PASTORALISTS of the Great Darling Anabranch and beyond now have a new, more affordable option when it comes to delivering wool bales.
The opening of a new AWTA-certified woolstore by Fox & Lillie Rural at Dareton, near Mildura, Vic, could potentially save producers hefty freight bills incurred when delivering their wool bales to Melbourne or Adelaide.
The woolstore has a capacity of about 4500 bales and Fox & Lillie regional manager Peter Dow said nearly 1000 bales had been delivered since its doors opened in September.
"We had one (producer) from near Euston who saved $15 a bale on freight by delivering his wool here," Mr Dow said.
"Anyone within 150 kilometres north of here can get their bales here for $5-$8 as opposed to about $22 to Melbourne or Adelaide."
Mr Dow said the new store had been received well so far, with about 1000 bales already in storage and about 600 bales to be delivered next month.
"We probably opened a month too late for everyone but we've picked up some door trade and we're open for small lots and clip oddments," he said
Additionally, the store is an AWTA-certified testing and handling facility.
"AWTA has employed Peta Hibbard, a local classer and scanner, to oversee testing here," Mr Dow said.
"We'll be testing in store and selling in Melbourne each week."
Mr Dow has 43 years of experience in the wool trade, and has been with Fox & Lillie for 10 years. He previously held a position as an administration manager in Melbourne before deciding he needed a "sand change" with the move to Dareton.
Show floor coordinator Ben Stace has been with Fox & Lillie for more than two years, and hails from his family's wool property in the New England region of NSW.
Mr Dow said Fox & Lillie was the third biggest woolbroker in Vic, and would tip 100,000 bales this year.