South Eastern Livestock Exchange (SELX) has been operating in Yass since 2016 and is NSW’s newest and most technologically advanced livestock selling centre.

The facility located at 9 Bellevale Road, just off the Hume Highway in Yass, is a world-class 16-hectare regional livestock selling centre.

The SELX facility has a roof spanning five football fields and is made up of 86km of steel railing, which cost $15 million to construct.

The facility contains 524 selling pens that has the capacity to sell 3,800 cattle and 30,000 sheep on any given sale day. Sale Yard Manager, Tom Cooney, spoke to the The Times about SELX’s importance for the town of Yass and providing employment opportunities for many. “SELX is a good place for casual employment for young staff, which is a terrific start.

We employ people from up to five or six hours a week up to full time.

I think it’s a good spot for young people who are interested in getting in to the industry to get a little bit of experience and get to know how the game works,” Tom said.

“There’s been numerous staff over the years who have started at SELX on a casual basis and moved on to work with agents at Yass or further afield and it has given them a bit of a leg-up into the industry, making contacts and allowing them to gain experience.”

Cooney also shed light on the stock exchange and the latest market report at SELX.

“Our stock comes from near and far. The vast majority of our stock comes from the local area of Yass, Crookwell and Goulburn, but there’s also a fair bit more stock coming from Young and Boorowa, as well as Harden and Cootamundra,” Tom continued.

“Our facility is just so modern and sets us apart. It was built six years ago and is a state-of-the-art facility that provides a safe and good working environment for both buyers and sellers.

“SELX presents stock in a way that is modern and effective for handling stock, as well as selling. “Our latest market report is a bit quiet at the moment with all this rain about and the market sort of softening. But we’re in a pretty enviable position in this part of the world where people have got lots of feed and we’re not too far off entering a really good spring with things being so wet.

“The pressure is on farmers to be selling at the moment. We normally sell in the ballpark of 40,000 cattle a year, so our normal prime sales of cattle are between 600 to 1000 a week. “Our weaner sales are where we do a fair few of our numbers from late summer through until early winter.

This year we sold 14,000 weaners over four sales. Our sheep sales currently range from 8,000 to 11,000 a week, but once we get into October, November we’ll be selling back around 30,000 a week.

“Our peak selling period is from the middle of October to December.” Alongside the sale yards, SELX has an impressive café on site, run by Karen Busch, who serves anything from T-bone steaks and cutlets to bacon and egg rolls.

“On sale days, Karen does an extremely good feed. Admittedly, with the Covid situation we went through, it made it a little bit tough to have people through to protect our staff and buyers, but we’re definitely back up and open for business now,” Tom said.

SELX runs their prime lamb and sheep sales every Wednesday from 11am, their prime cattle sales from 8am every Thursday, as well as a monthly store cattle sale – when numbers are available.

Tim Warren