Tag Archives: Sheep processing abattoir

NSW abattoir list A – Z.

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

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


Aberdeen abattoir. Closed. Last owned by AMH

Bega. Current operation unknown

Blayney abattoir. Closed Last owned by ANZCO

Bourke (Proposed) Goat


Casino abattoir. Currently operating

Collarenbri. Proposed goat abattoir

Coonabarabran abattoir. Closed

Coonamble abattoir


Cowra abattoir. Currently operating


Deniliquin abattoir. Current operation unknown

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

Duringula abattoir

Forbes abattoir (NSW)

Goulburn abattoir




Guyra abattoir

Harden abattoir. Closed in 2006.

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


Oberon abattoir


Aberdeen abattoir

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


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

Blayney abattoir

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

Bourke (Proposed) Goat

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

Camperdown abattoir

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

Casino abattoir

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

Collarenebri (Proposed) Goat

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

Coonabarbran abattoir

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

Coonamble abattoir

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

Cootamundra abattoir

Cowra abattoir

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

Culcairn abattoir

Deniliquin abattoir

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

Dubbo abattoir

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


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

Forbes abattoir

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

Goulburn abattoir

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

Grafton abattoir

Gundagai abattoir

Gunnedah abattoir

Guyra abattoir

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

Harden abattoir

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

Inverell abattoir

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

Lismore abattoir

Oberon abattoir

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

Kangaroo Island (SA)

Other Names

  • KI Abattoir

Current Operation

  • Closed – 19981



  • Samex Australian Meat Company, Managing Director – Rob Black. Purchased early 20131


  • Previously had operated seasonally for 5-6 months of the year2
  • Would require a combined throughput of 5000 sheep and lambs each week over a 9-10 month period to sustain the operation1



  • Samex Australian Meat Company purchased1
  • May. discussion with producerson ability to commit to supply, producers were able to do 100,000 lambs but thought 200,000 was unrealistic1
  • Samex not looking for investors but commitment from growers to support2
  • Current production was required to be changed from over a 4-5 month period to 9-10 month1


  1. ‘KI abattoir Interest grows’ The Land. 02.05.13
  2. ‘Crunch time for Kangaroo Island abattoir’ The Islander 09.04.13.


Current Operation

  • Operating as a special purpose abattoir


  • 30 km E of Mandurah

Australia. Karnet

Map. KarnetSource – Hema Maps. Australia Truckies Atlas


  • Karnet Prison farm – is a minimum security prison2


  • Cattle & sheep processed in abattoir1
  • Training site for prisoners to gain experience and knowledge in agricultural production for employment prospects.2
  • Karnet works in conjunction with Pardelup prison farm (Mt Barker), have herd of cattle and sheep, produce is sold on the open market and steers brought to process in the abattoir with cull animals off the farms in the abattoir and boning plant.3
  • Farms produce milk, eggs, vegetables and fruit for other prisons in WA, estimated to save $2M a year in the produce being able to be supplied.3
  • Equipment, sheds and hydroponic systems built from equipment seized in drug raids.3




  • Prison farm established2



  1. WAMIA Meat processors 2013
  2. http://www.correctiveservices.wa.gov.au/prisons/prison-locations/karnet.aspx
  3. ‘Inside job’ Landline. 19.02.12. http://www.abc.net.au/landline/content/2012/s3434298.htm


Other Names

  • Gascoyne

Current Operation

  • Closed  


Australia. Carnarvon

Map Carnarvon




  • Domestic sheep accredited



  • Has an outstanding debt of $1M owed to AQIS, must be paid by any prospective buyer1        


  1. Personal communication #1 15.02.13


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

Current Operation

  • Operating (as at 2013)


Australia. Dubbo

Map Dubbo 002



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



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


  • 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.


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • Wool scouring and topmaking plant started operation4


  • 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


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


  • 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)


  • 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


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


  • 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


  • 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


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



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