July 6, 2021
A national project to assess the social value of saleyards to their local communities will be launched at Coolabunia Saleyards next week.
The research has been commissioned by the Australian Livestock Markets Association (ALMA), the national industry body for saleyard owners and operators.
The project has a three-pronged approach which aims to capture what sale day means to community members, service providers and saleyard stakeholders.
There will be site visits at four saleyards in Queensland, NSW and Victoria; virtual interviews at other sites; and an online survey.
An ALMA spokesperson said previous research had established that saleyards and livestock exchange facilities provided extensive economic value to regional Australia.
However, there was also a huge social benefit to having operating saleyards.
“Sale days bring crowds to towns; are multigenerational events and are a meeting place for people who normally might lead a more isolated life,” the spokesperson said.
“Sale days are also known to be key contact places for service providers to connect with communities for information sharing and service access.”
Project consultants Blue Wren Connections will be at Coolabunia Saleyards next Thursday (July 15) from 7:00am to 3:00pm to meet stakeholders and community members and hear why their saleyards are important to them.
Consultant Heather Ellis is well-known in the South Burnett for the work she has done with the Red Earth Community Leadership Program.
“Saleyards have historically formed an integral part of the social fabric of rural communities and this work will help to quantify this important concept,” ALMA president Ken Timms said.
“The project report will be a valuable tool in working with all levels of government and the livestock industry to help shape future policy and funding direction.”