The Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Regional Development Dr Steve Thomas has today announced that an elected Liberal Government will invest $21 million from the Royalties for Regions fund towards the replacement of Boyanup saleyards.
“The Boyanup saleyards are a critical part of the beef industry in the South West, as evidenced by them being a part of the “Regional Saleyards Strategy” that has been supported by all sides of politics for over fifteen years” Dr Thomas said.
“The Liberal Party believes it is time to complete the strategy by rebuilding the Boyanup saleyards and finally finish the job.”
The Regional Saleyards Strategy called for the sale of the old Midlands saleyards, with the proceeds to be used to build the replacement of the Midlands yards at Muchea, replace the Katanning saleyards, upgrade the Mount Barker (Great Southern) saleyards, and replace the Boyanup saleyards. All of these were done except Boyanup.
Dr Thomas said that it was highly appropriate to use Royalties for Regions funding to invest in the Boyanup saleyards.
“It is hard to think of a more critical piece of public infrastructure than these saleyards that support the entire South West cattle industry” Dr Thomas said. “Around 60,000 head go through the Boyanup saleyards annually, or about one fifth of the 300,000 head of cattle in the region.”
“In fact, it is hard to understand why this fund has not already been used to finish the job and support South West cattle producers. When the money from the sale of Midlands saleyards ran out the R4R fund should have always been used to finish the job.”
“Labor’s apparent plan to seek a ten year lease extension at the current Boyanup site without any real State investment is just kicking the can past the next election” Dr Thomas said. “It would require significant investment by the current lease holders just to bring the yards up to standard, and in ten years’ time we would just have to start the process to rebuild all over again.”
Dr Thomas said that only the Liberal Party had a costed and economically sustainable plan for the Royalties for Regions fund, and because of this they could be trusted to deliver on their regional commitments.“We are the only party who have put money back into R4R, while the Labor Party is continuing to steal from it to fund its metropolitan cost blowouts,” Dr Thomas said.