A CHANCE to tour Mortlake’s newest development – the Western Victoria Livestock Exchange (WVLX) – is coming this Saturday.
The $16 million and 12.2 hectare facility includes 2.8 hectare undercover saleyards currently under construction, which will contain about 420 selling pens, 120 bull selling pens and ring selling facilities.
WVLX manager Tim Nowell said interested members of the community can see the work in progress.
“We’re inviting everyone to come to the open day, whether they’re involved in the agricultural industry or not,” he said.
“It’s a chance for children and adults alike to understand where their food comes from and the part that the saleyards play in the process of getting food from the farm to the dinner plate.”
The construction period will end on December 22 after about seven months of work, ahead of the official first prime sale on Monday, January 22.
“The site will be handed over on Friday, December 22, with some areas still to be completed before Monday, January 22,” Mr Nowell said.
One of the investors and directors Rohan Arnold said he is keen to show members of the Mortlake community the benefits of hosting the large-scale facility.
“We’re really excited about bringing this modern facility to the Western District after the success we’ve seen in New South Wales,” he said.
“The South Eastern Livestock Exchange (SELX) in Yass has been operational for around 18 months now and we felt that there was sufficient need to introduce our technology and operations, with a few tweaks, to the south west of Victoria.
“We’re expecting more cattle, which brings more buyers and that creates more competition and ultimately that’s good for the farmers and the community.”
Moyne Shire councillor Daniel Meade said the development will be “fantastic for the region” once it is operational.
“It will give producers more options and create more competition for cattle, which is better for prices,” he said.
“They’ve (the WVLX developers) also done a good job of getting behind the community from the get-go.
“It’s very exciting and hopefully the start of further big projects in the shire.”
About 80 workers will be at the site until December 22 to finish roofing the facilities, laying soft flooring and completing pens.
Further work will take place in late December and early January to ensure the site is ready for the first prime sale on January 22.
The saleyards will be open on Saturday, December 9 from 10am until 2pm for a gold coin entry, with proceeds divided between Mortlake P-12 College and St Colman’s School.
The Rotary Club of Mortlake will also conduct a barbecue on the day, with a range of kids’ activities on offer.
Tours around the site will begin every 10 minutes from the main office and cafe building.
For more information about the facilities or the open day, contact WVLX manager Tim Nowell on 0428 591 614.