OPINION: The future of livestock saleyards in the South West is of great concern to all dairy and beef livestock producers.
Long-term government planning is required to ensure access to a physical clearing house for livestock sales in the South West when the 10-year lease on the existing Boyanup saleyards expires.
The WAFarmers Dairy Council realises there is change underway in how cattle are traded, with increasing numbers being sold online, direct from farmer to purchaser.
However, we believe that there will be an ongoing need to retain traditional saleyards as they are still the main trading platform and will remain so for some time.
The current Boyanup saleyards are not adequate.
They were constructed 60 years ago and are no longer acceptable.
They are in the middle of a residential area so do not meet community standards.
They lack a modern effluent management system so they also fail environmental standards.
WAFarmers Dairy Council is particularly worried by a number of possible diseases escaping into the State's dairy herd and we believe the lessons from COVID-19 are that we need to double down on our preparations for biosecurity.
Both government and the livestock industry need a secure, isolated State-controlled precinct to deal with emergencies such as an infectious disease outbreak, and it needs to be an improvement over our existing model.
We believe the WA State government should commit to purchasing land at the previous mine site on Lowrie Road, 10 km south of Boyanup.
This site should then be zoned for use in emergencies and for noxious industries in general, as well as for the relocated saleyards.
The Liberal Party has pledged $21m for the replacement of the outdated Boyanup saleyards.
We encourage the present government to put aside $4m for the purchase of land and construction of a new sustainable biosecurity and livestock handling precinct.
Having a site earmarked and funds set aside are important steps in planning for a replacement facility.
This would go a long way to showing support for the local dairy and beef industry in the South West.
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