Tag Archives: NSW abattoirs

Oberon

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

Other Names

  • Unknown

Current Operation

  • Is currently operating in 2014.

Location   

  • Oberon is approximately 200km east of Sydney, on the western side of the Great dividing range.

Oberon

Oberon #2Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Privately owned.2
    • Manager Andrew McLeod.2

Operation   

 

History

2010

2014

  • February. Abattoir re-started2
  • Had been closed for last 2 1/2 years due to sour business deal2
  • Will fill demand for Asian style processing of smaller stock2
    • processing goats, lambs, deer and beef2
    • Chinese prefer a skin-on burnt2
      • Processed through a hot tub, hair is beaten off and skin stays on, then hair is burnt off and gives a crisp golden colour2
      • large market demand in Sydney2
  • Currently employing 16 people2
    • intentions to employ up to 402

 

Sources

  1. Abattoir industry in a disastrous state. ABC rural. 16.02.2010
  2. ‘Oberon abattoir back in operation’ ABC rural. 24.02.14

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’ http://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’ http://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 http://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. http://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

Coonamble

Coonamble is located Northern NSW and closed in 2001 citing GST and crippling government charges. It is currently undergoing renovations for reopening in 2014.

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Is currently undergoing renovation to reopen in 2014

Location   

  • Coonamble is about 230km direclty south of the NSW/QLD border, Large cities closest Tamworth 292km by road or Sydney 700km in a straight line South east.

Australia Coonamble

Coonamble

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Castlereagh – Bill Scott1
    • Other directors John and Len Scott2
  • 2012 – Nasser Beydoun

Operation  

  •  Operated butcher shops in Coonamble.3
  • Employed 52 workers.

History

1974

  • Scott Brothers took over operation of abattoir3

2000

  • May. Impending GST set to force sale or shutdown of abattoir2
    • Under GST – Meat processors required to pay GST on all stock purchases and claim tax back as refund2.
    • Problem is purchases need to be settled in 7 days and refunds not received for 2 months.2
    • Coonamble would require $200,000 in additional interest chargesto cover GST in first month of reporting period, then another $400,000 while waiting for refund2
    • represent a liability of $50 per head for owning a beast 24 hours.
  • Martin Ferguson (Labor) claims GST  was responsible for Coonamble closure1
  • Bill Scott – owner – “Cause of closure lies squarely at the feet of the Carr Labor government”, he called “never ending regime of charges and regulations”1
    • Government implemented pay roll tax, workers compensation changes and state departmental fees and charges – Bill scott identified as buisiness killers1
  • July. Abattoir closed.
    • Citing GST as catalyst and crippling state government costs3
    • Works to be mothballed but maintained to export standards for immediate start up.3
  • Operational costs in NSW higher than QLD.3
  • Coonamble had been larges buyer of yearling cattle in NSW3
  • On closure had 40 on last week payroll, and bought 1/3 of yarding at Coonamble sale3

2001

  • Offically closed.4

2008

  • Coonamble Shire Council commission a study which found the facility was a viable option.4
    • Used results of study to attract an investor4

2012

  • June. Business sold to a Sydney Company4
    • when reopened will employ 30 people4
    • Produce Halal certified beef and lamb4
    • buy livestock from North west NSW and southern QLD4
  • refurbishment of abattoir currently 80% complete with opening expected in September4
  • July new owners, Nasser Beydoun, owner, manages sodt drink and dip business, first foray into meat5
    • Will start with 30 employees, number likely to grow5
    • working with council to ensure meet licensing requirements5
    • producer halal certified beef, lamb and goat meat5
    • Require new boilers, cookers, doing up slaughter room, power is upgraded and have started work on fridges and cool room8
  • Opening of an abattoir after being mothballed so long (11 years) is almost without precedent7
  • Halal meat – growing metroplitan market8
  • Expect to be opened January or February 20148
  • New owners are buying houses for staff in town of Coonamble8
  • Government’s upgrading program a loop line will be provided with new siding and loading area at Coonamble railway – is a good outcome for the abattoir operations9
  • Oct. Shire talk of developments to date of abattoir’10
    • 1 meat inspector position has been filled with another advertised10
    • Owners notified council – sheep and cattle to be processed in one line10
    • 17 points yet to be addressed prior to reinstatement of licence10
      • Previous operations residents on the opposite side of the river had complained of odour10
    • Consideration given to selling local sheep yards as they weren’t being used10
      • sheep yards were part of saleyard enterprise10
      • Sheep yards to remain11
  • Nov Coonabarabran abattoir (NSW) (located 112km SE of Coonamble) closed6.
    • Closed due to inability to recover from $190,000 fine for effluent spill & Owner had been diagnosed with leukaemia and unable to work6

2013

  • Mar. Meeting held with owners, still compliance and investment funding issues12

Sources

  1. ‘Ferguson wrong again on abattoir closure’ John Anderson Dpt Prime Minister Media release. 05.07.2000
  2. ‘Coonamble abattoir early GST victim’ Stock Journal 31.05.2000
  3. ‘State rules shut abattoir’ The Land 06.07.2000
  4. ‘Plans to reopen Coonamble abattoir’ ABC news 11.07.12
  5. ‘Prosperous future of Coonamble abattoir’ ABC news 12.07.12
  6. ‘Closed Coonabarabran abattoir up for sale’ The Northern Daily Leader 13.11.12
  7. ‘Coonamble plant to re-open’ Beef Central 08.11.13
  8. ‘Coonamble abattoir reopening to create local jobs’ ABC news. 29.07.13
  9. Coonamble shire council meeing minutes 11.07.12
  10. Coonamble shire council meeting minutes 10.10.12
  11. Coonamble shire council Ordinary meeting 12.12.12
  12. Coonamble Shire council. Business paper 15.05.13

Camperdown

Camperdown abattoir was located close to Sydney and closed in 1991 following violent industrial confrontations over pay and conditions.

Other Names

Current Operation

  • Closed 19911

Location   

  • 8km SE Sydney CBD

Camperdown

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • Famicopr – Farouk Fami1

Operation

History

1991

  • May. Fired 130 workers2
  • Oct. Mounted police charged meatworkers picketing abattoir 26th October 19912
    • Body Hire firm – ‘Troubleshooters Available’ assis abattoir to find contract labour2
    • Camperdown 1st abattoir to be staffed by contract labour2
  • Violent protests between unions against police and contractors over pay conditions and pay.1
  • Mangement decided to employ contract workers, never reached an agreement with unions, abattoir closed.1
  • Bitter and violent industrial confrontation forced plant’s closure1
  • Troubles arise from attempts by some exporters to cut  meatworkers wages and conditions” Bill Malcolm – Senior lecturer in Agricultural economics at Melbourne University
  • Several closures in Victoria abattoirs as a result of shortage of livestock
  • QLD meat industry seen as having advantage over Vic-
    • QLD – increasingly lot fed animals receving higher export prices, ability to export quicker to Japan2
    • Vic – grass fed animals,
      • Extracting difference in profit margins from meatworkers2

2007

  • Poperty is carved into 6 lots and beng advertised for total price of $800,000 (dated 10.12.2007)1
    • old abattoir site nearly 10ha for sale for $230,0001
    • Is an abandoned site, in shocking repair, has asbestos1
    • Shire council asked management to clean up site1

Sources

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

Blayney

Other Names

  • ANZCO abattoir

Current Operation

  • closed 19982

Location   

Australia. Blayney

Blayney

Hema Maps – Australia Truckies atlas.

Owner

  • McPhee Meats2
  • 1996 – ANZCO1
  • Manager – Neville Newton, now managing Goulburn4

Other abattoirs in Australia

Go to this link to view Location of Australian Abattoirs

abattoirs_edited-1   

Operation  of Blayney #155

  • Sheep processing facility6

History

1900

  • Freezing works3

1957

  • abattoir opened, had been a freezing works prior. Latter tannery and pet food plant3

1976 – Not sure if this is correct because in 88 frieght company say they worked for Blayney’s last 43 years.

1963

  • February. At this time is an export facility operated by Blayney (Abattoir) County council6
    • Has chilling, freezing and freezing storage facilities6

1976

  • Tenders for contract to build beef facilities1
    • 2 story building, 1,800 sq m, able to process 100 head cattle per hour1
    • Electrical, Mechancial, Ventalation, Visera tables1
    • To commence construction November 19761

1987

  • Nov. Is registered at this time as an export facility
    • Operating under the name – Blayney Abattoir

1996

  • ANZCO bought insolvent abattoir from MPhee Meats – left unsecured creditors owed $6M2

1997

  • July. Is registered at this time as an export facility8
    • Operating under the name ANZCO foods Pty Ltd8

1998

  • April. Operations scaled back in recent weeks, Some 1,600 staff had previously been employed, now there was barely 1005
  • May. Closed – reason cited by ANZCO- stock shortage2
    • Industry sources say ANZCO left with large stocks or unsol meat as a result of Asian currency crisis2
    • NSW Meat Industry Authority (MIA)”there is definitely no shortage of stock or supply”2
    • “This year cattle killed in abattoirs have averaged 43,000 head a week an increase on average of 10,000 head over last the last year(dated 10.03.1998) Richard Tpnner, MIA2
    • AMIEU – suspect economic factors rather than stock shortages were behind closure2
    • sacked workers given one weeks notice – 580 people2
    • AMIEU accused ANZCO avoiding termination payments and redundancies – could be millions of dollars. – by citing seasonal factors allows ANZCO 8 month lee period before being deemed at closed for purpose of redundancy liability2
    • Blayney refus to indicate how long plant closed for.2
  • Refrigerated transport business who carried livestock and refrigerated meat for abattoir last 43 years also closed and selling 14 prime movers and trailers – abattoir was seasonal and not suited to transport company2
  • other recent closures Grafton, Gunnedah and Canberra2

2010

  • March. Aus meat listing of March 2010 doesn’t show Blayney #155 abattoir as a registered facility9.

2014

  • September. Proposal is put to council to build a new goat abattoir in the region20
    • Proposed $38M10
      • Facility would be attached to existing Blayney Sealink Cold store complex10
      • Plans have been submitted to council11
        • Expectations to commence building middle 201511

2016

  • June. Approval has not yet been received for development to go ahead11
    • Environmental concerns with 25 objections received11

 

Sources

  1. ‘New beef facilities – calling for tenders’ The Age 08.09.1976
  2. ‘600 sacked workers given just a weeks pay’ Sydney morning herald. 10.03.1998. http://www.abattoirs.com.au
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blayney,_New_South_Wales
  4. ‘Abattoir industry in a disastrous state’ ABC Rural 16.02.10
  5. Parliamentary Hansard. Speaker Mr RW Turner. 30.04.1998
  6. World on a plate – A history of meat processing in Australia. Stephen Martyn. 2014
  7. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-12/2438-million-goat-abattoir-proposal-for-blayney-sparks-efforts/5739222
  8. Aus Meat July 1997 Listing
  9. Aus Meat Mar 2010 Listing
  10. ‘Investing $38M at Blayney’ The Land 18/09/2014
  11. ‘Developers expect $38M Blayney …….’ Central Western Daily 07/06/2016

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. http://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. http://www.abattoirs.com.au
  8. ‘Meat Exporters have bone to pick with us’ SMH 19.01.1996. http://www.abattoirs.com.au
  9. ‘US threat puts $1B beef trade at risk’ SMH 18.01.1996. http://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

Operation

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

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

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

Sources Dubbo.2  #2309

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