Up to 900 jobs lost as Ipswich abattoir, Steggles factory close down

Up to 900 jobs will be lost in Ipswich after two businesses, the Ipswich Steggles factory and Churchill Abattoir, confirmed on Monday they will be shutting down.

The struggling Churchill Abattoir at Yamanto said it will start winding down operations in late September and will cease entirely in July 2018.

In a statement the owners said cattle shortages and high prices had devastated the beef industry.

The Churchill Abattoir will start winding down operations in September. Source: 7 News
The Churchill Abattoir will start winding down operations in September. Source: 7 News

About 500 people are expected to lose their jobs.

Another 300-400 jobs will be lost when the Steggles chicken processing factory at Wulkuraka closes within a month.

in 2016 cattle prices rose to the highest level in 35 years after a severe drought period.

Steggles is also expected to lose 300-400 workers when it closes down. Source: 7 News
Steggles is also expected to lose 300-400 workers when it closes down. Source: 7 News

Dwindling cattle numbers and record prices put pressure on the slaughter industry as farmers were forced to sell off cattle due to food shortages.

Herd numbers are on the rise but lack of rain continues to put pressure on farmers attempting to rebuild their stock numbers.

The union has described the closures as a "massive blow" for the Ipswich region.