Facility to be state of the art

Kate PollardCountryman

Katanning's new $25.5 million saleyard is on track to open in September next year.

Last week, the shire hosted a progress tour of the facility for politicians, surrounding shires and those involved in the sheep industry to see the progress of construction since the first sod was turned last year.

With most of the concrete on the 60,000sqm concourse down, as well as some of the main superstructure erected, it's already looking impressive.

Katanning shire president Richard Kowald told more than 100 attendees it would be the largest undercover sheep selling complex in the southern hemisphere, built using 90 per cent local employment.

The new saleyards can house up to 28,000 sheep and were funded with $17 million from the State Government and $7.6 million from the Federal Government.

Minister for Sport and Recreation and local member Terry Waldron said the new saleyards were important for Katanning, the region, the sheep industry and the State.

Having worked penning sheep at the current saleyards, Mr Waldron said the new facility was state-of-the-art and tailor made for stock management.

"Everyone involved - the buyers, sellers and agents - when they move in, hopefully in about September 2013, will appreciate this new facility," Mr Waldron said.

Rainfall to run off the 42,000sqm roof and the concourse will be captured and stored in a 32 megalitre dam. This means for every 10mm of rain, a million litres of water will be collected.

Each pen will have water, which will be recycled around the facility in a system that will be self cleaning and require no extra labour.

The fabrication of the new saleyards is being done onsite, with the shire trucking in 170km of steel pipe, which has been cut into 2.862-metre lengths and welded together to make the gates.

Katanning shire chief executive Dean Taylor said the project was three to four weeks ahead of schedule at this stage.

Saleyards construction *

·54km of electrical cable will be used in the new saleyards.

·55,000 cubic metres of top-soil was replaced with 22,000 cubic metres of gravel to prepare the site.

·The project has created jobs for 35 construction workers earning $40,000 to $100,000.

·The facility will have 18 full-size truck ramps and 10 small ramps.

·There will be a four-bay truck wash.

·A street sweeper will be used to clean the saleyards.

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