Tag Archives: New South Wales abattoirs

Coonabarabran #388. NSW. (Common names Binnaway or Deringula)

Coonabarabran abattoir is located between Coonabarabran and Binnaway. It has a varied past processing many types of stock. A domestic processor it was purchased by a Chinese group in late 2014 to close permanently in 2016.

Other Names

  • Binnaway abattoir
  • Deringula abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed November 2012.2

Location   

  • Coonabarabran is located 180km West of Tamworth. Or about 600km NW of Sydney.

Australia. Coonabarabran

Coonabarabran

Hema Maps – Australia Handy map 9th edition

Owner

  • Chillana Pty Ltd – Trading as Bunganbah Meats1
    • Owner – Beres Lang2
  • Owner of actual plant – Warren Sciffleet2

Operation 

  • Only three species abattoir in region2,
    • Located west of great dividing range to provide service kill for local butchers2
  • Processed cattle, lamb and Pigs2

Coonabarabran, serviceFigure 1. Area shaded is area that had been serviced by the Coonabarabran abattoir at time of closure 2012
Map – Hema – Australia Handy Map. 9th Edition

History

2008

  • August. Effluent pollution occured over 7 days – convicted in 2010.1
    • Underground pipe in treatment works ruptured causing untreated effluent to escape under pressure and pollute Salty Creek.1
    • Creek turned red and froth with animal fat on the surface1
    • Cleanup included 4 truck loads of fat and contaminated material.1
    • Creek was rendered toxic to aquatic life for a short period of time.1
    • Pollution incident was only discovered by chance – need to implement checking mechanisms and ability to detect problems1

2010

  • December. Ordered to pay $60,000 towards environmental program after being convicted of polluting a creek with untreated effluent1
  • also ordered to pay Department of Environment investigation costs $16,000 and all legal costs.1

2012

  • January. Warrumbungle shire council approve a year’s trial allowing b-double trucks to use Binnaway to Coonabarabran road3.
    • Previously the 15km had been prohibited use by trucks3
    • Made access to the abattoir located on this road difficult3
      • previously the trucks had to travel an extra 45km to reach the abattoir3.
  • Coonabarabran abattoir employed 30 people7.
    • Multi-species works, processing sheep, cattle and pigs7
      • In the past had also processed emus, water buffalo, deer and goats7
  • November. Abattoir officially closed and administrator appointed.2
    • 30 people laid off2
    • Owner hoped to sell business in next few months2
    • Reason for closure cited as2
      1. $190,000 fine from Environment protection authority – which business never recovered.2
      2. Owner – Mr Lang diagnosed with leukaemia and unable to work2
  • Is an interested buyer in facilities2
  • Local butchers who service killed at Coonabarabran would have to buy wholesale off larger abattoirs – none of who do service kill. No notice given to butchers of closure2
    • Other abattoirs in region who would have to supply butchers.2
    • Scone – Primo
    • Teys
    • T&R pastoral
    • closest – Eversons Wholesalers Frederickton (Kempsey)
    • Cowra

2013

  • Government is willing to inject considerable sums of money towards refurbishment of the complex to increase work opportunities for locals.3

2014

  • October. Producers who were using the Coonabarabran abattoir for service kill had to begin to use other abattoirs such as 6Nyngan #. NSW.
    • Nyngan is a further hour and a half away6
  • December. Coonabarabran abattoir is contracted for sale to persons of Chinese origin7.
    • Contracts of sale have been exchanged7.
    • New owners already own substantial land holdings in the Warrumbungle shire area7.

2015

 Source. ‘Binnaway abatoir prepares to reopen’ QLD Country Life 20.02.2015

  • February. Abattoir at this point in time is decommissioned9.
    • Expected to re-open in April, If renovations are completed9
    • Trading under the name Crown State Meat Company9
      • Company executive Director – Jon Choi
      • Opportunity for the company to vertically integrate own operation9
        • having already owned 8,500 ha across Merriwa, Cassilis and Binnaway9
        • Attraction that the company owns a lot of country and run a lot of cattle9
  • Facility would be export accredited registered to process beef, sheep and some goats9.
    • Also offering a service kill opportunity9
  • Would employ 22 people9.
  • May. Coonabarabran abattoir re-opens10.
    • Facility will process Halal certified beef, sheep and goats10.
  • Facility had undergone significant renovations10.
    • Updated boiler system
      • reduced energy costs and increased efficiency
    • by products equipment
    • livestock yard improvements
    • CCTV systems to monitor livestock and ensure safe and humane treatment of animals10.
      • State of the art video surveillance – Software called Cedar Creek and Sastek13.
    • Plans were also in place to install a blast freezer and boning facility
      • Tripe processing area renovated as well13.
  • First trial kills had been conducted earlier in the month10.
  • Processing will be initially operating as a domestic abattoir10.
    • Intends to become a tier 1 Export accredited facility
  • Crown state had been exporting beef and sheepmeat to the Middle east and SE Asia since re-opening13.
  • Facility is licensed for slaughter of 30,000 tonnes of chilled and frozen meat per year13.
    • Capacity of 1,000 small stock (sheep and goats) and 120 cattle per day13.
    • Plant is currently exporting to over 26 countries.
  • Facility has a 90ML water licence from the Castlereagh River and a bore13.

2016

  • April. Coonabarabran abattoir is mothballed12.
  • Staff were told facility was closed due to lack of stock available and the facility would be undergoing maintenance12.
  • Current staff at the site12.
    • 20 personal on the kill floor
    • 1 stunner
    • 3 rendering
    • 2 halal slaughtermen
    • 3 office staff
    • 6 load out crew
    • All staff except office and load out crew were laid off12.
  • Facility closure had a significant impact on the local economy12.
    • Not only reduction of wage earnings
    • Butchers who had meat supplied weren’t given any notice.
  • Shire council had been told initial layoffs were due to upgrades the facility was undergoing to obtain an export licence12.
  • May 20. Remaining 9 taff are given 2 weeks notice12..
  • Coonabarabran abattoir is to be sold12.
  • June. Coonabarabran (More commonly known as Binnaway) abattoir is listed for sale
    • Owners – Crown State are looking to concentrate further development of beef and sheep operations of properties13
    • Expressions of interest to purchase close 4th July 201613.

Source. Binnaway abattoir asset to test the market’ Beef Central 08.06.2016

  • Other downstream and meat processing sites placed on sale market recently13.
    • TopCut Value-adding and portioning facility on the gold Coast13.
    • Yarrill Meat processors abattoir at Stanthorpe (QLD)13.
    • Facility in WA13
  • October. Recent interest has been shown in investors from overseas-based regions – principally Chinese14.
    • Trend goes against sentiment that interest has waned recently14.
      • Past 12 months profitability in processing had eroded due to high stock prices and lacklustre export demand14.
  • Recent sale of another meatworks at Forbes #. NSW  received considerable interest from Chinese investors14.
    • Lachley Meat processing plant, looking to re-open as a beef processing facility14.

2017

  • May. Coonabarabran abattoir is advertised for sale15.

 

Source .property-commercial+farming-nsw-binnaway-502377410.pdf

 

 

 

 

Sources

  1. ‘Australia – Meat works fined $60,000’ Meat trade News daily. 19.12.10
  2. ‘Closed Coonabarabran abattoir up for sale’ The Northern Daily leader. 13.11.12
  3. ‘Binnaway-Coonabarbran B-double trial gets green light’ ABC News 24/01/2012. ebscohost.
  4. ‘Abattoir may be sold’ Western magazine. 11.03.13
  5. ‘Collie goats go gourmet’ Farmonline. 24.10.2014
  6. ‘Probably the biggest breaking news within the industry’ Dubbo Daily News. 01/12/2014. ebscohost.
  7. ‘Binnaway abatoir prepares to reopen’ QLD Country Life 20.02.2015
  8. ‘Binnaway abattoir re-opens’ www.farmonline.com.au 28/05/2015
  9. ‘Binnaway abattoir faces permanent closure’ ABC Rural News 20.05.2016
  10. ‘Binnaway abattoir asset to test the market’ Beef Central 08.06.2016
  11. ‘Chinese still showing interest in processing assets’ Beef Central 04.10.2016
  12. property-commercial+farming-nsw-binnaway-502377410.pdf

Whittingham. #486. NSW

 

Export accredited facility processing beef and offal.

Other Names

  • Operating business name – EC Throsby Pty Ltd
  • Common name used

Current Operation

  • Aus meat Accreditation number #486. Accessed 02/10/2017
  • Operator website. www.ecthrosby.com.au
    • Contact for employment
    • Contact. 02 6574 7777

Location

  • Description of physical location in relation to main town and state
    • distance to main urban areas or export sites of that state

Insert – Australia map. location of approximate town site.

(Make Australia map default picture for site.)

Insert – Locality map of more localised area of site

Location relative to other abattoirs across Australia

Location of Australian Abattoirs

abattoirs_edited-1

  Location of Australian Abattoirs

How this map works.
This is a google engine layered map. At the moment it consists of 7 layers. By clicking on the box on the right hand side of the layers names it will illustrate the location of the abattoirs.

This is a work in progress and is not a complete list of all abattoirs that have operated in Australia or are currently operating.
Locations are approximate and are in relation to the closest town to which they are addressed.

The same abattoir site may appear in two different lists.

Use this link to access the Google map Australian Abattoirs locations.

 Location of Australian Abattoirs      

Owner

  • Owners names and approximate time period of operation

Operation

  • Aus-meat accreditation dates. Aus-Meat List 02/10/2017
  • Website link to owner of facility
    • Employment link to operator of facility
    • Sale enquiries
  • Type of facility and accreditations for livestock types1

 

History

Year

2017

  • Month. Facility/business Chairman at this time(taken from current website)
    • Facility CEO at this time
    • Leadership team at this time
  •  

Sources

  1. www.ecthrosby.com.au
  2. Aus-Meat Accreditation Listing 02/10/2017

Bourke.2. NSW. Currently being built

Bourke is located in far north NSW. It is a new export abattoir being constructed with a view to being commissioned in 2018. It will be a goat and sheep processing facility mainly focused on goats. It has created some controversy because opponents of the facility believe there are not enough sustainable wild stock goat numbers to support the new and already existing goat processing facilities.

Other Names

Current Operation

  • 2015 Proposal1
  • 2017. Facility is  under construction with a view to begin operations in 2018

Location   

  • Bourke is located in North west NSW, regarded as outback NSW. 800km North west of Sydney

 Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Capra Pty Ltd8.

Operation   

  • Darling River meats17.

History

2007

  • Februrary. Bourke shire council conduct a study to consider a small goat abattoir being established in the area, research conducted by the Barwon Darling Alliance1
    • Proposed meatworks could open in 20091
    • Killing up to 1,500 goats a day sourced from the local area1
    • Employ 60-70 people1
    • Cost $12M – $14M1
  • Local ability to raise the money “is probably a little bit stunted” Shire Officer Phil Johnson1
    • Need investment from outside of Bourke1
  • Overseas interest in goat meat increasing, though seasonal1.

2014

Source.         Goatmeat-Fast-Facts-2014_EMAIL

Source.  Goatmeat-Fast-Facts-2014_EMAIL

2015

  • January. Goat is worth $3.70 (12.1 to 16kg carcass weight)14.
  • There are approximately 6 million wild goats in Australia2.
    • Generally regarded as a pest, increasingly becoming regarded as a good alternative income2.
  • Australian exports of goat meat have doubled to 35,800t in 2014 since 20042.
    • Most is sold to the USA for Hispanic population2.
  • Live exports of goat have jumped from 50,500 head to 88,500 from 2004 to 20142.
  • Wild goats are purchased for $1.70/kg live weight2.
  • Live export goat price is $4.20/kg live weight2.
    • Average goat sells for $55 per head2.
  • October. Bourke Shire backs a proposal to build the abattoir2.
    • Expected to cost $61M
      • Aims to process 6,000 goats a day8
      • Employ 200 people 8
      • Abattoir should be up and running by mid 20178.
      • Developer Capra Pty Ltd8.
        • Capra is made up of partners with experience in both export and market processing operations and supply13
  • Another proposal to build a facility at Blayney NSW
    • Developer – Metziya8.
      • Would process 4,500 animals per day8.
    • but it had received public opposition.
  • Bourke goat abattoir is expected to cost $60M to build5.
    • Create 200 jobs5
    • World’s largest goat processing abattoir5
  • Currently 90% of the states (NSW) goats are transported interstate to be sold5.
    • 95% of those transported are killed and processed in QLD, Victoria and South Australia5
    • Boom in goat numbers and lack of processing facilities have enabled a solid economic case for the development5

Source mla_goat-fast-facts-2015

 

Source mla_goat-fast-facts-2015

  • Rangelands goats are currently the star performers of Australian red meat sector in 20156.
    • Farm-gate prices for goats have almost doubled in past 12 months to over $5 per kg6.
    • There has been a fundamental increase in demand relative to supply6.
      • In the past Australia has largely relied on one market the USA to take its product6.
      • Had been no other high volume markets to force price upwards pressures6.
    • Now there are new and emerging markets6.
      • Competing against the USA for goat meat product6.
      • Increasing markets to Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, and China6.
    • Demand is likely to grow as trade tariff barriers are reduced with recently secured Free Trade Agreements6.
  • A number of southern Sheep processing plants are now processing goats in response to positive demand outlook6.
  • Supply pressure of goats has not been as constant this year due to increased demand6.
  • Goat populations  in the past have mostly been sourced by opportunistic harvesting of wild herds6.
    • MLA estimates there are around 4M head of goats in Australia at present6.
      • Only 500,000 are in managed herds6.
    • Challenge for industry is whether it can build a supply base to fulfil and sustain new levels of demand6.
  • Prices for goats have traditionally fluctuated6.
    • To encourage sustainable development of the industry a five year strategy has been released6.
    • Goatmeat and Livestock Industry Strategic Plan 2020
  • Goats have a low cost of production that has some advantages over raising other stock6.
  • December. Bourke abattoir gets Federal government funding $10M7.
    • Grant will assist the facility to overcome challenges of isolation and lack of infrastructure at the remote site7.
    • Grant was made under Federal Governments National Stronger regions fund15..
      • Program to support investment in a diverse range of infrastructure15..
      • Targeted at areas of disadvantage across the country15.
  • Abattoir developer says access to roads and a reliable water supply were 2 major issues that needed to overcome to get the project up and running7.

2016.

  • January. Goat meat is worth $5 /kg (12.1 to 16kg carcass weight)14.
  • Charleville #101. QLD. Says its future will be jeopardised if the Bourke plant goes ahead9.
    • Goat supply in QLD, NSW and Victoria is too low to accommodate a new abattoir9.
    • Charleville #101 QLD processed 70% of the goats sourced from producers across the border in 20159.
      • Charleville processed 620,000 animals last year for export9.
    • If the Bourke plant is successful in being built it would threaten processing jobs at Charleville facility9.
    • Charleville never received a similar grant from the government and feel it is an unfair advantage to the Bourke site9.
  • Currently in NSW there are seven different abattoir processing goats9.
  • Authors note. The above reference was by the speaker of the article, it may include domestic facilities that are not on this blog.(03/12/2017)

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

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

  • Murweh Shire council Mayor, Dennis Cook speaks and writes to Federal government explaining his shire don’t want to see ‘a big lot of government money coming in and propping them up, because our business here is a wonderfully run business…”, Charleville #101 QLD Shire council explains is a privately run business10.
    • Charleville shire don’t want to interfere in what happens in NSW but they are concerned the Bourke facility will negatively impact on the employees at Charleville10.
  • February. Site Plans are developed and submitted for approval11

Source. https://australianabattoirs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/plans-a4.pd

  • March. NSW Planning and Environment release a media statement for community views on the Bourke abattoir11.
    • Bourke abattoir will have capacity to process 6,000 goats, sheep or lambs per day for export11.
    • Submissions close 26/04/201611.
  • Bourke Small Stock Abattoir – Environmental Impact Statement12.
    • Budgets and findings on water and environmental issues are released12.

 

 

Source Bourke small stock abattoir. Environmental Impact Statement March 2016

  • Stock Supply. Agreement has been reached with a goat depot located in Bourke to supply the facility (Pg 2)18.
    • Depot currently sends 200,000 outside of Bourke for sale or process(Pg 2)18
  • Waste products. No rending is to occur at the plant with waste products transported to approved sites for processing18.
    • These could be to;
  • Water Supply. Agreement has been reached with the Bourke council to supply 770KL up to 1ML water per day (Pg 4)18
    • 2 bores are to be constructed and monitored up to 12 months before operation begins to monitor underground water and enable ongoing monitoring of water once the plant is in operation (Pg 4)18
  • December. Development consent for the Bourke abattoir has been approved13.
    • Now in the construction certificate phase13.
      • Project spokesperson JPA Business Managing Director – James Price13.
    • Developers have been working with Dept. Planning and Environment for over 12 months to gain consent 13.
  • Slaughter level of 6,000 head per day will take some time to reach at an operational level13
    • When fully operational the facility will have the potential to almost double the value of goat exports from Australia13.
  • Bourke abattoir will be a useful outlet for producers who rely on meat exporters slaughtering in other states13.
  • Major priority  is to capture the goat meat demand in the international market13.

2017

  • January. Goat meat is worth $6/kg (12.1 to 16kg Carcass weight)14.
  • June. Construction of the cement foundations begins14.
    • Plant is expected to be operational early 201814.
  • When in operation it is expected to boost Bourke regional economy by 30%14.
    • approximately $50M per year14.
    • already 25 people are on site involved in early construction14.
  • ‘Locals first’ employment policy14.
    • Inevitable that other workers will be sought throughout NSW & QLD14.
      • Overseas workers will be hired as well14.
        • Recent changes to 457 Visa scheme will not be a problem14.
  • Estimates of 5.8M goats in Western NSW14.
    • 50-60% of all of Australia’s feral goats located in NSW15.
    • Others dispute these figures14.
      • Local producers ‘economics’ would play a major role to determine if they sent their stock to the facility14.
    • DPI is about to start a new goat count14.
  • Plan is to start processing approximately 3,000 goats a day in the first year14.
    • fully operational, if processing 6,000 per day is equivalent to 4 full roadtrains14.
    • Plan to reach 6,000 head processing by 3 years14.
  • Part of the facility infrastructure is being fabricated overseas14.
  • Will install a state of the art automatic chain that hasn’t been seen in Australia14..
    • Enable carcase to be cut to smaller pieces14.
  • Meat will be sent through Sydney Port14.
    • Main destination North America14.
      • Other markets will be South-East Asia and the Middle East14..
      • Wished to reignite Chinese interest which can be ‘fluky’14.
  • A b-double of goats at the moment was worth $100,00014.
    • 20 years ago it was worth nothing14.
  • This week goat carcasses hit $7.50/kg, averaging $6.50/kg14.
    • January 2015, the monthly average was $3.70 (12.1 to 16kg carcass weight)14.
    • January 2016 $5/kg14.
    • January 2017 $6/kg14.
  • Goat industry was in rebuilding phase14.
    • Market potential in Europe14.
    • Goat meat was being included in new Brexit trade talks14..
  • it was a big challenge to get more western graziers to produce goats14.
  • July. Multi level stockyard was under construction15.
  • August. A new goat abattoir is proposed for the Goulburn Valley, Gillieston (Proposed) Vic.16.
    • Capacity of 3,000 head per day16.
    • Plant could be operational in about 18 months if approvals go through16.
  • November. Bourke abattoir advertise for a plant manager17.
  • Operation company is called Darling River meats17.
  • December. NSW Department of primary Industries conduct a rangeland population survey of goats19.
    • Show goat herd has declined from 5.7M in 2016 to 3.4M in 201719
    • Aerial survey was conducted of central and western NSW19
    • Lower numbers could be due to 19
      • Dry seasonal conditions19
        • Poor reproductive rates of livestock and goats19
      • Efficient goat harvesting operations in the area19

Sources

  1. ‘Study reveals goat meatworks feasible’ ABC News 14.02.2007
  2. ‘Growth in goat farming in Bourke for halal butchers and restaurants’ www.smh.com.au 08/06/2015
  3. ‘Developers say $38M Blayney goat abattoir will provide …..’ Central Western Daily 07/05/2015
  4. Proposed Small Stock Abattoir. Capra Developments Feb 2016
  5. ‘Bourke goat abattoir could be a “game-changer”, says MP’ ABC News 22/10/2015
  6. ‘What is behind the rise and rise of goat prices? Beef Central 29/10/2015
  7. ‘Bourke goat abattoir gets Federal government funding’ ABC rural 08/12/2015
  8. ‘Two new goat abattoirs planned in Bourke and Blayney’ The Land 09/07/2016
  9. ‘QLD goat processor says jobs will go if government-backed Bourke abattoir is built’ ABC news 05/01/2016
  10. ‘Cross border goat abattoir competition’ Charleville Plus More. 14/01/2016
  11. NSW Government. Major Projects. Bourke Abattoir. Accessed 02/12/2017
  12. Bourke Small Stock Abattoir. Environmental Impact Statement March 2016
  13. ‘Bourke abattoir gets OK’ The Land 07/12/2016
  14. ‘Bourke abattoir on way’ The Land 08/06/2017
  15. www.markcoulton.com.au. media release 27/07/2017
  16. ‘Abattoir in the works’ Country News 09/08/2017
  17. Plant Manager – Bourke 09/11/2017
  18. 2016-06-23 H15101 Bourke Abattoir RTS_v3-0
  19. ‘Latest goat industry data’ NSW DPI 13/12/2017

Cowra

Cowra abattoir is located about 250km west of Sydney, it is currently operating but not export registered. It was export registered in 1997 as a pig processing facility only.

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Is currently operating at time of writing 27.12.2013.

Location   

  • Cowra is located approximately 250km west of Sydney

Australia. Cowra

CowraSource – Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • David Mulligan – Up to late 20063
    • sole director
  • Chris Cummins ( 2007)

Operation   

History

1928

  • Discussion in town to establish abattoir

1966

  • Public meeting was held to discuss abattoir establishment. 250 people attended.
    • Decision to form company
    • 50% capital raised locally rest from Sydney company

1970

  • Abattoir commenced operation

2006

  • April. Workchoices legislation came into effect March 27th – Abattoir wanted to shed 29 workers, on the promise of taking back 20 under the federal award1
    • 16 beef and 13 pig slaughtermen told to finish up May 51
      • Managers Letter to workers1
        “We deeply regret this situation: however, given the current economic conditions we must take this action to ensure the ongoing viability of the abattoir” Ray Petterson Cowra abattoir manager.1
      • Abattoir wanted to amalgamate it’s pig and cow processing teams – reason gave for sackings.8
    • One slaughterman quoted his wages prior were $880 per week Federal award would be $580.1
    • had been prior enterprise agreements in place – it was being removed 12 months ahead of schedule.1
    • 22 workers offered jobs – would be paid less than before dispute but more than initially offered by abattoir, remaining workers offered redundancies.8
  • July. Federal Government workplace watchdog found – “Employers can sack workers and rehire them on lower pay and conditions in order to secure their company’s financial viability” Nicholas Wilson – Office of Workplace services director2
  • Abattoir backed down and took back the workers on the same original pay3
  • August Business was shut down and administrator appointed3
    • 200 workers told there was no money to pay their entitlements3
      • workers owed $2.8M – annual leave, long service leave4
    • Collapse of sale negotiations worth $8M3
  • September – Investigation into transfer of $2M moved between companies uncovered by administrator4
    • David Mulligan transferred $1.7M to another of his companies PD Mulligan Holdings4
    • last transaction nearly $1M transferred only weeks before closure4
    • Company had entered into uncommerical transaction aware that PD Mulligan my not have been able to repay4
    • Company may have also traded while insolvent4
    • Creditor – National Australia bank – owed $1M4
      • Liquidator – Frasers Insolvency said PD Mulligan a guarantor of the NAB loan, had discharged the abattoirs debt to NAB and now held the mortgage over the abattoir7
      • Instead of NAB being 1st mortgagee, now PD Mulligan was,7
      • Bank was charging 18% interest, PD Mulligan was charging 8%7
      • The bank charge was enforcable but before employee entitlements7
        • AMIEU advising members to vote against proposal of Frasers to take over administration of PD Mulliagan as there would be a conflict of interest – firm acting as liquidator of abattoir and administrator of priority creditor7
  • December – Liquidators announced they entered into agreement for facility to be sold $2M and reopen early 20073
  • Local businessmen behind purchase – Stock buyer Chris Cummins and local businessman George Kollas.
  • Possibly able to offer 120 jobs if re-open in February 20075
  • Plan to slaughter sheep, lambs, cattle and pigs at the plant and supply meat locally and to Sydney, Canberra, Southern Highlands, South Coast and Newcastle markets5
  • Other buyers had been considered but primarily interested in selling off abattoirs assets5

2012

  • June. upgraded facilities to improve animal welfare6
  • Installed surveillance cameras – $15,0006
  • Installed a head restraint to assist when stunning cattle with bolt stunner.  cost $150,0006
  • Pigs are gassed using carbon monoxide6
  • Operator of the facility at this time – Chris Cummins6
  • Chris Cummins wants animal welfare rules in Australia to go further to make it harder for the meat works with low standards (to operate)6
  • Cowra abattoir supplies 300 restaurants and butchers making it the largest domestic meat wholesaler in the state.6
  • July – Carbon tax starts – will make kill fees 5-6% greater9
    • Independent pricing and regulatory Tribunal (IPART) says electricity prices could rise by 18%, hald of rise attributable to the carbon tax.9

    Chris Cummins comments 25.12.13._edited-1Source NSW Business Chamber Comments by Chris Cummins

2015

  • February. National Sheep health monitoring project is begun
    • Provide information on diseases and conditions detected on the slaughter floor of abattoirs
    • Provide sheep producers with feedback
      • Provide information on conditions such as grass seeds, pleurisy, arthritis and sheep measles
      • Conditions requiring trimming at the abattoir include sarcocystis, rib fractures, cheesy gland and vaccine lesions

Sources Cowra. #3173

  1. ‘A lot of beef about for abattoir workers’ SMH 04.04.2006
  2. ‘Watchdog clears Cowra abattoir over sackings’ The Age 08.07.2006
  3. ‘Cowra abattoir set to re-open’ www.news.com.
  4. ‘Cowra abattoir owner faces investigation’ ABC Online 11.09.2006
  5. ‘Locals to save Cowra abattoir’ The Land 28.12.2006
  6. ‘inside the kill room at the Cowra meat works’ www.abc.net.au. 11.06.2012.
  7. ‘Abattoir boss in dash for cash’ The Telegraph 04.10.2006
  8. ‘Jobs on lower pay for Cowra workers’ The Advertiser 15.06.2006
  9. ‘Chris Cummins on Cowra abattoir on the carbon tax debarcle’ Meat trade News daily. 07.07.2012
  10. ‘Politics in Place- Social power relations in an Australian country town’ Ian Gray. Pg 38
  11. http://www.theland.com.au/story/3381290/thinking-outside-the-slaughter-box/?cs=4963#!. 10.11.2014. See Cootamundra
  12. http://www.farmonline.com.au/story/3380028/abattoir-surveillance-lifts-sheep-health-profits/. 24.02.2015
  13. http://www.farmonline.com.au/story/3376282/bush-towns-welcome-syrian-refugees/. 24.09.2015
  14. http://www.theland.com.au/story/4924111/passing-of-meat-industry-identity/. 15.11.2016
  15. http://www.theland.com.au/story/4924111/passing-of-meat-industry-identity/. 15.09.2017

Guyra

Other Names

Current Operation

Location   

  • Guyra is located 35km North of Armidale in NSW. Armidale is approximately 460 km North of Sydney

Australia. Guyra

GuyraHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • DR Johnston Group Pty Limitied1
    • Other articles say DA Johnston Pty Limited4
  • Australian Meat Holdings4

Operation   

History

1960

  • NSW government closed all government owned small slaughterhouse facilities that didn’t meet hygiene and inspections standards.3

1965

  • NSW Government built Guyra abattoir as a central facility for the areas meat processing needs3
    • Operated as New England Abattoir Council4
    • Finance was entirely from loan funds $1.83M3
    • abattoir didn’t trade in meat on its own behalf but service kill – cattle, sheep, pigs3

1971

  • Estimated cost of processing one head of cattle is equivalent to 8.3 sheep or lambs or 6.9 pigs.3

1977 – 1981

  • Meat and Live-stock Corporation estimate that between 1977-19813
    • Cattle capacity utlisation declined from 84% to 60% nationally3
    • Declined cattle capacity utilisation in NSW alone 92% to 58%3
    • Sheep capacity declined from 83% to 66% nationally3
    • Declined sheep capacity utilisation in NSW alone 86% to 77%3
    • Between 1977 – mid 1981 22 abattoirs ceased operations.3

1981

  • Following several months unprofitable operations the abattoir was ‘mothballed’3
    • mothballed is term used to keep maintenance and requirements on repairs on facility up to date but not actually processing any animals.
  • Ceased trading in February due to drought4
  • 150 people lost jobs caused Guyra unemployment to go from 0% to 13.3% by July4

1983

  • Guyra unemployment by March 27.4% – highest unemployment figure for a NSW country town4

1985

  • State government waived about $6M of the debt accumulated (Total debt was nearly $7M at the time of sale) – on condition that licence to slaughter was surrendered.3
  • Abattoir was sold to new owners for $0.8M3
  • Purchased by AMH, abattoir was export registered at the time (Pg 126)
  • Private ownership – abattoir reopened – again as a service facility3
  • March – Abattoir re-opened DA Johnston Pty Limited4

1988

  • Previous 3 years – plant had substantial investment of capital (Pg 126)
  • AMH approached their banker – Hong Kong Banking Corporation for a partner (Pg 126)
  • AMH entered into 50/50 partnership with DR Johnston to operate the abattoir (Pg 126)
    • DR Johnston were a trading house that ran grain, stockfeed, protein meals & fishmeal, aswel as 5 different meat trading businesses

1991

  • Note – Article cites that Guyra came to AMH in 1991 from ConAgra (Pg 130)

1993

  • abattoir closed for its annual Christmas close-down1

1994

  • workers meant to resume work in January but unavailability of stock led to period extension 1 week.1
  • February. 25th – further shortage of stock and a close-down for six weeks until re-opening 14th April 19941
    • Employees remained on the books but didn’t receive pay.1
    • Some workers seeked employment elsewhere while abattoir closed1
  • June. 9th 220 people stood down1
    • accepted that period of this closure – 17 weeks between June 94 and October 94 was a seasonal closure in respect of the meat industry arising out of a shortage of stock1
  • October. 10th. plant reopened but on a reduced scale slaughtering beef1
    • Half of dismissed employees offered re-employment1
      • 27 didn’t accept1
  • AMH frustrated by what it saw as unproductive and inefficent industrial practices, began a process to change the working arrangements in its plants (Pg 128)
    • Restricted production to minium tally and temporily closed some plants – Guyra was the 1st (Pg 128)
    • AMH said to have budgeted $30M to ‘break’ the unions, by 1996 the estimated cost was $70M (Pg 126)

1995

  • Guyra abattoir taken to Industrial relations commission of NSW by AMIEU1
    • dispute over severence pay and entitlements to people who didn’t take up employment when plant reopened. October 19941
  • House prices in Guyra dropped $15,000 day of abattoir closure, some brick homes were being sold for under $30,0009

1996

  • Guyra as considered a marginal operation, it was closed.(Pg 126)
    • Killed only 21,427 for the year. Never worked again after this (Pg 130)
  • Australian Meat holdings now owned Guyra4
    • AMH controlled by big US rural commodities trader – ConAgra, a major exporter from North America10
    • AMH accounts for 16.5% of Australia’s beef kill.10
    • currently owns another 8 facilities but will be consolidating to 5 and closing Beaudesert (QLD), Guyra and Portland (Vic)4
      • others owned Dinmore, Townsville, Rockhampton and Aberdeen10
          • Author note – not sure of 8th.
      • Intended that 300 jobs would be replaced at Dinmore when expansion completed there10
    • AMH intend to invest in larger more efficent plant – Aberdeen abattoir (NSW)
      • Aberdeen closed in 1999 – reasons cited as stock shortages5
        • AMH closed Aberdeen to send all cattle to Dinmore abattoir (QLD) – Even with added cost of cartage costs of processing were still $14 per head/cattle cheaper processed in QLD than NSW6
  • Guyra – Early in 1996 enterprise agreement was reached – first of its kind in Australia4
    • strenuously opposed by AMIEU and employees from other abattoirs4
    • Guyra employees entered agreement to protect jobs and allow abattoir to be viable4
  • AMH had fought intense battles with meat industry unions to introduce workplace agreements warning that AMH “..had long warned the Australian meat processing industry needed to significantly increase it’s international competitiveness”  Kieth Lawson AMH CEO.10
  • Up to half the states (NSW) 56 abattoirs could close with the loss of up to 5,000 jobs in country NSW due to industry rationalisation.2
    • outdated and inefficent abattoirs could follow Guyra2
    • Industry observers say beef export abattoirs – Wingham, Mudgee, Gunnedah and possibly Inverell are most at risk2
    • Administrators had been appointed at Blayney abattoir (NSW)2
      • Blayney closed 1998 – stock shortages cited but observers say economic factors7
    • Newer and efficent plants expected to survive – Young, Gundagai, Calcairn, Cootamundra and Harden2
    • Others that had recent capital investment should survive – Goulburn, Dubbo2
      • these had provided benchmark for state beef processing of efficency gains necessary2
      • Niche market suppliers would likely survive – Casino abattoir (QLD). Lismore2
    • Industries fundamental problem – lack of plant investment due to price wars2
    • USA had taken Australian market share Japan, Korea and Taiwan2
      • Cattle prices had slumped in the last six months (First half of 1996)
    • Live export was sending 500,000 cattle to Indonesia and Philippines2
    • Gunnedah abattoir was receiving stamp duty concessions that no other plants were getting.2

2001

  • Guyra abattoir site being developed for rabbit farming enterprise8

Sources

  1. DR Johnston Group Pty Ltd (Guyra abattoir) and W Archer & 219 Ors (1995) NSWIRComm 172 (31st August 1995)
  2. ‘5000 jobs at risk: abattoirs facing closure SMH 21.05.1996. www.abattoirs.com.au
  3. ‘Short run costs and throughput variability of a NSW abattoir’ Piggott, Small 1987
  4. ‘Guyra abattoir closure’ Mr Raymond Chappell 15.05.96 www.parliment.nsw.gov
  5. http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20020314031
  6. ‘State rules shut abattoir’ The Land 06.07.00
  7. ‘600 sacked workers given just a weeks pay’ Sydney morning herald. 10.03.1998. www.abattoirs.com.au
  8. ‘Guyra man killed in forklift accident on abattoir site’ Northern daily. 07.06.2011.
  9. ‘Guyra’s comeback faces further hurdles’ Landline 12.10.2003
  10. ‘US Beef exporters force three abattoirs to close’ SMH 15.05.1996

Deniliquin. #2123. NSW

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

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

It is currently registered under Aus-meat. Accessed 02/10/2017

Other Names

 

Current Operation

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

Location   

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

Australia. Deniliquin 16.06.13

Deniliquin

Hema Maps – Australia Handy Map. 9th edition

Owner

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

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

Operation 

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

1990

  • Halal certified3

2002

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

2003

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

2006

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

 

2007

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

2011

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

2012

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

2013

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

2014

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

2015

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

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

2017

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

Sources  – Deniliquin #2488

  1. ‘Deniliquin abattoir defends hiring overseas workers’ ABC News. 11.09.2006
  2. Deniliquin shire council submission to senate inquiry, Murray Darling basin plan. 22.01.2011.
  3. ‘Deniliquin abattoirs – For sale’ www.famicorp.com.au 04.11.2012
  4. ‘Deniliquin abattoir sale stalls’ www.mmg.com.au 08.11.2013
  5. ‘Meat Processing plant – Deniliquin NSW’ Steers Auctioneers 28.08.2007
  6. ‘Deniliquin abattoir to reopen’ The Pastoral times. 05.11.13
  7. Mr Buckingham questioning Minister of roads and ports. www.parliament.nsw 31.05.11
  8. ‘Lamb prices soar as suppliers struggle to meet demand’ Sydney morning herald. 14.09.2003
  9. ‘Sale deal close on abattoirs’ The Border mail. 19.12.2012
  10. rel_stoner_20140820_deniliquin-abattoir
  11. ‘Abattoir plans for Deni’ The Land 20.03.2014.
  12. ‘New life for old export abattoir’ Liberal Party of Australia 21.08.2014
  13. ‘Cash for abs’ www.mmg.com.au. 22.08.2014
  14. ‘Deniliquins abattoir to reopen with investment from NSW Government’ The Weekly Times 26.08.2014
  15. ‘Meat money flows’ www.mmg.com.au. 25.11.2014
  16. ‘Abs trial’ www.mmg.com.au 25.11.2014
  17. ‘Renovated Riverina abattoir re-opens driving property boom’ ABC Rural 14.01.2015
  18. https://www.ipart.nsw.gov.au/files/6feefd0b-6076-4cce-b3e6-8b0d06615116/Council_Improvement_Proposal.pdf
  19. ‘Record lamb prices killing off country abattoirs’ ABC News 24.02.2017
  20. ‘Abs work halted’ Shepparton News 17.03.2017
  21. ‘Meat Commitment – Administrator to meet with abattoir executives’ Shepparton News 21.03.2017
  22. ‘Sawmill could fill lost jobs’ Shepparton News 24.03.2017
  23. ‘Statement of temporary closure of Deniliquin abattoir’ Edward River council 17.03.2017.
  24. ‘Indefinite closures for JBS lamb plants, as supply challenge reaches critical point’ Beef Central 20.04.2017
  25. ‘Fears for abattoir’s future’ Deniliquin Pastoral Times 11.04.2017
  26. Deniliquin council submission to inquiry into the impact of the Murray Darling basin plan. 22.01.2011
  27. ‘Door shuts on sixth abattoir’ QLD country life. 11.05.2017
  28. ‘Red meat crisis the new MG says MLA boss’ The Weekly times. 27.09.2017 27.09.2017
  29. ‘Catalfamo’s abattoir industry return’ The Stock and Land 11.11.2015
  30. ‘Deniliquin: sheep, lambs, goats, calves’ Stock and Land 11.11.2015
  31. ‘What’s iin store: pointy end of the year’ Stock and Land 09.11.2013

NSW Meat Industry Milestones

General Quotes and Information

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

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

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

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

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

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


Timeline Information

1987

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

1995

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

1996

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

1998

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

2013

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

Sources

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

Dubbo

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

Current Operation

  • Operating (as at 2013)

Location             

Australia. Dubbo

Map Dubbo 002

Owner

  • Fletcher International1
    • Family owned company headquartered Dubbo13
    • Built up from start (approximately 1972) by Roger Flectcher12
    • Employment application form http://www.fletcher-international.com.au/DL_Files/FIEAPP.pdf
    • Is the largest sheep meat processors in Australia4
    • Also own Narrikup (WA)4

Operation

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

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

History

1950

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

1958

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

1983

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

1988

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

plate freezers_edited-1Source www.fletchint.com.au

The Plate freezing equipment used that is automated

1990

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

1995

  • Wool scouring and topmaking plant started operation4

1997

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

1998

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

2003

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

2006

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

2007

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

2009

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

2010

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

2011

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

 supply_edited-1

 

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

Sources Dubbo.2  #2309

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

Aberdeen. #736. NSW

Closed Export accredited abattoir that processed beef.

It was intended to be upgraded in 1996 but closed in 1999 due to costs of processing.

Operation

  • Aus-Meat accreditation
    • Facility #7368.
    • Export Abattoir. Beef8.
  • Closed 19991.

Location

  • 13km N of Mussellbrook, 110 NW of Newcastle

Australia. Aberdeen

Map - Aberdeen.

Location relative to other abattoirs across Australia

Go to this link to view Australian Abattoir Locations

 

Owner

  •  Aberdeen Beef Company
  • Australian Meat Holdings

 

 History

 1891 

  • 361acres purchased. Australian Chilling and Freezing Co established1.

1892

  • First cargo of sheep and lambs processed1

1894 – 96 

  • Shut down due to drought and typhoid epidemic1

1904 

  • Reopened after many more years of drought1
  • Closed 5 months latter due to low supply1

1914

  • Began to process beef, rabbits and pigs, new areas of business also – butter1

1923-24 

  • F.J Walker1
  • Modernisation in CO2 to transport chilled produce

1939-40 

  • New mutton slaughter house, plus tallow processing1

1981

  • “In NSW 20 abattoirs have ceased operations and 4,000 jobs lost” Mr John Barry Mildren (ALP) Ballarat7
    • 27 meatworks has closed or forfeited export licences across Australia – loss of jobs of 10,571 people. Mr John Charles Kerin (ALP) Warriwa, Leader of opposition at the time7

1983  

  • Elders IXL Group1

1984    

  • Up to 1984 all livestock processed for export and domestic1
  • From 1984 on only cattle processed, graded, weighed, sliced, vacuum packed, blast frozen and stored for distribution1

1986 

  • Elders traded under name Aberdeen Beef Company1

1994

  • AMH purchase the facility10

1996

  • AMH controlled by big US rural commodities trader – ConAgra, a major exporter from North America5
  • AMH accounts for 16.5% of Australia’s beef kill.5
  • currently owns another 8 facilities but will be consolidating to 5 and closing
    • Beaudesert (QLD),
    • Guyra. NSW and
    • Portland (Vic)6
  • AMH continued to own
    • Dinmore,
    • Townsville,
    • Rockhampton
    • and Aberdeen5
      • Author note – not sure of 8th.
    • Intended that 300 jobs would be replaced at Dinmore when expansion completed there10
  • AMH undertaking a detailed study of redeveloping  the Aberdeen plant, would require an additional $50M upgrade to become internationally competitive

1999

  • March 16. Six weeks prior to official closure meatworks had a temporary closure10
  • April 16. Facility officially closes10
  • 400 employees received no income for 6 weeks10
    • Employees weren’t terminated, therefore didn’t qualify for social security10.
  • Chief executive of AMH departs for an overseas trip the day of the Aberdeen abattoir closure10
  • AMH weren’t interested in re-opening the works10
    • More interested in bolstering other sites they owned at the time10
  • AMH didn’t want to offer the facility to be leased but rather it be ‘mothballed’10
  • AMH didn’t act in good faith of workers10.
  • Aberdeen had a population of 1,70010
    • 1 in 4 people in the town had been employed at the facility10.
  • Closed1
    • 109 year old landmark, 400 local jobs2
  • More abattoirs could be threatened in meat industry shake-up.2
    • Other abattoirs in Scone/Hunter area future may not be stable2
  • NSW Opposition called on state government to push for further negotiations with AMH to persuade company to re-open.2
  • Closure reason – cited as stock shortages.3
  • AMH closed Aberdeen to send all cattle to Dinmore abattoir (QLD) – Even with added cost of cartage costs of processing were still $14 per head/cattle cheaper processed in QLD than NSW4

2000

  • November. Hon bob Carr MP, Premier of NSW announces a $12M NSW Meat processing Industry restructuring program to operate over a 3 year period9.
  • Evident that the NSW Meat processing industry has and is likely to experience structural change. Rationalisation within the industry will most likely lead to a net reduction in the number of abattoirs and employee’s required9.

 

Sources

  1. Aberdeen. www.upperhuntertourism.com.au
  2. ‘Hunter’s Meat Axe’ Newcastle Herald 15.05.1999. www.abattoirs.com.au
  3. http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20020314031
  4. ‘State rule shut abattoir’ The land. 06.07.00
  5. US beef exporters force three abattoirs to close SMH 15.05.2013
  6. ‘Guyra abattoir closure’ Mr Raymond Chappell 15.05.96 www.parliment.nsw.gov
  7. Parliamentary Hansard, 20 August 1981. Pg 595 – 604
  8. Aus-Meat Accreditation List. November 1987.
  9. Industry training. Clements, Speers
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