The City of Greater Bendigo will test the feasibility of building a roof over the Bendigo Livestock Exchange — one of the few in Victoria without sufficient shade for animals or workers.
- Bendigo council will explore options for providing shade at its livestock exchange
- It’s one of the few livestock sale yards in Victoria without a roof structure
- The Victorian Farmers Federation says bureaucracy is holding up the process
At last night’s council meeting, animal welfare group Melbourne Sheep Save tabled a petition with more than 2000 signatures backing its call for sale yard shade.
Mayor Jennifer Alden said the community had been interested in the issue for some time, and the council carried out annual welfare checks at the site.
However, the petition provided an opportunity for a review.
“Over the next 12 months, the City will be scoping a feasibility and staging costings of a roof structure over the livestock exchange, and there’s a lot of work being done right now,” Cr Alden said.
‘Time for possibilities’
The mayor noted the environmental side benefits of a proposed shade structure, such as the ability to generate solar power, but conceded the primary issue was shade and cooling for the animals and employees.
“Councillors have been out to the livestock exchange in Horsham and had a look at what they’re doing with their large area of shelter that’s used for solar power generation and water collection,” Cr Alden said. “There are some great ideas out there.”
She said a new structure would also provide shade for the many people who visited the sale yards each week.
Review an unnecessary delay: farmers federation
Victorian Farmers Federation livestock president Steve Harrison said the council review was an unnecessary delay, and the time for action was now.
“The template is already there from other sale yards — Ballarat, Horsham, and Hamilton, for instance,” he said.
“I know they start trading early in the morning to avoid the sun, but it’s not only shade. Bendigo does get rather cold in the winter.”
Mr Harrison said government funding was appropriate as the yards were council-owned.
He said a council feasibility study would waste money that could go into immediate construction.