The business principles that guide the AAM Investment Group were out in force at the opening of its 10th saleyard complex, in Longreach on Friday night.
Managing director Garry Edwards, flanked by fellow directors and employees from Gracemere and Brisbane's head office, had an overwhelmingly positive message for guests after putting two sales with nearly 5000 head through the new facility in the previous fortnight, after an eight-year sale hiatus.
He said that across the company's entire portfolio, it was about to record a $1.9b livestock turnover.
"That's what regional Australia does, if you give it a chance," Mr Edwards said.
Even the 2300km overland journey of a paddlewheeler from southern Australia to a Longreach tourism enterprise that concluded across the river from the yards was hauled in as an example of the enterprising community that AAM was adding to with its money.
Mr Edwards said the Australian-owned strategic investment and asset management company had come to Longreach at the invitation of the council in 2016, which was looking for a partner to rejuvenate and run its cattle selling asset as drought continued to bite deeply into the potential for sales.
"The other big attraction is the river," he said.
"Fresh water is critical to moving livestock, and there is potential there if it's developed a bit more.
"Hopefully some enterprising people will do that."
Mr Edwards said they'd learnt from the saleyards they'd started out with 15 to 17 years ago, even the the Northern Victorian Livestock Exchange saleyard complex at Barnawartha, branded a 'development disgrace' in 2018.
"We're about change," Mr Edwards said. "Nobody says, knock it down, take it away."
The reopening was praised by locals, including grazier and entrepreneur James Walker, who described the yards as a jewel that had been missing from Longreach for a while.
"It's a feather in the council's cap to work with corporates like this," he said, adding that the economic flow-on effects to the town would be extraordinary.
Looking to the future, Mr Edwards said AAM was about building supply chains.
He referenced the announcement in February that AAMIG was the preferred proponent to develop the 67,500ha Ord stage 3 concept in the east Kimberley NT region, rebranded as the Keep Plains Agricultural Development.
AAMIG already owns the nearby Legune cattle station and is planning to develop the site for dryland farming and grow a range of crops that would complement its beef cattle operations.
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"The Ord stage 3 will take five to seven years," Mr Edwards said on Friday night.
"It will be region-changing when we do it.
"Government tried to do it for 20 years and handed over to private investors."
He said it was a privilege to invest Australian money in regional Australia, adding that they had investments from Kununurra to Tasmania and would be looking at more beef, sheep and cropping operations, but may even diversify into horticulture and dairy.
Mr Edwards said they had aggressively pursued government money to redevelop the saleyards at Longreach "because we put ours on the table and said, have a crack".
"The Queensland government was fantastic to work with, and we've always worked well with David Littleproud and the (federal) government of the day," he added.
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