Tag Archives: Queensland meat processors


Current Operation

  • Operating (2012)


  • NT/SA border, 190 km NW of Mt Isa

Australia. Camooweal




  • Small local processor who supplies own butchers shop1




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


Updated. 27th June 2013

Other Names

  • Warro Games Meat1

Current Operation

  • Is operating as at June 2013.1
  • Operates as a Kangaroo processing site.1


map SuratSource – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas


  • L. Micklebourgh & B Micklebourgh.1


  • Processes 1500 kangaroos a week for human domestic consumption and pet food markets2
  • Employs 22 full time2
  • supplies fillets on weekly basis to wholesaler who distributes to Adelaide, Melbourne & Sydney2
  • Produce manufactig meat – 12 t per week – mainly goes to pet stores.2
  • Each carcase for human consumption is worth $37 to processor2
  • Kangaroo processors pay levy to Dept of Agriculture – Fisheries and Forestry3
    • 7c per carcase for human consumption3
    • 3c/kg for pet meat3
    • Levy money is distributed to national residue survey and R & D3
      • Human consumption carcases processed collected $210,000 (2010 – 2013)3 = 3M carcases
      • Pet food processed collected $30,000(2010-2013)3 = 1M kg processed
      • R & D – one project in current study – $240,000 “welfare and humaneness of commercially harvested kangaroos”, conslude August 20133
  • Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia (KIAA)3



  • Had been other kangaroo works in QLD but many have closed down2


  • Had started in skins trade and had begun a pet food supply business.2

2004 – 2008

  • height of pet food business was processing 40t of meat a week.2
  • Operation to which the pet food was going centralised and changed demand of meat to cause orders to dwindle2
  • requirements came in that even pet food processing plants had to be accredited to process meat to human consumption standards2
  • Surat works was purchased, renovated.2


  • QLD Floods caused business to be completely surrounded by water and shutdown for 3 months2
  • Russian markets closed down that roo meat was exported too.2
  • Domestic market became flooded with roo meat product.2


  • Floods cut off access around site for 3 months2


  • Floods cut off access around site for 3 months2


  • Predicted increase in electricity prices could ultimately shut down the business1
    • Electricity has more than doubled in past 3 years.1
    • currently $22,000 per quarter1
    • Doesn’t include chiller 6 boxes that cost $1,000 each a quarter to operate1
  • Floods and debt load has had devasting effect on operation of business.2
  • Second largest employer in town behind Council.2


  1. ‘Power price rise crippling’ QLD Country life 06.06.13
  2. ‘Surat processor hops ahead’ QLD Country life 06.06.13
  3. ‘Market working on big issues’ QLD Countrylife 06.06.13


Current Operation

  • Currently Operating – currently accredited # 399 AUS-MEAT 14.01.131   
  • Employment contacts www.teysaust.com.au/employment                


  Australia. Biloela jpg   

map BiloelaSource – Hema maps. Australia Truckies atlas       


Teys Logo_edited-1

Source Logo http://www.teysaust.com.au


  • Export, Beef and Offal
  • Teys also own North Rockhampton – 2009 calendar year Teys produced 15% less volume than in 2005 and 2006, with “a lot of days off” (Brad Teys)2



  • Facility was built13


  • Owned at 1999 by Teys3
  • Has a reported capacity 137,000 head per 50 weeks operation cycle3


  • Biloela moves to hire refugees
    • Booming mining sector meant unemployment rates in the region 1.9%
    • Plant was unable to fulfil production demands due to unfilled job positions
      • Plant was only operating at 80% capacity
      • Foreign labour meant it could operate at 100%


  • Teys utilise migrant workers at Biloela and Rockhampton – Lakes Creek abattoir (QLD).4
    • Workers are employed on 457 visas (Pg 17)4
    • Hired through a labour hire company AWX Pty Ltd4
      • Teys don’t directly employ the workers4
      • Workers were hired as casuals and paid a flat rate that was $2 /hr less than permanent Teys Bros employees4
    • Created a two-tiered workforce4
      • discriminatory against foreign workers4
      • reduced the labour costs.4
      • moved to a new agreement in 20134


  • October. Teys announce a reduction of days working at Biloela5
    • blaming global financial crisis5 and
    • State government’s policy favouring of live export5
  • December. 40 foreign workers are cut5
    • Afternoon boning shift component of workforce5
    • Some are Korean, holders of working holiday visas5
    • Existing 350 workers – Australian and long stay visa holders will remain5
      • Most long stay visa holders were Vietnamese5
  • Teys consider job cuts at the Rockhampton – Lakes Creek (QLD)
  • Plant closes for seasonal break 11/12/20095
    • will resume in the New Year5
    • operating a 5 day single shift5
      • Processing 554 head5
      • single boning shift5
  • Gloomy outlook is reason for shift being closed5
    • Forecasts of dramatic reduction in available cattle in 20105
      • similar to the last quarter of 20095
      • Conditions expected to persist to 20115
    • Poor seasons5
    • Floods5
    • Large number of stock being live exported from QLD5
      • tilted playing field favours live export5
    • High Australian dollar5
    • Weak demand in export markets5


  • Kill to drop from 750hd day to 550hd


  • July. Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) don’t oppose Teys Bros & Cargill Beef Australia Merger7
    • View that the proposed merger would be unlikely to substantially lesson competition in any of the markets examined7
      • ‘fat’ cattle ready for slaughter7
      • acquisition of ‘feeder’ cattle destined for feedlots7
      • supply of processed beef to retailers and wholesalers7
  • Foreign labour in Australian beef processing8
    • Most people employed in meatworks and related industries are Australian citizens8
      • Depending on categories factored there are 35,000 – 50,000 employees in meat processing and handling businesses.8
      • Is a change of cultures, many have strong ethnic origins8
      • 457 Visa holders 5-10% of all food processing and manufacturing employees in Australia8
    • In 2010/11  there were 4,730 QLD 457 Visa’s granted8
      • 130 were skilled meatworkers (1.5%)8
      • Nationwide total 457 Visas issued to the entire Agriculture, forestry & fishing category is only 2.5%8
    • There is a labour shortage at all levels8
      • Competition from the mining sector8
      • labour force tends to be transient8
        • meat industry may source more foreign labour than other industries8
    • Other heavy users of 457 Visa’s8
      • Health Industry
      • Many hospitals unable to function without nursing support of imported labour8
  • Cattle supply is very tight23
    • Producer’s aren’t selling cattle due to poor prices23
    • Company (Teys) forced to reduce kill days23
      • for week beginning 18/07/2011 don’t even have one days kill organised as at 14/07/201123
    • CEO Teys Brad Teys, says been 30 years since he’s seen the supply of cattle so tight23


  • Pacific Island Workers Scheme is working well9
    • Seasonal worker program is a scheme for the Agriculture and accomodation industries to employ people from overseas for short periods. Seasonal Worker program
  • “..the Biloela meatworks have always said that there would be no foreign workers in the meatworks while there was an Australian without work” MP Ken O’Dowd9


  • Migrant workers that had previously worked under Work Choices now moved to a Meat Industry Award Agreement 2010. (Pg 17)4
    • Now received penalty rates for overtime, public holidays & shift allowances4
  • July. Beenleigh abattoir (QLD) wage dispute will not effect job security at other sites operated by Teys10
    • Beenleigh plant had much higer operation costs than Biloela or Rockhampton abattoir (QLD)10
      • Beenleigh only delivering 1% profit in the past four years10
  • If the meat processing industry is to avoid the path of the car manufacturing industry it needed to change10
    • “What we did in the 1970’s we can’t do now” Tom Maguire Teys’s general manager of corporate affairs10


  • Free Trade agreement with China is being negotiated.11
    • Possibility of 1M head of cattle a year to be exported to China11
    • AMIEU QLD Industrial officer Lee Norris says the deal would lead to thousands of lost jobs.11
    • Central QLD university professor or regional economic development John Rolfe – hugh economic boost to cattle producers and would lead to a more robust industry11
    • QLD Premier Campbell Newman supports China deal – it was critically important for agricultural industries11
    • “They’ve been doing it tough in the west and northwest for quite some time now with the drought, and at least this gives people hope that when conditions return to normal that they actually have some real opportunities in the future” – Campbell Newman11


  • February. Tropical cylcone Marcia swept over the QLD coast on 20/02/201512
    • Category 5, 300km/hr winds came across the Capricorn coast13
  • Significant structural damage has occured to12
    • JBS Rockhampton (Beef city)12
    • Teys Australia Rockhampton (Lakes Creek) abattoir (QLD)12
    • Biloela plant has not suffered damage but will lose time due to power supply problems12
    •  3 plants together account for 2,500 head a day slaughter capacity12
  • Biloela plant
    • Localised flooding12
      • Plant itself was not flooded13
    • Currently employs 400 people13
    • Currently processing 700 cattle a day13
    • did conduct half a days kill on day of the cyclone12
      • cyclone caused loss of only a single slaughter shift13
    • No Kill conducted following Monday 23/02/201512
      • boning shift is being conducted on 23/02/201512
    • Cattle at Lakes creek abattoir are either transported back to properties or origin (at Teys expense) or being sent to Biloela and Beenleigh abattoir (QLD) for processing12
  • Teys suffered cyclone damage to its Innisfail abattoir (QLD) in 2011. It was mothballed at the time but never reopened.12
  • Category C Emergency relief needs to be announced by Federal Government as soon as possible13
    • enables grants of $25,000 to eligible businesses and farms13
  • March. Cyclone damage to the two larger meat processors in Rockhampton will see JBS Rockhampton closed for at least a month and Teys Australia Rockhampton (Lakes Creek) QLD closed for atleast another week14
  • Seasonal stock work was complicating the matter with normal turnoff14
    • Producers having to send stock to other plants will incure greater freight costs14
    • Earliest stock were able to be slaughtered at Biloela was in April.14
  • Damage to the meat processing facilities renews debate of introduction of live export in the region14
    • Authors note – I think this in reference to using Port Alma (Rockhampton) to export live animals14
    • “We need diversity in any business and live export is part of that” Cattle Council of Australia president Howard Smith14
  • Teys Australia submission in regards to Australian workplace relations system15
  • September. Biloela plant is recognised at National level at Australian Migration and Settlement Awards – winning Business Inclusion award16
    • Foreign labour represents 70% of the plants 470 strong workforce16
    • Enabled operating capacity 100% since 200516
    • Biloela plant rates in the top 10% of the national industry16
      • due to newly skilled workforce16
      • Had to attract people to the town with a strategy as there weren’t many unemployed16
    • “The fact they could get a job and they were self-sufficent and they were contributing was the big reward” Duncan Downie – General manager of operations at Biloela16
  • November.Plant shuts down for two days in week due to lack of cattle17
    • Did not operate 02/11/2015 & 09/11/201517
    • Gone through an extended dry period17
      • Producers are holding onto cattle17
      • Cattle herd deminishing for 4-5 years due to drought17
      • When it does rain, shortage of cattle supply17
        • Don’t have the numbers to process at the facility17
    • Aim to operate 2 shifts 5 days a week, killing 710 head a day17
      • cut back operations due to shortage of cattle17
      • When graziers rebuild (if it rains) processing numbers will at normal targets17
      • Live export competition was having an impact but was not the major contributing factor17
      • “I don’t know what impact the live export trade will have. It is a long way to bring the ships down to Port Alma and the cattle they get in this areaare different to the cattle they get up north” D Downie.17
    • Plant normally sources cattle within 350km of the facility17
      • recently has had to purchase from Victoria, Longreach, Charters Towers and further north.17
  • Investment to occur at Biloela plant $10M over the next 6 months17
    • Work will begin in annual shutdown period17
      • Annual preventative maintenance program17
      • $2.7M upgrade boning room17
      • Installation of new vacuum pack machine and conveyor system17
      • In January plans to install new coal-fired boiler17
    • Seasonal closure is planned to begin 10/12/201517
  • Plant will conduct last kill 26/11/201518
    • final boning shift will happen 27/11/201518
    • Staff told 11/11/201518
    • Extended 7 week summer-season for the plant18
      • Normal schedule is 4 weeks18
        • Staff usually take 4 weeks of annual leave19
        • extra 3 weeks will be leave without pay19
      • Original target was to close 10/12/2015, reopen 08/01/201618
    • Cattle supply circumstances have dramatically changed18
      • shortage of cattle18
        • sustained records of slaughter across Eastern Australia18
          • Destocking from Western Areas19
          • high prices for cattle19
        • record live exports of cattle18
        • National herd level was on a 35 year high, to a 20 year low over the last 2 years.18
    • “This is a once-in-a-generation decline, but unfortunately  we can expect herd numbers to stay significantly low for at least the next two years as cattle producers rebuild their stock” Tom Maguire22
    • Biloela is a specialist grassfed plant, processing 700 head a day on single shift, employing 440 staff18
    • Intend to re-open 18/01/201618
    • Previous year (2014) had killed close to christmas18

ABC rural 12.11.2015._edited-1

Biloela meat processing complex. Source ABC Rural 12.11.2015

  • Early and extended shut down of the abattoirs due to lack of supply of cattle is affecting local butchers21
    • 2014 300g steak $7-$8 retail21
    • Now $9.6021
      • pricing is affecting the consumers ability and desire to pay for the product21
  • Early closure of Biloela would affect every little butcher across QLD21
    • Main problem is the drought21
    • Problem will continue when processors come back on line due to wholesalers buying aswel21
  • Agforce president Leo Neill Ballantine21
    • cattle shortage was a problem that wasn’t going to go away21
    • regardless of rain, will always be problesm with existing conditions21
      • vacuums are created in the market if producers can’t get assurances from processors21
      • producers need to be brought more into the supply chain21
        • enables cattle to be ready ahead of time21

Sources – #399 Biloela – Teys Australia (QLD)

  1. AUS-MEAT accreditation list 14.01.13
  2. ‘Abattoirs under stress’ Beef Central 22.02.13
  3. Competition and Exit in Meat Processing Agribusiness Review Vol 7 1999
  4. ‘Union Avoidance Strategies in the meat processing/packing industry in Australia and the USA compared’ A Jerrard & P O’Leary
  5. ‘Aussie workers safe in Teys cuts’ Central Telegraph 11.12.09
  6. ‘Meatworks jobs may get the chop’ The Morning Bulletin 11.12.2009
  7. ACCC will not oppose Teys Bros & Cargill Beef Australia proposed merger’ 06.07.2011
  8. ‘Processors raise hackles over ‘foreign labour’ claim’ Beef Central 21.07.2011
  9. Statement by member Ken O’Dowd. Parliament
  10. ‘Workers safe at Rockhampton and Biloela’s abattoirs’ The Morning Bulletin 14.07.2013
  11. ‘Cattle export deal with China raises fears for abattoir workers’ jobs’ Couriermail 07.11.2014
  12. ‘Power outages, structural damage from cyclone….’Beef Central 23.02.2015
  13. ‘CQ meatworks back in action’ QLD country Life 26.02.2015
  14. ‘Shutdown highlights market concerns’ www.farmweekly.com.au 02.03.2015
  15. Teys submission to Australian Productivity commission into workplace relations system. March 2015
  16. ‘Refugees save Meatworks’ Central Telegraph 04.09.2015
  17. ‘Teys Bros invest $10M in to Biloela plant’ Central Telegraph 09.11.2015
  18. ‘Teys Biloela joins list of ‘extended shutdown’ beef plants, as herd contraction bites hard’ Beef Central 11.11.2015
  19. ‘Teys abattoir shuts early due to lack of supply’ ABC Rural 12.11.2015
  20. ‘Cattle shortage forces extended closure at Teys Biloela’ The Morning Bulletin 12.11.2015
  21. ‘QLD’s rib eye price is sky high says butcher’ Observer 17.11.2015
  22. ‘Cattle shortage hits Teys’ www.farmonline.com.au 18.11.2015
  23. ‘Cattle supply chokes’ ABC Rural 14.07.2011


Current Operation

  • Aus Meat Accreditation registration dated 29/12/2015 #235 – JBS Australia Pty Ltd (Dinmore).13
    • registered as a Beef, Offal export facility.13
  • Direct employment enquiries to www.jbssa.com.au  


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


  • AMH (1999)4
    JBS Australia


  • Export – Beef, Offal1
  • (1999) Nominal capacity 625,000hd per 50 weeks4
  • Slaughtering, boning, packaging, by-products rendering and hide processing
  • Spent 10’s Millions $ over past 10 years on environmental/sustainability projects, in areas like water treatment, establishing excellent performance creditials in the environmental area2
  • “Site operates with arguably the most stringent environmental license conditions on waste water management, motor and other noise abatement of any meat plant in Australia”2.

Dinmore photo. _edited-1Source 2007 Feedback MLA

Other historical and current meat processing facilities located in Australia can be viewed at;

Australian abattoirs inactive map


History of Dinmore #235


8. ABARES Nov 2011_edited-1

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


  • 77 Beef export Abattoirs are in operation in Australia at this time.19
    • 27 have some level of foreign ownership.19
    • Ownership dominated by Japan, UK and the US.19


  • AMH intend to spend $50M upgrading Dinmore as part of $90M capital investment program across six Australian operations6
    • AMH controlled by big US rural commodities trader – ConAgra, a major exporter from North America6
    • AMH accounts for 16.5% of Australia’s beef kill.6
      • currently owns another 8 facilities but will be consolidating to 5 and closing Beaudesert (QLD), Guyra and Portland (Vic)7
        • others owned Dinmore, Townsville, Rockhampton and Aberdeen6
            • Author note – not sure of 8th.
        • Intended that 300 jobs would be replaced at Dinmore when expansion completed there6


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


  • Significant regions of drought across QLD.

QLD Drought 2003_2005_edited-1

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


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


  • Will drop from 11 to 9 shifts over a 5 day week this year in light of the livestock supply and demand challenges3
  • Between Townsville and Dinmore plant 430 people laid off.8
  • Dinmore current operating capacity 3,300 head a day.10
    • Mainly to Export 75% – Japan, US, Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia.10
  • Dinmore employs approximately 2,000 workers.10
    • About 1,700 work in production roles across 2 shifts Monday to Friday.10
    • The remainder are cleaning, maintenance and head office functions.10
    • Most Employees are male 70% employed and full-time casuals.10
    • Around 20% are from overseas – 457 Visa’s China and Brazil.10
    • 5 year EBA is currently in place, no piecework incentives provided.10
    • most workers said to be be union members.10
      • walking delegate employed on site.10
    • Company has strong internal promotion culture aimed at increasing retention.10

IBIS Jun 2010_edited-1

Major Companies in the Australian Red meat processing industry

Source IBIS world June 2010


  • January. Devastating floods across Central and southern QLD and large parts of NSW and Victoria.21
    • affected slaughter numbers to abattoirs.21
  • July.National slaughter rates decline 5%.22
    • Australian currency pressures.22
      • A$ is now above US108c.22
      • economic news out of US could send currency even higher.22
      • higher A$ would cripple Australia’s already limited price competitiveness for beef in international markets.22
    • QLD which does approximately half of Australia’s processing capacity.22
      • Down 8% from the previous week.22
      • lowest kill recorded in QLD in July for past decade.22
      • Down 21% on same period last year.22
      • Significant number of QLD plants only killing 3-4 days.22
    • listless export beef demand.22
    • Meat processing and export is low-margin business due to.22
      • Import duties.22
        • Indonesia 9%.22
        • Korea 40%.22
        • Japan 38%.22
      • New AQIS charges on meat inspection would add millions to processor costs.22
    • Is currently a big build up of meat in cold stores due to difficulty in selling into sluggish markets, Japan and the US.22

7. ABARES Nov 2011_edited-1

Red Meat throughput Australian abattoirs, Foreign and Australian owned 2011 Source ABARES foreign ownership 2011 Pg 29


  • Govt. grant $4.4M with JBS own $4.4M upgrade its waste water treatment system, installing new pre-treatment equipment and covered anaerobic lagoon technology2.
  • Company’s carbon tax liability was expected to cost $3.5M yr,($23/t) project will save $1M in energy costs and cut liability each year by $790,000.
  • Still doesn’t place Dinmore plant below 25,000t threshold, to get below that would cost a further $16M.


  • “JBS is in the process of supporting the transition of it’s 457 workforce to permanent residency”5
  • 457’s residency requires certain level of english speaking, International English language testing system level 5. – often above the level meat workers most parts of world can reach5
  • Recently completed a $50M upgrade employing most modern techonology available to ensure maximum efficency and consistency of the quality of the product9
  • Employees 235 people9
  • Daily processing 3,350 beef or 1,675 head per shift9
  • November. JBS Swift Australia install closed-circuit television camera’s (CCTV) in it’s Australian meatworks.16
    • For the purpose of animal welfare and meatworker safety issues.16
    • CCTV for internal use by only JBS, with no plans to allow outsiders to view the footage.16
  • JBS’s US beef division (which includes Australia) delivered drop in net sales and earnings in it’s third quarter financial results.17
    • Australia’s division performance and overall contribution to the overall result is impossible to distinguish due to inclusion with US and Canadian beef processing results.17
    • Earnings before tax $134M,.17
      • Down by 22.5% on previous quarter.17
      • Down by 28.4% on third quarter last year.17
    • result reflection of domestic North American markets.17
      • Improved performance had occured in Australian.17
        • Demand had increased in Chinese markets.17



  • July. JBS Australia purchase majority shareholding in NSW based Andrew Meat.15
    • specialise in high quality, portion cutting and further processing of meats for domestic and international restaurant and foodservice customers.15
    • produce ready-cooked meals.15
    • company banner Creative Food Solutions.15
    • Andrew Meat will allow JBS expansion into high growth retail and value-adding segments.15
  • Expansion of the Andrew Meats business will start in November .18
    • JBS global strategy to expand into value added meat protein – opportunity to expand margins.18
    • JBS have an existing value-added division – Food Partners.18
      • supplies food service customers like Pizza Hut and Domino’s with toppings.18
    • Andrew Meats focus will be produce ready meals.18
      • ‘grab & go’ beef roasts, designed to compete head on with hot cabinet roast chickens sold in supermarkets.18
      • Domestic markets were very immature but also with significant growth potential.18
  • At this time JBS operate.15
    • 10 processing facilities.15
      • Daily processing capacity of more than 8,000 cattle and 21,000 small stock.15
    • 5 feedlots.15
  • December. JBS currently operate 12 meat processing plants across 5 Australian states11
    • Wages & local procurement $730M (Excluding livestock purchases)11
    • Employs 8,500 people at the facilities11
      • Employs 12,000 people in Australia11
    • Total revenue of $6.5B11
  • JBS plants 2014_edited-1

    JBS processing plants in Australia

    Source JBS submission #50 Market Consolidation.

    • JBS estimates its current share of four eastern states beef kill – 20% (excludes service kill)11
      • JBS share of Australian beef production 16%11
      • Market share of national small (lamb, mutton & goat) 16%
    • JBS spent $2.4M on halal certification costs of approved religious certifiers in 20142


    • January. MLA forecast.20
      • Australian cattle herd has gone from 35 year high (2013) to 20 year low (2015).20
      • Australian cattle herd slip to 26.8M head by June 2015.20
        • by 2016 expected decline to 26.5M head.20
        • by 2020 27.9M head.20
      • Adult cattle slaughter expected to slump 15% year on year.20
        • 2015 to 7.8M head.20
        • 2020 expected 7.9M slaughter.20
      • Long term Female average in 2014 52%.20
        • Normally female kill percentage 47%.20
        • Only in years 1977, 1998 & 2003 has female kill been above 50%.20
      • Beef exports record levels in 2014 1.39M tonnes shipped weight.20
        • Expected to drop 20% to 1.3M tonnes in 2015.20
    • March. Foreign ownership of Australian red meat processing facilities
    • Nippon share_edited-1

      Share of Australian red meat processing

      Source The Stock Standard. VFF March 2015


  • March. Cyclone Marcia cross the Capricornia Coast some plants were damaged.70
    • Supply is exceeding capacity in QLD at this point.70

Cyclone Marcia Feb 2015_edited-1

Impact of Cyclone Marcia February 2015. www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au

  • June. Cost of processing in Australia 1.5-3 times the cost of processing animals in another country11
  • cost of processing grain-fed cattle in Australia is twice of the USA11
    • lower levels of productivity in Australia in regards to kg per unit of labour11
    • 2 major differences between Australia and the USA11
      1. Government regulation
        • $10 a head more in Australia11
        • Dept. of Australian Agriculture fully recover costs of meat export inspection and certification11
          • Australia wide DAFF costs $80M11
          • JBS contribute $14.5M11
        • Export plants don’t use DAFF but use approved employees, which plants fully cover costs11
          • JBS estimate an additional $30M at Export level11
        • USA & Brazil governments provide services at no or minimal costs to processors11
      2. Energy Costs
        • $15 a head more in Australia11
    • Technical barriers to trade (TBT’s)- Total value in Australia estimated at $1.25B as identified costs11
      • 261 TBT’s in 40 key markets11
        • 136 have significant trade distortion impacts11
  • July. The following charts are from a submission by the Australian government Department of Agriculture to the Senate rural and regional affairs and transport references committee inquiry into Market consolidation and the red meat processing sector.
  • abattoir capacities dept ag sub consolidation_edited-1
    • Capacity of major beef abattoirs in QLD. Pg 15

      T2 Throughput state beef_edited-1

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

      T4 processing companies market share_edited-1

      Major Processing companies by market share May 2015. Pg 16

      M4 direct cattle movements NLIS QLD_edited-1

      Cattle Movements to abattoirs. Pg 25

      F12 hourly labour costs food manufacturing_edited-1

      Hourly labour costs for food manufacturing industry Pg 30

October. 10 mayors from Southern QLD form a mayoral group to act as a united lobby group for their region.24

  • represent 25% land area of QLD, quarter of QLD cattle and 75% of grain and crop production area24
    • support the Oakey abattoir push for rail transport improvements.24
    • $2M in State and Federal funding is required to fund new rails sidings.24
      • Federal government feel that private investors should fund the improvements themselves.24
      • will add to processor competition in the area.24
  • Only 2 abattoirs are currently contracted to be supplied cattle on the Western line.24 JBS Dinmore (QLD) and Teys Beenleigh (QLD)
    • Oakey is to be added, starting January 2016.24
      • Contractually Oakey can recieve cattle but as they have no rail siding this is not physically possible.24


  • AACo have animals processed at Eastern abattoirs as service kill.23
    • See year 2013.23
    • Gross processing costs had increased in the 6 months to September 2015.23
      • $1.13 risen to $1.21/kg, 7% increase year on year HCW.23



  • December. ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates.12
    • Data interpretation – Companies do not pay company tax on revenue (total income) they pay on profits after paying all expenses, including wages, capital replacement, supplier costs and other operating expenses.12
    • Income tax information is for 2013/14.12
    • JBS Holdco Australia Pty Ltd produced Total Income $4,040,948,610.12
      • Taxable Income $419,882,525.12
        • Tax Payable $44,809,334.12


QLD Drought Situation 2013 – 2015 www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au


Sources for Dinmore QLD. JBS

  1. AUS-MEAT Accreditation list 14.01.13
  2. ‘JBS offered $4.4M grant for Dinmore carbon abatement project’ Beef Central 04.02.13
  3. ‘Abattoirs under stress’ Beef Central 22.02.10
  4. Competition and exit in Meat Processing Agribusiness review Vol 7 1999
  5. ‘JBS to help 457 workers to Aussie residency’ Ipswich QLD 02.03.13
  6. ‘US beef exporters force three abattoirs to close’ SMH 15.05.1996
  7. ‘Guyra abattoir closure’ Mr Raymond Chappell 15.05.96 http://www.parliment.nsw.gov
  8. ‘Australia: Union shuts down picket of locked out meatworkers’ http://www.wsws.org. 28.12.2010
  9. http://www.jbsswift.com.au. Accessed 13.11.2013
  10. Work-skills-and-training-2301-1
  11. sub50_JBS Inquiry into the effect of market consolidation on the red meat processing sector
  12. ‘ATO publishes tax data for agribusiness corporates’ Beef Central 18.12.2015
  13. AUS-MEAT Accreditation Listing 29.12.2015
  14. ‘Big Beef producer cuts deal with Tasman group’ The Age 06.03.2008
  15. ‘JBS takes stake in Andrews Meat’ www.farmonline.com.au 09.07.2014
  16. ‘Swift CCTV camera action’ Weekly Times 13.11.2013
  17. ‘JBS delivers lower third quarter beef sales, revenue’ Beef Central 14.11.2013
  18. ‘What’s behind JBS taking a big stake in Andrews Meat Value adding Businnes? Beef Central 10.07.2014
  19. ABARES foreign ownership 2011
  20. ‘MLA forecasts beef market adjustment’ The Land 27.01.2015
  21. ‘Slow season opening for processors’ Beef Central 11.01.2012
  22. ‘Caualties emerging as export kill pressure continues’ Beef Central 25.07.2011
  23. ‘AACo’s Darwin abattoir projected to be strong finanical performer’ Beef Central 18.03.2013
  24. ‘$2M only barrier to better rail access for cattle’ Beef Central 20.10.2015


Cairns (more commonly known as Queerah meatworks) was located in far north QLD received cattle from mainly north Australia, often by Barge from the NT and Normanton that had travelled from the gulf of Carpentaria. Began to export in 1950’s closing in 1989

Number of photographs kindly supplied by the Cairns Historical Society, a museum and library operated by volunteers.

Other names

  •  Queerah

Current Operation

  • Closed 19861
  • Others say 19894

P08210 (2)Source – Cairns Historical Society, 1952. Photo PO8210
The Cairns Meatworks


  • Skelton Creek, Cairns

Australia. Cairns. jpg

Map. Cairns 001Source – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas.


  • Amagraze. Director Fred Beaver (1962)3
  • AMH


  • Export1
  • Nominal Capacity 110,000hd per 50 weeks1



Queerah 1950.Source Cairns Regional Council. Dated 1950

Queerah Meatworks

  • Begun to export early 1950’s4


  • 1st loading 6th June 1960.Ships – Irene Clauser ,  Inger Clausen – coasters – length of 50m, shallow draft, carry 200-250hd1
  • Clara Clauser – specifically built for Gulf trade, larger but shallower draft of only 1.8m, carry 800-1000hd1
  • Involved in shipping cattle Gulf of Carpentaria around Cape to Cairns, otherwise cattle had to be walked 3500km to east coast, ships took 5 days1
  • Burketown, Karumba & Normanton – shipping from these regions to Bowen and Cairns. Govt paid a 3 pound freight subsidy3
  • Earlier service operated by barge Wewak, owned by Marine contracting and towing company1pg 72

p04059 (2)Source – Cairns Historical society. 1963. PO4059
Winners of the Queerah meatwoeks carcass competition Cairns Show


  • Isla Clauser – replaced Inger Clauser  and Irene Clauser, to be replaced by Ida Clauser3
  • At this time Cairns (Queerah) was most modern meatworks in the southern hemisphere5
    • Had first continuous chain – carcase kept moving along the line, once it started5
  • July. Meatworkers strike5
    • 13 boners including union president had been sacked for go-slow5
    • Industrial commission and Conciliation commission directed men’s re-employment as boners – they were but with union predisent as a trimmer, reducing wage by half5
    • Company refused to give preference to union workers of  AMIEU5
    • Union called stop work. – 41 employees including union president dismissed5
  • 100 graziers moved in to keep works operating – came from Cape York, Gulf, Hughenden, Alpha and Warwick5
    • mainly used to bone due to backlog of meat5
  • Boners earning 60-65 pounds a week, strike wanted 5 more5
  • Strike went for about 10 days5


  • Cairns Harbour board Installed large Freezers at the Number 1 wharf to store meat in cartons for direct loading to the ship4

p04048 (2)Source – Cairns Historical Society. c1970

Loading export meat from the Queerah meatworks at Cairns wharf


  • Ida Clauser supported Gulf trade to about this year3
  • Clara Clauser – larger, shallow draft built specifically to navigate shallow north Australian rivers3.


  • Over capacity of the meat processing sector had always been a chronic problem, but where previously it was due to seasonal factors now the problem was a direct result of management decisions during the late 1970’s (Pg 85, thesis)5

    • Chronic over capacity, undersupply of cattle and oversupply of labour requirements (Pg 117, thesis)5
    • Processing sector shed 15,000 jobs between 1980-1984 (Pg 117, thesis)5
      Entire export sector was regulated by the speed and skill of the production process (The chain and CanPak killing systems), bureaucratic control systems regulated the substantive and procedural rules (The tally and awards)(Pg 120, thesis)5
    • the only way forward for employers was rationalisation of the production capacity (Pg 120, thesis)5


  • Australian Meat Holdings (AMH) – Four largest meat processors in Australia had decided to combine their resources(Pg 126, thesis)5
    • FJ Walkers (Wholly owned by Elders)5
    • Metro Meat Industries5
    • Smorgon Consolidated Industries5
    • Tancred Brothers5
      • combined assets $90M (Pg 127, thesis)5
      • Plan was to combine resources of QLD meat processing facilities, take over Mackay (then owned by Borthwicks) and Bowen plants. Establish the most suitable operating capacity for the new entity and then rationalise the remaining excess capacity (Pg 126 thesis)5
      • Borthwicks latter withdrew from talks but was latter taken over by AMH in 1987 (Pg 128, thesis)5
  • AMH principal objective was to rationalise capacity of its 9 abattoirs, so the remaining plants would operate near full capacity (Pg 128, thesis)5
    • two older plants immediately decomissioned (Pg 128, thesis)5
      • Authors note – think Cairns  and Cape River abattoir (QLD) were two of these plants.
      • By 1996 AMH had closed 5 of the 9 plants.(Pg 128, thesis)5


  • Closed4


  1. Competition & Exit in Meat Processing. Agribusiness review Vol 7 1999
  2. ‘100 years of Northern Beef Production’ Nth QLD register 22.11.12
  3. ‘The Australian Live Export Trade’ Nigel Austin.
  4. Cairns Historical Society.
  5. Employers & Industrial Relations in the Australian Meat processing Industry. P. O’Leary 2008
  6. ‘Queerah Meatworks strike’ North QLD register 17.10.2013
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