The ruins of the only air-beef abattoir ever established in Western Australia has been recognised for its historic significance by being listed in the State Register of Heritage Places.
Heritage Minister Francis Logan said the listing of the Air Beef Abattoir and Aerodrome and the Glenroy Homestead Group was an important event for heritage in the West Kimberley.
He said the abattoir was an innovative venture which made a significant contribution to the quota of Australian meat exported to Britain.
“The place had an important role in the development of the beef pastoral industry in the Kimberley and the North-West during the 20th Century,” Mr Logan said.
“It was conceived and developed in 1949 to overcome difficulties in marketing cattle from remote inland stations, as a response to the restrictions imposed by World War II.
“There was also an increasing availability of technology which allowed for the transportation of chilled meat from a land-based abattoir. Previously, stock had to be transported by hoof or by truck to meatworks close to ports at Wyndham or Derby.
“The actual construction of the abattoir and aerodrome was also very innovative in such difficult climatic and logistical conditions, as most of the materials had to be transported to the site by air.
“The abattoir and aerodrome were part of the Air Beef Scheme - which was anticipated to produce a network of inland abattoirs throughout northern Australia. But the scheme did not eventuate.”
Mr Logan said the abattoir had been built in a hurry and had exhibited shortcomings from the outset. But it operated successfully from 1949 to 1965, overcoming obstacles in a timely and innovative way.
The Glenroy Homestead was once owned by cattle baron Sir Sydney Kidman, who had vast holdings of land and livestock across northern Australia at the turn of the century.
Comments on the heritage listing of the Air Beef Abattoir and Aerodrome and Glenroy Homestead Group are open until March 3 2006.
Three other places have been added to the State Register on a permanent basis - Chauncy’s Cairn in Chidlow, the Perth Government Stores in Murray Street, Perth and the Watermark Kilns in Northcliffe.
Mr Logan said the State Government was committed to protecting and enhancing WA’s unique lifestyle, including its heritage assets.
Minister's office: 9222 8950