Murray critical of saleyard commitment

29 Sep, 2016 09:54 AM
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The future of the Boyanup saleyards is still in limbo, with no commitment given to its future location.
It is clear there was no planning, no structure, no investigation - just another broken promise.
The future of the Boyanup saleyards is still in limbo, with no commitment given to its future location.

THE future of the Boyanup saleyards remains in limbo, Labor Agriculture spokesman Mick Murray has warned.

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

Permier Colin Barnett said during parliamentary question time last week that the yards would not be relocated until at least 2021.

Mr Murray said this was a further setback for his constituents and broke 2008 and 2013 election promises to relocate the saleyards away from the town centre.

"They were promises for the future and there will be no immediate start," Mr Murray said.

"With an election looming, I think the issue is now dead and buried."

Since 2002, Capel shire has been pursuing the removal of the saleyards from the townsite, and the construction of new, modern, covered saleyards in another South West location.

It wants the land for future residential lots as part of the Boyanup townsite strategy.

New Agriculture and Food Minister Mark Lewis said the government supported new facilities for Boyanup but said no final decision about funding or a new site location had been made.

"There are funds available, of about $8 million," Mr Lewis said.

"New facilities are not required until the saleyards close about 2022."

At a beef forum near Bridgetown on Friday, producers expressed concern over the saleyards' future.

Elders South West WA area manager Simon Wilkinson told the group of 120 producers that there were many opinions.

"I understood that there are two preferred sites for the relocation," Mr Wilkinson said.

"One at the old sand mines site and the other in Kemerton, in the industrial area."

Elders zone livestock manage Geoff Shipp told the local cattle producers he was concerned that the saleyards would close permanently when the lease ran out.

"While it is there it is good, but it probably won't be there after 2022, when the lease runs out," Mr Sharpe said.

Mr Barnett said he understood the desire to move the saleyards away from the town as it was too close to housing.

"But it is also important to ensure that there continues to be a livestock facility in the South West area to service the beef and dairy industries in the broader region," Mr Barnett said.

"I recently visited Boyanup and broadly, I am supportive of the State government playing a role in building and running a new South West livestock handling facility in the area.

"However, it is operated privately with a contract until 2022 and there is no urgency in this matter yet.

"The first step is to identify and purchase a suitable site for such a facility."

Mr Murray said the relocation was a major issue for local people at the past two State elections.

"Mr Barnett is treating my Boyanup constituents with absolute contempt, stringing them along for eight years with big promises and now telling us it will not happen," he said.

"He has taken the important saleyards issue to two elections but now he says the lease doesn't run out for another five years, so bad luck.

"I demand that the Premier come down and explain himself to all of my Boyanup constituents who have made major life decisions, such as property purchases and business investments based on this.

"It is clear there was no planning, no structure, no investigation - just another broken promise for the people of Boyanup.

"Arrogant doesn't even begin to describe the Premier's attitude."

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