PHOTO: Wellards have exported 200,000 head of cattle through Port Townsville over the past 12 months (Carmen Brown)

Australia’s biggest exporter of livestock is planning to expand its north Queensland operations next year, to meet growing demand from the booming live cattle trade.

Wellard Rural Exports executives are touring the Townsville region this week, investigating potential locations for a new feedlot and export yards.

Chief executive officer, Fred Troncone, says the company’s current holding facilities are often stretched to capacity, particularly when multiple ships are being loaded at the port.

“We can have two ships here within a few days, so we’re talking 30,000 head that we need to get into quarantine and have inspected before we ship out,” he said.

“The current capacity probably falls a little bit short in Townsville at the moment, we’ve been making do with what we have.

“But we see that in the future, if the industry keeps going the way that it is, there will be need for additional yards and quarantine facilities.

“So that’s one of the things we’ll be investing in over the next 12 months or so.

“I think it’s suffice to say that Townsville will be very strategic to us as a company, and certainly very strategic to the live export industry overall.”

Investment in the region’s cattle infrastructure is gaining momentum, with Burdekin canegrower David Cox also constructing a 30,000 head export facility at his Dingo park property, 60 kilometres south of Townsville.

The Wellard Group have exported 400,000 head of cattle from Australia over the past 12 months, with just over half sent through the Townsville Port.

Read the full story by Carmen Brown, ABC on 21 November 2014.



conference_logoDeveloping Northern Australia Conference 2015 is a national conference addressing the economic and social outcomes for Northern Australia. Developing Northern Australia Conference 2015 will be held at Rydges Southbank Townsville on the 20-22 July 2015.