Call for more livestock agents at Boyanup saleyards

Zach RelphCountryman
Elgin cattle producer and Shire of Capel councillor Murray Scott.
Camera IconElgin cattle producer and Shire of Capel councillor Murray Scott. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Opening the Boyanup saleyards’ doors to more livestock agents is among ideas floated in a plan to keep the outdated South West facility, poised to close in three years, operating.

The Shire of Capel, where the centre is located, is progressing with its bid to keep the saleyard in action until 2032 — 10 years beyond its current lease.

Although the 58-year-old saleyard is scheduled to close in 2022, Elgin cattle producer and Shire of Capel councillor Murray Scott is confident an agreement will be struck to keep it open.

The Boyanup saleyard is on crown land vested in the Shire of Capel and leased to the WA Livestock Salesman’s Association, a joint venture between Landmark and Elders, which operates the existing saleyard facilities.

Cr Scott told Countryman he was pushing for more saleyard banners, not just Landmark and Elders, to be represented at the saleyard, given it stayed operating, to increase cattle buying competition.

“There are negotiations to open the saleyards up to all agents, not just WALSA,” he said.

“It will make the saleyards more viable and bring more people in, and hopefully help bring more cattle in, to generate more competition.”

Countryman revealed last month the Boyanup saleyards could stay open until 2032, although two private investors are vying for a State Government contract to establish a new livestock-selling asset in the South West.

There are negotiations to open the saleyards up to all agents, not just WALSA.

Murray Scott.

WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan confirmed upgrading the Boyanup asset would be needed if a 10-year lease was granted and the facility remained in use.

The State Government, the Shire of Capel and WALSA are understood to be discussing who will fund the proposed upgrade.

Cr Scott said he was unsure how much money would be required for the proposed Boyanup upgrades, joking he was “a cockie, not an engineer”.

“It is essential that there are saleyards in the South West,” he said.

“However, it does need a bit of an upgrade to meet standards if it stays open.”

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