Oakey Beef Exports general manager Pat Gleeson overlooks the boning room. Oakey Abattoir opening of Bio-Gas plant Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle
Oakey Beef Exports general manager Pat Gleeson overlooks the boning room. Oakey Abattoir opening of Bio-Gas plant Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle Bev Lacey

Beef abattoir plans massive operation improvement

A MAJOR beef abattoir and processing centre in the Toowoomba region hopes to improve its operation if it can get council approval.

Oakey Beef Exports, which employs 800 people and processes up to 1200 cattle per day, has submitted plans to the Toowoomba Regional Council to build a cold storage facility at the site, including some automation.

According to the planning report put forward by PSA Consulting, the proposal would improve efficiency for domestic and international exports.

"Australia's quality differentiation ensures its continued competitiveness on the global scale and the proposed addition of a cold storage facility on the site will enable Oakey Beef Exports to efficiently produce high quality products for its customers," the report said.

"In response to the increase in demand for a wider range of products, Oakey Beef Exports needs to increase storage capacity at the site.

"These additional product types need to be sorted into its specific categories and stored in such a way that they can be retrieved on demand to quickly fill specific customer orders."

The new facilities would feature greater capacity, automated storage retrieval systems and robotic palletising systems.

"This new facility will improve internal process systems and ensure that Oakey Beef Exports continues to be an industry leader in terms of innovation and the ability to deliver products that are in line with current market demand," the report said.

"The additional storage capacity on site will also reduce the need for expensive offsite storage and handling space and reduce issues associated with multiple handling of food products."

PSA Consulting said no staff would be laid off because of automation, but would instead be offered upskilling.

Oakey Beef Exports: Tour of Oakey Beef Exports.