In support of beef producers in the Bunbury Geographe area, the Bunbury Geographe Growth Plan Partnership has written to the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan, Minster for Agriculture, to reinforce the issues raised at public meetings where the future of the Boyanup Saleyards was discussed.
Public workshops held over 2 days in Boyanup recently (convened by project consultants Deloitte Access Economics) were attended by around 100 people – the vast majority being cattle producers along with stock agents and local government representatives.
The meetings expressed high levels of frustration with the current substandard facilities and the lack of action in relation to previous reports and studies that have supported relocation of the Boyanup Saleyards. Producers and agents were unanimously of the view that a replacement saleyard facility was required.
Points reinforced with the Minster include;
- The current facilities at Boyanup are below standard in term of current OH&S, animal welfare and beef production standards.
- The general locatlity of Boyanup (i.e. in/around Boyanyup) should be retained as the most efficient and supported location for replacement yards. The previously proposed Gwindinup location was supported.
- In/around Boyanup is a good compromise in terms of the logical spread of saleyard facilities (between Mt Barker and Muchea) for the major southern cattle growing areas and processors.
- Producers want to minimise transport stress on stock, in relation to farm-to-farm and farm-to-processor sales.
- Transport costs are a significant cost of production and producer business models are currently structured around the Boyanup location.
- Not replicatingthe mistakes of the Muchea facility (design, functionality) – it was noted there are good examples of saleyard design in NSW and Victoria.
- Selecting a location that allows for future growth/expansion and co-location of additional related uses.
- Consideration of design for multi-species use eg: alpacas, horses.
- It is important to retain the social connection and peer interaction that saleyards offer farmers, many of whom work in isolated situations.
We hope the current study results in a swift decision on relocation of the Boyanup Saleyards such that planning and financing can begin in the very near future.