Colac to offer sheep sales relief


NEW fortnightly sheep and lamb sales will start at Colac Regional Saleyards on Monday (September 18, 2017), offering an alternative for farmers affected by closure of Geelong’s historic saleyards.

Leaders from G21-Geelong Region Alliance municipalities have urged farmers to support the sales during a trial period and beyond. 

Colac Otway Shire Mayor Chris Potter said his council had worked with the City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire in providing a service after permanent closure of Geelong Saleyards at the end of August due to long-running safety and maintenance issues.

He said Colac Otway Shire was pleased to be in a position to support the region’s sheep farmers and excited to be diversifying the sale offering at Colac.

“We have a great team at Colac that is committed to helping farmers make a transition from Geelong to Colac, as well as a premier selling facility that is ready to accommodate sheep sales,” Cr Potter said.

“We’re working closely with the City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire to make sure the transition is smooth and farmers are supported.

“We’re starting off by trialling a fortnightly sale on Mondays, which can be ramped up to weekly or down to monthly according to demand, and we will continue to seek feedback from buyers, sellers, agents and industry representatives about how it’s working.”

Colac Regional Saleyards have 60 outdoor and 20 under-cover sheep selling pens, as well as 138 under-cover cattle pens.

City of Greater Geelong city services acting director Peter Godfrey said Colac Otway would be providing a fully-equipped one-stop shop for peri-urban farmers in G21 region.

“Colac regional saleyards was identified in the G21 Regional Growth Plan as the preferred option for a regional saleyards facility,” Mr Godfrey said.

“With significant growth in intensive animal industries concentrated to our region’s west, Colac offers a centrally-located facility that can cater for this growth and the diverse needs of the G21 region’s agribusiness industry.

“I encourage Greater Geelong’s peri-urban farmers to take advantage of this new Monday sheep and lamb sale at Colac’s saleyards.”

Surf Coast Shire Mayor Brian McKiterick said the municipality had many small-scale livestock farmers who had previously used Geelong Saleyards.

“Council is pleased to work with Colac Otway Shire to ensure these farmers can access a saleyard service for the upcoming season,” Cr McKiterick said.

“The introduction of sheep sales at Colac is welcome news and I encourage our farmers to participate in this service during the trial period.”

Colac Livestock Agents Association president Matt Nelson said the sales would present a good alternative for people in Colac, Geelong and Surf Coast areas.

“It’s encouraging to know that if we do have the numbers, we will have the support from several local buyers,” Mr Nelson said.

“If farmers have questions they should contact their agents.”

The fortnightly sales will start at 10am, with sheep deliveries between 3pm and 6pm on preceding Sundays or 7am and 9am on sale days. All lots must have an accompanying sheep vendor declaration.

People can call Colac Regional Saleyards superintendent Graeme Riches on 0407 092 195 for more information.

The Colac saleyards canteen will be open from 7am on Monday.

Source: Joint Colac Otway Shire, City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire media release. Picture: Colac Otway Shire.