Saleyards decision early next year

WELLINGTON Shire Council will make a decision on the future of the Sale Livestock Exchange during the first quarter of next year.

Council’s Sale Livestock Exchange sub-committee is meeting regularly and working with agents, farmers and the Victorian Livestock Exchange, the facility’s operator, to ensure progress towards a decision of the facility’s future is made early in this council term.

Whether the council-owned facility on Saleyards Rd is upgraded or new saleyards are built on land purchased by council in 2005 for that purpose at Hopkins Rd, Fulham, are among options being considered.

VLE management had suggested relocating the saleyards to Rosedale.

Issues have also arisen between VLE and council over the management agreement.

Recently, council knocked back a request from VLE to increase fees by more than inflation on the basis that the fees would be higher than at other saleyards.

The condition of the saleyards had been cited as a factor in business being lost to other saleyards such as Bairnsdale, Koonwarra and Pakenham which have more modern facilities like soft flooring.

At least 120 people are employed at the Sale Livestock Exchange and associated businesses.