New faces, changes at livestock saleyards
Leadership changes are under way at two of the State’s major livestock saleyards, with one appointing a new boss and another embarking on a search for one.
Former Craig Mostyn Group general manager Greg Lott was appointed acting chief executive of the State Government’s WA Meat Industry Authority this month.
He replaced Andrew Williams, who tendered his resignation in June and finished up last Friday after three years at the helm.
Mr Williams plans to travel in Italy for three weeks before starting as the head of corporate services at Perth not-for-profit Uniting Care West in September.
He said Mr Lott had the full support of the board and would help it continue the search for a permanent replacement.
“The centre is going through a period of change and I think Greg will continue with that,” Mr Williams said. “I wish him all the best.”
Mr Lott comes to the role with 35 years experience in food and agribusiness, including 15 years at the helm of CMG.
Prior to that, he spent five years as general manager of CMG’s Globe Meats butcher shop in Midland.
Mr Lott has been contracted to WAMIA through his consulting business AgriPlan Services, after finishing with CMG in December.
He said he would help the centre implement a new cost-cutting drive revealed by livestock centre management in June.
The change started on Sunday, which was theoretically the last WAMIA staff would be required to prepare cattle for sale.
From this Sunday, livestock agents will prepare cattle for sale, including selling and drafting on a Sunday and weighing on a Monday.
The move means WAMIA staff will no longer be paid Sunday penalty rates, saving the organisation an estimated $500,000 a year.
“The biggest thing we have on at the moment is the changeover, with the agents taking on presentation of cattle for the Monday sale,” Mr Lott said.
“That is a big issue, we are trying to get everything put together to make it as smooth a transition as it can be. I think it will be smooth.”
Countryman understands between one and five WAMIA staff members have so far been made redundant because of the changes.
Mr Lott said he was brought into the organisation by WAMIA chairman David Lock, who worked at CMG until 2015.
“I worked with him for the best part of 20 years, David made the call and asked what I was up to, and whether I would (temporarily) fill the chair,” he said.
Mount Barker Regional Saleyards’ top job is also up for grabs. Outgoing saleyard manager Stewart Smith tendered his resignation this month after 10 years in the role.
Mr Smith, who farms at Narrikup, plans to focus on his family and farm.
“I’ve missed out on a bit at home so I hope to make that back up in the future,” he said.
“I am very proud of the improvements that I have been able to implement at the Mount Barker Regional Saleyards. We have come a long way in the 10 years of being here, and the processes have only gotten harder.”
Mr Smith said animal welfare had become top priority for the saleyards, which won a national award for excellence in animal welfare last year.
The Shire of Plantagenet, which owns the Mount Barker saleyard, started advertising the position this week.
Mr Smith said the Shire was looking for an experienced, enthusiastic and highly organised person to manage the facility.
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