Message is clear, saleyards in NSW can continue to trade

TAKING THE BIDS: The team from Elders Wagga are pictured at the Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre. Picture: Nikki Reynolds
TAKING THE BIDS: The team from Elders Wagga are pictured at the Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre. Picture: Nikki Reynolds

WITH pressure mounting on online selling and uncertainty in the rural sector about the future of physical sales the Minister for Agriculture has confirmed selling will continue.

The Minister for Agriculture and Emergency Management, David Littleproud confirmed that livestock saleyards and wool auctions were able to continue.

"These are an essential part of the broader agriculture supply chain," Mr Littleproud said.

"They are different to real estate auctions because of their importance to the nation. "The government is working tirelessly to safeguard the supply chain from the farm to the market.

"In particular, interruptions to livestock saleyards could impact adversely on the availability and price of meat.

"Like the rest of Australia, livestock saleyards and wool auctions will need to comply with strict social distancing and hygiene practices.

"This includes no more than one person per four square metres at indoor auctions and any other particular requirements of your jurisdiction.

"And I ask those involved to please consider if their livestock saleyards and wool auctions can be held online, remotely, deferred or be cancelled to do so.

"Agriculture and food security are critical to Australia at the best of times. They are even more so during this the COVID-19 crisis."

Meanwhile management at the South Eastern Livestock Exchange is implementing contingency measures.

In a statement SELX has said those on site must provide a signed COVID-19 Declaration.

The statement also said only SELX staff, SELX agents, carriers and genuine buyers were permitted on site after providing the signed declaration. Vendors and the general public were not permitted to attend.

It's a similar story at the Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre with management issuing the following statement: Due to the current Covid-19 (Coronavirus) impact to Australia and in the interest of public safety, health and wellbeing, the LMC will continue to trade with the following restrictions in place until further notice.

In line with other selling centres the LMC is closed to the public and only agents, buyers, transporters, contractors and staff were permitted to attend. Plus single-point manned security access control was in place.

At the time of writing auctions were taking place on the portal known as AuctionsPlus. However, there had been some interruptions due to pressure on the National Broadband Network (NBN).

On the site there was a notice stating: Due to nationwide infrastructure disruptions; the Weaner & Yearling Sale will be suspended until 12:30 and the Eastern State Auction will be suspended until 2:30.