Deniliquin Council wants shires’ saleyard money.By Zoe McMaugh
Surrounding shires should be equally responsible for funding the Deniliquin Saleyards, according to Deniliquin Council.
Councillors agreed that a request should be sent to Conargo and Murray Shire Council to make a contribution to the facility, which they say has a regional benefit.
The decision came out of a discussion on works that need to be completed at the cattle saleyards to meet WorkCover standards.
Council director technical services Mark Dalzell said the safety review highlighted three areas where council needed to improve public structures.
Council has allocated $50,000 in the budget to do the works, but until official costings are completed it is not known whether it will be enough.
Councillor Jeff Shand said the facility was important to the region.
He said just because it was within the Deniliquin Council boundary, it should not be the sole responsibility of the council to pay for its up-keep.
‘‘Is it possible Conargo and Murray also contribute? They are beneficiaries of the saleyards as well,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s unfair our town has to pay it all when very few of the cattle farmers actually live in the Deniliquin Council area.
‘‘It’s too much for Deniliquin, so it’s a case of either they help out or we may have to close down in the future.’’
Mr Dalzell said WorkCover inspectors visited the saleyards earlier in the year and highlighted a few areas that needed to be improved.
He said they pointed out the railing on the raised walkways, saying one handrail at the top was not enough to prevent someone from falling down.
There was a recommendation that a middle and bottom railing be installed.
The ladders leading the walkways were also flagged for maintenance, as well as the gates.
A death at a saleyard in Narrabri in 2010 prompted the safety review, according to Deni Council general manager Des Bilske.
A Narrabri stock handler was hit by a cattle saleyard gate after it was struck by an animal.
The inquiry following his death led to an Action Plan being developed, which involves saleyards undertaking safety assessments and putting in place improvement plans.
Mr Dalzell said it was not unusual for surrounding shires to enter into a funding agreement, saying the Central Murray Regional Library was a good example.
He said he could see no reason why the councils could not consider a similar agreement with the saleyards.
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