Victorian Livestock Exchange (VLE) chief executive Wayne Osborne has hit back at speculation on the future of the Pakenham saleyards.
Mr Osborne confirmed a meeting looking at the future of the saleyards, was held last week.
“As to the question of a two-year timeframe, at no time whatsoever was this stated to agents, nor anything about whether the yards are viable or not,” Mr Osborne said.
“This whole thing has been blown wildly out of proportion by people seeking to appear knowledgeable on a topic, which they are not.”
This whole thing has been blown wildly out of portion by people seeking to appear knowledgeable on a topic, which they are not.- Wayne Osborne, Victorian Livestock Exchange CEO
Mr Osborne said the meeting was held with senior representatives of stock agencies that operated at Pakenham.
“The purpose of the meeting was to allow a confidential forum for each party to express their views on VLE Pakenham’s current market place position and thoughts on the facility’s possible future,” he said, adding the contents of the meeting would remain commercial-in-confidence.
Meat & Livestock Australia statistics on Pakenham’s prime cattle (on Mondays) and cow, bull and calf sale (on Tuesdays) show yardings ranged from 50 to 1503 in the past year. Since mid-May, only one of these sales has had a yarding of more than 1000 head.
Most Pakenham agents declined to comment, but Landmark’s Terry Ginnane said there was no discussion on selling the facility.
“They denied that was going to happen. They are just looking at what their options are, going into the future.”
Everitt, Seeley & Bennetts’ Michael Everitt said throughput at saleyards was “cyclical” at every Victorian saleyard.
“We are all under strain because of the situation in New South Wales,” he said.
“I can’t see the market at Pakenham would be under any more duress, than any other saleyards.
“You can’t blame people for not selling cattle. With spring ahead of us, most Victorian farmers have the ability to put weight on stock.”
He said he understood why VLE held the meeting, in light of falling numbers.
“They (VLE) don’t want to be left holding the baby, if it’s going to be a continuing trend. We all want to be selling in Pakenham, for many years to come.”
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