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Dalby Regional Saleyards set for bullish future with official opening of $12.6M upgrade

29 April 2015

Cattle producers stretching from northern Queensland to South Australia are set to benefit from the Dalby Regional Saleyards’ $12.6 million upgrade which is being officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Bill Byrne today.

Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Ray Brown said the upgrade marked a new era for livestock sales, creating a nationally-significant saleyard complex that was modern, comfortable, efficient and safe.

“The Dalby Regional Saleyards is a big player in the Australian cattle industry. We’ve built a reputation as the number one same-day prime and store cattle sale in the country, and, with an average of 4,500 head sold through the yards each week, we are strengthening our position as the second largest cattle selling centre in Australia,” he said.

“Dalby continues to be a popular location to buy and sell due to its strategic location at the crossroads of three major highways, access to rail transport and its proximity to meatworks, feed-on properties and feedlots.”

Mayor Brown said efficiencies created through the upgrade gave livestock agents an opportunity to present cattle to a very high standard, and ensured better animal welfare and management and better safety for both people and animals.

“We now have 680 pens, four acres under roof, new soft flooring, lighting, cabling and Wi-Fi, automated drafting, water facilities, pedestrian walkways, ramps, a washdown bay under construction, and other safety and compliance upgrades, all of which are making a big difference to how cattle are bought and sold,” he said.

“The cattle are more settled which means less chance of weight loss, less stress and better animal welfare and health, and therefore better results for vendors.

“We’re able to move around 180-head through every hour using the new automated drafts compared with only 100 using the manual system. It’s faster and more efficient, but most importantly, it is much safer as we have significantly reduced the animal-to-person contact.”

The introduction of Wi-Fi gives agents, vendors and buyers the potential to create even more efficiencies when it comes to data collection, traceability, NLIS compliance and reporting.

Cr Ray Jamieson, who chairs the Western Downs Regional Council Saleyards Advisory Committee, said this year marked the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Board which developed the first local-government run saleyard in Dalby. The current Yumborra Road complex was built in the 1950s.

In 2009, Council commenced an extensive review and planning process which resulted in Council making the decision to commit to ongoing ownership and management of the site and allocating over $7m towards the upgrade.

Cr Jamieson thanked the State Government for supporting the project with a $5.4 million contribution through its Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program.

“The Dalby Saleyards has a long and colourful history in our region and it continues to be a hub of economic and social activity. We are proud to be able to work with the State Government to take the early vision of the original Saleyards Board to new heights,” he said.

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