AACo Darwin Abattoir go ahead-North Australian Beef Ltd

Managing Director of the AACo, David Farley, has said that the AACo is now proceeding with plans to build an abattoir south of Darwin. The NT government has given approval for the project.  The Darwin abattoir has already received support from the RSPCA because it provides producers with an option other than live export, and presumably also because an abattoir in the Northern Territory will cut the time cattle spend in roadtrains, dramatically.  At present, cattle stations located between Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing (central Kimberley region of WA) are faced with the prospect of sending their fat cattle 3,000km to an abattoir in southern Western Australia, or 3,000km east to the Townsville (North Queensland) abattoir.

The AACo has paid $13.3 million for 600 hectares south of Darwin.  It is estimated that the Darwin abattoir will provide up to 260 jobs and process up to 1,000 head of cattle per day – the equivalent of the average sized mob mustered on large northern cattle stations.  Neither the Federal Government nor the Northern Territory Government have agreed to provide funding for the $83 million project.  David Farley said power, water and port access arrangements are still to be finalised however this should occur within weeks.  AACo is looking for investment partners but will retain a majority share in the abattoir developing company, to be called North Australian Beef Ltd .

The Darwin abattoir is great news for all northern cattle station owners.

The Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) is Australia’s largest and oldest cattle company – employing more than 500 people running 485,000 cattle on 7.2 million hectares, which is approximately 1.1% of Australia’s landmass.  The company owns 19 cattle stations, 2 feedlots and 3 farms, spread from north-western NT to south-eastern Queensland.  Previously the AACo has also owned properties in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and northern New South Wales.  Publicly floated a decade ago, the AACo is partly owned by overseas investors.

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