The clock is ticking on a likely completion date for Ballarat’s new CVLX Miners Rest saleyards, albeit by the erecting of a sign to mark its planned Sunraysia Highway entrance.
The erecting of the eye-catching sign was completed Tuesday, and to be truthfully honest there was no-one more relieved to see it than CVLX Ballarat saleyards manager Jonathan Crilley, who has endured plenty of local hostilities during its grinding seven-year planning phase.
When construction of the new $24 million – 51,500 square meter covered cattle and sheep selling facility is completed and markets begin the buck will stop with Mr Crilley to make it work.
He told Stock & Land that capacity has always been a talking point among the many agents, producers and truckers who frequently use Ballarat saleyards.
And on that point, he says he has very confidence that on current throughput the allocated selling-pen space is adequate when the 80 percentile theory is factored.
What that means is when the largest individual sheep yardings from each of the past six years are averaged – 59,526 head – pennings for 48,000 head (80 per cent) will be possible before re-penning is necessary.
He said that on really big days when yardings run into the 50,000’s at the existing site re-penning and selling in delivery pens already occurs because total pen area is almost 25pc smaller.
On recent form that would mean from the past six years (300 sheep markets) fewer than 20 sales have exceed this 48,000 head figure.
These include three markets conducted in 2016 that included the mother of all markets: 68,713 head offered on December 13, six markets each in both 2015 and 2014, two markets in 2013, one in 2012 and two in 2011 which also includes the previous largest of 62,753 head.
Mr Crilley said current year throughput also shacks up well compared to previous year to date figures.
So far for 2016-17 total sheep/lamb yardings have tallied 1.029 million which is 18,000 head less on last year however, by March – April numbers were 12,000 head greater than last year.
Mr Crilley said that Regional Infrastructure – the proponents of CVLX Miners Rest – were always hopeful that’s site works would begin this April before the Ballarat winter sets in.
Regional Infrastructure spokesperson, Gary Edwards said contracts are being finalized as we speak, and they’re hopeful work will commence when the ink is dried.
A building phase of 12 to 15 months has been anticipated, weather permitting.
“We’re delighted the talk can stop and building commenced,” Mr Edwards said.