Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin today inspected  progress on the major upgrade of the Grafton Regional Saleyards, which has received $137,000 in Australian Government funding.

Ms Saffin said the Better Regions project would deliver on one of her election commitments by replacing seven wooden pens with about 32 custom-designed moveable metal pens and concreting the floor area.

“The beef cattle industry is worth an estimated $140 million a year to the North Coast economy and this upgrade will help sustain this important rural industry into the future,” she said. 

“It will improve safety, increase saleyard capacity and revenue potential, and reduce operating costs associated with wooden gates and fences.”

Ms Saffin congratulated Clarence Valley Council and its Saleyards Committee for allocating a further $239,000 to an initiative which clearly benefits local beef producers.

She paid tribute to former mayor Cr Ian Tiley and retired committee chairman Fred Morgan for their work on the project, now being continued and strongly supported by Mayor Cr Richie Williamson and new committee chair Cr Sue Hughes.

“This is an excellent example of Commonwealth and local governments working together to benefit local communities into the future,” Ms Saffin said.

The Grafton Regional Saleyards upgrade project forms part of the Australian Government’s election commitment to provide $176 million over four years under the Better Regions program.

Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development, Gary Gray, said Better Regions would provide regional Australia with much-needed community facilities and services.

“The program honours a range of regional infrastructure election commitments which were identified by local communities as priorities for their regions,” Mr Gray said.