Sod-turning soil on saleyards redevelopment

The Hon David Littleproud with Southern Downs Regional Council members and ICM Construction members at the sod-turning ceremony. Picture: LUCY WALDRON

By Lucy Waldron

The Southern Downs’ thriving agriculture sector received a significant boost with the commencement of the $7.5 million redevelopment project at the Warwick Saleyards.

Made possible by a $4.5 million grant from the former Coalition Government’s Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program, the upgrade aims to bolster the region’s primary producers by expanding the facility’s capacity and enhancing safety measures for both livestock and producers.

Monday 29 January, marked the sod-turning ceremony to officially inaugurate the project, with the presence of Leader of The Nationals and Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud, and members of the Southern Downs Regional Council.

Mr Littleproud said the local community saw this as key infrastructure and it has been a project that is driven by the community.

“Stakeholders throughout the supply chain from buyers to processors to selling agents, transporters and importantly livestock will all benefit from this project, as will other local businesses that have supplied materials and labour to help make it a reality,” he said.

“This is an investment in making sure we have saleyards here well into the next generations.”

Southern Downs Mayor, Vic Pennisi, echoed the sentiment, emphasising the project’s deep engagement with stakeholders and its vital role in supporting the region’s agricultural backbone.

“It is an investment into agriculture, agriculture is the biggest industry in the Southern Downs, and this is an investment in its future,” Cr Pennisi said.

He further highlighted the unique status of Warwick Saleyards as the only sheep-selling facility in Queensland, underscoring its potential to become a pivotal component of the region’s agricultural infrastructure.

The redevelopment, long-awaited by stakeholders and users of the complex, is anticipated to unfold in two stages. Weather permitting, stage one is slated for completion by the end of March, with the second and final stage expected to conclude by the beginning of June.