Ouyen saleyards to boost throughput and safety with new upgrades

Ouyen saleyards to boost throughput and safety with new upgrades

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A rundown of the new upgrades at the Ouyen Livestock Exchange.

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A string of new improvements to a north-west Victorian livestock exchange will bolster throughput and occupational health and safety.

The upgrades at the Ouyen Livestock Exchange include new lighting and irrigation and the installation of multi-configuration selling pens which will increase the saleyard's selling capacity.

Ouyen Livestock Exchange manager Prue Lynch said the improved setup offered a number of benefits.

"Previously in the same area we did have other pens but they were really large which meant we could only yard big numbers and that was quite restrictive," Mrs Lynch said.

"We also didn't have any lighting previously on the site ... but on Wednesday night agents were able to work in the dark when livestock was arriving prior to the Thursday sale."

Mrs Lynch said the complex, which has a capacity of about 20,000 sheep, would also benefit from the dust suppression system.

The federal government allocated $112,000 for the project under the Building Better Region Fund, which was matched by the Ouyen Livestock Exchange.

"A big part of it now is the OH&S because agents used to curse using that section of the yards because it was so poorly laid out the animals wouldn't flow," Mrs Lynch said.

"Now the animals will flow easily in and out of the yards and that will create a much more efficient system."

More than 11,000 lambs and 2000 mutton were sold at the facility on Thursday, coinciding with the official opening on new upgrades.

On average lambs were $8-$12 cheaper while mutton held firm selling to slightly stronger rates.

Federal member for Mallee Anne Webster said the upgrades would help improve the overall experience of the yards.

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