In a move designed to defend its patronage, Southern Grampians Shire in the southwest of Victoria has sourced funds to expand the Hamilton saleyards roof area.
In what can be considered stage two of its cattle yards upgrade, the project will cover the first 100 of its cattle selling pens and finish an area that left uncovered over the facilities drafting and weighbridge area.
Councillor Greg McAdam, who also doubles as the chair of the Hamilton Saleyards advisory committee, said works on the project would commence immediately after lamb sale numbers for the season had eased off around the April //May period and be completed for the January 2020 weaner sales.
Mr McAdam said, with the recent upgrade of its sheep yard facility was already bursting at the seems during the peak of the lamb selling season, the under-roof cattle selling area would be modified into an multi-specie penning area so it can be more effectively used for both sheep and cattle selling.
The Council’s decision to further modernized the area, which will also include an upgrade to the canteen facility and the provision of selling agents offices, was made after a total review of the entire selling complex and came in lieu of the completion of other cattle selling complexes within the greater southwest region.
“The main consideration to undertake the work lay on the back of Hamilton’s solid standing as a premier weaner selling outlet. Our January sale are rather unique in the number of cattle they offer on an annual basis and also the three or four special store cattle markets run throughout the remain of the year” he said.
“It was a matter of making better used of the patronge we already have, by leveraging off the throughput of our lamb sales and retaining the support generated over many years with our weaner sales”.
Mr McAdam said the project would be jointly funded by monies obtained from the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions program, and fees generated by saleyard users.
The designed of the roof structure he said would accommodate the installation of solar panels, however the installation of the panels was not included in the current project.