HAVE YOUR SAY: Coolabunia Saleyards part of vital research

Crowds at a Coolabunia cattle auction. Picture: FILE

Coolabunia saleyards will be under the microscope as researches piece together the bigger picture of regional Australian cattle saleyards.

The Australian Livestock Markets Association has commissioned BlueWren Connections to conduct research in relation to the social value of saleyards.

Everyone is invited to join in the conversation that explores the social role saleyards play in the community at the Coolabunia Saleyards on 15 July from 7am to 3pm.

The Association is the national industry body for saleyard owners and operators in Australia and previous research has established that saleyards and livestock exchange facilities provide extensive economic value to regional Australia.

However, there is also a huge social benefit to having operating saleyards in these areas.

Sale days bring crowds to towns; are multi generational events and are a meeting place for people who normally might lead a more isolated life.

Sale days are also known to be key contact places for service providers to connect with communities for information sharing and service access.

The research project has a three-pronged approach to capturing what sale day means to community members, service providers and saleyard stakeholders.

Site visits for face to face interviews will be carried out at four saleyards across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. An online survey will also be available for people across Australia to complete and virtual interviews will also be conducted for additional sites.

The visit to the Coolabunia Saleyards, near Kingaroy, will launch the project.

Project consultants Blue Wren Connections will be on site for a sale on Thursday, 15 July to meet with stakeholders and community members to hear why their saleyards are important to them.

The next visit will be Blackall Saleyards, on Thursday, 29 July. Visits to Dubbo in New South Wales and Warrnambool in Victoria are also scheduled for later in the year.

ALMA believes the industry has a strong and vibrant future and is committed to showing its many faceted benefits.

ALMA President Ken Timms said saleyards have historically formed an integral part of the social fabric of rural communities and this work will help to quantify this important concept.

The project report will be a valuable tool in working with all levels of government and the livestock industry to help shape future policy and funding direction.