Cloncurry saleyards upgrade to begin in February

Clare Adcock
By Clare Adcock
Updated January 10 2022 - 8:45am, first published January 5 2022 - 7:00am
Upgrades to the Cloncurry saleyards will begin next month. Photo: Cloncurry Shire Council

Construction on the Cloncurry saleyards upgrade is expected to begin in February, with councillors hoping it will be finished by April this year.

Cloncurry Shire Council believes the upgrades to the selling facility will enable the return of bull sales to the North-Western Queensland hub, as well as the potential to hold store sales.

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The project will consist of 50 shaded selling pens being constructed, along with shaded raised walkways to cater for stock prior to entering the selling arena.

Cloncurry Councillor and saleyards manager Nathan Keyes said the upgrades and proposed bull sales would provide many benefits to the region and its residents, in terms of industry but also on a social level.

"Obviously it will be beneficial for the local producers and those further west of us that don't have access to get to the sales on the east coast or other centres throughout the year, it's basically bringing the bulls to the west," Councillor Keyes said.

"It will be beneficial to the community in terms of having another event and a good socialising event for the people who are buying or not buying, so it's good in that way too.

"Also the local community will benefit in terms of the pubs, hotels and motels, and the rest of it, drawing a few people to town which is also another positive.

"It's good to see that they're starting again out here, it's been ten-plus years since we've had the last bull sale so it's great that they'll be back up and running."

Councillor Keyes is also optimistic about the potential of store sales being held in Cloncurry, with the upgrades allowing for smaller decks to be sold through the facility.

"Hopefully there's going to be plenty more to come with potential smaller store sales, if any agents want to go down that path," he said.

"The plan is to build the pens to a size where they're capable of holding one deck of cattle, therefore if any vendors ever want to come to Cloncurry, they can."

"Some larger companies in the past have asked us about it and we haven't had the smaller pens for what they want, it might be for 500 or 1000 weaners or something like that, and we haven't really been able to do it unless it's in four or six deck lots.

"So, whether or not a store sale will happen, I don't know, but there's potential for it here."

The upgrades will allow the facility to cater for potential store sales. Photo: Cloncurry Shire Council

Many producers are excited by the idea of bull sales returning to Cloncurry, with interest coming from both the local area and interstate.

"There's been a bit of interest in the sales from the Northern Territory and further afield, so it'll be interesting to see how it goes," Councillor Keyes said.

"We'll be building the sale pens and then we'll just go from there, one step at a time."

Considering the record prices in both stud and commercial sales over the last twelve months, the upgrades to the selling facility will be good timing for many graziers, despite the Cloncurry area still waiting for good summer rain.

While many parts of Queensland have seen record rainfall in the last few months, Councillor Keyes said the North-West has missed out so far, but locals are hoping for a good season to come.

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"We haven't had much at all here yet, just some heat storms, so we're still waiting. It's early days though, our wettest month isn't usually until February," he said.

"By the end of February, if we haven't had too much rain it'll be all stations go and everyone will be looking to move a few very quickly.

"So, this will bring a bit more opportunity and a few more options; it's all a part of upgrading the facility and it'll be there for years to come.

"If anyone ever wanted to do a bull sale or store sale there'll be the potential when this is built."

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Clare Adcock

Clare Adcock

Roma Journalist - Queensland Country Life

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