Thursday, May 30, 2024

Flinders Shire buys cattle loading yard

Queensland’s Flinders Shire Council has purchased Hughenden Cattle Railway Loading Yards from rail company, Aurizon.

Mayor Jane McNamara said the Flinders Shire community was predominantly “cattle country”, and the purchase of railway yards by the Council was an “excellent” decision.

“We’re delighted to announce the purchase, which benefits our grazing community and the northern beef industry,” Mayor McNamara said.

“Council has worked collaboratively with Aurizon, and I thank both teams for the positive discussions to come to this outcome.

“It’s a win-win solution for cattle graziers, Aurizon and Flinders Shire Council.”

She said Council ownership of the facility will also benefit cattle train operators.

It will allow access to the rail-related infrastructure, including the rail loading ramps, through a commercial arrangement, the Mayor said.

Flinders Shire is located along the north-west Queensland corridor, with its supply chain stretching from Cloncurry through Townsville to Brisbane.

It is predominately used to take finished cattle to JBS, Teys and NH Foods abattoirs at Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Brisbane. Townsville is also used as a spelling location.

Council already owns the Hughenden saleyards – with the Hughenden railyards located adjacent to the facility.

“Purchasing the railway yards is a strategic approach from Council,” said Mayor McNamara.

“We will work with all the relevant stakeholders, such as Queensland Government, local graziers, and Council saleyards contractors to develop both facilities that benefit our grazing community.

“Cattle train is a great addition to the options for graziers to send their beasts to market and abattoirs. 

“Council owning both facilities will significantly benefit the grazing community and allow users to utilise both assets to their full potential.”

Mayor McNamara thanked the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Aurizon for their support throughout the process.

General Manager Bulk East at Aurizon, David Wright said that as a long-serving and significant supporter of the livestock industry, Aurizon was pleased to finalise the sale of the assets to Flinders Shire Council.

“We understand the importance of the livestock industry to the regional economy in North Queensland and have worked closely with Council on this sale,” said Mr Wright.

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