End of an era at Korumburra

By Murray Arnel
Updated January 5 2016 - 6:14pm, first published August 2 2007 - 11:00pm

A WAKE has been organised as a fitting finale for closure of the Korumburra saleyards next Wednesday, August 8, ending 50 magnificent years of livestock selling at Victoria’s second busiest cattle saleyards.Announcing the Korumburra closure on Monday, Victorian Livestock Exchange Limited (VLE) manager Graeme Osborne said the final sets in the rationalisation and reinvestment process of South Gippsland markets would have been completed.This will have involved the closure of the Korumburra saleyards, as well as the Yarram saleyards that closed two weeks ago, and the relocation of their businesses to the under-roof and soft-floored VLE Limited facility near Leongatha – the site formerly known as the Koonwarra saleyards.Mr Osborne said buyers and sellers using the refurbished VLE Leongatha complex could expect enhanced information in the form of pre-sale catalogues unlike anything trialled or provided in Australia previously.He said Korumburra’s popular pre-sale weighing method would be retrained. However, the additional selling pens promised had yet to be delivered although the necessary building permits and approvals had been granted.Work on these vital extensions would go to tender next month and be in place by February for peak selling in the South Gippsland season, Mr Osborne said.South Gippsland Stock Agents president Damien Minogue said most people would leave the Korumburra saleyards with mixed emotions.While it had been a fine facility that had served the South Gippsland community extremely well in the past it was time to move on, he said. “Local agents were united in their efforts to make the transfer of the business as smooth as possible, and to put to good use the improved facilities that have been made available at Leongatha,” he said.That said, Mr Minogue said an informal event had been planned to farewell the Korumburra saleyards. Ironically, 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the Korumburra saleyards at its present location, he said, and stalwart producers like Des McRae – possibly the strongest supporter of the Korumburra saleyards from within the Council during its development years – had been invited to speak and retrace its successful history. Mr Minogue said that an open invitation had been extended to anyone who had had any involvement with the Korumburra saleyards over the years to return and celebrate what was the end of an era. A large marquee will be erected in the car park where people can enjoy a cup of tea, a talk about old times and view a display of memorabilia that has been organised, he said.Graeme Osborne said that selling of slaughter stock at the VLE Leongatha complex would begin the following Wednesday, August 15. Sales would start under the same format of a combined trade and export market that currently operates at Korumburra. However, for when the numbers build and the sale needs to be split for management purposes, the composition of future markets was still under review.“Suffice to say, when the numbers build two slaughter markets will be held each week but whether a stand alone trade sale or a stand alone cow sale is conducted, and on which days, is still to be appraised and decided,” he said.Mr Osborne said that hopefully the closure of the Korumburra and Yarram saleyards would result in the critical mass of South Gippsland cattle all being sold centrally at VLE Leongatha, which should provide improved and better competition and prices for the region’s livestock.Meanwhile, at the opposing end of the state the initial drafts of new season young lambs have begun to roll in.New season drafts have been so far be noted in saleyards at Kerang, Bendigo Wagga and Shepparton while last Thursday Ouyen in the far north west belatedly began its sucker lamb selling season.However while just to the two pens were sold on the day, making $88 and $93.20, early indications at this point suggest half of Ouyen’s next offering on August 9 will consist of new season young lambs.And if what was dished last week as the entrée is any indication this year’s sucker supply from the northwest will be a bottler albeit slightly smaller than normal.Ouyen Livestock Exchange chairman, Gerald Leech, says that although there had been a delay in the commencement of this year’s selling season due to the natural and intentional later joining of ewes due to the severity of drought, he suspects now that a much tighter selling season will result because of the excellent feed conditions currently prevailing throughout the area.Ouyen Livestock Exchange has completed a number of upgrades of its facilities for the coming season. It has completed an amenities beautification project around its kiosk area, installed hand-rails to all the agent cat-works plus it will install a perimeter fence, complete with Avdata security gates so the people coming and going through the saleyards facilities can be tracked at all times, and unwanted person and stray dogs can be kept at day.* Further information, VLE Leongatha 0417 397 545, South Gippsland Stock Agents secretary Don Alden 5662 3523, president Damien Minogue 0427 507 369.

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