Saleyards redevelopment heralds a new era for livestock sales

30 April 2015

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Wiley were honoured to attend and celebrate the official opening of the redeveloped Dalby Regional Saleyards @ Weston Downs yesterday, the largest one-day selling centre for livestock in the country.

Redeveloped Dalby Saleyards

With Stage two of Wiley works coming to completion, the saleyards now boasts over four acres operating under new state-of-the-art roofing with modern upgrades including, 680 pens, automated drafting, wi-fi connectivity, special soft flooring and new walkways and ramps.

Agents are reporting significant improvement in comfort for both patrons and livestock with the valuable result of more settled cattle, which leads to better outcomes in terms of reducing weight loss, lower stress levels and safety.

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Western Downs Regional Council (WDRC) Councillor Ray Jamieson (and Chair of the Dalby Regional Saleyards @ Western Downs Committee) opened the official proceeding and gave those gathered an excellent feel for the proud history of the saleyards, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary of being a centrepiece of the local community.

Michael Matthewson, Wiley’s Business Operations Manager for the Toowoomba and Regional Queensland was then invited to the stage and shared how honoured he and Wiley were to help create and realise the Council’s vision.

He particularly commended the Council for their engagement of the community through the design and celebrated that the design was not just for the Western Downs Regional council, but belonged to the community also.

“We have a result here that is the result, of their thoughts, their efforts and their commitment to try and define a better future and I believe the whole community should be immensely proud.” Mr Matthewson said.

WDRC Mayor Ray Brown then shared his personal passion for the success of what has been achieved thus far as well as the greater scope of the master plan they have in place to ensure ongoing works at the site.

The first of these projects include the Wiley designed heavy vehicle truckwash and effluent treatment facility currently under construction.

Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries; and Minister for Sport and Racing Bill Byrne then took the stage and highlighted the importance of this venture for the region and the state.

“More than 200,000 head of cattle are sold each year at the Dalby Regional Saleyards making it a vital part of Queensland’s $5.4 billion beef industry,” the Minister said.

“The saleyards makes a significant contribution to the local economy and provides employment here in Dalby and across the wider Western Downs region.

“Modern saleyards on this scale will meet industry requirements and will remain an important part of the beef supply chain for decades to come. The redevelopment improves cattle handling and animal welfare as well as delivering improved site safety for livestock buyers and selling agents.”

“In 2013/14, Queensland exported 58 per cent of Australia’s beef exports. Australia is the world’s third largest exporter of beef behind Brazil and India, and if Queensland exports were considered alone, Queensland would be the world’s fourth largest exporter.

“I congratulate the Dalby Regional Saleyards on their new facility.”

Left to Right: Wiley COO Rob Barron, Minister Bill Byrne, Mayor Ray Brown, Managing Director Tom Wiley and Michael Matthewson

Minister Byrne and Mayor Brown concluded proceedings by cutting firstly, the ribbon and then a custom-made cake replicating the saleyards logo to mark the 75th anniversary of the yards.

The aims of the redevelopment, which commenced in 2010 with intensive stakeholder engagement, were:

  • To ensure operations are conducted at an industry best practice standard.
  • Minimize operator OH&S risk.
  • Provide improved animal welfare.
  • Maintain the best market prices for Vendors.
  • Maximize efficiency and cost effectiveness for Agents.
  • Deliver the best quality and condition of cattle to buyers.
  • Increase demand for Dalby sale cattle.
  • Increase the market share of Dalby saleyards.
  • Create a design that allowed for flexibility for the future.

Wiley are proud to have helped the Western Down Regional Council realise the first two stages of their vision and look forward to continuing to work together in the future.