Southern Grampians Shire Council has recently carried out almost $40,000 worth of improvements to the Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange (HRLX) to further develop Western Victoria’s premier sheep market sales facility.
During the past 12 months, council installed a new cattle crush and constructed new holding yards with a laneway to better manage stock through the Port Fairy Road underpass.
The cattle crush was purchased from the former Warrnambool sale yards and the holding yards were built using mostly repurposed materials from the facility. The yards were designed to make handling of all stock as stress-free and safe as possible.
In the 2023/24 financial year council has committed to progress the upgrade of the old timber yards with steel materials. This will be a multi-year upgrade with a budget this year of $35,000.
Southern Grampians Shire Councillor Mary-Ann Brown, who is council’s representative on the HRLX Advisory Committee said work had started on a business and marketing plan for the HRLX.
“SED Consulting from Warrnambool has been appointed to work on the plan and will soon start meeting with producers, stock agents and other key stakeholders to gather information,” said Cr Brown.
“This activity stems from the HRLX five-year strategic vision that was formally adopted by council in November last year. The vision addresses strategies to ensure the facility is sustainable in the future, whilst growing opportunities for the livestock market in the Southern Grampians region.”
During the 2022/23 financial year, over 24,200 head of cattle and 890,000 head of sheep were moved through the facility.
“With a large number of sellers, buyers and transport workers coming to HRLX for sales three times a week, council’s stand-alone commercial enterprise brings significant benefits to farmers, the industry and local businesses,” said Cr Brown.