Author: Murray Arnel
Publication: Stock & Land
Date: June 3, 2016
The decades-long industry pipe dream of a new centralised livestock exchange for the Western District could be less than 18 months away.
Plans to build a $15 million-dollar cattle selling complex at Mortlake were unveiled to an audience of the region’s private and corporate stock agency firms last Thursday.
The facility is proposed to be built on a 77-hectare parcel of purchased land located one kilometre west of the Mortlake township. The site has both frontage and B-Double access to the Hamilton Highway and Connewarren Lane.
The meeting was told the project developers are a group of five farming families and one solicitor for the Yass district in NSW. The group is set to launch its first art-of-the-art multi-species saleyards at Yass, NSW, within the next seven weeks.
NSW stock agent, livestock trader and Yass farmer Brendan Abbey whose farm is home to the new Yass saleyards said: “We are not here asking for your consent – this saleyards will be built.”
“Planning is well underway but its initial size is own main concern,” he said.
“We believe a facility in this area has the capability to capture up to 250,000 cattle annually to make it the fifth largest in Australia, and the biggest in Victoria.
“Of course we have a trigger level of commitment needed to get the project off the ground. This figure is set much lower than that – 100,000 head will secure it.
He said the initial design had 388 selling pens – fully covered – and would provide holding capacity for 5760 weaners or 3500 grown cattle equivalents. He now proposes to hold one trade and bullock sale each week, one cow sale each week and a store sale each fortnight.
“The days for these sales have not been decided but we anticipate a regional saleyards of this size in this locality could offer pennings of at least 2000 head per sale over a 12 month period.
“If these numbers can be achieved will bring competition, and there will not be a meat buyer, feedlotter or restocker in the country who can’t afford to have a representative here. Greater competition will lead to more competitive prices unlike most of the other smaller saleyards in the state that were dying, and it will be an argument against direct selling.”
Project builder Rohan Arnold said they had not sought the region’s other council and private saleyard operators for their co-operation to close their facillities.
Colin Ryan, mayor of the Moyne Shire that will host the new Western Victoria Livestock Exchange. said council had met with the developers and believed it was an “excellent location on the intersection of five major highways” and was subject to local and state planning laws.