23 December 2021

Bega Saleyards advisory group formed to help guide future growth

| Albert McKnight
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Bega Saleyards

Two local representatives have been appointed to an advisory group for the Bega Saleyards. Photo: BVSC

Long-time users of the Bega Saleyards are bringing their experience to help guide the growth of this important part of the Bega Valley economy.

The Bega Saleyards Stakeholder Advisory Group has been formed with Matthew Maddern and Grant Robertson appointed as the local industry representatives following a recent expression of interest process.

Mr Robertson, a beef cattle and sheep farmer from Wandella, has been a regular user of saleyards across NSW and has experience buying and selling livestock through online platforms.

Mr Maddern owns a beef cattle farm at Frogs Hollow and is a regular user of the saleyards through his livestock transport company which services Bega’s two livestock agents as well as saleyards throughout NSW and Victoria.

“The saleyards are the bartering point for all the cattle that you see in the paddocks in the Bega Valley,” he said.

It also has a social element, he said, as it brings together farmers who “lead a pretty isolated life”.

While he said you can always have improvements, he thought the saleyards were already among the best in Australia and they were keeping up with new developments with more recent additions including two-decker ramps.

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He said his role as a local industry representative was about communicating with everyone involved and “just keep (the saleyards) going forwards”.

“It’s just one of those things that you need to keep going, you always need to buy and sell cattle,” Mr Maddern said.

While the Bega Valley’s farmers endured a long, tough period with the recent drought, he said this recent season had been good and the grass was probably the best he’d ever seen.

“People are pretty happy to sell, people are pretty happy to buy, so it’s probably the best we’ve seen for a long time,” he said.

“If it stays like this for the next 10 years we’ll be happy.”

Bega Valley Shire Council’s property services manager Rickee Marshall thanked Mr Maddern and Mr Robertson for their commitment to the future growth of the saleyards.

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“The Bega Saleyards are not only a vital part of our local economy, but also agribusiness throughout south-east NSW,” Ms Marshall said.

“Through the advisory group, we hope to guide and support the long-term growth and development of the saleyards.”

The stakeholder advisory group is made up of the two local representatives, the saleyards lessee, stock agents selling at the yards, a senior council staff member and a councillor.

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