China64
    • Chinatex were to bear risk of rising cattle prices64
    • Chinatex were warned that cattle prices were likely to rise, and there would be highs and lows over the contract period64
    • Chinatex had done smaller frozen beef deals out of Australia in 2014 that had been profitable due to low cattle and meat prices at that time64
    • Chinatex contract has no connection to the Shandong Delisi group merger or Quigdao meat processing facility discussions that occurred later in 201664.
  • April. Mr John McDonald, Chairman of Bindaree Beef writes a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector58.
    • There is massive amount of collusion and misuse of power in the processing industry58
    • Consolidation having a huge impact on farm gate prices, up to 80% of beef producers in bad financial situation58
    • Existing selling structures are satisfactory – Problems are due to consolidation causing less competition58
    • Regulatory environment is working OK58
    • Rural debt crisis is imminent58
      • Bindaree Beef has been approached regularly for financial assistance and support to producers in the Goondiwindi, Moree, Coonamble, Casino and Inverell areas58
        • Bindaree Beef has leased some properties and purchased stock58
          • Allows guaranteed cashflow to producers58
        • Rural debt has esculated from $20B in 2000 to $65B in 201558
        • Nippon, JBS and Cargill have taken over the beef industry58
          • Control all meat industry boards58
  • July. Bindaree Beef merge with meat marketing and distribution company Sanger Australia42
    • New Company – Bindaree Beef Group42
      • Effective 06/07/201543
      • organisations combined $750M per annum43
        • 350 customers43
        • 50 countries – Including North & South America, China & Europe43
    • two companies have worked together for 40 years42
      • Other articles cite 42 years44
      • Negotiations began 18 months ago44
      • Bindaree supply up to 55% of the product which Sanger sells44
    • Sanger will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary42
      • sold $650M worth meat last year44
  • Script Merger42
    • No money is involved in the transaction42
    • Sanger have taken shares of Bindaree Group42
    • Chairman – JR McDonald42
    • Inverell facility can process 6,000 cattle a week42
      • cattle supply base is New England area42
      • prospered when dozens other regional meatworks have failed44
  • Enables growth of the business next 20-30 years43
  • 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.

NSW abattoir capacities Dept ag consolidation_edited-1

Capacity of Major beef abattoirs in NSW. Page 15.

T2 Throughput state beef_edited-1

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

M4 direct cattle movements NLIS QLD_edited-1

2012 NLIS Cattle Movements to abattoirs. Pg 25

F12 hourly labour costs food manufacturing_edited-1

Hourly Labour costs for food manufacturing industry. Pg 30

  • August. Bindaree Beef Group Executive officers46
    • James Campbell – CEO, effective 18/08/201546
      • Family farm, Boorowa NSW46
      • Double degree in commerce and business administration46
      • KPMG – accounting involving restructuring and insolvency for corporate agricultural businesses46
      • ANZ agribusiness boss in China46
        • 4 years in Shanghai46
    • Graham Greenleigh – former CEO46
      • Led Sanger’s 2 years46
      • Now Director of groups business development director46
        • Been director at Sanger since 199546
        • Started with Sangers 198746
  • Bindaree are in negotiations to buy a feedlot at North Star in NSW46
    • NSW largest feedlot 46
    • capacity 20,00046
    • Annual turnover capacity 80,00046
    • Paid $25M in July.51
  • September. Sangers (a division of Bindaree Beef Group) strike a deal with JD.com, an online retailer47
    • exposure to China’s 600M internet users47
    • Brand will be developed exclusively online47
    • Beef will be processed at Inverell, packed into consumer ready packs, chilled and sent to JD’s cold storage wharehouses in China47
      • JD.com had invested heavily in distribution infrastructure47
      • employing 30,000 people47
    • JD.com closed loop supply chain, dealing directly with suppliers47
      • ensures product integrity47
      • protection against imitation is key to partnership decision47
    • Product will be cheaper cuts of beef normally made into minced meat and fast-food hamburgers47
      • initially a modest amount will be exported47
      • online retail being the fastest growing component of purchasing in China47
      • range of meat products will broaden overtime47
      • Products will begin sale Mid September47
  • One of China’s largest meat processors – Shandong Delisi Food Co is in negotiations with Bindaree Beef regarding a strategic stake in the business48
  • Shandong Delisi Food  sign $140M agreement for a 45% stake in Bindaree Beef49
    • transaction is still subject to foreign review board approval49
    • one of the first major deals to be announced since the China/Australia FTA49
    • Advise to the transaction supplied by King & Wood Mallesons (KVM).52
      • required navigation of complex Chinese regulatory  requirements.52
    • Delisi49
      • Is listed on the Chinese Shenzen Stock Exchange49
      • Market capitalisation $1B49
      • Sales network can reach 700M people49
      • 20,000 busines customers51.
      • Is the largest pure-play pork processor in the worlds51 largest pork-consuming country51
  • Beef deal with Chinatex is under pressure. Benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) having lifted from 416c/kg in March to 596c/kg in September64.
    • Rise of EYCI of 43% in 6 months64
  • October. Delisis injection will mostly be spent around the Inverell plant51
    • upgrade technology of freezing, chilling and boning51
      • help to improve yield and efficency51
  • Bindaree Beef is now valued at $400M51
  • December. Function is held to celebrate 20 years of Bindaree Beef.53
    • Lot of challenges – plant had been old, finance to modernise was hard to get and costs crippling.53
    • Over the last 20 years Bindaree has.53
      • processed 5.2M cattle.53
      • employed 7,000 people.53
      • Paid $750M in wages and salaries.53
      • Returns to cattle producers has topped $5B.53
      • 225,000 truck movements in and out of the meatworks.53
      • Beef has been exported to 70 countries.53
  • Single lane bridge between Walcha and Inverell would be upgraded to allow heavier truck access.54
    • current wooden bridge can only handle B-doubles.54
    • New concrete bridge will handle much heavier loads.54
    • Vital access improvement for transport to and from Inverell abattoir.54

2016

  • May. Chinatex default on 3 year supply agreement set up in early 201565
  • June 30. Deadline for contract agreement Delisi Group60.
  • Bindaree Beef reduce casual employee numbers by around 100 personal60.
  • Bindaree begin court action to pursue payment of contract with Chinatex65
  • July. Contract agreement date for deal with Delisi group is not finalised59
  • Balance sheets of meat processor would have looked far better 12 months previously60
  • Rumours of staff retrenchment would halve the plants current carrying capacity60
  • August. Contract agreement date for deal with Delisi group is not finalised59
  • November. Two large Chinese investment deals to purchase Australian-owned processors have failed to go ahead59.
  • Bindaree beef $140M investment deal with China’s Delisi group has not been executed59.
    • Speculation is the hesitancy to complete the deal is linked to current processing industry profitability59
    • Discussion’s had re-opened with other interested parties59
  • Other facility considering joint venture agreement – Churchill #8Q. QLD59.
  • Bindaree was currently processing 4,000 cattle per week59
  • National Beef herd has sunk to 20 – year lows59
    • Balance sheets in the red with large losses at processing59

2017

  • August. Bindaree beef sell 51% of business to Hong Kong based, Australia citizens, the Hui family, Archstone investment61
  • Reported $120M sale 62
    • Hui family is led by Hue Mang Mau61.
    • Primary business interests are in property development in Asia controlling businesses on Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges61.
    • Also hold some property in Western Australia61
      • Archstone established Consolidated Australian Pastoral Holdings (CAPH)62.
        • Moola Bulla station, Shamrock station62.
        • WA properties will be more geared to live export62.
    • Intention to make further acquisitions of cattle properties in the Inverell area61.
    • AMIEU claim Hui Wang Mau paid $150M for 51% stake in Bindaree beef operation69.
  • Bindaree has current operating capacity of around 900 head cattle per day61
    • last 2 years has seen a significant reduction in numbers processed due to severe cattle shortage61.
  • Bindaree Beef will establish 7 member board61
    • 3 from original Bindaree beef group61
    • 4 from Hui/Archstone investments61
    • Andrew McDonald to remain as CEO61
    • Sanger Australia to retain a minority shareholding with others61.
  • November. Supreme Court order a Chinese business, Chinatex to pay Bindaree  $31.35M as compensation for reneging on a beef deal struck in 201564.
    • Chinese customer – Chinatex64
    • 3 year supply deal had been to process about 900 head of cattle per week for export to China, with the meat sold through it’s own contacts64
      • Chinatex had been warned of cattle price pressures at the time of the contract signing in 2015
      • Chinatex’s representative Zhiuhua Liang feared Chinatex’s own customers would leave and requested help to hide losses64
        • Mr Liang didn’t want head company at Beijing to know of losses64
        • Bindaree continued to purchase and slaughter cattle for Chinatex in line with the contract64
    • Bindaree found other customers for some of Chinatex’s product, with Chinatex buying some64
    • Chinatex has recently been brought out by Chinese state-owned behemoth China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp. (COFCO)64.
      • It would not be a good look for COFCO to walk away from a court order covering a company it owned64
    • Bindaree apply and receive a court appointed freezing order against Chinatex Australia65
    • Chinatex write a response to Fairfax media claiming that Bindaree are using unfair pressure on a foreign company to reach their purpose through political means66
      • Chinatex claim that Bindaree beef didn’t suffer any actual loss from the deal as they sold the product to other customers66.

2018

  • January. Bindaree Beef are concerned about the increased competition of Brazil and Argentina into Hong Kong and China frozen meat products63.
    • Brazil regained access to Chinese markets mid 201563
      • Brazil supplied 30% of China’s imported frozen beef in 201663
    • United States gained access to China in 2017 after a 14 year abscence63
    • Argentina have just signed a bi lateral agreement with China to supply beef and sheep meat63.

Source MLA Snapshot. China January 2018.

Types of Australian beef exports that are sent to China

Source MLA Snapshot. China January 2018

Proportion of Australian beef exports that China receives.

  • March. Bindaree returns to court after November 2017 ruling pursuing payment by Chinatex’s parent company COFCO65
    • Federal Senate, National Senator John Williams says the matter greatly concerns him65
    • “It is an example of an overseas-owned company that appears to be making every attempt to defy an Australian court judgement, which in turn would have a severe impact on a large Australian employer” Se John Williams65.
    • COFCO have stripped Chinatex of their assets65
      • Chinatex Australia transferred its shares, $38M from Australian subsidiary cattle Unibale Pty Ltd to related party Chinatex Fortune, a Hong Kong based company65
      • Bindaree had successfully obtained a freezing order against Chinatex since December 201765
    • June. Chinatex enter Voluntary Administration on 22/06/201867.
      • Administrators – Grant Thornton.67
      • Claims against the company amount to $115M. Including Bindaree debt67
      • Estimations of Bindaree’s likely hood to receive fund are from 0% to 20% likely (Pg 11)67
  • October. Bindaree release a new premium beef brand68.

new brand. Farmonline. 23.10.2018.

‘Bindaree launches all-new premium beef brand’ www.farmonline.com.au 23.10.2018

  • Research conducted by Bindaree  lead to development of range that is MSA graded for consistency68
  • October 24. A workers strike occurs after months of negotiations and meetings fails to reach agreement on a wages dispute69.
    • Fair work Commission recent Award review require a 2% increase as absolute minimum on wages69.
      • Bindaree claim its workers are already receiving above award wages and wish to only pay the 2% increase69.
      • AMIEU want more than the 2% increase69.
  • Bindaree Beef agree to pay only the minimum increase required by Fair Works Commission recent Award review70
  • October 27. Another strike for 2 half hours by workers  is to occur, with the evening shift workers also striking70.
    • AMIEU want 3% after the 2% increase70.
      • Believe Bindaree can afford it because its part owner Hui Wing Mau has a net worth of $7.2B69
      • AMIEU claim Bindaree Beef is profitable and can afford it while its workers are struggling to meet living costs70
      • Award wage is minimum of $803 per week70
        • Boner’s are paid $1,500 to $1,800 per week70.
        • Unskilled workers already receiving 50% above award wage60
        • AMIEU claim only 5% of workers earn above the minimum wage70.
  • Bindaree has currently been processing stock 5 days a week70.
    • Has been able to increase wages in the past due to improvements in efficiency and equipment70.
    • Current supply of stock is reducing due to severe drought across Eastern Australia70.
      • East coast processors are forecast to drop production in the immediate future due to drought and supply pressure70
      • Farmers are not able to plant crops due to current drought and have not been profitable recently, they are not sympathetic to meatworkers asking for higher pay rises when economically things are so unstable.70
      • Workers demands are adding to the unrest in the region due to drought pressures70.
      • Abattoir in Tasmania has already closed  due to high energy costs and lack of support for supply and funding70
        • Devonport (Tas) , owned by JBS was promised $800,000 2 years in government funding to remain open. It has received some of that funding but will close 15/11/201971
  • The following charts were adapted from the Analysis of Regulatory and Related costs in Red Meat Processing. AMPC. SG Heilbron. Oct 2018.
    • This project identified and quantified the costs of red meat processing, including assessing the regulatory components. It compared costs with key international competitors in United States, Brazil and Argentina72.
    • Information was assessed from 29 facilities representing the national slaughter of 60% cattle and 35%72.

Key cost components. Beef. AMPC. 15_16Key Cost Components Australian Cattle 2015/ 2016. 100% costs excluding Livestock purchase

Weighted Av costs per beast. AMPC 15_16

Weighted Average Processing Costs. Key cost components were assessed based on per head of throughput ratio

Countries compared. AMPC 2015_2016.

Comparison of Operating costs with major competitors, US, Brazil and Argentina.

Sources. Inverell. Est # 218. NSW

  1. ‘5,000 jobs at risk:Abattoirs facing closure’ Sydney Morning Herald 21.05.1996
  2. www.bindareebeef.com.au. accessed 27.02.2014
  3. ‘Inverell business community’ Parliamentary Hansard 01.06.1995
  4. ‘Drought, dollar forces lay offs at Inverell abattoir’ The Northern daily Leader. 18.07.2003
  5. ‘Coles, Woolworths to shun beef imports’ Perth Now 02.03.2010
  6. ‘Who is JR McDonald’ The Land 05.05.2010
  7. ‘Bindaree Beef  – Bio digester and Rendering plant’ www.mitchelhanlon.com.au. accessed 27.02.2014
  8. Bindaree Beef Preliminary environmental assessment rendering plant
  9. ‘Carbon price secures Inverell’s future’ Tony Windsor MP. Independent for New England 03.07.2013
  10. ‘Bindaree Beef scores unprecedented $23M grant for carbon price’ Beef Central 03.07.2013
  11. ‘NSW meatworks soon to be cooking with biogas’ ABC Rural 03.07.2013
  12. ‘One of Australia’s biggest abattoirs proves Gillespie wrong’ www.roboakeshott.com 04.07.2013
  13. ‘Innovative regional thinking behind world first biogas project’ Beef Central 13.09.2013
  14. ‘Beefed-up grant raises eyebrows in New England’ www.smh.com.au 09.11.2013
  15. ‘Licence blow to beef plant’ Central Western Daily 17.02.2003
  16. ‘Pay dispute at Bindaree Beef’ ABC News. 24.02.2014
  17. ‘Bindaree Beef and unhappy workers negotiate again on Wednesday’ ABC News 26.02.2014
  18. ‘Bindaree Beef wages dispute’ Parliamentary Hansard 06.03.2014
  19. ‘Bindaree beef dispute heats up’ www.farmonline. com.au. 21.02.2014
  20. ‘Bindaree counters union claims’ Stock and Land. 26.02.2014
  21. ‘Bindaree takes new approach to beef brand identity’ Beef Central 03.03.2014
  22. Ausmeat Accreditation listing. accessed 25.05.2014
  23. ‘Bindaree Beef worth $75,000 condemned for high endosulfen residue’ www.erisk.net 24.02.1999.
  24. ‘Bindaree beef in a stink with council’ Central Western Daily 15.12.2002
  25. ‘Rolling industrial stoppages likely at Bindaree’ Beef Central 21.02.2014
  26. ‘Bindaree Beef workers threaten dispute over $2-a-week argument’ www.smh.com. 21.02.2014
  27. ‘Bindaree Beef expansion on hold as council turns down application for funding’ ABC. 16.04.2010
  28. ‘Australia to get it’s first meat waste biogas plant’ www.ben-global.com 06.03.2014
  29. ‘Bindaree dispute continues’ ABC News 10.03.2014
  30. Major projects Planning. NSW 16.06.2014
  31. ‘CEFC finance for Bindaree Beef biogas & rendering upgrade’ CEFC July 2014
  32. www.cleanenergyfinancecorp.com.au
  33. ‘Inverell meat works shows the world….’ 2degreesproject.com.au
  34. ‘Bindaree bio Digester’ Meateng
  35. ‘JR McDonald: a Bindaree Beef legend’ www.northernstar.com.au 11.09.2014
  36. ‘Bindaree Beef Boss on need for red meat reform’ www.ruralweekly.com.au 13.09.2014
  37. ‘No guts, no glory on clean energy’ The Saturday paper 13.09.2014
  38. ‘Bindaree beef carves path to China’ www.farmonline.com.au 29.09.2014
  39. ‘Bindaree plan – bio-digester on the boil’ www.northerndailyleader.com.au 30.12.2014
  40. ‘Bindaree Beef in $500M auction’ www.farmonline.com.au 29.01.2015
  41. ‘Bindaree Beef seeks $100M equity investor’ Beef Central 02.02.2015
  42. ‘Meat Processor Bindaree Beef to merge with meat sales company Sanger Australia’ ABC Rural 08.07.2015
  43. ‘Bindaree Beef and Sanger Australia tie the knot’ www.foodanddrinkbusiness.com.au 08.07.2015
  44. ‘Streamlining supply benefits beef’ www.farmonline.com.au 10.07.2015
  45. Dept Ag. Submission to Market consolidation and the red meat processing sector July 2015
  46. ‘Campbell New Sanger CEO’ The Land 18.08.2015
  47. ‘China’s middle class to get skirt that tastes as good as sirloin’ www.afr.com 03.09.2015
  48. ‘Shandong Delisi to take stake in Bindaree’ www.afr.com 16.09.2015
  49. ‘China abuys 45% stake in Bindaree Beef for $140M’ The Australian 27.10.2015
  50. Bindaree Beef submission Inquiry into meat marketing May 2011
  51. ‘Why Bindaree chose Delisi’ Nth QLD Register 28.10.2015
  52. ‘KVM advises Bindaree Beef on significant Chinese investment’ www.kvm.com. 04.11.2015
  53. John Williams, NSW National Party Senate speech 01.12.2015
  54. ‘Finish line in sight for Abington Bridge….’ www.barnabyjoyce.com.au 14.12.2015
  55. ‘China chilled beef trade re-emerges…..’ Beef Central 07.07.2014
  56. ‘Bindaree beef to China chases premiums’ QLD Country Life 25.09.2014
  57. ‘Bindaree Beef backs ASA 100’ www.farmonline.com.au 14.11.2014
  58. Bindaree Beef. Submission 11. Senate Inquiry Effect of Market consolidation. 23.04.2015
  59. ‘Bindaree, Churchill re-opens investment talks……’ Beef Central 22.11.2016
  60. ‘Is Bindaree’s $140M deal with Chinese investor on the rocks?’ Beef Central 15.07.2016
  61. ‘Bindaree Beef sells Majority stake to Hong Kong based Investor’ Beef Central 31.08.2017
  62. ‘Archstone’s plans for 1 million hectares….’ ABC Rural 20.09.2017
  63. ‘China Argentina beef deal highlights our cost pressures’ www.farmonline.com.au 23.01.2018
  64. ‘Bindaree’s Chines partner ‘lacked moral compass’, court says in $31M judgement’ Beef Central 27.01.2017
  65. ‘Bindaree’s Chinese business partner slammed in Senate over avoiding debt’ Beef Central 23.03.2018.
  66. ‘Failed China beef deal turns political’ www.farmonline.com.au. 26.03.2018
  67. Chinatex Voluntary Administration. Grant Thornton. 22.06.2018.
  68. ‘Bindaree launches all-new premium beef brand’ www.farmonline.com.au 23.10.2018
  69. ‘Bindaree Beef workers to walk out after billionaire boss refuses to budge’ AMIEU. Newcastle. 22.10.2018.
  70. ‘Bindaree pay dispute’ ABC Rural radio. 27.10.2018
  71. ‘Devonport closure puts more than 100 people out of work’ ABC News 22.10.2019.
  72. Analysis of Regulatory and Related costs in Red Meat Processing. AMPC. SG Heilbron. Oct 2018

Devonport

Devonport abattoir, located in Tasmania and owned by JBS, a multi species abattoir with a checkered past.

Other Names

  • North West Rendering8
  • Devonport City abattoir.

Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #13T – JBS Australia Pty Ltd (Devonport).18
    • registered as a Beef, Sheep and Pig, Domestic facility.16
  • Direct employment enquiries to www.jbssa.com.au

Location   

  • Devonport is located approximately midway on the Northern coast of Tasmania

Australia. Devonport

DevonportHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation 

  • Multi species abattoir located ajacent to Devonport saleyards1

    • Processes beef, sheep and pork1
    • Capacity 150 beef daily and 1,200 Smallstock daily (Lamb, mutton, Veal and Pork)1
  • Employs 150 people1

History

1977

  • Devonport rendering plant had been in operation6
    • Note – some conflict of when abattoir operations began, not sure if 1977 was a previous owner prior to Devonport City abattoir acquisition.

1980

  • Meatworks operation began9

1995

  • August. Employee Ian Sutton sacked by abattoir for mistreatment of sheep, Industrial relations hearing of Ian Sutton was supported by AMIEU for unfair dismissal – court dismissed and sacking held.10

1997

  • Expanded rendering works.5

2000

  • October. Quoiba Progress Association Ltd v North West Rendering Pty Ltd. – Resource Management and Planning appeal tribunal found that the rendering works had caused material harm in breach of section 52 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act.5
    • Facility was to cease operating unless after 12 months it could reduce emissions of odour by 2 odour units.5
    • NWR given 18 months to fix odour problems7

2001

  • Rendering works was the only facility in Tasmania taking external meat waste from around the state to5

2002

  • March. Contested hearing conducted – regarding Rendering works – to consider if had complied with tribunal orders5
    • residents still experiencing odour problems7
    • Works operators and Director of Environmental management submitted to hearing that rendering works had “substantially complied”5
    • Quoiba Progress association disputed claim.5
    • Tribunal found rendering works hadn’t complied – effectively ruling that after 27 April 2002 operation of the rendering works at the current premises in Quoiba was unlawful5
    • Given 12 months to relocate7
    • NWR commenced supreme court action challenging original decision5
      • Judge ruled testing regime for acceptable odour emissions as set out in original orders was too unclear7
      • Matter set back to original tribunal panel to decide if any fresh orders should be made.7
  • June. Smithton abattoir (Tas) retrenches 21 workers.11
    • Blue Ribbon (owners of Smithton) insolvent and collapse.12
  • Devonport says it is doing well but calls for inquiry into the state meat industry11
  • September. Agreement reached for new site for rendering plant8
    • Previous negotiations had considered operating hours and ungrades.8
      • Planning & Appeals tribunal decreed odour still unacceptable.8
    • NRW have agreed with Websters to purchase 65ac near Parramatta creek.8
    • Cost of $3M8

2003

  • August. Installed $125,000 bio-oxygen odour control generator at the rendering plant6
    • Local residents had complained of smells since 19776
  • Abattoir had considered relocated but was unable to find suitable land in the last 12 months6
  • Would have to sack 200 people if business was closed6
  • September. Resource Management and Planning Tribunal would rule on decision to allow plant to operate or close it down6

2004

  • Devonport City abattoir had owned Wignalls – sold to Tasma smallgoods in Hobart.
    • focus on contract killings at Devonport (Quoiba) site

2005

  • July.Tasman Group purchase Devonport facilities.9
  • Resource Management and Planning tribunal hearing7
    • North West Rendering Pty Ltd (NWR) confirmed that the rendering plant and land had been sold and the company was no longer involved with the operation of the plant – to Tasman Group Services (JBS)7
    • NWR changed name to Brown and Grey No2 Pty Ltd.5
    • Quoiba progress Association to work with new owners to address odour problems.7
    • Tribunal was unable to make any orders in relation to ongoing plant operations7

2006

  • Tasman Group Chairman – Giuseppe Catalfamo brided Cole’s head of supermarket merchadising Peter Scott (Coles fired Scott in 2007).13
    • Scott had acquired million dollar bayside apartment from Catalfamo13
    • Considered a breach of retailers code of conduct – Tasman group main supplier of beef in Victoria and Tasmania13
    • Catalfamo been caught bribing and meat substitution in past – horse-meat substitution scandel that threatened Australia’s export industry 20 years ago, fined and banned from exporting to the USA for 10 years.13
  • Devonport abattoir provides Woolworths with fresh sausages for 29 Tasmanian stores13
  • Tasman Group – report ending 200513
    • sales had increased 30% but profit halved to $6.3M13
    • Company borrowings total nearly $62M13
      • Main creditors – National Australia Bank, ANZ and Japanese meat company Hannan Corporation13

2008

  • JBS purchased as part of Tasman group when entered Australia with acquitsition of AMH3
  • Tasman Group consists of abattoirs in Tasmania – Longford, Devonport and King Island14
    • Tasman group 3 abattoirs in Tasmania including King Island and 3 in Victoria.14
    • JBS paid $US150M14
  • JBS also purchased Smithfield Group $US565M14
    • Has four abattoirs14
  • JB also purchase National Beef $US560M14
    • Has three abattoirs14
    • 2 meat processing facilities14

2011

  • JBS elect to combine it’s US and Australian beef processing results into a common finanical report presented at ‘US beef’.22
  • Impossible to distinguish Australia’s performance and contribution to the overall result.22

2012

  • JBS Australia split into two operating entities to make Northern and Southern regions in relation to abattoirs and feedlots within those areas15.
    • South – Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania15
    • North – NSW and QLD.15

2013

  • Closure of King Island abattoir (Tas) assisted the supply of cattle to Longford.
  • JBS “Company is still pleased with its decision to close (King Island)” John Berry. JBS director2
    • Islands King Island and Flinders supply 200-450 head cattle a week, higher in spring run.3
    • Longford process 450 cattle a day – 4 day week roster.3
  • King Island cattle supply receives freight subsidy – sliding scale – $26 into Stanley in proximity to Smithton abattoir (Tas), $30 into Devonport4.Where cattle can be sent to Devonport or Longford abattoir (Tas)
    • Scale acts as disincentive to increase freight efficency.4
  • September. JBS launch brand launch.20

Beef central 27.09.2013 logo

Great Southern Logo. Source Beef Central 27.09.2013

  • Great Southern grassfed beef and lamb.20
    • Products first of their type in Australia.20
    • third party audited program JAS/ANZ ISO.20
    • 65 accredited farm quality assurance programs backing the brand.20
    • huge demand in domestic and global customers for traceable fresh grassfed meat.20
      • supplied by best practice producers with better livestock genetics.20
      • MSA graded for eating quality.20
      • Farmers would receive premium prices.20
        • 10c/kg premium applied to grid for UK.20
        • 650 farmers through NSW, Vic & Tasmania accredited to supply the program.20
        • Audit costs (for farmers) are paid by JBS.20
          • Audits conducted by AsureQuality.20
        • Animals are consigned driect to JBS.20
        • forward pricing.20
        • Animals consigned through saleyards would not be eligible.20
  • “Today the margins are so tight that if you want a point of difference and that premium or no discount, you have got to be involved with quality assurance” Jeremy Upton, Producer.20
  • November. JBS Swift Australia install closed-circuit television camera’s (CCTV) in it’s Australian meatworks.21
    • For the purpose of animal welfare and meatworker safety issues.21
    • CCTV for internal use by only JBS, with no plans to allow outsiders to view the footage.21
  • JBS’s US beef division (which includes Australia) delivered drop in net sales and earnings in it’s third quarter financial results.22
    • 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.22
    • Earnings before tax $134M,.22
      • Down by 22.5% on previous quarter.22
      • Down by 28.4% on third quarter last year.22
    • result reflection of domestic North American markets.22
      • Improved performance had occured in Australian.22
        • Demand had increased in Chinese markets.22

2014

  • April. Devonport currently employ 150 people.19
  • July. JBS Australia across all facilities in operation kills daily.15
    • 8,500 cattle,15
    • 24,000 smalls – which includes lambs15
    • Employs more than 8,000 people15
  • December.
    • JBS currently operate 12 meat processing plants across 5 Australian states16
      • Wages & local procurement $730M (Excluding livestock purchases)16
      • Employs 8,500 people at the facilities16
        • Employs 12,000 people in Australia16
      • Total revenue of $6.5B16

    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)16
      • JBS share of Australian beef production 16%16
      • Market share of national small (lamb, mutton & goat) 16%
    • JBS spent $2.4M on halal certification costs of approved religious certifiers in 201416

    2015

    • June. Cost of processing in Australia 1.5-3 times the cost of processing animals in another country16
    • cost of processing grain-fed cattle in Australia is twice of the USA16
      • lower levels of productivity in Australia in regards to kg per unit of labour16
      • 2 major differences between Australia and the USA8
        1. Government regulation
          • $10 a head more in Australia16
          • Dept. of Australian Agriculture fully recover costs of meat export inspection and certification16
            • Australia wide DAFF costs $80M16
            • JBS contribute $14.5M16
          • Export plants don’t use DAFF but use approved employees, which plants fully cover costs16
            • JBS estimate an additional $30M at Export level16
          • USA & Brazil governments provide services at no or minimal costs to processors16
        2. Energy Costs
          • $15 a head more in Australia16
      • Technical barriers to trade (TBT’s)- Total value in Australia estimated at $1.25B as identified costs16
        • 261 TBT’s in 40 key markets16
          • 136 have significant trade distortion impacts16
  • December. ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates.17
    • 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.17
    • Income tax information is for 2013/14.17
    • JBS Holdco Australia Pty Ltd produced Total Income $4,040,948,610.17
      • Taxable Income $419,882,525.17
        • Tax Payable $44,809,334.17

 

Sources Devonport Tas. JBS

  1. www.jbsswift.com.au
  2. ‘Abattoir closure continues to bite’ ABC News 14.09.13.
  3. ‘Expansion plans ahead for JBS Longford – One of Australia’s most versatile meat plants’ Beef Central 18.10.13.
  4. ‘King Island freight subsidy fight’ ABC rural. 17.09.2013
  5. Environmental Defenders Office (Tas) inc. Bulletin Dec 2002.
  6. ‘Hope for NW abattoir jobs as stink fades’ Examiner 04.09.2003.
  7. Journal – ‘Impact’ – #79 Sept 2005.
  8. ‘NW rendering plant to Move’ ABC rural 04.09.2002
  9. ‘Devonport abattoir sold’ ABC rural 15.07.2005
  10. AMIEU v Devonport City Abattoir T5776 of 1995
  11. ‘Devonport City abattoir doing well’ ABC rural. 26.06.2002
  12. ‘Australia: Smithton abattoir to reopen tomorrow’ Just foods. 04.03.2002
  13. ‘Woolies sticks by kickback butcher’ SMH. 15.01.2007
  14. ‘Big Beef producer cuts deal with Tasman Group’ The Age. 06.03.2008
  15. ‘The next Swift Shift’ The Weekly Times. 30.07.2014
  16. sub50_JBS Inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector
  17. ‘ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates’ Beef Central 18.12.2015
  18. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015
  19. ‘JBS expands its books’ Stock & Land 24.04.2014
  20. ‘JBS unveils new QA driven southern grassfed brand program’ Beef Central 27.09.2013
  21. ‘Swift CCTV camera action’ Weekly Times 13.11.2013
  22. ‘JBS delivers lower third quarter beef sales, revenue’ Beef Central 14.11.2013

Camperdown

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

Location   

  • 8km SE Sydney CBD

Camperdown

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Famicopr – Farouk Fami1

Operation

History

1991

  • 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

2007

  • 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

Sources

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

Milestones in the Australian Meat Industry

1860’s 

  • Outbreak of pleuropneumonia – decimated herds in NSW4

1861 

  • 1st Freezer works invented – Darling Harbour8

1870   

  • Tick introduced on imported stock from Dutch Bativia4

1896  

  • Tick Plague bought red water fever – killed many cattle, some pastoralists abandoned properties4

1910   

  • 3 Zebu bulls introduced to QLD4

1948   

  • 15 year contract with Australia – UK purchased all exportable beef surpluses8

1950’s   

  • Large numbers of imports of Zebu to QLD4
  • Refrigeration for long haul transports improved in efficiency and financially8
  • Sheep prices soared £1 head – during Korean war10

1954-60 

  • Britain won contracts in previous Australian export markets. USA developed ‘grinder beef’ allowed new markets for North Australia4
  • Global demand for beef, boom lead to record cattle numbers in Australia8

1959

  • USA Lean beef market development8

1960     

  • Australian Sheep herd 155M10
  • Petrodollars Money – Middle East had significant discoveries of oil and lifted living standards in those countries, created a building boom, workers mainly from 3rd world muslim countries10             pg 28
  • 1st shipment to Middle East. 2500 Australian sheep £6, 14 shillings and 4 pence a head including fodder for voyage10Pg 28

1967    

  • UK – had outbreak of FMD8

1970’s 

  • BTEC began – stopped 1989. Cost $800M
  • Large cattle numbers and slaughter rates in 1970’s prompted significant expansion in processing capacity in QLD, with an increase in capacity of 32% between 1975 – 1982 (Rolfe 1988). The plants then faced work practices characterised by single shifts and a tight tally’s system. Most of the expansion met through construction of new plant, which was also needed to meet export standards in many of the overseas markets3
  • Sheep live exports significant – Middle east, Cattle SE Asia8
  • Economic downturn in the 70’s led to drops in global beef demand8
  • 4 out of 5 meatworks in North Australia had their export licences withdrawn –
  • “inability to fullfill obligations under the meat board diversification scheme in Australia”8
  • Australian sheep herd 180M10Pg 37

1973 

  • Australian sheep herd 142.3M10Pg 37

1974     

  • Beef Crash – caused by major loss of markets USA & Japan, severe drought started. Cattle prices plunged to lowest level in 30 years.4
  • Herd shrank by more than 60%5
  • Oil prices crisis triggered global collapse4

1975     

  • LE to SE Asia re-emerge on a small scale after years of inactivity5
  • LE mainly to Malaysia, Philippines and then in early 90’s to Indonesia8
  • National Beef herd 32.8M10Pg 42
  • National Sheep herd 127.5M10 Pg 42

1978  

  • AMIEU – picket line 4 weeks, prevented sheep being loaded onto ship, Feedlot Adelaide Virginia 90,000hd sheep. Were losing sheep due to rain and cold weather, Waterside workers unions also striked in support.Unions lead by Bob Hawke. Public rally supported by Farmers 10,000 against the union 4th April 1978. Operation Sheeplift – loaded at Wallaroo.10Pg 43
  • Meat Processing in trouble – didn’t have enough outlets for all the meat it was processing, yet LE was thriving at significantly higher prices, LE was shipping aged merinos, not suitable to slaughter in Aust, AMIEU still picketed10Pg 49

 1980’s  

  • Cyclical downturn in slaughter numbers occurred in the early 1980’s, rationalisation was required. Industry commission inquiry in 1983 recommended market forces rather than government intervention be allowed to drive the changes.3
  • Plant closures of the late 1980’s was in response to rationalisation pressures. Most plants that were closed were the older, inefficient plants that reached the end of their operating life(Reynolds and Sangster 1998b).3

1984

  • Australian Meat Holdings (AMH) formed – was pivotal in rationalising the meat processing sector in QLD– consortium of 4 meat processing companies, Including Elders (who bought other partners out in 1988) who then sold to USA processor (ConAgra)1993-1996.

1984 – 1986 

  • AMH closed 5 plants of the initial 11 owned by the consortium – utilisation rates had fallen to 32%

1989   

  • BTEC finalised4.

1990’s 

  • By the 1990’s, plant closures tended to be forced by financial losses rather than operating inefficiencies3
  • USA market health regulations forced many abattoirs across Australia to shut down8

(Not sure when actually occurred – ????????)

1993   

  • Live cattle exports to Asia and Middle East 147,000hd1

1994  

  • Live cattle exports to Asia and Middle east 290,000hd1

1993 

  • Beginning of Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA)

1994    

  • disputes and lock out at Rockhampton AMH abattoir

1996  

  • EBA’s introduced – Previously tally system has set rates of pay and also rate of productivity. Any new investment in efficiency meant workers just reached minimum tally in a shorter time. Tally system removed, increased production levels3.
  • EBA allowed multiple shifts,reduced penalties and shift loads, longer working days and increased pay rates. 30-40% increase in effective capacity. Lead to 40% reduction in unit costs3.
  • AMH if gained a 4% efficiency achieved a net gain of $62M over 10 years, industry wide net gain would yield $404 net gain3

2006

  • Innisfail Meatworks closed leaving Townsville as only Northern abattoir in QLD5.

2010 

“Last weeks QLD cattle kill of 43,700 hd was 40% below the same week last year, The extreme low rates of kill are also reflected in industry statistics showing that for the 3 months ended January 30, Australian beef exports to the US reached just 38,000t a far cry from the same period in 08/09 of 70,000t2

2011

  • Live Export ban to Indonesia.

2012  

  • Carbon tax introduction – $23/t for over 25,000t of greenhouse emissions.Europe payint $9.80/t6
  • Australian Export Meat Inspection System (AEMIS) introduced7
  • “AEMIS  utilises the presence of full-time government  veterinarian assessing the incoming stock and oversighting the production and inspection process, and a full time government food safety meat assessor inspecting”7
  • “The system is subject to external audits from senior Australian government veterinarians and by foreign officials representing many of our major trading partners”7
  • One processor says will add $100,000 in costs over next 12 months7
  • May. JBS arrived in Australia 2007, “despite $500m investment on improvements and upgrades, the cost of production of beef relative to major international competitors has actually worsened” JBS CEO Andre Nofueira12

2013  

  • February. QLD cattlemarket indicator (QCMI) 1985 $70.80 buy the same amount of goods in todays $ would cost $180.70 – prices are 30% lower in real terms than what they were in 859
  • March. Near record weekly kill tally – 81601, close to all time record July 200111
  • Young cattle indicator slipped 12c/kg, some grids back by 20c/kg
  •  

Sources

  1. ‘The past is before us’, The Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. Undated

www.historycooperative.org/proceedings/asslh/index.html

  1. ‘Abattoirs under stress’Beef Central 22.02.10
  2. Competition and Exit in Meat Processing:A QLD Case Study. Agribusiness review 1999

References with their articles (Rolfe 1988),(Reynolds and Sangster 1998b)

  1. ‘North’s Beef Powerhouse’ Nth QLD Register 22.11.12
  2. ‘100 years of Northern Beef Production’ Nth QLD Register 22.11.12
  3. ‘Processors beef with carbon tax’ Nth QLD Register 06.09.12
  4. ‘Exporters query E.coli blow-up’ QLD Country Life 31.05.12
  5. ‘Sailing ahead’ Annabelle Coppin 2009
  6. ‘Beef Prices at historic lows necessitates focus on cost of production’ Beef Central 18.02.13
  7. ‘The Australian Livestock Export trade’ Nigel Austin 2011
  8. ‘Record QLD kill reflects ‘avalanche’ or dry weather cattle’ Beef Central 19.03.13
  9. ‘JBS heads calls for industry-wide focus on competitiveness’ Beef Central 17.05.12

Dinmore

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  

Location              

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

 Owner

  • AMH (1999)4
    JBS Australia

Operation          

  • 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

abattoirs_edited-1

History of Dinmore #235

1990

8. ABARES Nov 2011_edited-1

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

1991

  • 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

1996

  • 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

1999 

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

2005

  • Significant regions of drought across QLD.

QLD Drought 2003_2005_edited-1

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

2007_2009_edited-1

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

2010  

  • 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

2011

  • 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

2012  

  • 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.

2013

  • “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

2014

 

  • 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

    2015

    • 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

2013_2015_edited-1

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 www.parliment.nsw.gov
  8. ‘Australia: Union shuts down picket of locked out meatworkers’ www.wsws.org. 28.12.2010
  9. 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

Beenleigh

Large processing facility operated by Teys with Cargill. Recently had a number of wage disputes. Has recently invesed heavily in new technology, currently operating 2 shifts processing 1,300 cattle per day

Current Operation

  • Currently in operation as at 2015.

Location             

                   Australia. Beenleigh

Map Beenleigh 001

Owner                 

Historical and current meatworks, canneries and abattoirs located in Australia can be viewed at;

Australian abattoirs inactive map

abattoirs_edited-1

Operation          

  • Export
  • Nominal capacity 200,000hd as per 50 weeks(as at 1999)1
  • 800 staff2

History of the Beenleigh meat processing facility              

2010

  • Partnership between Teys and Meat Livestock Australia (MLA) develop the semi automated ‘Beef Pullers’ – Collaborative Innovation Strategies (CIS) program20
    • five units now installed by Teys and other processors20
    • technology is designed to overcome some physical and OH & S challenges of the boning line20
      • MLA don’t fund but provide support to assist to access commonwealth research grants 50:50 basis20
  • Beef Pullers – assist in removal of bones and knuckle – recognised as two most physically demanding tasks20
    • Cost/benefit shown increased profit margin $3.50 – $4.65 per carcase20
    • Pay back period 5 months or less.20
  • Beenleigh currently employs 800 workers.37
    • Up to 50% of skilled staff mostly from Brazil and Vietnam.37
    • Most workers are union members.37
    • With a union representative in every department.37
    • Joint consultative committee.37
    • An EBA is currently in place.37
      • skilled staff receive payments above the award.37
      • slicers and boners recieve tally (piecework) payments.37

2011

  • July. CEO – Brad Teys “..it’s been about 30 years since he had seen the supply of cattle so tight”9
  • producers not selling cattle due to poor prices and company forced to reduce kill days at Beenleigh to 3 days a week, Biloela 1 day, Rocky 3 days and Naracoorte was shut down temporarily9

2012

  • March. Petition started to close abattoir due to dust and health risks from cattle yards11
  • June. Rockhampton – Lakes Creek abattoir Labour hire employees (mainly humanitarian entrants) are renumerated under a WorkChoices agreement that pays a flat rate of pay26
    • without penalties for overtime or shift allowance26
    • Previously the workers had been paid at enterprise agreement rates26
    • AMIEU campaigned enterprise agreement be reinstated26
      • AMIEU claim Teys no longer allowed access to facilities due to this incident26
  • August. Carbon tax said to impact in costs of $2M- unless takes drastic action to reduce its emissions – a plan that would involve a temporary shut down2
  • Key competitors don’t face carbon tax3

2013

  • February. Clean technology allocations – $2.83M, project $6M. Install 34ML covered anaerobic lagoon and basin to capture biogas for use on site. Reduce emissions by 85% saving $1.3M energy costs and $380,000 carbon price per year4
  • March. AMIEU lodge an application for rights of entry order to the plant26
    • Teys provided a room to which employees could see their representative if they wished26
      • AMIEU claim room was too small, only able to hold 50 people, with sometimes 130 union members in attendance26
      • EBA used the room when AMIEU made a protected action ballot to be conducted26
      • AMIEU claim then due to the number of people Teys were unable to supply a room suitable26
        • Oztrail outdoor gazebo with a table and 2 chairs. “It was located immediately adjacent to a truck marshalling area, with the attendant flies, stock manure and noise”26
        • AMIEU made another application26
          • allowed to use the lunchroom26
  • May. Workers Dispute.

Teys Australia CEO Brad Teys

A number of companies that specialise in higher quality grain fed beef have been forced to close, merge or restructure over the past decade due to uncompetitive workplace arrangements”2

We are dealing with a union stuck in the 70’s, that still believes in unfettered union power2

  • 24th May – 4 hour stoppage. AMIEU strike.5
  • 24 hour strike by AMIEU for 31st May – 2nd in a week5
  • Teys saying what AMIEU want
    • 50% leave loading5
    • penalty rates within ordinary hours5
    • forced payment for idle time5
    • increased Workers compensation benefits above that prescribed by legislation5
  • Teys say – Many of staff are not union members, Only 28% of workforce voted in favour of strike5
  • AMIEU say – 80% are members, 75% supported action of stopwork6
  • What union say is happening at plant
    • Beenleigh operations made $38M in after tax profits, 9 years to 10/11, during same period paid $33M in dividends6
    • Teys want to cut wages by 20%, increase workload by 30%. Large part of workforce have lifted productivity by 18% since 1998, yet real wages declined by 11%6
  • Tey’s are in process of negotiating new workplace agreement2
  • Wages $40M each year2
  • June. Processing in Australia costs $300 a beast, USA $150 Brazil $1117
  • Boner in Australia earns $30/hr, in USA $12/hr10
  • 2012/2013 study – International Labour Organisation rates countries per highest hourly wage in manufacturing10.
    1. Denmark
    2. Switzerland
    3. Australia
    • 11th USA
    • 17th New Zealand
    • 28th Brazil.
  • Wage structures require more flexibility for seasonal harvesting, peak times in Agriculture which change employment demands and short term staff requirements10
  • AMIEU spokesperson Matt Journeaux. said members oppose to cuts up to 18.3% of current earnings for 30.5% more work. For a slicer meant a loss of $8448/yr12
  • Staff tell Teys CEO “they have had a gutful” of continued industrial action – Brad Teys – Teys CEO17
  • Negotiations continue17

The only way we will reach agreement is for the AMIEU to negotiate with an enterprise and productivity focus. They still don’t understand the need for change” – Brad Teys – Teys CEO17

  • Teys Australia currently operate 6 plants in 3 states with 5,000 employees10
  • July. AMIEU and employee representatives refused to allow a new wages and bonus offer be put to secret ballot to members13
    • Staff wanted performance bonuses removed, Teys did and replaced with 3% wage increase13
    • Cash bonus make up lost time during dispute13
  • Negotiations on Enterprise bargaining agreement ended13
  • Beenleigh plant operated on a 1% return on asset base for past 4 years13
  • Teys considered closing the plant after eight months of negotiations28
    • following 4 years of low returns28
  • 300 signatures of staff calling for a ballot, less than 50% voted for industrial action AMIEU rejected secret ballot forcing company (Teys) to terminate negotiations and explore options which included closure of plant14
  • Teys put forward 5 proposals, all rejected by AMIEU and committee14
  • Plant employs 800 staff, responsible for 4000 flow on local jobs and $250M into local economy14
  • Oct. Fair Work Commission approve the Enterprise bargaining agreement passed in employee secret ballot, to commence October 4.Follow 10 month industrial dispute with AMIEU
    • Victory of common sense and a final rejection of obstructionist union tactics” Tom Maguire (Teys’)15
    • Its a real stunner that Australia’s 2nd largest meat processing company with net equity of over $200M and $2.19B in revenue wants to pay people below award rates and conditions” AMIEU15
  • Teys’ offer unprecedented, a profit- sharing incentive for staff in EBA, is unique in meat processing and manufacture industry, 5-7% on top of normal earnings if reaches set profit targets.16
    • “company and its workforce has to work together to lift productivity in what is a highly competitive global meat processing environment”, “Manufacturing must reform to remain competitive”16 Tom Maquire (Teys’)
    • “From the outset, only a minority of workers wanted to take industrial action. Then a majority voted to approve the new EBA. Yet the union persisted to drag this out only to achieve was was agreed in the first place” Tom Maguire (Teys)18
    • AMIEU, QLD Industrial Officer Lee Norris – serious doubts Teys would deliver on its commitments16
  • During Federal election in 2013 period – Beenleigh EBA came under national spotlight when opposition leader – Tony Abbott questioned by the Fair work commission would not endorse a workplace agreeement supported by most of the staff31

2014

  • March.Currently processing 1,300 prime cattle per day19
    • Operating two shifts, one in afternoon and one in day.19
  • Fair Work Commission (FWC) throw out the EBA following an appeal by AMIEU30
    • EBA will now need to go back to FWC for approval30
    • 500 employees will immediately have weekly pays cut $25-3030
    • majority of employees on site will actually owe Teys up to $900 each30
  • Teys Australia – a Cargill Joint Venture have plants in QLD, NSW & SA19
  • Fair work commission throw out Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) following appeal by AMIEU21
    • Conditions employed under since October 201321
    • Employees voted in favor of EBA April 201321
    • If EBA dismantled some 500 employees could have weekly pay packet reduced by $25-$3021
      • Majority of employees would find they owe company as much as $900 each21
    • AMIEU claim voting was “ballott rigged” Brian Crawford, AMIEU branch secretary22
      • allowing trainee supervisors to vote.22
    • Teys deny rigging23
      • vote administered by Australian electoral commission not by Teys23
      • Trainee supervisors been included in last 6 EBA’s since 201223
      • some trainee supervisors are union members23
      • AMIEU have long been aware of inclusion of trainee supervisors23
    • Types of reforms acheived in 2013 EBA vital for the survival of the meat processing company23

    “We must continue to manage rising manufacturing costs or processing will go the way of the car industry and other manufacturers” Tom Macquire. Teys corporate affairs manager.23

  • Workplace relations inquiry submission by Teys, John Salter – General manager of workplace relations26
    • Teys Australia is Australia’s second largest beef processor & exporter26
      • annual turnover $3B26
      • Operating in QLD, Vic, NSW & SA26
        • 9 locations26
    • Employs close to 4,500 people26
      • often the largest employer in various regional centres26
      • Annual payroll in excess of $350M26
      • People costs represent 62% of operating expenses26
    • Teys is party to 21 FWC approved Enterprise agreements26
    • Beenleigh site agreement was reached with employees in 201326
      • approval has been mired by litigious complexity which the Fair Work Act of 2009 has exacerbated, rather than neutralised26
      • Agreement subject to interlocutory stay of FWC full bench order26
      • First EBA approval September 201326
        • FWC Deputy President at the time. Ingrid Asbury.31
      • First FWC full bench appeal – December 201326
      • Second EBA approval – April 201426
        • FWC Deputy President at the time. Ingrid Asbury31
      • Second FWC full bench appeal – September 201426
      • First Federal court hearing June 201526
      • Second Federal court hearing scheduled for May 201526
    • Beenleigh current operations two shift basis Monday – Friday26
      • some employees on site 24/726
      • Employee figures fluctuate but some 24 periods 850 employees to meet production schedules26
    • 2010 EBA had significant inflexibilities threatening the viability of the plant26
      • operational and cost base challenges,26
        • which other competitors (within Teys incl) don’t face26
          • cost of environmental compliance due where plant is located in a heavily populated area26
    • 2013 EBA allowed increased productivity26
    • If forced to go back to 2010 EBA some job losses may occur as production costs are reassessed26
    • Changes considered are:26
      • lowering throughput of cattle to 1,200 head a day26
      • Changing boning & load out departments to 5 day 8 hour roster26 (40 hours)
        • currently working on a 4 day by 9.5 hour roster26 (38 hours)
        • 5×8 roster could result in 20% redundancies26
          • 40 permanent staff in load out and boning rooms26
          • 3-4 in the cleaning26
          • others in salary staff, management and supervisory areas26
      • 2010 EBA doesn’t accomodate taking of annual leave but is featured in the 2013 EBA26
        • if annual close down resumes under 2010 EBA reduction in 5% staff to cover for annual leave if had been taken in 2013 EBA26
        • these staff would now be surplus to requirements under 2010 EBA26
      • Teys invested $20M in the 2014/2015 year26.
        • this increased job creation26
      • Payroll system CHRIS in a retro perspective to accomodate reversion to payment of skilled workers would cost $500,000 to implement26
  • July. Teys currently employ 4,500 people in QLD, NSW and SA.24
  • Workers at the Beenleigh plant had voted to approve a work place agreement in 2013 but AMIEU had obstructed the deal and mounted continuous appeals.24

“..the business environment in Australia, especially industrial relations, was not conducive to manufacturing, and the sector could not compete internationally” Tom Maquire24

  • Teys say reform of the labour arrangements, greater market access and a reduction in costs and charges on companies were key ares that needed to be pursued by the government.24

“We must remove the ability by third parties – namely unions – to interfere with the relationships companies have with employees, allowing them to hold up and counter legitimate agreements” Tom Maquire24

  • Federal Government must tackle industrial relations reform or risk the closure of more manufacturing industries33
  • New EBA – Teys Australia will include productivity-based profit sharing34
    • as well as annual wage increases34
    • Is an industry first inititive
    • Bonus cheque $2000 – $600034
    • AMIEU oppose the the bonus34
  • September. Profit sharing bonus’s were paid this week25
    • represents pay-out of about $1.2M25
    • Paid the bonus’s inspite of union opposition and will not be asking workers for a refund25

2015

  • February. Federal Court ruled that controversial enterprise agreement approved by workers in 2013 was invalid27
  • 35 jobs created under the new EBA35
    • jobs are now directly threatened35
  • An independent economic report estimated the Beenleigh plant flow effects;35
    • contributes more than $360M in GDP to Brisbane region35
    • underpins more than 1800 full time equivalent jobs35
  • Teys Australia Beenleigh Ltd v’s AMIEU 2015
    • News article cites 600 workers to affected27
    • AMIEU claim 300 workers will have ‘fatter’ pay packets27
      • argued a ballot to pass the EBA included people who were ineligible to vote27
    • Federal court rule that company must return to 2010 agreement27
      • Higher skilled workers are paid more27
        • boners, slicers & slaughtermen27
          • payment is based on weight of cattle processed27
        • lower skilled workers would be worse off27
          • lower skilled will have a lighter workload27
      • 2013 agreement was to pay on hourly rate irrespective of how many animals processed27
      • AMIEU claimed Teys told workers they wanted a 20% increase in productivity without increasing pay27
        • Teys deny claim27
          • Tom Maquire – said the company can’t compete with overseas rivals unless it cuts labour costs and increases productivity27
  • Unions would now meet with Teys to negotiate new agreements.27
  • Decision in regards to the future of the Beenleigh plant was approaching31
    • Cattle herds were falling31
    • Tougher international competition from US and Brazil expected31
      • Australian Cost of Production (COP) $300 a head31
      • US & Brazil COP $16531
  • August. EBA dispute has been ongoing since 201332
    • Federal Court ruled that Fair work commission had made a wrong decision to back the union, it was entitled to make wrong decisions32
    • Means the 2014 EBA is now void32
      • 500 workers wouldn’t receive bonus of $4,500.32
      • Similar bonus’s in 2015 would also be lost32
      • Scheduled wage increases for the next 2 years are gone32
    • Now operation will be under the 2010 EBA where32;
      • current hourly rate will decrease32
      • every worker will be worse off by 12%32
    • Teys were working on a new plan to secure rises and bonus’s32

Sources

  1. Competition & Exit in Meat Processing. Agribusiness review Vol 7 1999
  2. ‘Gillard great carbon tax backdown – Off the Hook’ QLD Country Life 02.08.12
  3. ‘Processors ‘beef’ with carbon tax’ Nth QLD Register 06.9.12
  4. ‘Teys, T & R latest round of carbon abatement grants’ Beef Central 18.02.13
  5. ‘Teys wants union to ‘get real’ and negotiate to protect 800 jobs’ Beef Central 31.05.13
  6. ‘On the brink: Teys warns “reform, or more jobs will be lost’ Beef Central 31.05.13
  7. ‘Teys hold talks with AMIEU, as workers call for close to dispute’ Beef Central 12.06.13
  8. ‘Manufacturing on the brink’ Teys Media Release 29.05.13.
  9. ‘Cattle supply chokes’ NT Country hour. 14.07.11
  10. ‘Food processing labours under high wages’ ABC rural 07.06.13
  11. ‘Shut down Teys Beenleigh’ Petition. www.activism.com
  12. ‘Strike action taken by workers at Teys Bros abattoir in Beenleigh over wages’ Courier mail. 04.06.13
  13. ‘Teys: 800 jobs at risk as union rejects wages offer’ Beef Central 12.07.13
  14. ‘Teys’ Beenleigh workers petition directly for secret Ballot’ Beef Central. 22.07.13
  15. ‘Warning to Government and unions to enter “New age of Industrial relations” 09.10.13
  16. ‘Beenleigh profit sharing incentives blazes trail for meat industry EBA’s’ Beef Central 09.10.13
  17. ‘Teys: Workers want end to ongoing industrial dispute’ QLD Country life 13.06.2013
  18. ‘End to Teys dispute in sight’ Nth QLD Register 03.10.2013
  19. Job advertisement for 2 workers. Teys. 03.03.2014
  20. ‘Research partnership delivers new commercial technologies’ Feedback. March 2010
  21. 800 Beenleigh workers face pay cuts under AMIEU action. Beef Central. 07.03.2014
  22. ‘Union tells Teys to put-up or shut-up’. Beef Central 11.03.2014
  23. ‘Teys rejects union claim of EBA vote-rigging’. Beef Central 12.03.2014
  24. ‘Teys:Govt must take action’ Nth QLD Register 10.07.2014
  25. ‘Industrial relations: Beenleigh staff paid ‘ground breaking’ profit share cash bonuses’ Beef Central 04.09.2014
  26. AMIEU ‘The National Meatworker’ August 2013
  27. ‘Ruling finds controversial enterprise agreement approved by workers in 2013 was invalid’ The Courier-mail 12.02.2015
  28. ‘Teys Clashes with union over enterprise dispute’ The Bulletin 06.08.2015
  29. sub0095-workplace-relations
  30. ‘Fight over Teys EBA continues’ www.Farmonline.com.au. 07.03.2014
  31. ‘Teys looks at closing abattoirs’ www.farmonline.com.au 17.02.2015
  32. ‘IR system fails 800 Beenleigh meatworkers, says Teys’ Beefcentral 03.08.2015
  33. ‘Teys calls for greater IR reform’ www.farmonline.com.au 08.07.2014
  34. ‘Teys says AMIEU opposes its employee bonus plan’ Beef Central 25.07.2014
  35. ‘IR system “needs urgent overhaul” as court……” Beef Central 13.02.2015
  36. ‘Workers safe at Rockhampton and Biloela’s abattoirs’ The Morning Bulletin 14.07.2013
  37. Work-skills-and-training-2301-1

Wyndham

Current Operation

  • Closed

Location              

  • East Kimberley, 120km from NT border

Map Wyndham

map.Wyndham 001Source – Hema Australia Handy map 9th edition.

Locations of other Australian abattoirs.

Owner

  • Project Development Corporation (PDC) prior to 19765
  • Wyndham Meats (1960’s)
  • Hookers & PDC created a joint venture (1976)5
  • Hookers owned outright (1978) operated as Norwest Beef Industries Limited5

Operation

  • Seasonal operation killed May to September1
  • Average turnover was 30,000 hd cattle1
  • 45 yrs of public operation ran at a loss, sold 19661
  • Was export accredited – received cattle from NT prior to 1959 (when Darwin and Katherine) built1

 History

1897

  • JJ Holmes – Member for East Fremantle, member of parliament, at time Commissioner of railways – talked of long range solution to tick problem was formation of freezing works and chilling works at Wyndham. Pg 1777

1906

  • Talk of forming syndicates for chilling and beef-extract works in Wyndham. Pg 2057
  • Richard Tilden – British promotor who had been involved with failed mining schemes in Kalgoorlie, tries to raise capital to establish a floating abattoir.Pg 2337

1907

  • Properties from Kimberley were loading cattle at Wyndham for delivery to Robbs Jetty abattoir (WA), SS Mildura had run aground at North-West Cape and caused drowning of all 700 cattle aboard. Pg 2377
  • Kimberley pasturelands was producing more cattle than WA state could consume and were walking cattle overland to Queensland abattoirs.Pg 2367
  • James Mitchell, Minister for Agriculture promises provide two thirds of cost of construction of works at Wyndham. 40-50,000 pounds. Interest free for first 5 years and thereafter on gaurantee of 5%.Pg 2377
    • People weren’t happy with the meatworks receiving assistance.7

“Why should rich firms like these get large sums of government money free of interest whilst a struggling farmer can get no more than 500 punds and pay 6% for it” West Australian Newspaper.Pg 2377

1908

  • Techinical advisor of a large freezing works in Syndey investigates Wyndham proposal and advises cost to be minimum 100,000 pounds, 25,000 above original estimate.7
    • expert estimate included Jetty and supply of fresh water sourced 20 miles away from site7
    • Government withdraw support of funding. Pg 2597
    • Michael Durack visits William Angliss, who owns meatworks in Footscray, Melbourne, Angliss advises Durack that excluding land the facility cost 50,000 pounds, including freezing, chilling, boiling down and preserving works. pg 2677
  • Bovril Australian Estates show interest in partnering building of Wyndham abattoir. Pg 2937
    • Bovril would latter build Bullocky point abattoir (NT) in 1917, which only operated for 3 years
    • Bovril had just taken up leases in 1908 Victoria River Downs in NT and Carlton near Wyndham.Pg 3157
    • Bovril also said to be considering purchase of a steamer to convert to a floating abattoir7
      • approached Australian government for assistance and wanted to use Asian labour, business would be conducted in Cambridge gulf and not infringe on White Australia policy of the time. Pg 3157
  • Government attempted to assist with cattle movement – as alternative to sea transport subsidised the development of the Canning Stockroute. Pg 3167

1910

  • Kimberley cattle being sold for 3 pounds in Fremantle after shipping from Wyndham and Derby. Pg 3247
  • Live export was opening up to Philippines which would take light weight cattle. Pg 3247

1911

  • Advisor to Bovril that suitable site for an abattoir was on property Auvergne. Pg 3427
  • Government surveyor Sanderson, advises on feasibility of abattoir at Wyndham, with water being sourced from various sources.
    • Project wasn’t an alternative to Manilla live export trade but would be advantage to ship frozen meat to avoid quarantine  problems with stock to be held prior to shipping.Pg 3437
  • If meatworks not established in 1912. Richard Tilden would undertake project at estimated cost of 25,000 pounds, not including water which government was expected to provide. Pg 3497

1912

  • WA change of Government from Liberal to Labor – leader John Scadden. Withdraw support of Wyndham abattoir. Pg 3807
    • The government enter the Wholesale butchery business to reduce price of meat to public. Pg 3807
    • Government also take over shipping along coast. Pg 4377

1913

  • NT government talk of establishing meat works in Darwin, this is not supported by WA producers though a meatworks in Katherine was. Pg 3917
  • Government had already commited to establishment of abattoir in Darwin.7

1914

  • Vesteys sign a contract with government to establish meatworks in Darwin. Pg 4147Bullocky Point abattoir (NT)
  • Declaration of WW1 occured – WA government reconsider establishment of meatworks at Wyndham. Pg 4147

1915

  • March. WA state government sign a contract with building group Nevanas for materials and to construct abattoir for 159,510 pounds. Pg 4217
  • Bullocky point abattoir (NT) construction is well underway. Pg 4287
  • July. Agreement between government and Nevanas ended and Wyndham abattoir construction again under review.Pg 428.7
    • Shipping space to Nevanas had been made unprocurable. Pg 4307
    • 3% of estimate had been paid. Pg 4307
    • government renegotiated with Public works to build abattoir, some materials already delivered to Wyndham. Pg 4307
      • No public tender called and reaction of public was unfavourable.Pg 4307
  • Government supply two more ships for coast transport of people and cattle7
    • N.2. prinz Sigismund – Kaisers private yacht – renamed the Bambra. Pg 4377
    • Kangaroo – new vessel, first diesel engined motor vessel. Pg 4377

1916

  • Wyndham works making progress – mile from town, Water pool is located 20 miles out with 2 25,000 gallon tanks and pumping site.Pg 4417

1917

  • Trade union strikes impeded progress of meatworks construction. Pg 4547

1918

  • Meatworks costs now 723,000 pounds from original estimate of 155,150. Pg 4627
    • Debate on how the works was to be run, by the state or a joint enterprise. Pg 4627
    • Nevanas claimed they had the right to solely operate the facility. Pg 4627
  • Construction finished late in 1918, facility had an electric lift. Pg 4697

1919   

  • Constructed as a public meat works1
  • Meatworks to be operated under Government control7
    • Government offered producers 5-7 pounds less than other markets.Pg 4727
    • Post war markets and freighting costs were still indefinite.Pg 4727
    • Outbreak of pneumonic influenza forced quarantine – disrupted travel, delay in loading and unloading cargo.Pg 4737
  • Government resumed land held near abattoir, 60,000 acres, land was resumed forcefully including all improvements, living quarters, yards, fences and wells, from Duracks with no compensation. Pg 4817

1920

  • VRD cattle (Owner – Bovril Australian Estates) were Wyndham’s largest supplier5
  • Angliss discuss with Durack possibility of leasing Wyndham works.7
    • Angliss has processed in Australia 1,250,000 sheep and 30,000 cattle. Employed 1,000 men at 4 pounds to 4pounds 10 shillings a week. Pg 4907
  • June. Works having difficulties – inexperienced workers and strikes for higher pay. Pg 494.7

1930  

  • VRD supplied one third of 10 568 head slaughtered this year5
  • Abattoir paid £3 1s 5d, compared to realised value on VRD for 4000 head purchased by Sidney Kidman, paying £4 2s 6d5Pg 118.
  • ‘condemns’ chuted to be processed as meatmeal – ‘political reasons’5Pg 144.

Note by Jo Bloomfield – Not sure what this statement was in reference too – think there was strife between the management and workers and more than usual number of condemned cattle occurring, Could also refer to the government overseers.

1942

  • Japanese attacked Darwin, Government at the time were concerned if Japan invaded from the north that they would have a ready supply of meat and food therefore temporaily closed the meatworks down from this time to approximately 1949.6
  • Government also had landholders remove many cattle from northern properties and move south incase of invasion, so as to deny ready food source6
  • Cattle which had normally supplied this abattoir were now walked down the Murranji stockroute, eventually to QLD, 47,000 cattle in 1942, 30,000 from Vestey’s Wavehill alone. Demand for meat had increased on east due to Troops6

1949

  • ‘Airbeef’ Cattle slaughtered on Glenroy station, meat flown to Wyndham and Derby for exports and freezing1

1950’s

  • Abattoirs in the north were still operated ‘frontier mentality'(Pg 64)9
    • short processing seasons of 20-25 weeks9
    • largley itinerant labour9
    • Living and working conditions were dangerous9
    • Animal welfare standards were low9
    • Sanitation compiled to UK market standardsfor quarter beef, were well below standards for emerging US markets of boxed beef (Pg 64)9
  • US grinding beef market of the late 1950’s suited the cattle that were present in the north (Pg 64)9
  • Plants were encouraged to upgrade to meet USDA standards (Pg 64)9

1959

  • Improved to meet stringent USDA (USA Dept of agriculture) hygiene regulations1

1960’s

  • Wyndham Meats – Collective bargaining with Emanuel Exports, including Derby and Broome
  • UK agreement – quarter bone in carcases – meat was of inferior quality. Many condemned and processed into meatmeal5

1966  

  • Abattoir sold to private buyer1.

1968

  • Entire plant is condemned for its wooden structure by USDA reviewer(Pg 64)9
    • Decision was extended to cover all Wyndham beef on the water and in the US9
  • Affected importers and exporters, Wasn’t covered by insurance (Pg 64)9
    • finanical fallout took many years to resolve.9
  • Connections in Eastern Europe and Austria came in to play (Pg 65)9
    • 1,000t of affected product still in Australia was picked up at Wyndham and sold to Romania, with health certificates9
    • Export statistics don’t show shipments to Romania for that year, apparently customs and DPI were not present at loading9

 1970

  • Couldn’t meet USDA standards – lost export licence, so did Broome, Derby, Darwin and Katherine1
  • Beef Crisis was taking effect, many northern abattoirs were losing money.9

1970’s 

  • Ray Fryer – Uranpunga, Roper Gulf (NT) – trucked his own cattle from property to works. 3 day round trip, 1100 miles, 22 bullocks or 20 cows, received $150/hd ($3000 total), cost $500 fuel. “It was the only way to get a bit of money coming in”4

       1974

  • Ian Mc Bean was sending load of cattle from Bradshaw, return of sale barely covered costs of sending the animals (Pg 122)8

1976

  • PDC & Hookers created joint venture in attempt to rationalise the Katherine and Wyndham meatworks, outside shareholdings also purchased5

1978   

  • Hooker Corporation owned outright5

1985  

  • Export beef plant closed June 19851
  • Stayed open longer than other plants as was subsidised by the government3
  • Effluent from the works ran into a drain and straight into the sea, great burly for sharks (Pg 67)9

Sources

  1. ‘Sailing ahead’ Annabelle Coppin. 2009
  2. ‘The Australian livestock Export trade’ Nigel Austin 2011
  3. ‘Northern Australian Beef industry – Assessment of risks and opportunities’ ABARE 2012
  4.  ‘Red Dust Rising- The story of Ray Fryer of Urapunga’ Marion Houldsworth 2004.
  5. ‘The Big Run- The story of VRD station’ Jock Makin. 1970
  6. ‘The Murranji track – Ghost road of the drovers’ Darrell Lewis 2007.
  7. ‘Sons in the Saddle’ Mary Durack.
  8. ‘The privileged few’ Jeff Hill. 2008
  9. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn 2013

Point Stuart

A small abattoir that was in operation prior to  BTEC was being conducted, Processed buffalo and cattle.

Other Names

  • Jimmy Creeks meat works

Current Operation

  • Closed

Location   

  • 150km E of Darwin

Point Stuart abattoir ruinsSource – Northern Territory Library. Not dated.

Point Stuart abattoir ruins.

Owner                                 

  • Epitoma Pty Ltd1

Operation

            

History

1970’s

  • Alan Woods worked as an accountant for the abattoir.6

1973

  • Bulls and other cattle being delivered to site by Tom Fawcett from Old Mt Bundey station(Pg 162)4

1975

  • Paddy Heatley carted buffalo from Walgait reserve to Pt Stuart (then called Jimmy’s creek)5

1980

  • abattoirs closed for a period (Pg 244)4

1983

  • AMEU served logs of claims to set up tally system2
  • Workers contracted, unskilled workers earned $50-$60 a day2
  • Skilled slaughterman earn $350 day2

1984

  • AMIEU set up picket line3

1987  

  • Closed prior to 871

Source

  1. Savanna Responses to Feral Buffalo in Kakadu National Park (2007)
  2. Mudginberri revisted: a case study of a secondary boycott. Green Left. 16.01.13
  3. Mudginberri dispute. Wikipedia 16.01.13
  4. ‘The Privileged Few’ Jeff Hill. 2008
  5. www.roadtransporthall.com
  6. ‘NT live exporters mourn loss of founding identity Alan Woods.’ Beef central. 18.02.14

Katherine #2 (Victoria Highway)

Other Names

  • Hookers
  • Northmeat.
  • Katherine
  • Tancreds
  • Teys Bros

Current Operation

  • Closed (2002)

Location              

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

Steers - Slaughter floor

Source – Steers Sale Catalogue September 2012

This was the slaughter floor prior to the auction sale in 2012. Much of the equipment is now removed.

Katherine abattoir

Source – Cattleproducer. Taken February 2013.

Inside the Katherine #2 abattoir boning room.

Steers - Plate FreezersSource – Steers Sales Catalogue. September 2012

Each of these plate freezer rooms could hold one tonne of boxed meat. All these are removed now.

Coolroom areas

Source – Cattleproducer. February 2013.

Inside one of the many coolrooms

Owner/s

  • Hookers – Traded as Northmeat (1963)
  • Manager 1974 – Dick Condon60
  • Norwest – 1976 to atleast 1984. Oprational Manager Ron Goldspring38
    • General Manager Peter Taylor43
    • Managing Director of Norwest Beef Industries (1985) Ron Ibbotson45
  • Northern Meat Exporters12
  • Tancards – Manager Paul Herrod
  • Teys Bros2
  • Teys merged –

Operation          

  • Workers mainly permanent residents

History                

1895

  • Royal commission into the Northern Pastoral Industry recommends the eestablishment of a freezing works for the area45

1950’s

  • Abattoirs in the north were still operated ‘frontier mentality’
    • short processing seasons of 20-25 weeks
    • largley itinerant labour
    • Living and working conditions were dangerous
    • Animal welfare standards were low
    • Sanitation compiled to UK market standardsfor quarter beef, were well below standards for emerging US markets of boxed beef (Pg 64)
  • US grinding beef market of the late 1950’s suited the cattle that were present in the north (Pg 64)
  • Plants were encouraged to upgrade to meet USDA standards (Pg 64)

Prior to 1960

  • Prior to abattoirs being built in Darwin and Katherine cattle had been been previously walked along the Murranji stockroute and others to be processed in facilities in QLD, or to the railhead at Alice Springs. Stock walked North would be sent to abattoirs at Wyndham or prior to that put on barges there and sent to Robbs Jetty, Perth to be processed there33

1960   

  • Hookers took over VRD26 including holdings owned Katherine abattoir & Wyndham30.

1962

  • July. Colonel Rose, former director of the Animal Industry and now in private practice as a consultant urges government to back the proposed Katherine abattoir meatworks63
    • Meatworks is the only chance for a prosperous future in the area63
    • Reports of insufficient cattle to keep the works in operation is not true63
      • Annual surplus of 20,000 head over local requirements with cattle being walked to QLD63.
  • Peter Playfair of the Australian meat packing family is raising finance63
    • reported to already have £200,00063
      • Have applied for aid from the Development bank63
  • Peter Playfair is a senior member of Playfair meat company64.
    • Peter Playfair (DOB 03/04/1920) is a 5th generation of Playfair family65
      • Great Grandfather – John Thomas Playfair (04/03/1833 – 15/11/1893) served as Alderman and Mayor of Sydney for 18 years65
      • Established Homebush saleyards 1882 for £60,00065
        • Homebush became 2000 Olympic venue site
      • Laid foundation stone of Sydney Opera house65
  • Peter Playfair is involved in a serious car accident in Sydney suffering severe injuries requiring brain operation64
  • Hookers Pastoral company begun preparations to build an export abattoir. Peter Fairplay – Meat processor from Eastern states and a backer of scheme. – formed the Northern Meat exporters Association23
  • Northern Meat Exporters Pty Ltd consisted of
    • support of station owners within 500km of Katherine(Pg 64)61

40% – Hookers – who also lent money for operating expenses which was repaid in one  year.
John Swire & Sons Pty Ltd
Killen family
Australian Agricultural Company
Craig Mostyn & Co Pty Ltd
WD & HO Wills (Aust) Ltd
Retreat Holdings Ltd
PH Playfair
RF Condon
33,000 shares also offered to Katherine pastoralists(Pg 145)25

  • Another investor was China Navigation Company, subsidiary of Swire group.(Pg 64)61
    • Held a strategic investment in the abattoir in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.61
    • stimulated export of beef on its vessels from the north.61
  • Built to specifications of US department of Ag – US lean boned out MX markets25
  • Met stringent USDA (USA Dept of agriculture) hygiene regulations4
  • Combined with Darwin – capacity of 60,000hd per year, first time NT had export killing capacity4
  • Built to kill 600 cattle per six day week(Pg 64)61
    • Slaughtering on the first floor, hides and offal treatment below.61
    • Sides  of beef went by ‘lowerator’ to 2 ground floor chillers61
    • Each chiller could hold a days kill61
    • Further cold store could hold 2 days production61
    • After freezing product was trucked to cold stores provided by the commonwealth government in Darwin 300km away.61

1963   

  • Opened Owned by –Operated as  Northmeat8
  • Opened mid season 1963, took 6 months to erect, initial capacity 125 hd a day. Supervisor Richard (Dick) Condon23.
    • R Condon had previously managed Anderson’s works at Roma (Pg 64)61
  • Coincided with opening of the US hamburger trade – ‘Class 3’ or ‘grinding beef’23

“The situation was more amazing in that the export trade was not to consist of Australia’s finest meat from premier producers but, miracle of miracles, bull meat and as much as could be procured!” – Bull meat can absorb at least 20% its own weight of water, therefore could yield 120% when processed23

  • Syndicate of owners formed and export meatworks, Northmeat was built. “This revolutionised the disposal of our cattle. The meat was mostly exported to the USA as hamburger meat!”16
  • Exports to USA from Katherine meatworks– US lean boned out meat worth £7,000
  • Road transport of animals was replacing droving on stockroutes. Murranji stockroute, where cattle normally walked to Wyndham or south, to eventual QLD or Alice Springs declinded to finally stopped being used 1967.33
  • Beef roads project to improve roads in the NT was instrumental in assisting with access and transport of livestock45

1964

Northmeat rego_edited-1

Source www.trade.mar.com
Northern Meat Exporters licence.

Wording – Meat in cartons or carcass form for export or local consumption from Katherine, Australia. Reg renewed 09/02/1984, Accepted 03/12/1964, Reg renewed 27/05/1965, Reg 18/12/1969

  • Mr Bryce Killen. Managing director of Northern Meat Exporters66
    • Elected as president of the Federal Inland Development Organisation (FIDO)66
      • Vice president of NSW Graziers Association66
      • Mr Killen owns property at Nyngan (NSW)66
    • FIDO have been pressing federal government to build the Pioneer Highway66
      • Link Bourke with the Barkely Highway with a fully bitumised road66
      • Would link Darwin and the south and open up huge areas of QLD channel country66 .

1965/66

  • Contractors caught bulls on cents per pound meatworks rates – was a better result as the station got less bruising and contractor was paid to look after the animals(Pg 174)60
  • “Katherine meatworks made a big difference to all Territory graziers. It gave them a market for the thousands of bulls being shot because no one wanted to buy them – thank goodness for the Yanks wanting hamburger beef. Up until then the Darwin butchers and the live export trade to the Philippines were the main outlets” Neville Hood. (pg 234)60

1967

  • Exports to USA from Katherine meatworks – US lean boned out meat worth $4M

Aust News Info 1967 A1200_L64219Source Australian News and Info Bureau 1967. A1200 L64219
Cattle at Katherine abattoir waiting for slaughter

Aust News_Info 1967 A1200_L64304Source Australian News and Info Bureau 1967. A1200 L64304
Carcases moving from top processing/slaughter floor to down levels to chillers and boning.

Aust News Info 1967 A1200_L64306Source Australian News and Info Bureau 1967. A1200 L64306
Inside chillers

Aust News Info 1967 A1200_L64300 (2)Source Australian News and Info Bureau 1967. A1200 L64300
Boning Room

1968

  • Laurie Howard – contract Buffalo catcher supplied buffalo to abattoir from Dorisvale (then manager at Dorisvale – Leo Whitely) (Pg 189)60
  • US quota diversification scheme took effect (pg 64)61
    • disadvanteagd northern works who were most suited to grinding markets.61
    • R Condon was chief spokesperson that argued for special consideration of northern works under the US beef quota system61
    • Number of Northern plants received special allocations for US beef quota.61
    • Alice Springs abattoir was given 2,000t quota.61
    • US quota was worth $1B at the time61

1969       

  • Northmeat Meatworks destroyed by fire, rebuilt in 4 months17
  • Significant industrial unrest at the time (Pg 64)61
    • Claims the arson was intentional.62
  • Royal Australian airbase at Tindal was used to fly in parts for the rebuild (Pg 64)
  • Rebuild cost $650,000, capacity 2,000 head a week, a considerable increase on previous operation25
  • Properties were opportunistically harvesting bulls and taking them as they caught them to meatworks  – sometimes 20 head a day during the dry season (Pg 122)60

1970’s   

  • Beef Crisis 1974-7725
  • Opened Easter, killed mainly bullocks and cows prior to July, then culls and bulls after July, closing late dry season3
  • Heavier steers went to SA abs as they paid better than Katherine who did mainly hamburger trade.
  • Lost USDA listing – No clean up had occurred of prior days kill floor and inspector from America seen. Industrial problems and workers were on strike day and a half12

1970         

  • Couldn’t meet USDA standards – lost export licence, so did Derby, Wyndham, Darwin and Katherine4
  • Average price paid, dressed 37.5c/kg28
  • Animal health position taken up by Terry Crowson. palpating lungs for pleuro lesions – pleuro eradication program was drawing to a close60

1972  

  • Average price paid, dressed 48.5c/kg28

1973         

  • Northmeat built a butcher shop in Main street17
  • Katherine meatworks was operational taking bulls and bullocks from Montejinni station (Pg 27)60

1974  

  • Average price paid, dressed 57.3c/kg
  • Manager at site – Dick Condon looked after producers, paying immediately animals were killed.(Pg 121)60
  • Abattoir closed for a period (Pg 122)60

Katherine 1974 PH0091_0114

Source NT Library. hdl 100709545
The Katherine abattoir 1974

Camera shot is looking north. Stockyards that are partially covered in the forground, ramp to the slaughter and processing centre. Main engines and boilers to right, Administration top right, ammenities and canteen to the far left.

NT Library hdl 100705008

Source NT Library. hdl 100705008
The Katherine abattoir 1974

Camera shot is looking south. Workers accomodation in centre, main processing top, administration to the right, hide processing shed to the left.

1974-75  

  • DPI Bribery – $17-20 weekly cash to inspectors – meant to be in lieu of living conditions, payments made 1963 – 197512
  • Most workers living rent free, free electricity in reasonable accommodation1
  • False labelling 1974-1977 – Cow Meat ‘C’ labelled as Steer meat ‘S’, continued even after management confronted about it12

1976  

  • Management bulldozed caravans of workers to fragment
  • Norwest Beef Industries take over operations.38

1976        

  • New management didn’t pay DPI bribes or mis-label meat packaging12
  • Royal commission notes – Abattoir was experiencing problems in other directions12.

1981     

  • Employer tried to induce non union contracts – workers revolted bound by industrial award
    • Old system – Tally – workers slaughtered a set number of beasts a day50
    • New system – court ratified contact – workers paid on productivity50

1982

  • Brucellosis and Tuberculosis eradication program (BTEC) testing beginning57.
    • Aim is to eradicate TB by 199257
    • All properties must reach TB incidence of lower than 0.1% by January 1989 or property will be compolsory destocked57
    • In 1982 – 17 of the 38 properties in Gulf District – (latitude 14’S – 18’S) had a testing programme57
  • Gulf District turnoff – 20,215 cattle – from 33 stations, 72% went to meatworks – Katherine or Tennent Creek – 14,601 going to meatworks – 51% were females57.
    • Turnoff from properties was governed by wet season, road condition and opening of meatworks57
    • Katherine meatworks paying $105 (160kg dressed ox at 65.75c/kg)57
    • Of 18 stations 55.5% had operating costs per beast turn off of $30 to $150 per head sold.57
    • Of 38 stations 13 had herd of 2000 to 4000 head.57
    • Of 38 stations 47.3% had herd with Bos Indicus breeding 60% or greater57
    • Of 38 stations 86.8% had branding rate of 50% or less57
    • Of 18 stations 55.5% had Operating costs of property below $100,000pa57

1983   

  • AMIEU applied to have all abs in NT under wage conditions not contracts. Employers at Katherine opposed
  • Oct. NT Minister for Primary Production seeked certification of NT meatworks to be certified as Halal suitable, Estimated to be worth $200M a year in markets to NT35
  • Nov. Noel Buntine takes over from failed business Buntines Transport to establish – Roadtrains Australia (RTA), orders 14 new prime movers. Will be ready for 1984 season with 17 trucks and fully reconditioned trailers.36
    • Trucks 440hp, total legal length was 17m, this is prime mover and one 40′ trailer40
  • Dec. BTEC campaign, Federal ALP offer $2.4M to accelerate program in NT, is 60% of what was offered Australia wide37
    • Some reports say total $6M for BTEC allocated with $4.4 released immediately, scheme started in 1970, more funding allocated $73.2M by mid 1987.42
  • Funding had been witheld due to an investigation into the program by Federal government41

1984

  • Mar. Loss of Beef export markets from Malaysia, Singapore, Middle East and some EEC markets cost $100M in 1983/1984. Markets lost to competition of South America, 36 of 44 export markets taking less Australian beef. Japanese markets being lost to America38
  • April. Katherine employs 160 people, mostly locals, seasonal operation – April to November average slaughter of 280 head daily, Most beef is sold to US some to Japan, Middle east and UK markets, Up to 1983 season 600,000 head had been slaughtered at Katherine39
  • June. 24 Buffalo slaughtered to trial as a feasiblity study to process Buffalo43

1985   

  • Pastoralists boycotted the abattoir due to AMIEU, Was a drought on NTCA refute vote for boycott was made.
  • Abattoir closed down temporarily1
  • Northwest didn’t open for full season, 140 people umemployed, could be reopened with 30-40 men but not under Union onlyunder NT meat employees Act.49
  • Hookers tried to have all workers on penalty rates, meant menial jobs paid very large, tried to implement same status in Wyndham and Katherine30
  • Had wet canteen on plant site (grog), major problems with reliability of workers30
  • Feb. Northwest put abattoir on market to sell.49
  • Mar. Katherine branch of NTCA (Northern Territory Cattlemans Association) is formed44
  • May. Editorial in paper.“Every year it becomes a farce whereby the meatworks and the meatworkers have a slinging match against one another”48
    • Abattoir still closed up to May from wet season normal closure.48
    • Pat Roughan – National organiser AMIEU – letters to paper. Wants the contract system abolished in smaller abattoir such as Victoria river and Mudginberry. “These picket lines have been gallently manned by Katherine meant workers in protective defence of union conditions and principals”48
    • 11,600 cattle, 1,200 buffalo across NT abattoirs, YTD 20,300 cattle 16,00 buffalo47
    • 10,000 t worth $30M held in cold storage in Australia due to lack of shipping services. causing delays and extra costs47
    • Cattle Prices dressed47
      • Bulls >250kg 85-148c/kg,
      • Steers 180-250kg 65-158 c/kg
      • Cows 160-200kg 55-151c/kg
  • July. Local meatworkers concerned about ‘travelling interstate knife men’ replacing their employment45
  • August. Mudginberri meatworks operator offers to buy Katherine meatworks – to have operating within 4 weeks.49
  • AMIEU – Jack O’Toole refuse to negotiate staff requirements49
  • Katherine abattoir kill costs $158.40 / beast, other abattoirs less than $50, Katherine had highest processing works costs of any abaottoir in Australia
    50

    • Mudginberri & Victoria River used contract system – lifted productivity 4 fold, carcase cost fallen from $150 tp $4050
  • Katherine stronghold of AMIEU. Abattoir management siad last season would not open unless change in award conditions.50
    • AMIEU claimed closing Mudginberri & Victoria river would ensure Katherine remains open50
    • “it is about time that the public realized this is not jsut a dispute over awards but the right of a democratically elected union to negotiate on behalf of its members” Les George – meatworker51
  • 300,000 cattle normally slaughtered in NT, 2/3 sent interstate.50
  • AMIEU disputes disrupted 4 abattoirs – Pt Stuart – bankrupted, Tennent ck – opening halted, Mudginberri & Victoria River.50
  • 70% of cattle from Katherine area, poor quality, feral shorthorns whos meat is used for manufacturing purposes50
  • National Farmers Federation raise $800,000 so far of target $2M for fighting fund to assist Jay Pendarvis53
  • Dispute had so far caused 2 24 hour national meatworkers strikes and a national waterfront strike52
  • Nov. Workers indicate they are willing to work under NT meatworkers award54
  • Katherine meatworks now been closed for 2 years, only about 60 of previous employees remained in town.54
  • Overseas markets would have to improve to enable works to open54
  • Wage comparison –
    • Meatworker at Mudginberri 36 hour week earning $1000/week52
    • NT Government postion advertised – Library traneeship – 1986 – Adult wage $16521 – $18351 pa ($317- $352 week)55
  •          

1987 

  • New owners (purchased Wyndham as well) used material from Wyndham abattoir to improve and enlarge Katherine1
  • Shut Wyndham down completely30
  • Teys were major Australian meat processors in own right before buying the NT abattoir, purchased to use quota for USA orders30
  • 1st year – processed 50,000 – over years up to 300,000 cattle, mainly bulls, 10,000 buffalo a year1
  • New management reopened. Contract system no Unions. Known union activists were blacklisted,half work force of previously1
    • 250 people apply at newly opened works for employment56
  • Teys worked plant for a number of years – Purchased about 1985. Before closure manager sent a letter to pastoralists asking if they would supply to ab, needed minimum 20,000 hd to be profitable to process, was assured 23,000 hd. Teys still closed as they didn’t view as viable, Teys owned other plants in QLD13.
  • Plant could have been scaled back to only 150/day, could have survived, idea was to set up small boning room on floor next to kill floor, hot bone meat and plate freezers30.
  • At height of BTEC – had 13 boners, killed 750 head a day and worked 7 days a week1.
  • Selling markets – US – 90-95CL and Korea  ¼ ‘s frozen, also cattle from Alice – if 4 tooth processed to EU1.
  • Cattle cheap – cows $70, foetal blood $120/lt – Cancer research, tripe /Stomach/Honeycomb  to Japan selling more than fillet, killing costs about $110 hd1.
  • Heavy bullocks cost $40 to process30
  • Buff selling to Germany $4/kg. Only wanted feral, not domesicated1
  • Buffalo – able to be processed and freighted for $2/kg
  • Transport –
  • Was costing 3.5-4c /kg to transport meat to Darwin –transporter changed and AQIS required meat to be exported via Brisbane, eventually had to go through Brisbane costing 40c/kg1
  • Survived because hot boned– comes away from bone better, bagged then blast freezed1.
  • If plant shut down cost $20,000 a day, yards could hold 5000hd1
  • Made substantial saving by reprocessing of tallow to use for furnaces, Initially had to transport in Furnace oil at $300/t from Townsville, by using own tallow were able to reduce costs by over $100/t
  • AUSMEAT, caused huge problems – Korea liked meat in a particular colour bag, Ausmeat dictated another colour, AQIS Rejected a whole consignment because not in right bags, Korea rejected other colour bags and lost whole market1
  • 1000lt of water for every beast processed1
  • Processed Camels at times, and horses but welfare for horses (pet meat)was extremely difficult due to panic in transport, only tried once30
  • Normal operation was 4 month shutdown over ‘wet’, do maintenance and repairs30

1989-99  

  • Was a Chinese buyer interested but Teys refused to sell to control market, wanted to have pastoralist pay for freight of delivery of animals to eastern abs, transport was very costly once boxed30
  • Plant not active4
    • Inbetween period of 1993-1997 – Historic article notes – trouble plant closes, article is unclear when or how often it closes.56

1992

  • Department of primary production aim to eradicate both tuberculosis and brucellosis from the NT57
  • AMH considered making a bid for the Katherine works.(Pg 68)61
    • at the time they had Mt Isa, Tennant creek (NT), Townsville and Pentland (QLD)61
    • Economics of the operation of the other works and Katherine were dependent on them not being competitive against each other.61
    • AMH inspected and made a bid on the plant but were out bid by Packers Consolidated Meat Group (CMG)61
  • Transport efficencies made cattle more marketable from the NT by moving them to QLD processors and fattening areas. (Pg 67)61

2001    

  • Teys closed – Stated couldn’t compete with LE6
  • Factors affecting closure (Pg 67)61
    • Lack of competitive shipping service, especially containers.61
    • Lack of skilled labour61
    • Industrial unrest61
    • US quota arrangements61
    • seasonality of operations61
    • ongoing abattoir rationalisation61
    • Growth of the Live export trade in to SE Asia(Pg 67)61
      • Between 1990-1996 live cattle exports increased from 97,556 to 723,085 head61
      • A processing plant working for 180 days, processing 500 head a day would require 90,000 head61
      • Live exports represented 6-7 meatworks61
      • Producers could turn off younger cattle and not hold for 4 years for local processors.61

2002        

  • Last kill5
  • Teys Bros and CMG Merge18
  • CMG consider reopening to meet demands of US beef quotas28
  • Maintenance work had been kept up to date at plant so it still retained its current export licence28
  • Rockhamptons Lake Creek was having industrial problems, oversupply of cattle in QLD due to lack of rain and US market uncertainty28
  • Strength of LE had kept plant in mothballs for last 2 years28

2003

  • Feasibility study conducted by Teys to determine Katherine meatworks future. Chairman – Alan Teys, said the abattoir was unable to compete with the Live export trade19.
  • Feasibility study found not viable to re-open the meatworks, considered feasibility of processing 30,000hd20

2004

  • Consideration by Teys to re-open20.
  • Decrease in LE has provided some opening, LE would have to continue to decline to ensure profitability in the long term22
  • Free trade agreement with USA would have little benefit to the Abattoir22

2009  

  • Consideration given to process camels – Ivan Coulter21
  • Proposal – Multi species abattoir. Processing each year 60,000 camels, 800 buffalo, 50,000 brumbies

2010   

  • Darwin Investment Group – CEO John Hughes,considered purchasing6
  • John Hughes – was former general manager for Teys – when owned Katherine11
  • Requires $5-6M not including Government support10
  • To process 500 animals a day 5 days a week11
  • Accommodation shortage was issue in Katherine, no land releases had occurred in 10 years in area11
  • Plans to reopen abandoned – ferals, camel, buffalo & donkey, maybe horses and cattle outside 350kg Indo weight restrictions5
  • Require $20M – power, water – Unable to source Federal or state funding5
  • July – Darwin investment group withdraw – due to lack of financial support, government and others???? Water licence on the site required upgrading, aswel as power. Freight was an issue15
    • “Katherine has challenges in relation to labour, We know accommodation is short in Katherine, so it’s always going to be difficult, In the ideal world Darwin is the best place for a northern abattoir with its proximity to transport and infrastructure” Luke Bowen NTCA CEO34
  • Export prices for steers ranged from $1.85/kg – $2.10/kg57
  • 2010 Pastoral Industry survey57
    • Katherine properties 78% Brahman, Top End 83% Brahman herds.57
    • Turnoff to Live export – Katherine 80% of turnoff, Top End 87%, Barkly 39%, Alice Springs region 8%57
  • August. Northern Territory cattle being sent interstate for processing58
    • Between 30-50 decks of Territory cattle heading to QLD and NSW meatworks a week.58
      • About 900-1500 head a week58
    • Alice Springs had sent 10,000 head from Territory to South Australia and Victoria so far this year58
      • Another 10,000 expected to follow over the next few months.58

2011

  • Teys decide to liquidate Katherine #2 and Innisfail abattoir (QLD)59, closed since 2006.
    • Assets to be cut up and sold as scrap metal.59

2012

  • September – Assets sold from Katherine Abattoir7

2013  

Jo Bloomfield views.

Difficulty in re-establishment of this plant even though seemingly so much is still in place.

  • Some equipment is gone from inside the abattoir, plate freezing facilities, some specialised equipment from the slaughter floor, boning and packing rooms.
  •  Technology is so out of date whole abattoir requires gutting, Ausmeat, CL, computerised technology and processing facility efficiency. Had assesments done for gas/refrigeration for Katherine and Batchalor – Batchalor was most feasible32.
  • Feasiblity of Katherine estimates $40,000 a day just to run32.
  • I would doubt that government would give permission to allow the abs to restart due to close proximity to the urban areas of Katherine.
  • Effluent ponds and much of the outside landscape is changed too or removed. To meet Environmental requirements doubt if would be able to obtain permission.
  • reportedly $20M to meet current AQIS requirements, unsure as to what capacity this was intended. Says needed substantial investment from government for water, electricity and gas supplies.

Source

  1. Personal Communication #1 Oct 2012
  2. ‘Another northern Abattoir bites the dust’ABC rural 21.09.11
  3. Personal Communication. #2  Jan 2013
  4. ‘Sailing ahead’ Annabelle Coppin 2009
  5. ‘Teys Bros take back Katherine meat works’ Meat trade daily 14.08.10
  6. ‘Katherine abattoir set to reopen and go feral’ ABC rural. 07.06.10
  7. ‘Katherine abattoir finally put down’ ABC rural 15.09.11
  8. www.darwineguide.com.
  9. ‘Meat Monopolies’ Northern Standard 07.03.47
  10. ‘Katherine abattoir bought with high hopes’ ABC Rural 08.06.10
  11. ‘Katherine abattoir plans could create 200 jobs’ Nth QLD Register 18.06.10
  12. Royal Commission into Australian Meat Industry A Woodward 1982
  13. Personal Communication #3 Feb 2013
  14. ‘The Track: 1000 miles to war’ NT Library
  15. ‘Katherine abattoir plans shelved’ ABC rural. 15.07.10
  16. D.M Carment. Recollections. 2000.
  17. Katherine Museum. 25.02.13
  18. ‘Teys/CMG Merger’ QLD Country Life. 19.10.02
  19. ‘Feasibility study to determine Katherine Meatworks future’ NT country Hour 19.09.03
  20. ‘Future of Katherine meatworks still uncertain’ NT Country Hour 20.10.04
  21. ‘Camels on the agenda for Katherine abattoir’ ABC rural. 26.08.09
  22. ‘Teys kills off hopes of Katherine slaughterhouse’ NT Country Hour 12.02.04
  23. ‘Wild Cattle Wild Country’ Ann Marie Ingham. 2007
  24. ‘Katherines No lady’ Winsome Maff
  25. ‘The Big Run – The Story of VRD station’ Jock Makin 1970
  26. ‘Pastoral Australia: Fortunes, Failures & Hard Yakka: A historical view..” M. Pearson, J Lennon. 2010
  27. ‘Meatworks project for N. Territory’ The Canberra times. 21.11.52
  28. ‘Economics of Agricultural development in Northern Australia’ B Davidson 1974.
  29. ‘CMG new hope for Katherine’ QLD country life. 11.07.02
  30. Personal Communication – #3 17.03.13.
  31. Cattleproducer.wordpress.com Photos – 28.02.13
  32. Personal Communication. #4.23.03.13.
  33. ‘The Murrranji track – Ghost road of the drovers’ Darrell Lewis. 2007
  34. ‘Future Katherine abattoir no certainty’ www.efarming.com.au. 16.07.10
  35. ‘Tuxworth wants muslim meat market’ Katherine Times 13.10.1983
  36. ‘Buntine is back in transport business’ Katherine Times 24.11.1983
  37. ‘Collins on BTEC campaign’ Katherine Times 01.12.1983
  38. ‘Loss in beef exports’ Katherine Times 29.03.1984
  39. ‘Abattoirs’ Katherine Times 05.04.1984
  40. ‘Mack Superline in 17 metres’ Katherine Times 12.04.1984
  41. ‘Brucellosis and TB Funds’ Katherine Times 10.05.1984
  42. ‘Senator calls for increased BTEC funding’ Katherine Times 14.06.1984
  43. ‘Buffaloes Slaughtered’ Katherine Times 14.06.1984
  44. ‘Cattlemen meet in Katherine’ Katherine Times. 28.03.1985
  45. ‘Roger Steele meets with meatworkers’ Katherine Times 11.07.1983;
  46. ‘Station profile’ Katherine Times 06.06.1985
  47. ‘Cattle and Buffalo Market report’ Katherine Times 01.08.1985
  48. Editorial and letters to Editor. Katherine Times. 30.05.1985
  49. ‘Works sale halted’ Katherine Times 15.08.1985
  50. ‘Industry roped and ready for slaughter’ Katherine Times 22.08.1985
  51. ‘Proud to be a meatworker’ Katherine times 29.08.1985
  52. ‘Pendarvis worried despite picket retreat’ Katherine times 12.09.1985
  53. ‘NFF says arbitration should be bypassed’ Katherine Times 12.09.1985
  54. ‘Union to work meatworks’ Katherine Times 21.11.1985
  55. Advertisement, Katherine Times 28.11.1985
  56. ‘History of Katherine’ Katherine Times 12.06.2013
  57. ‘The Elsey and Gulf districts Cattle industry survey 1982’ Agdex 420/853. J.Mitchell.
  58. ‘Government’s lack of support hurt Katherine abattoir plan’ Willem Westra van Holthe MLA 04.08.2010
  59. ‘AAco on track for Darwin abattoir’ Beef Central 26.09.2011
  60. ‘The privileged few’ Jeff Hill, 2008m
  61. ‘World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia’ Stephen Martyn 2013
  62. Personal communication. J.Condon.
  63. ‘Opposition to abattoir’ Centralian Advocate 27.07.1962
  64. ‘Mr Playfair’s Injuries serious’ Centralian Advocate 27.07.1962
  65. Playfair descendants. www.airgate.com.au
  66. ‘FIDO president is NT land holder’ Centralian Advocate 26.06.1964

Alice Springs #1 (The Gap)

Current Operation 

  • Demolished 1968. New abattoir built Alice Springs #2 (Ghan Rd)

 Location 

  •  North of The Gap, South of  Gap view Motel. Area is now a grassed reserve.

Map. Alice Springs

    

Operation

gap-abattoir-1958

Source – National Archives – Dated 1958

History

  •  1st abattoir- The Gap
  • Built by army2.

1870

  • South Australian Government undertake building a telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin to link with the international system coming from the Far East4.

1871

  • March 11. A gap is found through the MacDonnell Ranges, Area now called Alice Springs4.

1872

  • First Pastoral lease of the Alice Springs area is granted4.
    • Undoolya station, Aboriginal meaning ‘Shadow’

War years

  • Abattoir was built by the army and handed to government administration after the war5

1949

  • Central Australian Pastoral lessees Association approach Commonwealth government to establish a meat works in Alice Springs3

1954

  • Alice Springs butchers apply for increase in price of all meat to cover increased government fees of slaughter and inspection charges conducted at the abattoir5
    • Cattle
      • Old fees. Inspection 1/6, slaughtering 3/65
      • New fees. Inspection 5/-, slaughtering 33/65
    • Sheep and Goats
      • Old fees. Inspection 6d, slaughtering 33/65
      • New fees Inspection 1/6, slaughtering 6/65
    • Pigs
      • Old fees. Inspection 9d, slaughtering 1/95
      • New fees. Inspection 2/-, slaughtering 15/65
    • Increases amount to an extra £3,000 per year, 800% increase on previous rates5.
  • Up to the 30/06/1954 following numbers of stock were slaughtered for  local consumption5
    • Cattle 788 head5
    • Sheep 2,770 head5
    • Pigs 381 head5
  • Government had maintained the abattoir at a loss5
    • employed one man full time to clean and maintain the facility5
    • Stock inspector visited 3 times per week5

1960

  • Major drought in the region4
    • Became the worst in history at the time, not breaking until 1966

1963

img_0023

Source. Alice Springs Library. Town Planning 1963

Town Planning map of 1963 showing the location of the Slaughter reserve in ‘The Gap’ area of Alice springs. Now the area is a grass reserve

1966.

  • Major drought that began in 1960 is broken by one fall of 6″4
    • further rains followed several weeks later

1968 

  • Buildings sub standard and no longer met hygiene standards2
  • Demolished and new abattoir site Ghan Road. Alice Springs #2.

Sources

  1. Removed
  2. ‘$370,000 abattoir’ Centralian Advocate 23.03.68
  3. ‘Pastoralis want meat works here’ Centralian Advocate 29.07.1949
  4. ‘Pastoral Properties of Australia’ Peter Taylor 1984
  5. ‘Butchers hit by abattoir fee increase – apply for a price rise’ Centralian advocate 13.08.1954
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