Saleyards protest meeting in Gippsland

By Geoff Adams

(By Jeanette Severs)

Hundreds of dairy farmers attended a meeting at Darnum on Thursday  night (October 3) to discuss why the Warragul saleyards - a specialist dairy cattle selling facility - was closing.
Among the speakers were owner representative, Graham Osborn, dairy farmers Noel Campbell and Grant Williams, truck driver Trevor Bramstedt and livestock agents, Michael Savage, Neil Darby and Darryl Adams.
Mr Adams described Warragul saleyards as Victoria’s premier dairy selling centre.
A lot of the arguments were economic. Mr Osborn argued the Victorian Livestock Exchange were rationalising efficiencies with the closure. Mr Bramstedt said the cost of transporting cows would double, carrying them to Pakenham saleyards. Mr Adams said the auction system was transparent and ensured a valued return to farmers; his view was endorsed by Mr Campbell and Mr Williams.
Mr Osborn also spoke about the tricky issue of selling bobby calves through saleyards as well as managing biosecurity risks between livestock.
On the table were also plans to build two new saleyards. VLE’s plans include buying land between Pakenham and Moe and building a new facility to replace Warragul and Pakenham. A consortium of local farmers and agents have bought land at Longwarry and are going through the process of applying for a planning permit.
Further details in the next Dairy Australia printed edition.