THE Millicent sheep yard loading ramps and holding pens, utilised by some locals for holding and transit, were closed immediately last week, with the local council aiming to eliminate significant safety risks.
Despite sheep sales ceasing at the Millicent Saleyards in 2007, Wattle Range Council said that a small number of farmers still utilised the sheep yards for consolidating smaller quantities of stock from various farms into larger loads for transport.
This was often done without Council's knowledge or oversight and without any fee for service being collected during the past twelve months.
The Council was issued with five SafeWork Notices for the aging Millicent Saleyards site in July.
Built in the 1970s, many elements of the aging infrastructure need to be replaced or upgraded to accommodate modern safety standards.
Council addressed the SafeWork Notices by undertaking a risk assessment of the site to identify all potential safety hazards, with site users and stakeholders invited to take part.
Two extreme risks were identified with the sheep yards infrastructure and Council acted immediately by closing and locking out the sheep yards and loading ramp.
The risks identified were ramp and yard infrastructure that didn't meet current safety standards, posing an extreme fall from height risk to site users, and significant compliance issues with the wastewater that runs off the sheep yard, posing an extreme storm water contamination risk.
Council is investigating all future options for the site, including the possibility of providing a transit service for sheep into the future.
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