IT’S location, in the centre of one of Australia’s key beef growing areas will assure that the VLE Leongatha Saleyards at Koonwarra has a long future ahead of it.
And according to Victorian Livestock Exchange General Manager, Wayne Osborne, improvements will continue to be made at Leongatha to support its bright future.
“South Gippsland and to a lesser degree West Gippsland have enjoyed excellent seasons and with the grass that’s available now, we’re likely to see steady numbers through the market here right into the autumn now,” said Wayne.
He’s also very mindful of the difficulties east of here but he noted that the buoyant market had enabled beef producers in the east of the state to reduce numbers, but at a good price going out.
“We saw the same thing a few years ago when dairy farmers were reducing their numbers, they were still getting good prices and that was a real help.
“We’ve been so lucky around here with the season, but no one takes it for granted.”
Mr Osborne said there were no major development plans for the firm’s saleyards at Leongatha however there was a program of steady improvement and upgrade in a number of areas, further underscoring the future of Leongatha.
“We’re always on the lookout for any new technology that’s going to improve our operations here so while there’s no one big development, we’ll look back over 10 years and say we achieved quite a lot with what we have planned.”
And what about plans to build a new saleyards at Bunyip North?
“We’ve got our block at Bunyip and we’ve said three to five years. That’s the plan at this stage but there are a lot of variables, who’s in government, cost of development, the market, so many things.”
When Warragul closed its main fat cattle market in December last year, there was also talk that Pakenham would close in the next five years to cater to the suburban sprawl.
But whether it’s the Victorian Livestock Exchange that builds a new saleyards in West Gippsland or someone else is yet to be seen.