This month, we celebrated the start of work on the largest infrastructure project Gunnedah Shire Council has ever taken on – the upgrade to Gunnedah Saleyards.

This is a huge project in a major time of delivery for our community.

The $17.6 million upgrade will ensure this industry – traditionally so important to Gunnedah –  is prepared for the century ahead.

The upgraded saleyards will be a state-of-the-art facility for marketing livestock both domestically and internationally. It will include a new administration facility, truck wash, café and workshop sheds, as well as improved cattle ramps, fencing, watering systems and technology.

Our saleyards sells up to $80 million worth of cattle annually. We need to be at the forefront of the industry, and this upgrade will put us there, with high-speed internet and the potential for future virtual online sales.

Livestock has always been an integral part of our economy, even before these saleyards were established in 1915. The NSW government has recognised this with funding of $14 million under the Infrastructure and Job Acceleration Fund. The remaining $3.6 million will be met by council.

This is an exciting project that builds on the solid foundations built by those who had the foresight to establish the saleyards, and those who have helped it grow into the facility it is today.

We have also seen some movement on the Gunnedah Hospital redevelopment, with the NSW government releasing the concept design for the $53 million facility.

This hospital is absolutely critical to our community. We need to get this right. That goes far beyond the right design to the right services and, most importantly, adequate staffing with access to a doctor. I urge all Gunnedah Shire people to take a look and have an honest say about the future of their hospital.

It was pleasing to hear the Gunnedah homestead once owned by poet Dorothea Mackellar’s family has been added to the State’s heritage register. Council supported the listing when the Heritage

Council of New South Wales sought submissions late last year.

Not only is Kurrumbede homestead a great example of times past in Gunnedah Shire, but it was a second home to Dorothea Mackellar. I congratulate the Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society and everyone who has helped in achieving this listing.

Another bit of good news is that along with AgQuip, NightQuip will be back this year.

NightQuip will be held on Tuesday, August 16, the first night of AgQuip. This vibrant evening festival is Gunnedah’s way of welcoming visitors to the Shire, as well as providing a great family night of music, market stalls, food and late-night shopping. It has proven to be very popular in the past, and I am looking forward to another great evening in 2022.

To order photos from this page click here