After a decade of consultation, planning and design, central Victoria has about five months more to wait until the opening of the state’s newest and largest saleyards at Miners Rest, northwest of Ballarat.
Earmarked for a start-up date in July, the $24m-plus multi-species CVLX will replace the century-old Corporation yards in La Trobe Street, Delacombe.
It must be said that with such a long, and at times protracted, lead up that enthusiasm towards the Miners Rest yards has been lukewarm. But with its structures mushrooming from the ground heads are turning and the chatter increased.
With the project taking shape Stock&Land this week was treated to a guided tour by CVLX manager Jonathon Crilly and was pleasantly surprised, especially with the huge three hectares of saw-tooth roof that should provide ample ventilation and protection from Ballarat’s very changeable weather.
The project’s developer, Regional Livestock Exchanges says the new facility, which occupies a 45ha site at the junction of the Western Freeway and the Sunraysia Highways, will incorporate innovative technologies and design features to set it apart from traditional saleyards.
These will include online sale interfaces, individual and bulk lamb weighing systems, mobile data capture and sale administration, EID recording at both vendor and sale lot levels, pre- and post-sale sheep handling systems for veterinary treatments and automated weight drafting for sheep and cattle.
“Once the new CVLX begins operation mid-year it will provide an unrivaled level of service for central Victoria’s livestock industry,” the company said in a statement this week.
“While a lot of work has been done there is a lot of work still to be done” Jonathon Crilly said. “But construction is moving and the various components will come together rapidly,” he said.
Construction of the cattle and sheep pavilion structures is already complete and the installation of the roof cladding is well underway. The 7371sqm of the cattle selling area has a “woodchip-blend” soft floor as well as pre and post sale feeding and holding capacity.
It will also incorporate both pen and individual weighing systems for any types of sale.
With a total area of 16,589 sqm, the sheep selling facility is 900 sqm larger than the La Trobe St site.
The facility will have ample on-site water storage to utilise clean roof water for stock drinking. It will also have water treatment systems to clean and re-use waste water reducing the reliance on the town water by over 50 megalitres per year.
Construction of the central amenities building began this week and features a 100-seat cafeteria.
An open day is planned for April or May.