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New livestock saleyard boosted for DuraGalPlus®

DuraGalPlus® structural steel hollow sections from Austube Mills will help a new saleyard in Ballarat withstand the extreme conditions associated with cattle and sheep sales.

The state-of-the-art Central Victoria Livestock Exchange (CVLX) project, situated on a greenfield site 12.5km outside of Ballarat, will ensure Ballarat continues its major role as a regional centre for livestock sales and will be the biggest of its kind in Victoria when it opens late in 2018.

The $24 million site near Miners Rest will take the place of the existing saleyard at Delacombe, which is showing substantial deterioration after more than 150 years of use.

The CVLX saleyard will also be significantly larger than the Delacombe saleyard, with more than 30,000sqm selling pens contained within a single-storey stepped-roofed structure.

It will accommodate annual throughput of 70,000 cattle and 1.6 million sheep and has been designed to meet industry-wide animal welfare and environmental standards.

The new site will also improve levels of efficiency, with CVLX Regional Manager James Thompson telling Ballarat-based The Courier newspaper it will substantially improve the process of livestock penning and classification.

“The layout and the flow of it is a big advantage for efficiencies,” James said. “You’ve got pens that can be opened up and different-sized pens that are easily configurable.

“That’s a major advantage – you’ve got a lot more flexibility and better utilisation of space.”

The specification was for DuraGalPlus® so we were happy to stay true to that in order to maintain a high standard and offer a good-quality product. There has been a lot of satisfaction from everyone onsite who could see the quality of the welding and quality of the material

Wayne Squire, Plinius Director

DuraGalPlus® the solution

Underpinning the CVLX project’s modern and adaptable infrastructure is high-strength structural steel hollow sections from Austube Mills. DuraGalPlus® is manufactured by the ERW process from continuous hot-dip galvanized steel strip. It has a smooth internal and external zinc coating with a minimum of 100 g/m2 each side that meets the requirements of AS/NZS 4792 Class ZB100/100. DuraGalPlus® is unlike other brands, which offer half the amount of zinc coating.

The DuraGalPlus® product is ideally suited to withstand the rigours of the saleyard. These rigours include not just the effect of extreme weather on the external surfaces of the structure, but the physical forces on holding gates and fences associated with moving livestock, not to mention the corrosive effects of animal waste on that infrastructure.

The fabricators associated with the project, Central Steel Build and Plinius Engineering and Fabrication, sourced the DuraGalPlus® product they required through InfraBuild Steel Centre’s Bendigo and Scoresby branches in Victoria, with the saleyard delivered in two stages: the first comprising the shed construction; the second comprising the building of cattle and sheep pens.

MKM Constructions was awarded the contract to build the shed structure, constituting supply and installation of the structural steelwork, the footings, the roofing and the stormwater elements. Central Steel Build was subcontracted by MKM Constructions to undertake the design work, structural drawings and supply of the fabricated steel and roofing components.

Approximately 68 tonnes of hot rolled structural (HRS), 18 tonnes of rectangular hollow sections (RHS) and four tonnes of Merchant Bar were supplied to Central Steel Build for the roof structure.

Gerald Edmonds, Sales Manager at Central Steel Build, said he is amazed at how smoothly the project went. “It went like clockwork considering we’re talking about a fair tonnage of steel going into a 30,000sqm roof,” he said.

Ballarat-based Plinius Engineering and Fabrication used high-strength DuraGalPlus® product to construct the cattle yard fencing gates and ramps, as well the walkway systems and 7,500 posts used throughout.

Altogether, some 6,000 gates (five-rail with a vertical brace) are currently in the process of being fitted at the site, together with 3,500 fence panels. A kilometre of overhead walkways will allow for easy access to all parts of the facility, plus provide easy viewing of the holding pens.

Built to last

Plinius Director Wayne Squire said he’s in little doubt about the suitability of DuraGalPlus® for the new facility.

“The specification was for DuraGalPlus® so we were happy to stay true to that in order to maintain a high standard and offer a good-quality product,” Wayne said. “There has been a lot of satisfaction from everyone onsite who could see the quality of the welding and quality of the material.

The test of the CVLX saleyard’s durability will be how it handles the tens of thousands of livestock head that arrive on site every week and its ability to withstand decades of hard use.

“DuraGalPlus® is high-strength, which is one of its main advantages,” Wayne said.

“It also offers long-term durability against corrosion – you can see and touch the difference in quality compared to inferior product.”

Click here to see drone footage of the new Central Victoria Livestock Exchange saleyard at Ballarat.