Govt firm on Boyanup closure

Headshot of Jenne Brammer
Jenne BrammerThe West Australian

Private enterprise will need to fund any replacement for the Boyanup Saleyards following reiteration from the WA Government that it will no longer contribute financially when its lease expires in 2022.

In a letter addressed to the Country Regions Council of WA, Minister for Agriculture and Food Ken Baston has pointed to the saleyards being a commercial business, but a number of parties are still calling for Government intervention.

"The lease on the current yards expires in 2022," Mr Baston's letter states.

"This provides ample opportunity for the parties to consider future options for the yards and seek a solution, which I trust would be based on a good business case and continue the yards as a commercial proposition in whatever location is preferred."

Mr Baston's letter was in response to a proposal by CRCWA that the funding of new saleyards could come from Royalties for Regions funds.

CRCWA secretary Philippa Hunt said the clear indication from the Minister left the South West in a position where private enterprise would need to fund the new saleyards, at an estimated cost of up to $50 million.

Although the Capel Shire has allocated land, there remained no funding for construction, nor an organisation to manage the project.

"There is no private enterprise willing to fund this at the moment, so we don't have any options," she said.

Ms Hunt said this left farmers facing hefty transport costs to Muchea.

She said the Government was also trying to direct growers towards online auctions but said this was not practicable for stud animals or small producers.

"This would be fine if working with, say, 5000 head and they were not stud livestock," Ms Hunt said.

"Buyers of stud bulls and stud rams are less prepared to buy online. Similarly, this is not suitable for small producers who want to feel, look and see the behaviour of the animal."

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