KEMPSEY Shire Council has announced a $6.5 million upgrade and refurbishment to the Kempsey Regional Saleyard with joint funding approved by the Federal and State governments.
The upgrade will include a yard roof, new kiosk, amenities, seating, an office and an additional cattle yard.
The announcement was made today (July 15) with mayor Liz Campbell, Federal Member Pat Conaghan and State Member Melinda Pavey all in attendance. The project is expected to take 12-18 months and is being overseen by council.
Ben Tyson, a member of Kempsey Stock and Land, was stoked with the announcement. "It's been a long time coming, a lot of other saleyards already had been given their funding, and that's what we need on the Mid North Coast," Ben told the Macleay Argus.
This sentiment is shared by Brian Sowter (the saleyard stand is named in his honour).
"The days of a saleyard in every town has come to a halt, and it brings a lot of money to this town. I had it in my mind, that if we didn't do something soon, we would be losing a lot of cattle to other areas," Brian said.
However one farmer felt the Kempsey saleyard funding might be better spent elsewhere.
"I don't think it's needed, spend $6 million down at South West Rocks or somewhere where people will come and spend money in the town. A new boat ramp and easy access to the ocean would be better than this. You don't need to fix something that doesn't need to be fixed," Ty Dawson said.
Mayor Liz Campbell was upbeat about the project.
"It's a plan we have been working on in council for a few years now, and we know how important the saleyards are for our famers for restocking and destocking, particularly for our farmers during fires and floods," Cr Campbell said.
Local State MP Melinda Pavey added "we've had six years of toughness in the industry, and it is just such a relief to be able to deliver this project."
Mr Conaghan believes the public will see a trickle-down effect.
"It's not just going to provide good services but will create 16 jobs during construction and another 55 incidental throughout the economy in Kempsey and Macleay Valley," the Member for Cowper said.
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