By Meg Kennedy
It’s the end of an era for local Ballan Elders stock agent Bernie Shanahan, following the closure of the Ballarat Saleyards in October.
Mr Shanahan says the feeling was “surreal when it finally happened,” after the long-gestating process of building the new Central Victoria Livestock Exchange complex.
“It was business as usual [on the day], but there were mixed feelings when it was all over,” he said.
The new $30 million saleyards are now based at Miners Rest, which officially opened last month after 16-years of development.
The mammoth, privately owned facility, includes softer floors and extensive parking facilities, make the venue the largest in Victoria for selling multispecies livestock.
Mr Shanahan says the new facilities have “more benefits”, but also notes “it definitely has its teething problems” in the following month since its official opening.
“The location is perfect, particularly the drafting and penning facilities, and not only for the animals but it is good for the people to work at too,” he said, noting the uneven cobblestone bricks at the Ballarat facility.
The saleyards will be a prime source for livestock trading, with The Courier reporting an estimated 1.6 million sheep and 70,000 cattle annually, coming from a 250-kilometre radius of the site.
As for the benefits for the Moorabool area, Mr Shanahan says the new venue is “definitely great for the Greater Ballarat region, we’re very lucky to have these kinds of facilities.”