Major live exporter company Wellard bought a 340 hectare (850 acre) property at Condah, west of Macarthur, to service its move into live cattle exports to China.
Wellard, Australia’s largest cattle exporter, said it would develop the property into a pre-export quarantine facility for live cattle exports, largely to China, as the start of the slaughter/feeder live cattle trade to that country opened up.
Located 60 kilometres to the north of the Portland live export port, the property will be Wellard’s base to secure and induct beef and dairy cattle from throughout Victoria, South Australia and southern NSW to meet China’s stringent quarantine access requirements, as well as other markets.
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said Wellard’s investment was a fabulous example of one of Australia’s livestock exporters capitalising on the Free Trade Agreement with China that was ratified in 2015.
Mt Tehan said Welland’s investment would benefit regional cattle producers, support local industries and create local jobs both directly and indirectly.
Wellard’s China trade general manager, Bernie Brosnan, said the company would invest in infrastructure on the property so it could be developed into a modern pre-export quarantine facility.
The investment in infrastructure investment would be staged over time to reflect the level of Chinese export activity.
“Development of Clonlee into a pre-export quarantine facility will complement existing facilities in Victoria’s south-west so that we can meet China strict quarantine protocols while delivering the number of cattle our customers plan to acquire,” Mr Brosnan said.
Chinese import requirements include a seven-day quarantine period in Australia for slaughter cattle being shipped to northern China and an ‘all-in all-out’ requirement which prevents the co-sharing of the facility with other consignments.
Wellard plans to start exporting slaughter cattle to China between March and June this year.
The first shipments are expected to involve about 3000 cattle, weighing more than 500 kilograms.
In time that would increase to shipments of more than 4000 head, and up to 16,000 head when feeder cattle started to be introduced into the trade, the company said.
Wellard chief operating officer Brad Gosling said Australia’s negotiation of the Free Trade Agreement and Health protocol for slaughter cattle with China was integral to the company’s investment.
Wellard is based in Western Australia and has supplied dairy and beef cattle, sheep and goats to the world for more than 30 years.