Glenburnie Saleyards ‘well placed’ for Federal Government project funding

Glenburnie Saleyards ‘well placed’ for Federal Government project funding

The Mount Gambier and District Saleyards is still awaiting federal grant funding to proceed with its Saleyards Transformation Project.

Grant District Council applied for a grant through Round Six of the Building Better Regions Fund for the $11m transformation project.

Following the Labor party’s Federal Election victory, new Infrastructure Minister Catherine King said she would redesign the grant program for the fund.

Although the council and state government investments are secured, this announcement caused uncertainty regarding the federal funding.

However, Grant District Council chief executive Darryl Whicker believes the council is well-placed to attract the funding.

“While we’re waiting for the outcome of that grant we continue to plan as though this project will go ahead,” Mr Whicker said.

“Until we hear otherwise, we believe that our grant application is in with a good chance.

“We are meeting regularly with council, agents and the State Government to make sure we leave no stone unturned without advocacy as a priority for council, priority for the state and a priority for the region.”

Member for Barker Tony Pasin called for the Federal Government to give clarity to organisations who applied for Round Six of the fund.

“The Mount Gambier Saleyards Transformation is a much-anticipated project that saw bipartisan support at the State Government level,” Mr Pasin said.

“Unfortunately, this project and many others like it across rural and regional Australia, now hang in the balance because the newly elected Federal Labor Government has indicated they want to pull the $250m the Coalition made available for Round six of the Building Better Regions Fund.”

Miller Whan and John director Andrew Whan, who is also Combined Agents chair, said receiving the federal funding was “critical” and if their grant application was unsuccessful they would try again.

“We’re going to keep trying because we know there’s benefits here for the saleyards but there’s also ongoing benefits to the community,” Mr Whan said.

Mr Whan said those benefits included social and economic implications and positive impacts on health and well-being.

The transformation project upgrades will include the construction of a roof over the cattle yards, pen reconfiguration, placement of concrete slabs in the buyer’s walkways, solar panels and insulation of rainwater harvesting and firefighting capability.

Sprinkler systems, a trough watering system, soft flooring, audio-visual networking facilities, security cameras, LED lighting, weighbridge, bitumising the loading ramp area, a pneumatic cattle crush and works on existing ramps are also amongst the upgrades.

Mr Whan said soft flooring would ensure animals were more contented and arrive in better condition to the purchaser or farmer, adding instant value and optimum return.

Grant District Councillor Barry Kuhl said there was “no doubt” the major project had to be done, as the saleyards generated excess of $155m worth of throughput last year alone making it a significant asset locally and for the state.

“It’s all about the animal welfare, the health of the animal when it comes out of the yards, going into the meatworks and also on the properties they can start feeding straight away and they’re in a lot better condition,” Cr Kuhl said.

“The saleyards have served two generations of primary producers, if we are afforded this grant, council along with its stakeholders has the capacity to make sure that this transformation project will be best-of-class and fully utilised by the next generations.”

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