Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre redevelopment set to boost Upper Hunter economy

SALE YARD REVAMP: Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, Upper Hunter Shire Council General Manager Waid Crockett and Mayor Wayne Bedggood at the Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre on Monday.
SALE YARD REVAMP: Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, Upper Hunter Shire Council General Manager Waid Crockett and Mayor Wayne Bedggood at the Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre on Monday.

THE Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre will soon be revamped.

And, when the redevelopment is completed, the outcome could have a flow-on effect on the local economy.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce made a visit to Scone on Monday to announce the latest update on the project. 

Mr Joyce said the project would receive $2.8 million of government funding through the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).

"Scone and the Upper Hunter will see a significant increase economic activity from this project, including an increase of throughput by 50,000 head per annum,” Mr Joyce said.

“It will result in an increase in returns for producers, agents and the Upper Hunter Shire Council, increased efficiency, reduced operating costs and an expected increase in turnover by $55 million per annum by 2028,” Mr Joyce said.

"Agriculture is worth $267 million to the Upper Hunter LGA, employs 1,200 people and is a major exporter,” he said.

Mr Joyce said the upgrade of the livestock facility would ensure it remains operational and viable into the future.

Livestock Agent at MacCullum Inglis Stuart Sheldrake said the grant will provide a set of yards that will be easier to work in and overall more beneficial for animal welfare.

"Stock will have a roof over their heads and the removal of concrete flooring for soft flooring will make it a more ethical facility,” Mr Sheldrake said.

"Scone is different in the aspect that it is a selling ring for features, now with the upgrades and a roof over the top, we are hoping it will bring new buyers into the market,” he said.

The Building Better Regions Fund received more than 500 applications and the Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre was one of about 100 which were approved.

The funding will allow the council to build a state-of-the-art facility that would ensure the sale yards remain viable and operational.

The funding will go towards completing the $7 million project, with the Upper Hunter Shire Council to provide the remainder of funds for the project.