The Shadow Minister for Agriculture Colin de Grussa and the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas have today welcomed the news from the Government that the ACCC has cleared the way for the current lease on the Boyanup Saleyards to be extended.
They have together called on the McGowan Government to deliver both a short-term solution by facilitating that ten year extension and a long-term solution by rebuilding the saleyards in the same region but out of town.
“The ACCC has reportedly removed any competition barrier to the lease extension, and we hope that the Shire of Capel will now move rapidly to get that extension in place” Mr de Grussa said.
“With the current lease expiring in less than one year the State Government has no time left to put any real alternative in place and an extension of the current facility is vital to support the cattle industries of the South West.”
“The Government’s own report told them that this is a critical piece of infrastructure for agriculture in this state, so the only short-term solution is to get the lease extension done” Mr de Grussa said.
Dr Thomas said that the extension would allow adequate time for a genuine long-term solution to be delivered, and that the only way forward was to rebuild the yards in a different but suitable location in the same region.
The State Government needs to work with industry in developing a best practice, truly multi-user facility that serves the needs of the whole sector.
“Alannah MacTiernan has been seeking to short-change the South West cattle industry by refusing to build new yards to replace the Boyanup ones, and her excuse that all cattle sales here will be online in a decade is laughable” Dr Thomas said.
“I have been hearing about online sales taking over for decades, and the small uptake to date makes the Minister’s position a dud excuse not to invest. We took a rebuild commitment to the last election, and it is well and truly past time for the Government to match it.”
Both Mr de Grussa and Dr Thomas said that with $15 billion in budget surpluses predicted over five years, there was no excuse not to invest in South West agriculture and deliver this vital facility. They believe new South West saleyards should be opened in the region not too distant from the current site as the hopefully extended lease expires in Boyanup in 2032.