Libs promise funding for new saleyards

09 Feb, 2017 02:00 AM
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Liberal Member for Vasse MLA Libby Mettam (left), Capel Shire president Murray Scott, Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis and Liberal candidate for Collie-Preston Elysia Harverson at the Boyanup sale yards.
We don't know where it will be but we are hoping for something central to the entire South-West.
Liberal Member for Vasse MLA Libby Mettam (left), Capel Shire president Murray Scott, Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis and Liberal candidate for Collie-Preston Elysia Harverson at the Boyanup sale yards.

AFTER 15 years in limbo for the Boyanup saleyards, the Liberal Party has committed to building a modern livestock facility.

If re-elected the party will allocate $2 million to acquire land to build a new livestock handling facility to replace the ageing Boyanup saleyards.

The yards are due to close in 2022 when Capel Shire ends the site lease.

Under its Regional Livestock Saleyard Strategy the Liberal State government has closed the outdated and dilapidated Midland saleyards, invested $54m to build the Muchea saleyards, contributed $17m towards the $25.4m Katanning sheep saleyards and provided $2.3m to Plantagenet Shire to fund the Mt Barker saleyard.

Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the funding demonstrated the party's commitment to the growth and development of the State's important meat and livestock industries.

"This funding recognises that high-quality, well-located and well-maintained sales infrastructure is vital for efficient sheep and cattle production and the development of supply chains for export and domestic markets," Mr Lewis said.

"A Liberal government will work with the Capel Shire and industry to ensure an orderly transition from the existing saleyards at Boyanup to a new facility in the South West before the lease with the shire expires in 2022."

Premier Colin Barnett said during parliamentary question time in September last year, the yards would not be relocated until at least 2021.

Mr Lewis said the commitment would give certainty to industry in the region.

"More than 60,000 head of livestock go through the Boyanup saleyards each year and they have provided a crucial service for trading store or feeder cattle and also provide dairy farmers with an outlet for dairy calves and cull cows," Mr Lewis said.

"However, the saleyards lease with the Capel Shire expires in 2022 and is unlikely to be renewed given the site's development potential and close proximity to the Boyanup town site."

Shire president Murray Scott said the council told the government in 2003 that it wanted the saleyards moved before the lease expired.

"It's a start," Mr Scott said of the new plan.

"It's been a long time coming, we don't know where the $2m has come from and we aren't knocking it."

Mr Scott said he had discussed the land's possibilities with Mr Lewis but nothing was locked on.

"They are still looking for a place for the facility, but at least they have $2m to utilise," he said.

"We probably wanted a few more bucks, but if the time comes and it costs more, that could happen.

"At this stage, we don't know where it will be or when they will start looking, but we are hoping for something central to the entire South-West.

"After the election we will continue to have discussions with the government - I don't let an opportunity like this go by, so we will speak to the minister after the election."

Mr Scott said the WA Meat Industry Authority (WAMIA) would go through a feasibility process.

"WAMIA has a process to conduct some studies and when they find some land, and it all ticks the boxes, the government will buy it," he said.

"It has to all add up.

"The hard work will then be to set up the new facility."

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FarmWeekly
Jacinta Bolsenbroek

Jacinta Bolsenbroek

is a senior journalist at Farm Weekly

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