The Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange (CTLX) at Carcoar has proved a roaring success during the 10 years since its first sheep and cattle sales in 2008.
The CTLX was the catalyst for the development of a portfolio of seven regional saleyards in NSW, Queensland and Victoria with an annual turnover of $1 billion – not bad for something that its critics predicted would fail.
Regional Infrastructure Pty Ltd (now part of the AAM Investment Group) originally proposed that a single state-of-the-art regional livestock selling complex, financed by private enterprise, replace outdated council saleyards at Orange, Bathurst and Blayney.
Long and bitter debate preceded final approval for the $18 million selling facility mainly focused on fears that closing local saleyards would damage local businesses and end a cherished rural tradition of farmers coming to town on sale day.
Construction of the modern, covered selling complex on the Mid Western Highway near Carcoar started on January 16, 2007.
The opening of the CTLX ushered in a new era of state-of-the-art regional livestock exchange (RLX) developments in key livestock areas.
The first prime lamb and sheep sale was held on February 20, 2008, with a yarding of 22,500 head.
On June 3 that year 3300 head were yarded for the first prime cattle sale which was marred by teething problems, particularly with the weighing scales, and selling continued into a second day.
Store cattle sales commenced on June 12 and are now held every second Friday.
The Brisbane-based AAM Investment Group manages the CTLX facility and the rest of the RLX regional saleyards network on behalf of a group of Australian superannuation funds managed by Palisade Investment Partners, Sydney.
Garry Edwards, managing director of AMM Investment Group, said the CTLX had changed an industry that was “stale and conservative”.
“It has proven to be the catalyst of a further $382 million of investment in livestock exchange infrastructure,” he said.
Throughput at the CTLX had increased by 50 per cent (compared with the three saleyards it replaced) with buyers from four states now operating on a weekly basis.