North west Queensland cattle producers could soon have bull sales back on their doorstep, thanks to an initiative by three seedstock vendors.
The three studs - Eddington Droughtmasters at Julia Creek, Glenlands Droughtmasters at Bouldercombe, and NCC Brahmans at Duaringa - with the assistance of the Cloncurry Shire Council, are planning to offer 80 to 100 two-year-old bulls for commercial cattlemen at the Cloncurry Saleyards next April.
It would be the first sale to take place at the complex in at least a decade.
Eddington's Anthony Anderson said he had been trying to get something started again in the north west for about three years, after the Diamantina Droughtmaster sale at Winton folded in 2014 when drought hit hard.
"We had both Winton and Cloncurry in mind, but Cloncurry is home to me, and there are reduced numbers of females round Winton at the moment, where they're backgrounding more," he said. "It did take us a while to decide."
Related: Bull sales could return to Cloncurry
The decision was music to the ears of Cloncurry Mayor Greg Campbell, who said the centre was a key area geographically.
"Because of our strong presence in the beef industry, we were interested in being a part of it," he said.
In years gone by, Elrose, Lancefield and Caiwarra conducted a sale in Cloncurry, and Mr Anderson also recalled a northern sale by the Myall Charolais stud, plus an all-breeds sale.
He said there were varying reasons for their demise but was happy to see a plan for a rebirth.
The council has applied for a grant to upgrade the selling ring under the Drought and Flood Recovery Agency, but Mr Anderson said they would be able to make a sale happen regardless of the outcome of that.
"Bull sales give communities the ability to regrow after disaster, by giving the opportunity for others to follow on," Cr Campbell said.
"The flood recovery highlighted that we need social events, and to have them industry-based is a real indicator of success in that area.
"The Cloncurry horse sales of old were legendary - maybe they could be brought back too."
While successful diversity grants haven't yet been announced, Cr Campbell was reasonably confident, saying they had put in a solid submission.
"The key thing is that we've started the herd rebuild from the monsoon, and this would bring industry and social interaction," he said. "I'm really excited by the quality of the studs that want to break new ground in our area."
NCC Brahmans principal Brett Nobbs, who will be supplying both red and grey Brahmans, said they'd seen a need for a sale in the region.
"That area is under-served at the moment - we saw an opportunity to start something there," he said.
Mr Nobbs agreed that northern cattlemen would feel the vacuum left by the exit of much of the Elrose stud herd and its bulls following the Cloncurry stud's major reduction sale on the weekend.
"It was good for the industry to access females of that quality, but the removal of the herd will leave a hole - Rodger and Lorena Jefferis were big suppliers of a massive number of genetics through their bulls," he said.
Mr Nobbs said they would be kicking the initiative off with a good article for commercial cattlemen.
Mr Anderson added that they would all be poll or scurred bulls, and all scanned by the same vet.
The Droughtmaster bulls will all be prepared at Diane Downs at Theodore, which Mr Anderson said would mean the sale lots would be familiar with each other, resulting in less friction.
"I don't know of any other multi-vendor sale that does that," he said, adding that he had been travelling south for bulls all his life and he was excited to be making this a reality for the north.
The sale is set down for April 23, 2022.
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