Council bid for yards reprieve

Forbes Shire Council will tomorrow show representatives of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator around a sheep sale, as the organisation seeks to have an improvement notice lifted. 

Council has been ordered by Roads and Maritime Services to install a weighbridge, following the detection of 57 breaches by livestock transport operators leaving the saleyards.

But Forbes Shire Council General Manager Steve Loane says Council is not the loading manager, and the bridge and associated works could cost up to $2 million Council has not budgeted.

“The weighbridge would need to be remotely operated, because trucks come and go at all hours,” he said. 

“The weighbridge would have to be capable of taking photos of the back, front and sides of a truck and identifying the truck driver. 

“If a truck is overloaded, there would need to be extra yards to hold offloaded animals, another expense the Council doesn’t have reserves for.”

To further press Council’s case the Central West Livestock Exchange will host executives from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, administrators of the Chain of Responsibility legislation, including CEO, Mr Sal Petroccitto on Tuesday afternoon. 

“Council looks forward to hosting the National Regulators during an active sale at the CWLE to better develop their understanding of the complexity of the issue faced by saleyard owners, Mr Loane said.

Work has just begun to expand the existing cattle selling complex.

The estimated $3.4m expansion works consists of improvements to truck parking areas, electrical works to increase lighting and security CCTV, expansion of the current covered yard area and installation of additional state of the art cattle yards.

This will lift yarding from 1800 to 2600 head of cattle per week, an increase of 41,600 per annum to a total of 105,000 head of cattle per year.

“The added advantage of the additional delivery pens will facilitate more efficient turnaround time for cattle spending less time in the selling centre. This will have a positive impact on animal welfare and transport operations,” Forbes Mayor Phyllis Miller said. “The project will drive economic growth and productivity into the local community.”

Council's General Manager Steve Loane at the Central West Livestock Exchange. Photo The Land.

Council's General Manager Steve Loane at the Central West Livestock Exchange. Photo The Land.