On Wednesday last week Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham officially opening the state of the art cattle ramps at Mount Gambier.
The ramps were the next step towards the transformation of the 40 year old Mount Gambier and District Saleyards.
The District Council of Grant's and the Mount Gambier and District Saleyards Strategy Committee's goal is to bring the facilities into the 21st century with this being the first stage of projects underway.
District Council of Grant's mayor Richard Sage said the latest innovation with the ramps is they can either load from the rear or the side.
"B-doubles and triples that are coming through now are geared to load that way which makes it so much easier," Mr Sage said.
"The ability for the truck drivers to not have to climb on top of the equipment where they can walk along a safe ramp and reach over and undo the gates rather than have to clamber around the stock can be moved a lot more quickly without having to be in the pens themselves.
"It is a modern upgrade which will be the envy of many stockyards around SA."
The $964,000 project has been jointly funded by the State Government's Regional Growth Fund of $385,000 and Council.
The partnership commitment of Marshall Liberal Government has lifted the bench mark in southern Australia with the ability to side and rear load cattle with safety for the truck drivers and other users reducing loading and unloading times, improving animal welfare and reducing damage to stock.
Mr Sage said the new saleyard ramp means animal health has improved.
"The ability of the stock to be moved out of the saleyards in a shorter time frame not only makes it better for the livestock but also for the carriers going forward," he said.
"I can remember quite a few years ago it would take four or five hours after the sale had finished to get the stock moved, put over the weighbridge and put onto the truck.
"This is really a way of getting the flow of the stock from the scales straight onto the truck and away.
"It means less fatigue for the operators and better all round for everybody."
Council is committing $40,000 to designing and construction drawings for the next exciting stage of the saleyards hub to include a roof over the cattle yards, new pen and race ways to allow for better flow of stock allowing for the recycling of soft floor, less use of water and the need to hose the yards after each use.
Mr Sage says the saleyard will be the state of the art hub that will give the saleyards the ability to have sales online through video sales with the latest technology.
"It will be great for certain sellers as well as purchasers so that is what is next for the saleyards," he said.
"The NBN tower will allow connectivity we have never had before.
"When you consider there is a sale happening with about ten stock agents there and they see something their clients might want to purchase; they have never had the instant ability to make an instant phone call to get the sale happening so now they will be able to do that which will be fantastic for everybody."
Mr Sage says it is a very exciting for agricultural industry, council in partnership with all tiers of the government both state and federal to facilitate and deliver a once in a lifetime transformational project.
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