ARE the Kempsey Saleyards at the end of their life expectancy? This is a question being asked by local users who believe that a replacement facility should be on the cards – for the betterment of humans and animals.
The safety of the saleyards was called into question in a previous story published in the Argus (July 15), and again following a call from resident Rhonda Saul who’s elderly husband recently had an accident on a sale day last month.
Mrs Saul voiced concern about the overall amenity and access for the elderly and people with disability of the saleyards after her husband fell when a plastic chair he sat down on broke underneath him at the edge of the ring.
“After lying on the ground for a while, people helped to pick him up where he leaned on a rail afterwards to recuperate,” Mrs Saul said.
“At the time we didn’t go to the hospital, but my husband complained about sore ribs and after an appointment with a chiropractor we discovered he had a dislocated rib.”
Kempsey Shire Council recently undertook an internal workplace health and safety audit of the saleyards and is currently addressing a number of issues raised, including providing safer and more secure ground level seating for people with disabilities who are unable to access the ringside grandstand seating.
Council’s manager of economic sustainability Susannah Smith said that council had allocated funds in the 16/17 financial year budget to progress the works proposed for this year, and quotes had been obtained for CCTV equipment which will be installed by September 2016.
“Construction of a roof over the saleyards would be delayed to allow council to monitor throughput and financial performance and seek additional funding,” Ms Smith said.
A number of stakeholders believe Kempsey’s saleyards – if properly developed – could be a significant asset for the shire, and become an agricultural centre of significance for the coast.