THE WARRACKNABEAL Saleyards are receiving an upgrade as part of their Regional Livestock Exchange Ram it Up Project.
Construction is well underway with new roofs currently being erected for the facilities.
Federal Member For Mallee Anne Webster visited the saleyards last week to celebrate receiving the federal funding, which Yarriambiack Shire Council Secured through Building Better Regions Fund.
The total cost of the project is $272,192, with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science contributing 204,137 for the third round of BBRF.
The Yarriambiack Shire contributed $68,045 to complete the project, with an expected completion date of June 30, 2020.
Dr Webster and the Federal Minister for Agriculture Bridgett McKenzie assisted in securing the grant for YSC.
As part of the upgrade, the saleyards will receive a ramp replacement, instalment of LED lights, a structure over drafting races, upgrades to the storm water system, new concrete paving and a new shelter administration building.
YSC Projects Officer Andrea Stepney said the upgrades will provide better facilities for their live stock program
“The upgrades will provide greater felixitibitly, extended operational hours, increased revenue and safer environment for user and livestock,” Mrs Stepney said.
Saleyards Manager Tony Brennan said after three and a half years they secured the grant.
He said the upgrades are necessary to improve animal welfare and assisting Yarriambiack agents.
“Our salesmen come on Wednesday’s once a fortnight, they’ll now be under a roof so the weather won’t impose on them in anyway," Mr Brennan said.
“It makes it a much friendlier environment. That’s where the animal welfare side of things comes into this too, you’ve got to look after them."
He said the saleyards see over 100, 000 sheep pass through each year.
“We’re constantly doing maintenance on them (the sale yards), it costs a lot of money, you need a grant to be able to do it,” he said.
“In the winter, we’ve got to keep the stock clean and provide better facilities for agents and drovers to work in.”
He said the yards not only provide facilities for primary produces but there are also social benefits as a result of that.
“They’ve got an important function, they’re a major source of income for our primary produces, but it’s also, and a lot people may not realise, how important it is on the social side of things,” he said.
“For these guys to get together and have a chat; talk about the weather and the crops. Sheep now also bring in really good money, another reason why major upgrades were required.”
The Warracknabeal saleyards host about 20 sales per year, every second Wednesday.