The Victorian Livestock Exchange has announced it will be building a new saleyard in West Gippsland.
The new facility, to be built in the Baw Baw Shire, will replace both the Warragul and Pakenham saleyards.
Markets will cease at Warragul in the next couple of months, and move to Pakenham, which according to VLE managing director Wayne Osborne, "will continue operating...for the next three to five years".
"The Pakenham site is quite functional and upgrades are underway to ensure this remains the case whilst the new facility is developed," Mr Osborne said.
He said steps were already underway and financial backing was already in place to build the new saleyard.
He said a shortlist of preferred sites had already been developed but VLE was still open to approaches from other property owners.
"The new facility will...secure livestock marketing in West Gippsland for the next 50 years and beyond," he said.
As a first step in the development of the new facility, the Warragul saleyards will cease markets for adult cattle as of the close of business on Friday, November 1.
The last calf sale will be held on Monday, December 16.
The Pakenham sales will return to their previous schedule of:
- Prime cattle markets on Mondays
- Cows, bulls and calf markets on Tuesdays
- Store markets every second Thursday
Dairy sales will continue to be held on Fridays when transferred to Pakenham.
Mr Osborne said the merging of the Warragul and Pakenham markets was a critical step in maintaining the viability of the live auction system in West Gippsland.
"As we undertake the journey to our new site, we do so with the view of securing for all stakeholders a marketplace to sell and buy livestock in West Gippsland for decades to come," he said.
"VLE will be working with stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition of business, both of Warragul into Pakenham and then Pakenham into the new site."