By Mitchell Clarke
The Victorian Livestock Exchanges in Pakenham and Warragul are set to merge into a new saleyard in West Gippsland.
It was announced on Monday 16 September that the saleyard will be built within the Baw Baw Shire, with steps already underway and financial backing in place.
The Pakenham saleyards are expected to continue operating for the next three to five years, with upgrades currently underway to ensure the yards remain functional while the new facility is developed.
The Warragul saleyards will cease markets for adult cattle on Friday 1 November, with markets being transferred to Pakenham while the last calf sale will be held on Monday 16 December.
The merging of the markets will see the Pakenham sales returning to their previous schedule of prime cattle markets on Mondays, cows, bulls and calf markets on Tuesdays and store markets every second Thursday.
In a statement, the VLE said the merging of the Warragul and Pakenham markets is a critical step in maintaining the viability of the live auction system in West Gippsland, confirming they’ll work alongside stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition of business.
“As we undertake the journey to our new site, we do so with the view of securing for all stakeholders a marketplace to sell and buy livestock in West Gippsland for decades to come,” Managing Director Wayne Osborne said.
“Having been the creator of the modern livestock exchange in Australia with our Pakenham site and having a proven track record for delivering, above all others, successful livestock marketing centres, VLE looks forward to ensuring West Gippsland remains at the forefront of livestock marketing in Australia.”
A short list of preferred sites has been developed but the VLE remains open to approaches from other property owners.