Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen, Upper Hunter Shire Deputy Mayor Maurice Collison, New England MP Barnaby Joyce and Brett Wolff from Thompson Longhorn.
Redevelopment works at the more than $11 million Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre are continuing.
Now the centre boasts a new weighbridge area, some of the new undercover selling pens have been constructed and there is a new canteen and administration centre.
New England MP Barnaby Joyce said the saleyards are leading the way and they’re not quite finished yet.
“It’s great to see the saleyards getting upgraded. It’s going to see more wealth brought into Scone,”
“I get an immense sense of satisfaction to come down here and see money well spent and working closely with the council and with the local member.”
“It’s providing jobs during construction at a time when the region needs it the most – during drought. Once complete, this facility will secure Scone’s position as one of the premier selling centres in the state, and indeed the nation.”
One of the biggest improvements recently is the new weighbridge.
“It’s a different way to weigh them as they go in not as they come out, therefore the buyers know exactly what they’re buying, I’m sure buyers want it,” said Barnaby Joyce.
“It just means there’s a better flow of cattle and better occupational health and safety for the people in the yards.”
Deputy Mayor Maurice Collison said the old yards could hold up to 3,000 and now they will be able to do even better.
Right now on a sale day, there can be between 700 and 1200 stock.
“We’re hoping that when the rain does come and I assure you it will, it may take us a couple of years to get back on our feet 100% but this is going to be an absolute great introduction to the Upper Hunter,” said Maurice Collison.
“It will be so much more effective. Number one it’s the animal welfare, the human safety, the workers and the buyers, the animal welfare, it's just great.”
The design work for the project has been undertaken by Thompson Longhorn and Brett Wolff said the facility in terms of both animal and operator safety will be a lot better than it is now.
“The new facility will have soft flooring in all of the sale pens and the delivery pens, therefore, the cattle are obviously in a better environment rather than being stored in concrete,”
“The facilities here now are automated, radio remote controlled, air operated gates, we’ve removed staff from being in direct contact with the stock in the intense handling areas so that means from a workplace health and safety perspective that safety has been dramatically enhanced.”
The entire project is expected to be complete later this year.
Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse