Australian Meat Industry – Employing Australian Workers -The 457 MYTH

The Australian Meat Industry Employs collectively over 200,000 Australians. From slaughter, to boning and processing, to supply chain services and retail. These jobs support rural communities, add significantly to our economy and ensure that our animals are processed under our Humane and developed Australian Welfare Standards and Laws.

Live Export takes away these jobs, many reports (refer to these here) confirm that the impact of sending meat worker jobs overseas – with tens of thousands of jobs lost, and processing facilities closed – many due to low through put and processing well under capacity.

The value of processing Australian animals on shore means more than 20% more to our economy, tens of thousands of more jobs and a stable, sustainable industry. Australian Meat Workers process 7 x the volume of meat that Live Export sends overseas – and the chilled industry continues to flourish – and Australian Meat Workers are the backbone of this supply chain and industry.

The MYTH that the Australian Meat Industry Employs only 457 Visa Workers (Foreign Labor) is one that is perpetrated by the Live Export Industry. Which is interesting as their whole model of trade is setting up and supporting 100% Foreign Labor in their overseas processing facilities, which we know, are worlds below our standards in Australia.

“Whilst it might seem at face value that there is a large percentage of foreign workers employed in meat-works and related industries, it is really predominantly a change of cultures that is being seen,” Mr Dart said.

“At last count, our business was employing people from 23 different nationalities, but 99 percent of these are Australian citizens, mostly new to manufacturing-type employment,” he said.

While there was now a strong ethnic origin bias evident in many abattoirs, the key point is most of these employees are Australian citizens, not from overseas.

“This is a real paradigm and culture change for any industry and its employers,” Mr Dart said.

He suggested 457 visa holders currently had only a “small influence in the employment stakes.”

“We would estimate 457 visa holders would currently represent somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of all food processing and manufacturing employees in Australia.

Beef Central collected employment data from five large export-licensed processing plants, located from Central Queensland to southern NSW. Collectively, the five plants employed 3010 permanent staff. Of those, just 176 were imported labour, representing 5.84 percent. Individually, the proportions of foreign labour at each site ranged from 12.9 percent to zero.

Latest Department of Immigration statistics also illustrate this another way.

Of the 4730  457 visas granted in Queensland during 2010-11, just 130 (1.5pc) were made under the skilled meatworker category. Nationwide, the total number of 457 visa holders under the entire agriculture, forestry and fishing category is only 2.5pc.

See more at:

For some compelling information and to hear from Australian Meat Workers and their Industry Bodies watch the following Videos;

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