Let's Look Back: Ross River Meatworks

Let's Look Back: Ross River Meatworks


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This advertisement from the North Queensland Register January 21, 1907, gives some indication of the range of canned goods produced by QME.  Some of these would not have been manufactured in Townsville.

This advertisement from the North Queensland Register January 21, 1907, gives some indication of the range of canned goods produced by QME. Some of these would not have been manufactured in Townsville.

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LOOKING back is an interesting phenomenon – not only do you reflect on what has been, but you also make projections of the future

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LOOKING back is an interesting phenomenon – not only do you reflect on what has been, but you also make projections of the future.

It’s strange to think the tumultuous times we live in will one day be but dates with historical tags – the day the live export industry was banned, the year that flame-haired Deputy Prime Minister got the top job, and so on.

February 1995 was the month the Smorgon Meat Group made the announcement that the Ross River Meatworks in Townsville was to close permanently.

Today, it is but a date most wouldn’t even bother remembering. But 18 years ago, it was a date when 400 people lost their jobs, and when the North Queensland cattle industry lost a major northern killing facility.

The history of the Ross River Meatworks could have been lost in the boxes of archives stored somewhere, but luckily the North Queensland Register’s Bob Roberts ensured the history of a plant that processed northern beef for 102 years would not disappear.

Over the next two editions (August 1 and August 8), we will look back at the Ross River Meatworks.

As you read the facts of a dispute, or a certain date and time back then, maybe just take a second to think about the facts of a dispute, or a certain ember in another 100 years time.

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