Hopes high for smoother Muchea sales

Rueben HaleThe West Australian

The Muchea Livestock Centre has appointed a new officer to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of the former head of Livestock Logistics WA last year.

The move is considered timely, with the facility poised to break a cattle numbers record of 106,000 head for the year.

The MLC will be looking to Queensland-born-and-bred cattle expert Darren Robertson to help it avoid the chaos of 14 months ago when a flood of cattle caused a meltdown in operational procedures.

The 30-year-old, who has grown up working around cattle on stations in his home State, said he was "quietly confident" about making livestock logistics run more smoothly on busy sale days.

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"I was raised on a cattle farm near Goondiwindi, where we had breeder cattle," Mr Robertson said.

"We also had sheep and grain so it was a good learning experience for me."

Mr Robertson said he cut his teeth in the cattle business, running his own contract farming business in Gondiwindi.

"I have been mostly doing work with cattle for the past seven years," he said.

"I have recently had been working at a large cattle station near Birdsville. And then from there I continued to contract around the Glenmorgan and Roma areas for about five years, where I also managed a station there for some of that time."

Mr Roberston said he moved to WA in January to try something new and was excited about his new role at the saleyards.

Only in his second week on the job, he said he had already started to come up with ideas to better manage the livestock logistics.

"I can see straightaway we have to have more control over the cattle as they first come in," Mr Robertson said.

"That is one of the problems because people aren't sure which cattle in the pens belong to which people.

"So I have to get that side of things running properly first."

Mr Robertson also said he had identified minor infrastructure problems that needed to be fixed.

"A few gates that don't swing the correct way … and the first few days I was here it was raining heavily and the shed doesn't go out far enough, so the first few pens are getting wet," he said.

Mr Robertson said his long-term strategy was to recruit more experienced people to help run the centre.

"We need to have some good people to manage each part of the centre to keep things running smoothly and then have an overall manager to keep control of thing," he said.

Mr Robinson said he looked forward to big numbers of cattle at the centre this season.

"I had worked selling cattle at Roma saleyards that averaged about 6000 head of cattle a week," he said.

"So I know how to handle many different sorts of cattle because I've worked with so many of them."

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