AFTER a nine-year hiatus, the Western Queensland Livestock Exchange (WQLX) yards at Longreach will re-open with regular livestock sales from next month.
AAM Investment Group regional operations manager for Queensland, Gavin Tickle, said the re-launch on Wednesday, 11 May would mark a major milestone in the selling centre’s history.
“Given good rain in key production areas, there is fierce demand for cattle in southern Australia, and moving back to regular sales at this time will provide an excellent opportunity for vendors and buyers alike,” Mr Tickle said.
“For the community, this will provide a significant economic boost, as more people will be drawn to Longreach, while AAM will employ more staff to run the monthly sales.”
Cattle sales ceased in Longreach in 2013 due to ongoing drought conditions, and in 2017 AAM signed a 30-year lease with the Longreach Regional Council to take over operations and management of the facility.
Since that time, the selling centre has undergone a significant upgrade, and completed its Organic certification in July 2020.
“The organic industry has a strong presence in central Australia, so moving the facility to Organic certification not only accommodates this market but also prepares the yards for the growing demand for organically produced food,” Mr Tickle said.
Boyd Curran, Nutrien Harcourts Longreach, is among the agents who will sell his clients’ cattle at the first sale on Wednesday 11 May. Being a long-term livestock agent in the region, he remembers the integral role the sale historically contributed to the local industry.
“The sale was the biggest in the Central western Queensland region, and when it stopped due to seasonal conditions, it was a blow to the community,” Mr Curran said.
When the sale was fully firing, cattle were drawn from a wide scope of areas ranging from Alice Springs, the Barkly Tableland region and north to Hughenden.
“The facility is located in a great central position given it is close to key production areas and has access to the Watco cattle rail service, which makes for easy transportation of stock,” Mr Curran said.
Tim Salter, Elders Longreach, said exact numbers would be finalised closer to the first sale date, but anticipation was running high among producers.
“The sale recommencing has created a lot of talk and interest,” Mr Salter said.
“The reopening of the selling centre is giving both vendors and buyers alike the option of the best marketing facilities and methods available much closer to home,” he said.
“Looking to the future, it offers producers an exciting time ahead and plenty to look forward to in marketing their cattle at Longreach.
“Recently, all our cattle have been heading out of the district, so we are predicting strong buying from Southern and Eastern Queensland markets, where demand for stock is running high.”
Mr Tickle encouraged vendors and buyers to visit the WQLX Facebook page for more information and said he was excited to see the first sale come to fruition.
“When AAM took over the lease of the facility, it was always our intention to bring back the regular sales, as this has historically been a large marketplace. As the first sale approaches, it’s all starting to take shape and we believe the auction can be stronger than it was previously,” he said.
- To celebrate the return of regular sales to Longreach, AAM and RLX (Regional Livestock Exchange) are hosting the Cattle Sale Series, where producers can enter a competition to win a Kubota RTV520 when selling stock at either WQLX, the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX Gracemere) and the South Burnett Livestock Exchange (SBLX).