Biggenden saleyard upgrade a boon for region

Biggenden saleyard upgrade officially opened


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Biggenden's completed saleyards redevelopment has been unveiled, with a brand new name to boot.

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Rainy conditions didn't deter a crowd of livestock industry members from turning out to celebrate the official opening of the Biggenden saleyards

The $3.7 million redevelopment, which includes a name change to the Burnett Livestock Exchange, was officially opened on Friday morning.

The redevelopment was supported by a $1.2 million grant from the federal government, with the project supported 34 construction jobs.

The saleyards can now accommodate more than 2000 head of cattle each day.

The redevelopment involved installing new loading ramps, drafting facilities, a dip and weighbridge and 390 new selling pens and was designed with animal welfare in mind.

Owners Lance and Stephanie Whitaker, from Burnett Livestock and Realty, have been running the saleyards since 2007.

Mr Whitaker said construction had taken about eight months to complete and had made the saleyards easier and safer to use.

"We've got circular crowds and curved races and air-operated gates where you don't have to get in with the cattle and the cattle just flow a lot better," he said.

"It's a terrific set-up to work in now.

"We can obviously sell more cattle but another thing is the cattle are on water all the time and we can present cattle a lot better.

"We've got the pen structures that way that we can draft them as small of lots as we like and do the best we can for our vendors to best present their cattle on the day, sell them in a timely matter and get them weighed and back out home again with very minimal stress."

Mr Whitaker said having better facilities was already paying off in the numbers of cattle going through the yards.

"The numbers are certainly building, we're seeing clients now that we've never seen before," he said.

"The benefits of this facility will be felt by many businesses and communities over a large area.

"Sale days stimulate the economy, provide a market for producers and promote social interaction, bringing many economic and social benefits to our region."

Guests at the official opening enjoyed scones, a barbecue lunch and tours of the facility once the rain eased.

Livestock buyer Steve Dunne said he thought the upgraded facility was outstanding.

"It's a massive improvement," he said.

"It will minimise stress on the animals and have major benefits for everyone using the saleyards."

Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Queensland president Ian Wild said the design of saleyards would make for easier loading and unloading of stock.

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