SELLING livestock is big business. In fact, turnover at the Wagga saleyards has equated to $428 million in the last financial year.
Committee 4 Wagga chairwoman Judy Galloway said while not being “privy to other business turnover” that figure was significant and made the centre a “huge economic contributor.”
“The spin off and the revenue generated is huge … just consider what it means for the transport sector alone,” she said. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) released throughput figures for sheep and lambs which indicate Wagga is the number one selling centre in Australia and the world.
To achieve this 1.7 million sheep and lambs were sold at the saleyards. The sheep and lamb sales were worth $216 million and the overall turnover of $428 million comes once the cattle totals are added.
- The Livestock Marketing Centre attracts more than 400 heavy vehicle movements each week
- Eight livestock agency companies sell at the centre
- The sheep selling facility is the largest in the world
- Overall sheep and lamb prices averaged $130 in the last financial year
According to MLA Dubbo was next inline for sheep and lamb sales with 1.4 million head sold. Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre manager Paul Martin said the throughput numbers at the centre were down a little year-on-year however, high prices boosted averages. And this was an opportunity to highlight the success of the industry.
Aside from being a major centre for livestock transactions the saleyards has also earned a reputation for providing educational benefits and even draws in tourists.
“We regularly host international guests from all levels of industry and government,” he said.
“There are tourists here most weeks.”
Mr Martin said the number one focus was the livestock industry but there was also an opportunity to work with education providers and tourists. And fostering opportunities for educations and running schools for young people starting out in the rural sector was also a priority. In fact, Wagga has generated several winners in the coveted young auctioneers competition at Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Mr Martin said the flow-on effects from revenue turned over at the centre for the Wagga community were enormous.
“I have heard in the past that you can use a multiplier affect of three,” he said.