Saleyard beef over night-stay charges

CONCERNS have been raised about additional charges levelled at farmers at the Powranna saleyards, with worries they could “kill the sales”.

Peter Goss, a North-Eastern farmer with properties in Pipers River, Beaconsfield and in Kamona Valley, was on the receiving end of one of the additional charges. He believes farmers and livestock transporters should be made aware of the issue.

Mr Goss’s cattle were dropped off in the early hours of a Wednesday morning, the day before an advertised sale, as is requested by Nutrien and TLX. However, on receiving the bill for the sale he was charged an additional fee by TLX, which owns the Powranna saleyards, for holding the cattle overnight.

This was in addition to the yard fees charged by Nutrien on the sale day. Mr Goss was charged an additional $25 per head. He said while he had attempted to talk to TLX regarding the charge, he had made little progress.

“We are getting a fair price for our cattle, but there are so many costs and charges in between,” Mr Goss said. “I don’t mind having to pay more for cartage when the price of fuel goes up but I feel like we are getting done over here on the yarding charges.” Mr Goss expressed concern the additional fees, charged for holding livestock before and after sale events, might have a detrimental effect on interstate buyers.

“There are only so many buyers and livestock transporters in Tasmania. If people can’t get their cattle out in time they’re being charged. “If they continue to do this to the mainland buyers, who are already paying big dollars for cattle, I worry it will kill off the markets.”

Mr Goss said with the rising costs of transport, the additional fees could see smaller-selling farmers like himself avoid the saleyards. As he doesn’t buy and sell enough cattle to fill a truck, Mr Goss said he was at the mercy of other farmers and livestock transport companies as to when his cattle could be taken to the yards. “They could cap the number of cattle at each sale so trucks could get them out on time and stock isn’t left waiting in the yards for days to be moved. “

Another saleyard outside of Devonport is definitely needed as it would spread the numbers of cattle in the yards out and help with the logistics of moving them. “Cartage is a huge part of our costs; these extra fees are frustrating. I’m not a greedy person, I just want a fair go.” TLX was contacted for a response.