Another Muchea resignation

Rueben HaleThe West Australian
Lyndon Henning.
Camera IconLyndon Henning. Credit: The West Australian

The Muchea Livestock Centre has parted ways with its long-time manager Lyndon Henning.

It is understood Mr Henning had been on four weeks' leave prior to this week's formal announcement, and that the move was by mutual agreement.

The centre has been under a cloud since it went into meltdown in March last year when more than 2500 cattle caused mayhem and confusion, with penning and drafting problems, leaving many disgruntled users of the facility waiting more than 24 hours to have their cattle weighed.

Mr Henning's departure adds to the list of operational staff to leave the facility, with the WA Meat Industry Association board not renewing the contracts of its former chief executive Renata Paliskis and Livestock Logistics WA manager Shane Potter.

It subsequently appointed former Western Power facility manager Andrew Williams as CEO to implement a "new direction" for the facility.

News of the surprise departure comes as another setback for WAMIA, which runs the facility on behalf of State Government, as it copes with an increasing seasonal influx of stock.

Since July 1, the centre has processed more than 5000 private sales, with about 1000 drafted last weekend.

On top of that, MLC had its biggest cattle sale for the season last week, with more than 2200 predominantly pastoral cattle auctioned.

Mr Williams said the departure of Mr Henning was unfortunate, but said he felt positive about the progress the new logistics manager Darren Robertson was making at the centre.

"Myself and other MLC staff have been covering for Mr Henning in his absence and it is quite unlikely we will be replacing him," he said.

"We've now got the right people in place."

Mr Williams said he believed user confidence was returning at the facility and did not think the latest setbacks would affect the momentum of change.

"This week we've seen the best numbers of cattle since I've come into the role," he said.

"A large number of the cattle have been sold in the private sale, but the numbers this week are excellent nonetheless."

Mr Williams said with the recent spike in numbers, the centre was reaching near-capacity.

"It's getting tight with all the pens full and the hardest thing to manage when it is like this is moving cattle around," he said.

"Our new logistics manager is the right person to work under these conditions because he is good at working a team and also not afraid to ask for more help if he needs it."

Meanwhile, the Boyanup saleyards were abuzz last week as increased numbers of cattle filled the pens.

Landmark southwest livestock manager Darren Chatley said a large crowd flocked to the monthly store sale at Boyanup saleyards to take advantage of higher than average numbers of cattle on offer for the time of the year.

He said the sale, attended by local buyers, lot feeders and live exporters, recorded a significant increase on the 900 to 1000 cattle that were expected.

"Prices are slightly above recent sales, with the exception of lightweight Friesian steers that increased a substantial $30 to $50 a head," he said.

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