Local News

$2.8m grant will make Scone Saleyards state of the art

Peter Sawyer and Dean Taylor

Upper Hunter Shire Council has welcomed a $2,827,248 million grant towards the Scone Saleyards from the Building Better Regions Fund, announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, on Friday (4 July 2017).

The funds will go towards completing a $7 million project at the Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre, with the Upper Hunter Shire Council providing the remainder of funds.

Council’s 10 year Development Program and Operations Plan provides for the servicing of a saleyards loan of $4.21 million. This loan is fully serviced from the saleyards operational budget. The Saleyards Committee including the Scone selling agents have agreed to increases in vendor and agent fees to accommodate this increased cost.

Mayor Wayne Bedggood said the project would increase the capacity and efficiency of the saleyards, support local jobs and increase economic activity.

“This will be the biggest upgrade to the saleyards since it was established 45 years ago,” he said.

“Council has undertaken planning for this major upgrade over the past two years and with this funding, construction can commence in the 2017/18 financial year.

“The upgrade works will be carried out whilst the yards remain operational, so there will be significant logistical matters to work through for the users of the yards and the construction teams. This will be some short term pain for some major long term gains.

“The innovative design and latest technology that will be implemented as part of the project will not only result in increased throughput, turnover and efficiencies, but will increase the safety and welfare for the cattle and staff working in the facility,” Cr Bedggood said.

Once complete the project will:

  • Increase throughput by 50,000 head per annum by 2028;
  • Increase turnover by $55,000,000 per annum by 2028;
  • Increase returns for the cattle producers, Council and agents immediately;
  • Increase efficiency immediately; and
  • Reduce operational costs immediately.

The saleyards will be able to meet the criteria of the National Saleyards Quality Assurance Program and to upgrade the membership status from Participant level toAccredited level which meets the requirements of the Commonwealth Industry Body, SAFEMEAT as well as meeting requirements to retain EU accreditation and meet the biosecurity and animal welfare regulations.

The major aspects of the project include:

  • Removal of pen infrastructure and concrete flooring of existing selling pens;
  • Construction of new selling pens including soft flooring;
  • Construction of a 125m x 36m roof covering the soft floor pens of the existing selling pens;
  • Construction of a 65m x 18m roof covering the existing holding pens;
  • Installation of water retention system for the harvesting of roof run-off;
  • Installation of a water reticulation system to provide drinking water to livestock, water supply for truck wash and for dust suppression over soft standing floor areas;
  • Construction of truck effluent disposal pit;
  • Construction of solids separator to process effluent waste into a dry product and to introduce a new product stream of selling manure for fertilizer;
  • Construction of manure waste storage pads and drainage;
  • Construction of drainage infrastructure to capture and divert contaminated water into existing sedimentation system, and to manage increased runoff from designed roofed surfaces;
  • Construction of light vehicle parking precinct to reduce transport conflict between motor vehicles and heavy vehicles;
  • Installation of walk through cattle scanners to improve cattle handling and management and to introduce a product offering of overnight cattle agistment.
  • Upgrading and reconfiguration of existing power distribution, supply and lighting;
  • Reconfiguration and upgrade of current close circuit television (CCTV) system to provide improved coverage and quality;
  • Construction of a new building to provide onsite canteen and office space for Saleyard employees and the Agents including private amenities; cleaners room and dedicated first aid room;
  • Construction of a new workshop and storage shed;
  • Upgrade to Livestock Selling System to next generation IT system to improve sale day efficiency and to enhance the selling processes by offering online live streaming and auctioning;
  • Replacement of security fencing around the effluent settling ponds;
  • Upgrade the entrance into the facility to improve truck movement efficiency; and
  • Landscaping of the Saleyards.

IMAGE: Supplied - Deputy Mayor Maurice Collison, Mayor Wayne Bedggood, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, and agents Peter Sawyer and Dean Taylor met at the Scone Saleyards earlier this year for a briefing on the major upgrade which has now been funded by the Federal Government.