DENILIQIN councillors have decided to close the southern Riverina town’s cattle yards and re-invest in its sheep saleyards.
Edward River Council at its November meeting agreed to re-invest in the Deniliquin sheep saleyards to improve competitiveness and sustainability of the asset and the fortnightly sheep market.
Edward River Council mayor Norm Brennan said the well-supported Deniliquin sheep saleyards are renowned for their effectiveness, with good yards, loading facilities and shade.
“Council is committed to making safety and useability improvements where needed and we’re encouraged by user feedback that not a lot of work is needed there.
“The same cannot be said for our cattle yards, however with those yards giving Council some concern,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we are just not seeing the cattle pass through the yards with vendors preferring markets in nearby centres and even online auction sites.
“We have looked at several options and engaged with user groups however Council has agreed to divest and close the cattle yards in time,” Cr. Brennan said.
“To upgrade the Deniliquin cattle yards to match competitors including the Wagga Wagga or Echuca Livestock Exchange or even Finley, a significant investment would be required, and we believe would not see a return to ratepayers or see an increase in demand for the cattle yards.
“The decision to divest and close the cattle yards is not only focused around cost avoidance but importantly, risk prevention,” he said.
The council has not set a closure date for the cattle yards, but has agreed to engage with users and stakeholders to develop a strategy that allowed enough time for alternative arrangements and contingencies, including what to do with the cattle yards once they are closed.
“We also intend to engage with our counterparts in Finley who themselves are in the process of reviewing their sheep saleyards with the view of working together down the track,” Cr. Brennan said.