The WAFarmers Livestock Council will not support the State Government’s suggestion to sell the Muchea saleyards to fund replacement saleyards for Boyanup, citing increases in selling costs for producers as a major concern.
The comments come after consideration of the Replacement of Boyanup Saleyards Final Report released late last year, which was commissioned by the Western Australian Meat Industry Authority and undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics.
WAFarmers Livestock Section President David Slade said there is currently no knowing how the money would be spent, were the Muchea saleyards to be sold.
“WAFarmers does not support the suggested sale of Muchea to fund a replacement for the Boyanup saleyards; it is non-negotiable from an industry point of view,” Mr Slade said.
“The Muchea saleyards are owned by industry and, even if it were to be sold, there is no guarantee the income from the sale would go directly towards building a new selling facility in the South West.
“There is a whole level of detail which we will investigate and discuss with the Minister for Agriculture regarding the rights of any one party being able to sell the Muchea facility.
“Further, if Muchea does end up in the hands of a private enterprise, this could potentially see a significant increase in selling costs for all livestock producers.
“We acknowledge that the government has, as yet, not endorsed the report, nor committed to a policy of selling Muchea, and we would urge them not to support the proposal outlined in the report.
“Instead, we recommend that a green field site is purchased, so that a new state-of-the-art Agricultural Precinct can be developed in the South West.”
Mr Slade said the Minister for Agriculture and Food had acknowledged the clear support from South West producers for a replacement saleyard with the Boyanup saleyard lease due to expire in 2022.
“Back in 2009, the government of the day recognised the importance of investing in the saleyard network across WA,” he said.
“WAFarmers has continued to advocate for funding to be directed to the development of a new Agricultural Precinct, but after nearly a decade this is yet to come to fruition.
“The State Government investment into a new precinct would go a long way towards improving biosecurity protocols in the South West, which is undergoing resurgence due to strong demand for red meat from Asian markets.
“As part of its consultation with producers and other stakeholders ahead of the closure of Boyanup, we strongly encourage the State Government make a move towards developing this innovative Agricultural Precinct as it would provide a clear opportunity to capitalise on consumer demand.”
Mr Slade said WAFarmers looked forward to discussing the organisation’s position directly with the Minister in due course.
All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Media and Communications Officer Melanie Dunn on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].