Tag Archives: North Australian meatworks

Yuendumu

Yuendumu is located approximately 280km north west of Alice Springs. This post includes a brief overview of aboriginal and european occupation, conflicts and difficulties faced by the people who lived in the area. Yuendumu settlement operated a pastoral activity and attempted to establish a meat processing facility to support the local community.

 

Current Operation

  • Closed

Location

  • Yuendumu is approximately 300km north west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory
  • Abattoir facility itself was located about 20km out of the township

Yuendumu

Yuendumu. #2

Owner

  • NPC1

Operation

  • Slaughterhouse was established 1990 to supply meat to local community and income to the cattle operation of NPC.

Acronyms

  • ADC      Aboriginal Development Commission
  • ATSIC   Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
  • BTEC    Brucelloisis Tuberculosis Eradication Campaign
  • CAAPA  Central Australian Aboriginal Pastoralist Association
  • DAA      Department of Aboriginal Affairs
  • DEET    Department of Employment, Education and Training
  • DEIR     Department of Employment and Industrial relations
  • IAD       Institute for Aboriginal Development
  • NPC       Ngarliyikirlangu Pastoral Company

History

Pre 1800’s

  • Yuendumu is situated on Ngalia Warlpiri country (Pg 246)
    • Evidence supports that continuous occupation has occured for 10,000 years (Pg 246)
    • Main land owning group is Walpiri (Pg 248)
    • People moved extensively for hunting and gathering, withdrew to core areas of importance at watering points in dry periods and extended over very large areas in better seasons.(Pg 249)
    • Walpiri maintained close relationships with other clans to north, east – Kurinji and Anmatyerre, Pitjantjatjara and Pintubi (Pg 249)
    • Walpiri discriminated against Arrernte tribes.(Pg 249)

1873

  • Warburton expedition crossed the Tanami and came into contact with Warlpiri people (Pg 250)

1890’s

  • Commencement of pastoral settlement increased contact with aboriginal people (pg 250)

1900’s

  • Granite goldfields commenced, a series of wells were established between Granites and Hooker Creek (Pg 250)
    • relationships not always cordial with aborigines.(pg 250)

1914

  • Gold reserves had petered out (Pg 250)

1920

  • Pastoral lease uptake increased to the north and far west (Pg 251)
  • Conflict with aborigines increased (Pg 251)

1928

  • Coniston massacre occurs (Pg 251)
    • 28 Warlpiri die as a result of an avenge attack by police and pastoralists in retaliation of the death of a non-aboriginal dingo hunter.(Pg 251)

1932

  • More gold is discovered at the Granites. (Pg 251)
  • Several pastoralists open up mining ventures for wolfram and gemstones.(Pg 251)

1940’s

  • Reports of Aboriginal peoples state of living in the Tanami region build pressure to establish an Aboriginal reserve in the area.(Pg 251)
  • Reverend of Baptist union wanted resumption of whole of Mt Doreen station lease.
    • lengthy negotiations, interrupted by WWII

1946

  • Yuendumu reserve 2,200 km square was established (though not declared until 1956) (Pg 256)
    • Area was selected  because a bore had established permanent water (Pg 256)
    • land was in immediate vicinity to a bore on unoccupied crown land (Pg 256)
    • Country not particulary suited to cattle (Pg 256)
    • Later 137 sq miles was transferred from reserve to Mt Allan pastoral lease (Pg 252)
  • Yuendumu welfare settlement was established.
    • to settle nomadic Aboriginal groups under the Aboriginal affairs policy of assimilation (Pg 252)
    • to provide social welfare of Aboriginal people, train them in non-aboriginal skills so they may be assimilated into non-Aboriginal society (pg 252)
    • Policy objectives was training and employment for work within and outside the settlement (Pg 252)
    • Also to provide administration, health, education and general development functions
  • Cattle project was included with (pg 252)
    • garden (vegetable growing)
    • piggery
    • poultry
    • Aim to increase self sufficency
    • Cattle enterprise started with 200 head (Pg 254)
  • Initial population 400 people (pg 252)

1960’s

  • Population now over 1,000 people (pg 253)

1967

  • Rations and cash allowance replaced by Training allowance Scheme (pg 255)
    • Scheme – in lowest form, was less than dole
    • Scheme – in highest level paid less than award wages
    • Settlement residents received free basic health service, education and subsidised meals from communal kitchens
    • Some residents received free rudimentary housing

1970

  • NT Social Welfare Branch annual report state there is (Pg253)
    • well established garden
    • bakery
    • store
    • mining company
    • housing association and a school council

1972

  • Settlement was under administrative control of NT Social Welfare Branch (Pg 253)
    • Superintendent on advice from village council
    • Village council were representative body of all skin groups living in Yuendumu
  • Labour government election announce Aboriginal affairs policy of self-determination (Pg 253)
    • beginning of major structural changes in administration and development
  • Moves made to incorporate the cattle project as a pastoral company (pg 253)
    • Cattle herd now 3,500 head
    • Particularly good grass seasons 1967-1972 (Pg 255)
    • Further growth was limited by lack of reliable water sources
      • at this time only had 2 reliable bores and 1 dam for the entire herd
    • Management had varying degrees of pastoral industry expertise
    • Income from cattle sales was not paid to community but into Consolidated revenue(Pg 254)
      • lack of incentrve to sell cattle, meant very low turnoff of animals (Pg 255)
    • Expenses were paid from cash and rations under Settlements administration therefore not reliant on cattle project (Pg 254)
    • Capital development for all projects  was reliant on annual budget priorities.
      • Funding priorities depended on Canberra / Darwin
    • Cattle project goal was to maximise employment, train men in pastoral skills and provide fresh meat to the community (Pg 255)
  • Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA) was primary employer of all people (Pg 267)

1974

  • Crash of beef prices. No cattle turned off during the period 1972-75.(Pg 257)
  • Only killers for kitchen, averaged 2 per week (Pg 258)
  • Seasons had been very good 72/73 – meant herd numbers built rapidly (Pg 258)

1977

  • Privatisation occured of some activities that previously had been under control of the Social Welfare divisions (Pg 130)
  • Bakery, garden, poultry farm and kitchen had ceased operation by this time.(Pg130)
  • Muster was conducted of Yuendumu and neighbouring property, Haasts Bluff. 850 prime bullocks sold when trucked to Adelaide. Gross return of $720,000, None of the funds went to the cattle enterprise (Pg 260)
  • Yuendumu is declared Aboriginal land under the Aboriginal land rights Act 1977 (Pg 262)
    • NPC couldn’t access mainstream rural finance (Pg 262)
      • Authors note – When Aboriginal land is alienated freehold it is not able to be sold. It can’t held as security for loans, therefore can’t be used as security for debt repayment.

1978

  • Annual cost of training allowance for cattle enterprise $80,000 (Pg 255)
  • Trucking and drafting yards were gradully built from scrap steel from government dumps (Pg 266)
  • NPC employed 12 stockmen (Pg 265)
    • high levels of employment numbers were maintained through cattle sales, labour programs and funding.

1979

  • Ngarliyikirlangu Pastoral Company (NPC) is formed (Pg 259)
    • 6 directors with 60 shareholders
    • All government assets were sold except the cattle (Pg 260)
    • NPC commenced operations with a tractor, trailer and approximately 3500 head of cattle.(Pg 261)
    • Enterprise grant was applied for – $55,000 79/80 (Pg 261)
    • Stock mortgage was raised $20,000 (Pg261)
    • Stockmans wages were to be paid from cattle sales.(Pg 261)
  • BTEC begins (pg 261)
  • Significant tension arose as company directors of NPC used vehicles for personal use (Pg 263)
    • highlighted critical tension – rights of the land owner over an enterprise taking place upon his and other descent group lands (Pg 263)
    • Cattle sale money was thought it should be split between directors and shareholders
      • misunderstood the link between income and costs – owners thought “funny business going on” (Pg 263)
      • community people were taking killers without payment to the company (Pg 264)

1980

  • NPC employed 20 stockmen (Pg 265)

1981

 

  • Cattle enterprise was (Pg 266)
    1. bantail mustering
    2. culling old stock
    3. testing and ear tagging young stock (BTEC)
    4. developing internal paddocks
    5. improving monitoring of waters
    6. regularly testing for disease free status
  • NPC was one of the few aboriginal properties to not be issued with compulsory destocking order (pg 266)

 

1981/82

  • IAD began to advise on property development (Pg 266)

1983

  • Feasibility study concluded that the property had insufficent waters to develop herd to 5,000 – 6,000 head.(Pg 266)
    • Alternative development options were suggested.
    • Develop herd to 5,600 head.
    • establish more bores, paddocks and yards, estimated to cost $283,000
    • build a community abattoir and a butcher shop, estimated to cost $21,500
    • restocking and operational costs estimated to cost $355,000
  • NPC felt it was in a positition to be commercially viable and achieve its development aims (Pg 269)
  • DAA was subumed to private and public organisations. (Pg 267)
    • now eleven organisations employing 73 Aboriginal people
    • created confusion, political rivalry and conflict in Yuendumu
  • Number of outstations were being established at Yuendumu (Pg 268)
  • Negotiations commenced over royalities relating to goldfields in Tanami (Pg 268)
    • Directors began to take less interest in cattle operations (Pg 273)
  • Advisory service of IAD was withdrawn and as funding was based on IAD feasibiltys study funding was withheld.(Pg 270)
  • Significant conflict in the community 1983 – 1996 major disputes as to the role of the council and local governement (Pg 276)

1985

  • Central Australian Advisory Pastoralist Association (CAAPA) was formed (Pg 270)
    • acted as lobbyist for Central Australian Pastoralists
    • Limited property development advice
    • no accounting or training services provided
    • accepted IAD study
      • NPC applied for development funds $706,000, over 5 years.
      • Application was unsuccessful based on land capacity (Pg 271)

1985/86

  • NPC received a capital grant of $37608. (Pg 271)
  • DEIR continue support through community employment program (Pg 271)
    • enables 19 full time and 24 casual employees to be maintained.

1986

  • Concerns raised by Central Land Council  as to Yuenduma land resource ability to support a herd of 5,600 head (Pg 269)
    • CLC calculated a safe stocking rate of 1,000 – 1,500 head (Pg 269)
    • NPC access to funding was now been seriously affected (Pg 269)

1988 / 89

  • CAAPA management was being questioned (Pg 274)
    • questionable individual grants to cattle stations
    • Alledged funds allocated to NPC were used by a CAAPA employee to purchase personal paintings (Pg 274)
    • Audit could not account for $70,000
    • CAAPA was investigated, wound up and no further action was taken by ATSIC

1990’s

  • Hawke-Keating Governments introduced form of local government called community government
    • This had been opposed by land councils – come leadership became more focused on structure of community organisations and less on delivery of service issues.(Pg 170)
    • Result was that community operated cattle stations depended on who from their families was represented in community councils (Pg170)
    • Allies of the cattle company – Ngarliyikirlangu were on council – in kind support of bulldozers and graders was available for dam building (Pg170)
      • when council had people not interested in cattle operation there was no support for it.(Pg170)
    • Proliferation of Commonwealth and NT agencies serving communities (Pg171)
      • singnificant lack of co-ordination between them (Pg171)
      • An aboriginal community pursuing pastoral activities to attempt to conduct a whole of property development program needed to consult and negotiate with 4-5 Commonwealth and NT agencies. (Pg 171)

Agencies consulting_edited-1Source – Black Pastoralism S Phillpot 2000 (Pg 172)
Agencies consulting with Aboriginal communities

  • All employment funding is withdrawn (Pg 271)
    • reason of withdrawal – funding is meant to be directed at economically viable projects (Pg 271)
  • Ministers letter to NPC advise that $1.2M has been invested over last 10 years (Pg 271)
    • NPC dispute and say it was only $670,000 (Pg 271)

1990

  • Employment is reduced to only 1 employee plus manager (pg 275)
  • Abattoir is developed (Pg 272)
    • Licensed slaughterhouse built from a grant from ATSIC and training subsidies from DEET (Pg 276)
    • Over first 14 months of operations employs 4 different trainers (pg 272)
    • no aboriginal trainees were able to complete training programs in meat processing (pg 272)
    • 1993-1996 no training is conducted (pg 272)
  • Abattoir operation(Pg 276)
    • became a major cash flow for NPC
    • was difficulty in employing qualified butchers to train Warlpiri butchers
      • slaughterhouse was not well maintained

1993

  • Manager was unemployed by NPC, continued to run the operation while on unemployment benefits (pg 275)
  • Herd numbers to now below 3,000 head (Pg 275)

1994 / 95

  • Beef prices collapse.(Pg 273)
    • NPC can’t turn off enough cattle to cover interest on debts

1996

  • Department Primary industries advised that facility didn’t meet the new Australian Quarantine Inspection service standards (Pg 276)
  • NPC is currently unviable, Owes Yuenduma Mining Company $150,000, secured by 1,500 head of cattle. (Pg 281)
    • Throughout its operation 1972 – 1996 NPC never made a profit or achieved economic viability (Pg 282)

1997

  • 1st January – slaughterhouse lost its licence (Pg 276)
    • Possible if the slaughterhouse had been successfully operated it would have enabled NPC to achieve a profit (Pg 282)
  • NPC business effectively was only sustained by the benevolence of its major creditor – Yuendumu Mining Company (Pg 276)

Sources

All references –

Black Pastoralism – Contemporary Aboriginal Land Use – The experience of Aboriginal owned pastoral enterprises in the Northern Territory – 1972 – 1996  Stuart Phillpot. 2000.

 

 

Kilcoy

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Currently operating as at December 2013.

Location   

  • 120 km NW of Brisbane in Brisbane valley

Australia. Kilcoy

Kilcoy  001

Hema Maps – Australia Handy Map. 9th Edition

Owners

  • Kilcoy Pastoral company1
    • CEO – Tony Munns appointed 1999, succeeded by David Foote.1
  • Harmony Investment fund – Singapore based – Harmony Capital management3
    • Harmony purchased in 20074
  • Pacific Alliance Group (2012)3
  • New Hope Investment Fund – Chinese4

Operation   

  • Marketing strategy – Naturally Identified, Safe environment (NISE) Beef export program1
  • Dedicated grainfed, export focussed plant.3
  • Capacity to process 285,000 head per year3
  • Employed 750 staff (as at 2012)3

History

Year

1950’s

  • First established by Kennedy Family4

1999

  • Appointed new CEO – Tony Munns1

2002

  • Major improvements epected to provide 10% production boost and 50 full time jobs.2
  • Currently employing 340 people (plus the extra 50 to add)2

2003

  • Volume had increased through the plant by 35% to same period in previous year.2
  • Further Funding provided by Federal Government – Dairy Regional Assistance Program $880,0002
    • Further enhance production capacity and improve efficiency2
    • Improve primary freezer capacity, improve ability to process by products and improve the standard and quality of effluent disposal2
  • Previous 12 months had been difficult in world markets2
  • Target Pacific Rim countries in particular Japan and Korea2

2007

  • Harmony Capital Management’s Harmony Investment Fund4
  • Throughput for 2007 was 54,000t carcase weight, 160,000 cattle.5
    Note by author (Jo Bloomfield) if average yield is 337.5kg, estimate live weight processing 52% dressed Is approximately processing animals live weight 650kg.

2009

  • Australian Agriculture Co’s largest shareholder – IFFCo flag interest in purchasing abattoir5
    • Would be acquired by IFFCo under assigned put-and-call option – allows later transfer of ownership to AA Co5
    • IFFCo is large international red meat processor – killing 10,000 buffalo daily in India5
    • AA Co considering cost-benefit studies of owning meatworks as adjunct to branded beef business5
      • Currently utilises service kill at Grantham and occasionally at Casino5
  • Kilcoy provides strong marketplace competition against larger players Swift and Teys grainfed cattle processing5
  • Kilcoy is has current kill capacity 570 head a day, single shift, seven day operation5

2011

  • Processed 250,000 head, emplyed 750 staff.3

2012

  • Harmony Investment Fund – had owned a majority share of 80% sold to Pacific Alliance Group3

2013

  • Chinese investment fund – New Hope Investment fund purchase facility4
    • Purchase price about $80M6
    • one of the biggest operators of feedlots in China4
  • Kilcoy Abattoir is currently fourth largest abattoir in Australia4
  • Is currently processing 265,000 grain fed cattle a year4

2015

  • July. The following charts are from a submission by the Australian government Department of Agriculture to the Senate rural and regional affairs and transport references committee inquiry into Market consolidation and the red meat processing sector.
  • abattoir capacities dept ag sub consolidation_edited-1

    Capacity of major beef abattoirs in QLD. Pg 15

    T2 Throughput state beef_edited-1

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

    M4 direct cattle movements NLIS QLD_edited-1

    Cattle Movements to abattoirs. Pg 25

    F12 hourly labour costs food manufacturing_edited-1

    Hourly labour costs for food manufacturing industry Pg 30

 

Sources

  1. ‘New Heads for Kilcoy, ACC abattoirs’ QLD Countrylife 13.10.1999
  2. ‘Kilcoy abattoir upgrade’ QLD Countrylife 29.05.2003
  3. ‘Harmony sells stake in Kilcoy, Harvey Beef’ Beef Central 06.12.2012
  4. ‘Kilcoy abattoir sold to Chinese Investment Fund’ The Australian 06.12.2013
  5. ‘IFFCo eyes Kilcoy abattoir in AAco deal’ Stockjournal 18.06.2009
  6. ‘Stations now in hot demand’ Nth QLD Register 10.07.2014
  7. Dept Ag. Submission to Market consolidation and the red meat processing sector July 2015

Bowen

Other Names

  • Bowen Freezing works
  • Merinda abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed 19972
    • Other articles cite closure as 1996.4

Location   

  • Merinda – 6 miles from Bowen          

Australia. Bowen

Map BowenHema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

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

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

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

Operation          

  • Purchased stock from Western QLD & NT

History of Bowen Meatworks

1890’s

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

1894

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

1905

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

1919

  • In operation

1932

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

1933

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

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

1941

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

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

1958

  • Slaughter processing peak 58,500 head.10

1960’s  

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

1963

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

1980’s

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

1983

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

1986 

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

1987

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

1988 

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

1996

  • Closed as part of Industry rationalisation.4

1997  

  • Closed.2

1998

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

Sources

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

Cloncurry #2 (Proposed)

Current Operation

  • Proposal investigated 2012

Location

  • 120 km East of Mt Isa

Australia. Cloncurry

CloncurrySource – Hema Australia Handy map 9th edition.

Owner

  •  

 Operation

  •  

History

 2012

  • October.DAFF release Feasibility study and investment report for Cloncurry proposal2
  • Study conducted and handed to North Beef consultants Oct 20121
  • Nth West QLD – report – commercial viability
    • Proposal to process 400 head a day = 100,000 head a year3
    • Infrastructure would cost $49M, doesn’t include land, services required by governement.3
    • Match of investment by government expect $10 – $28M3
    • Operating costs at Cloncurry would be higher due to input and output freight costs3
    • Throughput of livestock would be detrimental in to mainly Townsville abattoir3
    • Model suggest $41 head supply chain cost saving due to freight, processor would retain 40-60% to cover freight costs.3
  • Nth West QLD – report – opportunities
    • Would be expect to draw 170,000 head a year of slaughter ready cattle4
      • NW QLD      96,000 head4
      • NT              14,000 head4
      • locals/culls    5,000 head4
      • Expected starting estimate of 115,000 head to be able to process.4
  • Expected Hot standard carcase weight (HSCW) is the weight of carcase after slaughter4
    • Bulls all weights. Make up market supply of 10-15%4
    • Trade cows 180kg – 350kg. Make up market supply of 20-30%4
    • Young steers/Heifers 235-350kg Make up market supply of 30-45%4
    • Grass fed/grain fed Steers/bullocks 265-350kg Make up market supply of 10-20%4
    • Jo Bloomfield. Note at yield of 50% these HSCW mean liveweights of cows to be minimum 360kg, Young steers 470kg and heavy steers 530kg.
  • Payroll estimates 220 employees, would require non traditional shift structure, and use of 457 visas and would compete with mining and resource sectors4
  • marginal return expected on investment4

 

Sources

  1. ‘Northern plants jockey for processing position’ Stock Journal 25.10.12
  2. ‘Minister favours Cloncurry abattoir’ QLD Country Life 11.10.12
  3. Evaluating commercial viability of an northern outback QLD meat processing facility (2012)
  4. Nth West QLD abattoirs, opportunities (2012)

Cloncurry #1

Current Operation

  • Operating (2012)1

Location             

  Australia. Cloncurry                

Owner                 

  •  

Operation          

  • Small local processor1

History                

 

Sources

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

Camooweal

Current Operation

  • Operating (2012)

Location             

  • NT/SA border, 190 km NW of Mt Isa

Australia. Camooweal

Owner                 

  •  

Operation          

  • Small local processor who supplies own butchers shop1

History                

 

Sources

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

Berrimah

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

Other names

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

Current Operation             

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

Location             

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

Australia. Berrimah

Map - Berrimah

Owner                 

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

Operation          

  • Export and Domestic accredited11

History                

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

1934  

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

1942 

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

1959     

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

1961 

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

1960’s

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

1964  

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

1965

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

1968

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

1970’s

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

1980

  • Berrimah abattoir not in operation (Pg 245)12

1970        

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

1991

  • Berrimah closes.10

 

Sources

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

Katherine #1

 

Other Names

  • Bovril meatworks

Current Operation

  • Never completed to start operations.

Location

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

Australia. Katherine

Map. Katherine. jpg

Owner

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

History

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

Katherine. Bovril.Source – Northern Territory Library

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

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

1947

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

1949  

  • Project abandoned – Cost £300,0004

1951     

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

1952            

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

Source

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

Milestones in the Australian Meat Industry

1860’s 

  • Outbreak of pleuropneumonia – decimated herds in NSW4

1861 

  • 1st Freezer works invented – Darling Harbour8

1870   

  • Tick introduced on imported stock from Dutch Bativia4

1896  

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

1910   

  • 3 Zebu bulls introduced to QLD4

1948   

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

1950’s   

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

1954-60 

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

1959

  • USA Lean beef market development8

1960     

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

1967    

  • UK – had outbreak of FMD8

1970’s 

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

1973 

  • Australian sheep herd 142.3M10Pg 37

1974     

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

1975     

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

1978  

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

 1980’s  

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

1984

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

1984 – 1986 

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

1989   

  • BTEC finalised4.

1990’s 

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

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

1993   

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

1994  

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

1993 

  • Beginning of Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA)

1994    

  • disputes and lock out at Rockhampton AMH abattoir

1996  

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

2006

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

2010 

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

2011

  • Live Export ban to Indonesia.

2012  

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

2013  

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

Sources

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

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

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

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

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

Canon Hill (NT)

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

Current Operation

  • Closed

 Location

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

Australia. Canon Hill

Map - Canon Hill

Owner

 Operation

  •  Capacity/species – Buffalo

History

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

1987  

  • closed prior to 87, before Mudginberri closure1

Sources

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