Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, with Armidale Regional Council Interim Administrator Viv May at the Guyra Livestock Selling Yards, which will Mr Marshall is lobbying to secure almost $5 million to upgrade.
Monday, 19 October 2020
LIKE a bull at a gate, Northern Tablelands MP and Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall is charging ahead with a campaign to ‘round-up’ almost $5 million to upgrade the Armidale and Guyra Livestock Selling Centres.
Mr Marshall said he had a meeting today with Acting Deputy Premier Paul Toole, pushing the case for the money to be made available as a matter of urgency through one of two stimulus funds.
“Our region is renowned for breeding the highest quality beef and lamb in northern NSW, which is why we need selling facilities locally that will attract buyers and generate prices which reflect that excellence,” Mr Marshall said.
“Both Armidale’s cattle saleyards and the Guyra sheep yards desperately require upgrading, to ensure agents can deliver best sale methods, meet industry expectations and ensure animal welfare standards.
“Armidale Regional Council has put together a comprehensive plan to upgrade and modernise both complexes and I want to see those come to fruition.
“At Armidale, council wants to replace and extend the cattle holding yards, renew the cattle weighing scales, increase the amount of vehicle parking and refurbish amenities and offices.
“To meet environmental standards a system will be installed to harvest water from the large existing roof to be used in a tuck washdown reuse program, with solar panels also to be installed to lower power costs on site.
“At Guyra, the old timber sheep yards and loading races are in urgent need of replacing with steel, with plans also to refurbish and expand the onsite amenities and kiosk facilities.
“To improve heavy-vehicle access, improvements are required to internal and external roads.”
Mr Marshall said improved yards would mean more stock presented for sale, increased buyer competition and higher prices for producers.
“I cannot express enough how important these projects are in helping the agriculture sector recover from the drought and devastating bushfires,” he said.
“With grass back in the paddock and record prices for cattle and sheep continuing, now is the time for farmers to start getting back ahead financially.
“This can only happen if governments provide the infrastructure that allows farmers to get their stock to market safely, efficiently and locally.
“Not only will these upgrades assist with increasing the number of stock which can be sold through the yards but they will also work to facilitate the shift towards online sales, on platforms like AuctionsPlus.
“I’m not willing to be the losing bidder on this one and give the community the commitment I will fight to ensure these works are delivered.”
The total cost of the upgrade works at Armidale and Guyra Livestock Selling Centres is $4,998,000, which Mr Marshall is hoping will be entirely covered by the government.