Economic impact assessment to inform saleyards decision

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An economic impact assessment has been completed that will help inform a Council decision on the future of the South-West Victorian Livestock Exchange.

“This study looks at the contribution the saleyards makes to the city’s economy and also considers the possible impact a closure of the saleyards could have,” Warrnambool Mayor Cr Debbie Arnott said..

“The assessment will be part of the key evidence that Council will consider at its open meeting on November 7.”

The study by the AEC Group found that while the SWVLX continued to be a driver of business, employment and trade within Warrnambool its contribution to business output in 2021-2022 had fallen to $10.4 million, down from $13.7 million in 2008. 

A decline in throughput at the SWVLX was attributed to industry changes including shrinking herd sizes, online auctions, an alternative selling centre at Mortlake and centralisation of farms.

Key findings of the 2022 AEC Group Economic Impact Assessment were: 
•    The SWVLX is estimated to contribute $10.4 million in business revenues (output) for the Warrnambool LGA, generating $5.4 million in Gross Regional Product (GRP) and supporting the equivalent of 56 full-time jobs, which pay $3.6 million in wages and salaries in 2021-22 (directly and indirectly).  

•    The economic activity supported by the SWVLX in 2021-22 represents 75.9% of activity supported by the saleyards in 2007-08.   

•    For relativity, jobs supported by the SWVLX represents 0.31% of total jobs in Warrnambool LGA and GRP supported represents 0.22% of total GRP in the LGA. 

•    Visitors to the SWVLX value the social and mental health benefits associated with meeting on sales days. 

In addition to surveys of saleyards attendees the assessment included surveys of 22 Caramut Rd businesses. Nine of the 22 businesses, including eight agricultural-related businesses and a dog wash facility, indicated that the SWVLX sale days had a positive impact. Of the nine businesses that were positively impacted by the saleyards, three businesses quantified their level of increased activity as a result of saledays to be 20 per cent, 40 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively, while the other six businesses could not directly quantify their level of increased activity but indicated there was some level of impact.