Work on redeveloping the Euroa Saleyards has hit a milestone with stage two of the process officially opened by Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford on Thursday.
Ms Pulford said the redevelopment was important for the saleyards as it had flow-on effects for the community.
‘‘Each of the sale days are a big deal for Euroa as you all well know,’’ Ms Pulford said.
‘‘The 14 days (of cattle sales) generate a couple of million dollars of activity, employing around 20 people and over a $700000 boost to local businesses. This is really significant.’’
Ms Pulford said she was pleased the government could follow through with its pre-election plans.
‘‘Before the election, some of my colleagues took a shine to this project and we were pleased to make an election commitment towards this project of funding for $500000 to do stage two.’’
The stage two upgrade included relocating overhead powerlines, a new laneway to improve cattle circulation, a roof extension to cover an additional 40 pens and and upgrade of the kiosk and meeting room.
Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McClaren said with stage one having been enthusiastically received by vendors and agents, delivering great economic benefits to the community and shire as a whole, stage two would only mean great things for the local economy.
‘‘The Euroa Saleyards plays a big part in our local economy and our shire’s economic development in so many ways,’’ she said.
‘‘Euroa’s saleyards not only facilitate the sales of large numbers of livestock, but also play an important social and community connectivity role.
‘‘The saleyards have become an integral component of the social fabric of the town’’
The upgrades ensure the saleyards meet European Union accreditation standards, which will increase livestock sale numbers each year.
‘‘The sustainability of the saleyards is incredibly important and there are great opportunities that are arising through the work the Federal Government and the State Government do together to enable our producers to have greater access to export markets,’’ Ms Pulford said.
‘‘Having high standards at saleyards is very important to complement that work.
‘‘There are lots and lots and lots of aspects to it (stage two upgrade) that are absolutely essential to making it a more comfortable working environment for everybody.
‘‘The European Union accreditation standards are just so important. By being able to meet them, will mean that we can increase the benefits to the local community and the local economy.’’
The main building contractor for stage two was Don Newnham Engineering in Euroa and Strathbogie Shire Council has plans already in place for a $525000 project for stage three.