Libs vow $2m for sa­le­yards

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - Bob Gar­nant

The Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment says it will al­lo­cate $2 mil­lion to ac­quire land for a state-of-the-art live­stock-han­dling fa­cil­ity to re­place the Boy­anup sa­le­yards if re-elected.

Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Mark Lewis made the an­nounce­ment at the out­dated cat­tle yards on Tues­day be­fore in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“We will work with the Capel Shire and in­dus­try for a new fa­cil­ity in the South West be­fore the cur­rent lease with the Boy­anup Shire ex­pires in 2022,” he said.

But shadow agri­cul­ture min­is­ter Mick Mur­ray was scep­ti­cal about the Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment.

“While we wel­come the Gov­ern­ment’s an­nounce­ment, we will be watch­ing very closely to see if there are any al­lo­ca­tions to ac­tu­ally build the new fa­cil­ity and not just an­other re­cy­cled prom­ise from 2008,” he said.

At Boy­anup, Brunswick cat­tle pro­ducer Rod­ney Galati told Mr Lewis of his con­cerns about find­ing the ideal site for a po­ten­tial new fa­cil­ity.

“There has been very lit­tle op­por­tu­nity for pro­duc­ers to have their in­put into a lo­ca­tion that ben­e­fits most South West pro­duc­ers and the ma­jor­ity of pro­ces­sors,” Mr Galati said.

“Firstly, new sa­le­yards would ben­e­fit most if it was solely lo­cated on Gov­ern­ment-owned land and not un­der pri­vate eq­uity.”

Mr Galati said Gov­ern­men­towned land at Ke­mer­ton, just north of Aus­tralind, was an ideal lo­ca­tion.

“Ke­mer­ton is in the Har­vey Shire and the State has 7500ha avail­able to build new yards on,” he said.

“This site has ev­ery­thing ready to go — road links, rail, wa­ter — and it is in close prox­im­ity to most pro­ces­sors.”

Mr Galati, who trades 5000 head of cat­tle a year at Boy­anup, had sup­port for his push into Ke­mer­ton from pro­ducer Kevin Armstrong, a com­mis­sioned live­stock buyer.

WAFarm­ers pres­i­dent Tony York says the for­mer min­eral sands mine site at Gwind­inup, op­er­ated by Cristal Min­ing, is the best lo­ca­tion for a new state-of-theart agri­cul­tural precinct.

“A win­dow of op­por­tu­nity ex­ists now to se­cure this site of po­ten­tially up to 300ha,” Mr York said.

Shire of Capel chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Sheedy said the an­nounce­ment was a wel­come com­mit­ment from the Lib­er­als and he would now be ex­pect­ing sim­i­lar in­ter­est from La­bor as the State elec­tion drew near.

Pic­ture: Chlo­erissa Eadie

Capel Shire pres­i­dent Mur­ray Scott with Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Mark Lewis at the Boy­anup Sa­le­yards af­ter the $2 mil­lion an­nounce­ment.

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