The Victorian Farmers Federation is concerned for the greater Victorian livestock industry following the Geelong Council decision to close the local saleyards at the end of August 2017.
Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group President Leonard Vallance said the Council’s plan would create a biosecurity risk and jeopardise the Victorian Government’s $17 million investment in an electronic traceability system for sheep and goats.
“Without a facility servicing the Geelong surrounds we could see a grey market develop that can’t be monitored by a Government department that is under-resourced. We could also see issues on the highways as these producers struggle to get their small lots to market,” Mr Vallance said.
“Geelong Saleyards is the outlet for small land holders who don’t have the capacity to transport livestock to industry standards and any move by the Council to shut it down without a viable solution could lead to disaster.
“Does the Council really want to be responsible for that outcome?”
Mr Vallance said the saleyard closure exposed a disappointing Council attitude towards the region’s agricultural industries.
“It is shameful that the Council has let down its primary producers by letting the saleyards fall into disrepair,” he said.
“Farmers pay their rates, just like people in town, and they deserve to get some benefit – they need a solution.” he said.
Mr Vallance said the VFF would work with state and local governments to expedite an innovative solution for livestock producers that may result in an integrated supply chain in the Geelong area.
The Geelong Saleyards closure will be discussed at the VFF Farmers Forum at Rydges Hotel, Gheringhap and Myers Streets, Geelong, on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.