By JACINTA BOLSENBROEK
CCTV could be installed at the Muchea Livestock Centre as part of an upgrade to be carried out by the facilities manager, the WA Meat Industry Authority.
In this month's State Budget, WAMIA was provided with funds for an asset investment program, estimated at $309,000 each year until the 2018-19 estimates.
The funding could provide an extensive CCTV system installed across the centre, as well as IT infrastructure and system upgrades, improvements to the western embankment to minimise erosion, improved drainage, dams and flood mitigation, on-going maintenance and repairs and upgrades to the fixed and mobile plant, such as gates and equipment.
WAMIA chairman David Lock said specific spending over the next 12 months needed to be approved.
Mr Lock said WAMIA would like to install CCTV, so the centre has a better record of livestock movement.
He said if someone was unsure of how many cattle were moved from a pen, or were loaded or unloaded onto trucks, the footage could be used to resolve disputes and provide complete accuracy cattle movement around the facility.
"In terms of meat facilities and livestock facilities, most would (now) have CCTV installed,'' Mr Lock said.
"So it's about using modern technology to manage issues.
"The cost of technology has come down, which makes it more feasible."
Mr Lock said an approved wishlist of spending items, including the CCTV, would be presented for approval at WAMIA's June board meeting.
The five-year-old facility has under gone minor "teething" problems, which resulted in some repairs, maintenance and modifications for better animal welfare and occupational health and safety.
WAMIA chief executive officer Andrew Williams said, having resolved these early problems, the authority planned to value-add to the facility over the next three to five years.
"We have modified sheep drafts and changed some gates, which were minor problems," Mr Williams said.
"When you build these things you always think it will work, but when you start using it, you find you can tweak those things a little, so things run smoother.
"The level of capital expenditure in the previous years was higher because of that, compared to what we think we will need in the coming years.
"Over the next three years, we are looking at what extra value we can add - one of those areas is improving our CCTV coverage, particularly around the unloading, loading, scales and general areas.
"We want to enhance the CCTV for security, biosecurity purposes and also for animal welfare and resolving disputes.
"Katanning saleyards already has CCTV and found it does assist them."
Mr Williams said some of the latest improvements include installing a new water system, designed specifically for the sheep sale pens.
"The sheep have access to water at every stage of the sale process except for when they are in the sale pens," he said.
"It is only a short time, but we are trialling this new system to allow sheep access to water at every stage of the saleyard process.
"Animal welfare is our number one priority, so we are trialling this system."
Mr Williams said WAMIA also plans to mediate the western side embankment, which would leave the offices and canteen in jeopardy if left unchecked.
"That will be a big chunk of the capital expenditure," he said.
"But it's about maintaining the longevity of the site and so we don't have issues going forward.
"It has been an on-going issue, because water has run down it and created scouring.
"We had the same issue with the eastern embankment about three years ago, which has now been restored and has plenty of ground cover, so we plan to do something similar to the western side."