The Northern Territory Livestock Exporters Association hopes to double the number of cattle handled through its Berrimah Export Yards when it resumes management of the facility from November 1.
The NTLEA built the Berrimah yards in the early 1990s as an AQIS accredited live export depot to help members assemble and prepare cattle for shipping.
Since that time several privately owned yards have also been built, and for the past nine years the NTLEA has leased the Berrimah facility to Linton Batt. Mr Batt’s company National Livestock Solutions also manages an export registered premises at Wyndham in WA, and operates a large stock feed business supplying northern pastoralists, feedlots, other registered premises and livestock vessels.
In recent years the NTLEA has discussed real estate development proposals for the Berrimah Yards site on the outskirts of Darwin with the NT Government, but those discussions have not produced an outcome.
With large cattle numbers now again moving through Darwin for live export and demand for export depot facilities on the rise, the NTLEA decided at a meeting last week to take back over full control and operations of its Berrimah Export Yard from November 1.
NTLEA Chief Executive Officer Ben Hindle will manage the facility on behalf of the association’s members.
Mr Hindle said the Berrimah Yards were fully compliant and accredited for all markets including Indonesia.
He has also expanded the facility’s accreditation as a registered export premises beyond cattle and buffalo alone to now include camels, horses and goats as well.
Mr Hindle said the NTLEA plans to make a significant investment in plant and equipment and infrastructure upgrades to the yards.
Last year the Berrimah Export Yards handled around 50,000 cattle, and Mr Hindle hopes to increase that annual volume to around 100,000.
By comparison, the largest export depots in the NT include the privately owned Noonamah facilities south of Darwin which is scheduled to receive 150,000-170,000 cattle this year, with the throughput at Nick Thorne’s Cedar Park Export Depot at Adelaide River not far behind.
Mr Hindle said NTLEA’s work to build up the Berrimah Export Yards would bolster the northern live export supply chain through Darwin.
The Berrimah Export Yards is the only industry owned and operated live export depot in Australia.
It is also the closest Registered Premises to the Port of Darwin, located within 15km of East Arm Wharf.
Mr Hindle said the NTLEA and it is members were very thankful to Mr Batt and National Livestock Solutions for their contribution, industry service and management efforts over the past nine years, which had involved some very difficult times for the live export trade.
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