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Commitment to Cattle Yard Roof as Council receives HRLX Strategic Report

15 November 2018

Southern Grampians Shire Council has committed to investing $1.3 million to roof the cattle yards at the Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange (HRLX) following a recent review of operations and report presented to Council.

The review comprised one-on-one discussions with key stakeholders including producers, buyers and agents to better understand the drivers and inhibitors to the Hamilton facility. Council pursued the review in an effort to ensure not only the ongoing viability of HRLX, but to ensure growth of the current and future offerings.

The final report delivered following the review process discusses options and makes recommendations on capital investment, marketing, operations and fees.

Among the recommendations in the report, adopted by Council at last night’s meeting, is the commitment of $1.3 million to roof cattle yards 1- 99.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Mary-Ann Brown says Council was guided by the thorough consultations in making the decision to invest further into HRLX.

“There was broad agreement from those interviewed in regards to the lack of a roof on the cattle yards and the impact it is having on the cattle sales. It was the view of those interviewed that Council should commit to this capital expenditure to entice agents and buyers to HRLX,” Cr Brown said.

“We have taken this feedback on board and will commit to fund the roof over the cattle yards and ensure the future growth of this vital asset and its operations,” Cr Brown said.

The roof over the cattle yards follows $6.5 million investment in the facility in recent years, including roofing over the sheep yards and sealing of truck delivery areas. The new roofed cattle area will also have the capacity to be used for sheep in peak periods, further increasing the capacity of HRLX for sheep sales.

The report also recommended Council communicate and market the HRLX better in order to attract and maintain clientele.

“We have invested heavily into our infrastructure over the past few years and it’s time to start selling ourselves better in order to remain competitive. Council are committed to engaging resources to assist in producing a targeted marketing and communications plan and will allocate $50,000 to commence its development and implementation,” Cr Brown concluded.

The report also recommended that a review of the fees be undertaken. Consultation with the interviewees indicated that there was a willingness to pay higher fees in order for the cost of the necessary capital works to be recovered. This could be done via moderate increases and modelled across agents, sheep and cattle to reduce impact. Council will liaise further with relevant stakeholders prior to implementing any fee increases.

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