Tag Archives: australian abattoir history

Mudgee

Other Names

  • Cudgeong abattoir

Current Operation

Location   

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

 

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

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

Operation   

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

History

1965

  • Built as a service works for local butchers2

1981

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

1996

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

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

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

2003

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

 

Sources

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

Orange

Other Names

Current Operation

Location   

  • Orange is located 250 km east of Sydney
  • Abbattoir is located on Clergate road

 

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation   

History

1920’s

  • First opened by the Graziers meat service2

1960’s

  • by this period the plant was on of the largest meat works in NSW2
  • Soon dogged by2
    • stock shortages2
    • industrial action2
    • volatile export market2

1992

2002

  • Originally only a packing room, the slaughter floor was opened at this time2
  • Closed after only 9 months operation2
    • 350 people out of work2

2004

  • June. Last 18 months meatworks in Woy Woy, Mudgee abattoir (NSW), Orange, Forbes abattoir (NSW) have all closed, loss of close to 500 jobs.3
  • Bindaree Beef announce a major recruitment drive that would lead to 1,200 new jobs at the abattoir2

2005

  • August. Recruitment drive on hold as plant is limited to ‘value adding ‘ operation at present2
  • Work has been carried out at plant over the last 4 years is continuing2

2010

  • article notes that the Orange abattoir was closed and scrapped. (not date specific)3

Sources

  1. ‘Abattoir cuts 150 jobs’ AMIEU Archives. 05.07.2004
  2. ‘Bindarees Beef’s 1,200 jobs are still on hold’ Central West Daily 14.08.2005
  3. ‘Who is JR McDonald’ The Land 05.03.2010

SA Abattoirs listed.

This is a list of the abattoirs

Bordertown

Kangaroo Island

Normanville

Peterborough Abattoir (SA). Owned by Samex. Horse meat processor.

Caboolture

Located in Queensland, one of only 2 abattoirs in Australia accredited for export of horse meat.

Other Names

  • Meramist 1

Current Operation

  • Caboolture is operating as at 2014.2
  • AUS-MEAT accreditation #3416.2
    • Export beef accredited.2

 

Location   


 

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Meramist Pty Ltd1

Operation   

  • Peterborough (SA) and Caboolture (QLD) are Australia’s only licensed horse abattoirs able to export horse meat to European Union (EU) Countries.1

History

2012

  • Australian horse meat export industry strengthened and approved by the EU1

2014

  • June. Investigation launched by Department of Agriculture in to complaints that horse meat exported from Australian abattoirs for human consumption fails to meet strict EU standards.1
  • Complaint specifically relates to horses bought at Echuca (Victoria) saleyards, some which were sent to Peterborough (SA) abattoir
    • All horses processed came with Horse Vendor declarations1
      • Confirms treatment of the horses in previous 6 months1
  • Horse meat industry valued at $10M a year in the past decade1
    • Only 117 tonnes ($830,000 in value) exported to EU in past 12 months.1

 

Sources

  1. ‘Australian horse meat exports in doubt following standards complaint’ ABC News 21.06.2014
  2. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing. Current as at 01.01.2014

Peterborough

Located in South Australia, one of only 2 abattoirs in Australia accredited for export of horse meat. Peterborough also processes camels.

Other Names

  • Samex abattoir1

Current Operation

  • Is currently operating in 2014
  • Establishment #7502
    • Export registered2

Location   

Peterborough

 Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

Operation   

  • Peterborough and Caboolture (QLD) are Australia’s only licensed horse abattoirs able to export horse meat to European Union (EU) Countries.1
  • Processes Camels.2
    • Under Islamic rites and religious requirements2

History

2012

  • Samex acquire Peterborough
  • Australian horse meat export industry standards strengthened and approved by the EU1

2013

  • Caboolture (QLD) and Peterborough are currently processing 10,000 – 15,000 camels per year.3
    • Bond Springs (NT) is processing 20 camels per week.3
    • Feral Camel population is estimated to be 250,000-300,000 in the NT3
      • National cull occuring to reduce numbers.3
        • Up to June 2013 about 64,000 camels been culled3
        • with estimates of further 25-30,000 to be culled.3
      • Significant challenges with the supply chain and high transport cost to supply feral camels to abattoirs.3

2014

  • June. Investigation launched by Department of Agriculture in to complaints that horse meat exported from Australian abattoirs for human consumption fails to meet strict EU standards.1
  • Complaint specifically relates to horses bought at Echuca (Victoria) saleyards, some which were sent to Peterborough abattoir
    • All horses processed came with Horse Vendor declarations1
      • Confirms treatment of the horses in previous 6 months1
  • Horse meat industry valued at $10M a year in the past decade1
    • Only 117 tonnes ($830,000 in value) exported to EU in past 12 months.1

 

Sources

  1. ‘Australian horse meat exports in doubt following standards complaint’ ABC News 21.06.2014
  2. Samex website
  3. Alice Springs Rural Review. December 2012.

NSW abattoir list A – Z.

This list is only of those facilities currently on this blog.

For sites in other parts of Australia, go to Australian Abattoir Locations

 

Aberdeen abattoir. Closed. Last owned by AMH

Bega. Current operation unknown

Blayney abattoir. Closed Last owned by ANZCO

Bourke (Proposed) Goat

Camperdown

Casino abattoir. Currently operating

Collarenbri. Proposed goat abattoir

Coonabarabran abattoir. Closed

Coonamble abattoir

Cootamundra

Cowra abattoir. Currently operating

Culcairn

Deniliquin abattoir. Current operation unknown

Dubbo abattoir. Currently operational. The largest sheepmeat processing facility in Australia.

Duringula abattoir

Forbes abattoir (NSW)

Goulburn abattoir

Grafton

Gundagai

Gunnedah

Guyra abattoir

Harden abattoir. Closed in 2006.

Inverell. Better known as Bindaree Beef. Currently in operation.

Lismore

Oberon abattoir

______________________________________________________________________________

Aberdeen abattoir

Now closed, located in north east NSW, was last owned by AMH.
Historically a very old facility – originally began in 1891. Most recently upgraded in 1996, closed 1999,

Bega

Opened in 2004 as a small species abattoir processing rabbits and poultry, located south of Canberra in NSW. Had operating cost issues in 2013, closure threatened.

Blayney abattoir

Located in southeast NSW. Began operations as a freezing works in 1900, became insolvent in 1996, then purchased by ANZCO, with debts still owing to unsecured creditors of $6M. Closed in 1998. AMIEU citing economic reasons rather than stock shortages as the main cause of closure.

Bourke (Proposed) Goat

2008 local council proposed establishment of a goat abattoir to process 1,500 goats a day.

Camperdown abattoir

Located only 8km Sydney, closed 1991 following violent industrial disputes.

Casino abattoir

Currently operating in 2014. The only Australian farmer co-operative abattoir of its kind. Specialised Wagyu plant that has two operating floors for different size slaughter animals.

Collarenebri (Proposed) Goat

Formally a failed emu and ostrich abattoir a proposal was put forward in 2008 to develop the site to process 750 goats a day for 8 months of the year.

Coonabarbran abattoir

Located 600km north west of Sydney. Was the only abattoir in the region that did service kill of 3 species, cattle, lamb and pigs. Had environmental pollution problems in 2008 which attracted legal action and fines. Closed in 2012 citing costs of fines from 2008 issues.

Coonamble abattoir

Closed in 2001 due to government GST and regulation costs, is currently being upgraded for reopening in 2014

Cootamundra abattoir

Cowra abattoir

Located 250km west of Sydney the abattoir has been through closures but is currently operating.
Commenced operations in 1970, pay disputes in 2006, administrator appointed in same year. While insolvent owner conducted illegal activity by transfer of deed to another company and allocating 1st mortgage status to it and not the bank, with employee entitlements last and unable to be paid. Administrators sold facility in 2007, it underwent significant upgrades in 2012 with CCTV installed.

Culcairn abattoir

Deniliquin abattoir

Deniliquin had a freezing works in the late 1800’s. The current abattoir was built at a different site and was operating prior to 1990. It opened and closed a number of times. Recently being sold the facility has undergone upgrades with intentions of being opened in 2013

Dubbo abattoir

Largest sheep meat processor in Australia currently in operation. A new plant built in 1988 which was the first to have a processing chain that was a hot boning system for mutton. When developed the employment was shift based and not tally as other abattoirs at the time. Did have a wool processing facility that is now closed. Production has been affected by supply of animals, high Australian dollar, sheep prices and reduction of the Australian sheep herd. It proposed in 2010 to merge 2 shifts for one as a 10 hour work day, unions resisted.

Duringula

Located mid north east NSW, currently closed. Local government considering injecting funds for refurbishment of the facility.

Forbes abattoir

Located southwest NSW, built in the 1950’s, owned and operated by Japanese 1988 to 2003. Plant required significant capital upgrades which the owners were not prepared to do and it closed in 2003. Talk of reopening in 2013.

Goulburn abattoir

Located 200km southwest of Sydney and north of Canberra. Has faced major shortage of animal supply issues in the past due to drought and decreased national sheep herd. Recently increased costs of water affected operations

Grafton abattoir

Gundagai abattoir

Gunnedah abattoir

Guyra abattoir

Was operating prior to 1960 as a government owned facility, closed to be reopened by the council as a service kill facility. Racking up substantial debts of $6M these were waived at sale in 1985 to be reopened then closed again in 1993. AMH purchased around this time and entered into a partnership with DR Johnston to operate. Involved in significant industrial disputes the plant was regarded as marginal it was closed permanently in 1996. Currently being considered for development of the site as a rabbit farm

Harden abattoir

Built in the 1970’s by council, Southern meats purchased and ran Harden with a US consortium. US sheepmeat import tariffs caused short operational closures but lack of supply of animals due to extended drought caused final closure in 2006.

Inverell abattoir

Located in northern NSW, a privately owned abattoir more commonly known as Bindaree Beef. Recently received $23M government grant for a biogas project. Negotiations in 2014 with union regarding EBA have stalled, workers have had a number of stop works in recent months over pay disagreements.

Lismore abattoir

Oberon abattoir

Located 200km east of Sydney, Privately owned facility that was shut for a period due to a business deal. Re-opened in 2014 targeting Asian market preferences in Sydney.

Lismore

Other Names

Current Operation

Location   

  • Lismore is located in the far north east of NSW close to the border with Queensland

Lismore

Lismore #2

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • A1

Operation  

  • Has a strong domestic supply to its own localities1

History

1996

 

Sources

  1. ‘5,000 jobs at risk: abattoirs facing closure’ Sydney Morning Herald 21.05.1996

Gunnedah

Located north east of Wagga Wagga. Originally Gunnedah was a service abattoir owned and operated by the local council. It increasingly developed serious debt problems and received a number of assistance packages from Federal and state government to maintain operations. Sold to private enterprise in 1996 it only operated a very short time before permanently closing in 1997.

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Closed 1997.3

Location   

  • Gunnedah is located in northern NSW, approximately 550 km north of Sydney

Gunnedah

Gunnedah 2

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Gunnedah Shire abattoirs1
    • Manager Ray Grout1
  • Edmonds Meat Exports3 (1996 – 1997
    • Manager Peter Spackman3

Operation   

  • Export abattoir1

History

1957

  • Gunnedah abattoir established.4
    • One of four strategic local government abattoirs4
    • Set up by state government to boost local employment and offer processors and producers their own regional selling centre.4
    • Gunnedah was the most successful and once described as the shining light of the meat processing industry4
    • At its peak the abattoir through service operators had 600 employees.4

1994

  • One of Australia’s biggest export abattoirs1
  • April. Ray Grout gave notice of resignation, council accepted but then Ray Grout wanted his job back and it was refused.1
    • Ray Grout won the right for reinstatement as Gunnedah abattoir manager then changed his mind1
      • claimed $100,000 damages.1

1996

  • April. Facility had soaked up $1.8M in council support since 19932
  • Currently employs 200 people2
  • Fallen on hard times8
    • partly due to effects of extended drought in northern NSW8
    • abattoirs lack of meat industry experience8
  • Delivers $150M into the regional economy each year.2
  • Report conducted by Price Waterhouse findings2; to determine the role the abattoir played in the regional economy and to see if there was any hope of returning it to profitability8
    • Recommended abattoir be corporatised and assets transferred to a seperate legal entity8
    • Independent board with meat industry experience8
    • abattoir to be sold at any reasonable offer or closed if the business remains unviable and sale is unlikely within 2 years8
    • package of state and Federal government assistance8
    • Acknowledged plant was uncompetitive2
        • but could be salvaged under new management if it corporatised for preparation for sale within 2 years.2
        • Federal government received  $1.25M in quarantine service fees and $2.5M PAYE each year2
  • State and Federal government deal to prop-up facilities operations.2
    • $2.1M. in total2
      • $1.1M. exemption from payroll tax and stamp duty2
      • $1M. Quarantine and hygiene inspection costs pickup up by Commonwealth.2
      • Gunnedah was the most strategically placed in eastern Australia2
      • Gunnedah was one of only 5 abattoirs licensed to export to the 5 key export regions2
  • Describing the problems at the abattoir2 as an
    • “example of everything that is wrong in Australia’s meat industry” – John Carter, Former head of NSW Meat industry authority.2
    • “The situation at the Gunnedah works is indicative of the endemic problems that seriously threaten the competitiveness of Australia’s second largest export industry” – John Carter.2
    • Last week Australia utilised just 69% of its killing capacity compared to the US, which was working at 200% by doubling its shifts – and we wonder why we are failing to compete” – John Carter.2
    • 200 abbatoirs must be cut to around 50 if we are to be competitive” John Carter2
  • May. $1M assistance package is put in place.6
    • $1M over a 2 year period by state8
    • Federal government gave some concessions on quarantine and inspection services8
      • Council implement recommendations of Price-Waterhouse report – included appointing a new board.6
        • Greg Upton – Grazier and Chairman of North west electricity6
        • Jason Strong – Chairman of the Cattleman’s union and National livestock marketing board.6
        • Authors Note – Not sure if this is the same man. Jason Strong appointed Chief Executive of Australian Agricultural Company in 20145
      • 4 companies have approached council about establishing operations in Gunnedah6
        • included on of the worlds largest corporations.6
  • Up to half of NSW 56 abattoirs could close with the loss of up to 5,000 jobs7

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

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

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

  • State government concessions designed to prop up the ailing Gunnedah abattoir were hastening their demise.7
    • forced other abattoirs to compete with inefficent works being handed unfair trading advantage7

    December. Abattoir sold to Edmonds Meat Exports.3

 

 1997

  • April. Plant offically reopened.8
    • Record kill levels 30% above council management8
    • Hope new abattoir will expand into sheep, pigs with a view to new exports in Europe8
  • Other retailers have set up in Gunnedah – McDonalds.8
  • Turkish investor is interested in Gunnedah tannery for purchase and expansion8
  • Abattoir now has $10M debt.8
  • 370 workers put off3
    • mostly casual staff3
    • Not sacked , when market improves would endeavour to re-employ3
  • Plant was paying more for cattle but getting less for product  when it was sold overseas3
  • Companies decision was inevitable and would have come even if the meatworks was not privatised3
    • had been expected for a while due to conditions in the industry3

Sources

  1. ‘Legal dispute over dismissal or resignation’ Sydney morning herald. 23.11.1994
  2. ‘Call to Scrap $2.1M abattoir rescue plan’ Sydney morning herald. 08.04.1996
  3. ‘Abattoir shutdown a jolt for Gunnedah’ Sydney morning herald 14.10.1997
  4. ‘A giant in the life of Gunnedah – 100 years since O’Keefe born’ Namoi Valley Independent 23.10.2012
  5. ‘Strong happy to shoulder the load’ Stock and Land 24.04.2014
  6. ‘Gunnedah shire abattoir’ Parliamentary Hansard, 14.05.1996
  7. ‘5,000 jobs at risk: Abattoirs facing closure’ Sydney morning herald. 21.05.1996
  8. ‘Gunnedah shire abattoir’ Parlimentary hansard 17.04.1997

Grafton

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Closed October 2011

Location   

  • Grafton is located close to the North east coast of NSW. It is approximately 80km north of Coffs Harbour

grafton 1

Mid east NSW. Grafton template 002

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • A1

Operation   

History

2003

  • Government assisted with a financial package around this period to help restart the works1

2010

  • Ramsey Meats was fined $130,000 for polluting a local creek2

2011

  • November. Grafton facility is closed1
  • Ramsey Meat business was heavily focused on veal production2
  • Since closure had moved to a service kill at Casino2
  • Prior to closure the Ramsey group abattoir was one of the bigger employers in the district2
    • 150 staff2
      • Some staff relocated to Casino2

2012

  • January. Northern Cooperative meat Co at Casino takes a controlling interest in Ramsey Meats2

 

Sources

  1. ‘Fobres abattoir financial assistance’ Parliamentary Hansard. 18.09.2003
  2. ‘Casino takes big stake in Ramsey Meats’ Beef Central 11.01.2012

Culcairn

Other Names

Current Operation

Location   

  • Culcairn is located approximately 60 km north of Albury in southern NSW

culcairn

 

culcairn 2

 

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • A1

Operation   

History

1996

 

Sources

  1. ‘5,000 jobs at risk: Abattoirs facing closure’ Sydney Morning Herald 21.05.1996
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