Tasmanian Labor is backing a group of North West Coast farmers looking to set up their own saleyard in the region after the closure of the historic Quoiba saleyards near Devonport.
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Shane Broad said farmers feeling the impact of the closure will hold a public meeting at the Penguin Surf Club on 12 August seeking support to build a new community saleyard.
“The loss of the Quoiba saleyards has been a huge blow to the North West Coast and has left Tasmania’s red meat industry at the crossroads,” Dr Broad said.
“Despite calls from the Cradle Coast Authority and from Labor for government intervention, they stood by and did nothing while another key livestock industry asset prepared to shut down.
“Now, farmers have to pay more to transport their stock to sale at Powranna in the Northern Midlands and many have to spend the whole day travelling to buy stock. Not only that, but they have also lost an important event that brought locals together and was part of the social fabric of our communities.
“The Liberals are talking about a holding facility that would allow small loads of livestock to be consolidated for transport to Powranna.
“But farmers fed up with the lack of any government action are now taking matters into their own hands and looking at setting up their own saleyard.
“These farmers have been abandoned by the State Government and they have Labor’s support as they seek to find their own solution.
“Labor has been pushing for the government to help get a new, multi-species abattoir built, with Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package recommending a grant round under the Industry Innovation Co-investment Fund for matched investment in innovation and diversification projects, including in the red meat industry.
“If the government won’t step in and help, Labor will back this bold move by farmers not only for their sake, but for the sake of the industry and the North West Coast community.
Shadow Minister for Primary Industries