With almost 3km of undercover, safety walkways for the Foundation Agents to sell from, the Western Victorian Livestock Exchange (WVLX) has been built with the highest occupational health and safety standards at its core. Animal welfare is also paramount in the saleyards design, with livestock on soft floors and the layout ensuring efficient stock movements, lowering impact and stress.
“Earthworks got underway last week, and while we are 6 weeks behind our desired schedule, we have used that time to work closely with the Foundation Agents and include $1 million in additional infrastructure,” said WVLX Director, Rohan Arnold. “These additions include; doubling the capacity of the bull selling pens, upgrading ramps, adding veterinarian crushes for pregnancy testing and adding a cow selling ring, primarily to serve dairy producers.“
WVLX will have the capacity to sell 6,000 weaners, 3,000 trade cattle, 1,500 cows and 150 plus bulls and anticipates an annual throughput of 175,000 head of cattle, drawing livestock from Geelong, Mount Gambier and Ballarat.
“After the earthworks are completed work will move to the construction phase, completing the facilities building which will house the agent’s offices, café, bathrooms and administration office,” continued Mr Arnold. “We need the weather conditions to be in our corner and have set a pretty aggressive target of opening for the January 2018 weaner cattle sales.”
The “heart” of the $16 million Livestock Exchange will be the undercover selling pens, covered by an almost 30,000m2 roof which in the depths of winter and heat of summer will reduce the impact on animals during their yarding, bringing benefits to both vendors and buyers.
The site is located close to several major roads, including the Hamilton Highway and the Hopkins Highway, providing an easily accessible location to transport stock. WVLX will also provide an employment boost for the rural region, with up to 100 jobs created during construction.