Friday, February 24, 2012

New Abattoirs for North Australia? How Many are Viable?

The need for one or more abattoirs in the north of Australia has been an issue for many years now, following the demise of the older abattoirs that were around in the 1970s and 1980s. They were at Darwin, Katherine, Wyndham and Derby – all gone!

AAco has developed a plan for a new facility about 50kms S of Darwin, and recently there are noises about another abattoir mooted for Cloncurry. This has been developed as the preferred site by a Queensland based task force, and the issue is discussed here -

While AAco is well advanced with the Darwin site, and has done a lot of work on the facility planning and engineering, it is not an absolute goer ......yet. A site close to Darwin has significant advantages in relation to the logistics, both for the animals coming in, staff, and the export of product, as well as a reasonably large sized local market worth developing in future years. So far it is understood all production will be exported as ground beef. At present, almost all NT beef for consumption is imported, so there is a lot of potential for that market itself, at least for prime cuts.

Last year’s debacle over the export of live cattle is a searing memory for northern producers of beef. There are already plans by many to change to a slightly different animal – one that offers possible options – live export, or domestic markets.

These animals are likely to have less % of Brahman genes, while still retaining the advantages the zebu genes confer. Not to mention a few other animal types such as Boran with superior reproduction levels and a few others in the mix.

Producers do not want to get caught again, especially as there are coming changes in the Indonesian market in relation to possible self sufficiency – although many believe this to really be quite a few years away, if at all. But, no one wants to get something sprung upon them like 2011.

Can the northern region support one or two or even three abattoirs? There is also serious talk about some sort of facility in the northwest – Broome is talked about, but so too has Derby.

I think there will be new abattoirs; the question is where and how many? And how will they operate given the still problematical conditions of access across the north for at least 3 months of the year, sometimes longer.

1 comment: said...

I suggest that an "asylum seeker" boat people holding centre be set up near a beef and lamb abbitoir at Derby, or similar location with International shipping facilities.
The detainees with HALAL qualifications be selected to work, with pay, at the works. The works would be approved by the ISLAMIC inspectors so that the product would be accepted in their countries.
Kevin Hulton-Smith