THE Grafton Saleyards which run every Tuesday bring many farmers into town.
THE Grafton Saleyards which run every Tuesday bring many farmers into town.

Saleyards at Grafton in good stead

CLAIMS by Richmond Valley Mayor Col Sullivan that the Casino Saleyards would be the only saleyard on the North Coast “in time” have been met with doubt by owners of the Grafton saleyard, Clarence Valley Council.

CVC’s manager of assets George Kriflik said the South Grafton facility was a thriving business even though it was running at a small loss due to some old debts which were about to be resolved.

Mr Kriflik said Grafton’s traditional style of auction was different to the system in Casino, the biggest saleyard on the North Coast, and the local complex suited smaller farmers better.

“A lot of the larger producers are selling directly to abattoirs anyway,” Mr Kriflik said.

He said council staff were analysing a proposal from local selling agents to lease the saleyard.

Richmond Valley Council hosted a public meeting on the potential sale of the Namoona Saleyards in Casino on Monday.

ABC Radio reported the council had received two offers for the purchase of the facility, and though it is yet to decide if it will sell, has stated it would not take any less than $9 million for the 44-hectare complex.

“The trend across the State is that they’re going into private enterprise and we’re prepared to look at that,” he said.

“It’s a very, very important issue for the future of Casino and district and probably the North Coast, because in time this will be the only saleyards complex on the North Coast and the future of it is important to a lot of people.”

Asked by The Daily Examiner to further explain his comments yesterday, Cr Sullivan said he believed the amount of cattle produced on the North Coast would diminish as the area became more popular as a residential area.

“It’ll end up being a numbers game that will force some saleyards to close,” he said. “I might be wrong.”

He said saleyards were already being affected by direct selling via internet auctions, but there would continue to be a need for saleyards well into the future, especially considering many of the producers on the North Coast were small-scale and many buyers were not interested in arranging special transport of two or three head at a time.

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