Welfare focus at Minderoo

Rueben HaleThe West Australian

Andrew Forrest's Minderoo Station has unveiled its new investment in its beef supply chain, built on Uaroo Station in the Pilbara.

Minderoo Station, near the town of Onslow, takes in the pastoral leases of Uaroo and Nanutarra to the south.

The Minderoo South Depot Yard was officially opened this week.

The 3000-head facility covers almost 4000sqm, which does not include an additional five 1000sqm feed pens.

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The comprehensive yard will include a cattle processing facility, spelling and point-of-sale yard and a transit yard for local producers to use for spelling, rehydrating and weighing of cattle destined for Harvey Beef.

Minderoo Station manager Ben Wratten said the depot yard had many positive features.

"It is located within 10km of the North West Coastal Highway," he said.

"It is open to producers wishing to spell, draft, weigh and process cattle destined for Harvey Beef.

"It was built by Thompson Longhorn, who has extensive experience in innovative yard design, ensuring safety, labour efficiency and animal welfare were a key focus in planning."

Mr Wratten said the yard's registered public weighbridge had a 20- tonne live cattle capacity and pneumatic controlled gates combined with infra-red sensoring.

"We are extremely happy with this outcome and welcome producers to take advantage of this opportunity to work closely with Harvey Beef," he said.

"The staff at Minderoo South have done an exceptional job with the installation of this impressive infrastructure."

Harvey Beef executive livestock manager Kim McDougall said the depot yard was a "tremendous step forward" for Pilbara producers.

"Our northern producers will be able to aggregate lines of store cattle to take the journey south," he said.

"Having a facility in their backyard further enhances Harvey Beef's ability to broaden the value-adding network and marks a step forward in marketing flexibility."

Minderoo head of agribusiness John Hartman said the yards were perfectly located to spell Pilbara cattle travelling south to ensure animal welfare was maintained and had been designed for expansion if there was further demand.

"The depot yards are an important investment for our group which we believe delivers positive benefits to northern producers within the Harvey Beef supply chain," he said.

"Minderoo and Harvey Beef remain committed to the further development and growth of the Western Australian cattle industry, working with our producers to add value."

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