Charters Towers Regional Council mayor Liz Schmidt said the Big Country Brahman Sale which will hold its 25th annual sale on February 5 to 6 this year is an event that provides benefits for the entire local community.
“With any small regional town, the influx of visitors that accompany big events, like Big Country, are not only an economic bonus but also a morale booster to the community. Residents’ confidence lifts as visitors explore our town, spend money and support our town,” Cr Schmidt said.
“The Big Country Sale gives the community an opportunity to meet and interact with visitors and to sell the town and its attributes. With visitors coming from far and wide, this is an opportunity for us to shine,” she said.
Cr Schmidt said the community has been at the centre of the beef industry for more than century.
“The industry and its success, along with the other industries and activities of the district, are integral to the fabric of our community. When grazing prospers, we prosper.”
She said she’d like to see more graziers take an active part in industry associations and have their say about issues affecting their business.
“It should be recognised that what was once a generational lifestyle choice, is now required through new and more restrictive regulations to be run as a business.
“My time in transport and advocacy at state and national level has shown me that red tape is unavoidable.
“The only way to counter the unrealistic expectations of industry is to speak out with one voice singing the same song.”
Cr Schmidt said Big Country provides an opportunity to showcase the operations best practices to intrastate and interstate visitors.
“It’s a well-known fact that the Dalrymple Saleyards complex, it’s facilities and operations are of high standard. The sale happens at the heart of the facility, it’s impossible for visitors not to see and appreciate its worth to the grazing industry.
Cr Schmidt said her and husband Owen have sponsored the sale in the past and that it’s a credit to the organisers that the event “has weathered many a storm (or lack thereof) through the years and has come out of some challenging times which have caused the grazing and associated industries enormous angst”.
“I would like to congratulate Ken and Jim and all who’ve been responsible for this superb event over the past two and a half decades.
“It’s a credit to them and the resilience of the industry as a whole, that it has withstood the test of time and has gone from strength to strength.”
She said she’s humbled to have played a very small part in the process in the early days and honoured as the mayor to pass on the congratulations of the Charters Towers community and its all-important rural regions.
The CTRC has recently agreed to fund improvements to the saleyards facility at the request of users.
“Some simple changes to the export handling facilities are being undertaken and will assist with the efficient management of live export stock.
“We’ve recently commissioned a report on the facility which has produced some significant and costly recommendations. CTRC will consider those recommendations in the near future.
“The overall state of the live export within the region is being investigated so that a well-informed opinion can be considered by CTRC, ensuring that all possible investments will be worthwhile in the long term.
Keep an eye out for the special 28 page publication celebrating the Big Country Brahman Sales’ 25th anniversary appearing in the January 18 editions of the North Queensland Register and the Queensland Country Life.