Make most of SW saleyard opportunity

Hon. Diane Evers MLC (left) with the Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance’s Jane Fuchsbichler.

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Greens (WA) agriculture spokesperson Diane Evers has welcomed moves to establish a new livestock saleyard in the South West.

The State Government plans to call for proposals of interest to invest in the new facility, which will replace the ageing Boyanup yard, which has run since 1961 and processes about 60,000 cattle a year.

Its lease runs out in 2022 and industry has been pushing for many years for a decision to be made on its future.

A Deloitte report commissioned by the Government found the South West required a saleyard after Boyanup closed, despite a 27 per cent fall in the region’s herd size between 2008 and 2016.

Ms Evers said although methods such as direct selling and online auctions were available, most of the region’s producers favoured the use of saleyards, where they could have a first-hand look at the stock on offer.

“This is an opportunity to establish a state-of-the-art livestock selling precinct for the South West region,” she said.

“The Boyanup saleyards are getting old and dishevelled, and are currently only used by two agencies. The establishment of a new facility would ensure the utmost health and safety standards are met, and enable stock to be processed in an efficient and humane manner.

“It would also be able to be used by all agents, and not just handle cattle, but sheep as well.”

Ms Evers said there would even be the potential for including abattoirs, which would add value to the complex, particularly as processing demand is expected to increase with the anticipated demise of the live export trade.

“Careful thought needs to be given to the location of the new precinct,” she said.

“Adequate buffer zones need to be put in place around the facility and the environmental concerns of surrounding communities must be addressed.

“There’s also a need to ensure roads servicing the site are in good condition, as there will be many trucks and livestock carriers moving in and out.”

Ms Evers said although the State Government was calling for private expenditure, it could offer financial incentives to attract potential investors.

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