No plans for Colac yards upgrade yet

No plans for Colac yards upgrade yet

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UPGRADE NEEDED: Transport operator Graham Howell, Avoca, who regularly carts cattle in and out of Colac, says double-deck ramps need to be installed at the yards.

UPGRADE NEEDED: Transport operator Graham Howell, Avoca, who regularly carts cattle in and out of Colac, says double-deck ramps need to be installed at the yards.

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Colac Otway shire has been advised about saleyards upgrades.

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Colac Otway shire has ruled out upgrades to the town's saleyards any time soon.

The Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria has made a presentation to the shire about the current best industry standards, including double-deck ramps at the yards.

But Colac Otway's Development and Community Services general manager Ian Sueren said there was currently no budget allocation to upgrade the ramps.

"This will be considered in budget discussions, for future years," Mr Sueren said.

Over the last year, the council had undertaken projects to increase the environmental sustainability at the Colac saleyards

That included preparing grazing paddocks and laneways to accommodate increased tree coverage, as well as attaining grant funding from Barwon Water to upgrade the pump for the truck wash area and setting up a water recycling system for the old pump.

"This means dam water can now be harvested for cleaning the saleyards, which will reduce the amount of potable water we use - both a huge win environmentally, as well as a cost saving initiative that will potentially help fund future upgrades," he said.

Transport operator Graham Howell, Avoca, who carts cattle in and out of Colac regularly, said the yards definitely needed a double deck loading ramp.

"The cattle flow much better, it's easier on stock and easier on the men.

"We have upgraded our trucks since the 1960's, whereas a lot of the facilities we load out of were built in the 60's and before and have never been upgraded."

Mr Howell said there would be a cost to councils.

"But you would think with the throughput a lot of the yards have, and the economic benefits to the community, that costs would be minute."

He said he wasn't aware of significant incidents at Colac.

'There are always people getting a sprain, or a twist, or a few bruises, but they think nothing of it."

Nutrien Ag Solutions Colac livestock agent Phil Douglas said he was supportive of anything that upgraded the yards.

"Transporters are operating at all hours of the day and night and safety is their primary concern,"

"No-one wants them injured, or, at worst, killed."

The facilities were built 40 years ago and needed to be upgraded.

"We only hear the bad stories and we don't want to hear any here."

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