100 Years of History to Be Demolished

Winnie Gurd and Marie Ammala at the sale yards
Winne Gurd and Marie Ammala at the sale yards

Over 100 years of history will be lost when the Pig and Calf Sale Yards in Helen Street, Beaudesert are demolished.

In 1912, the sale yards were part of a larger complex located at the old railway station in Beaudesert.  They have been earmarked for demolition as part of Scenic Rim Regional Council’s Beaudesert Town Centre Revitalisation Plan.

Over 60 people attended the Hayes & Co sale on Monday 22nd June where 107 head of cattle were sold.  Hayes & Co 

Several people who attended the sale were visibly upset by the news of the demolition.

Canungra resident Marie Ammala said she had made many friends over the years she had been coming to the sale and was angry that part of Beaudesert’s history would be lost.

“I come in and see my friends, we do some shopping here and we might buy or sell,” said Marie, “I don’t know where these people will go if the yards are demolished.”

Marie’s friend, Winnie Gurd from Aratula has been coming to the sale regularly for 40 years.  Her daughter drives from Warwick each fortnight so she can attend.

Wallis Clarke recalled the days when the sale yards stretched along Helen Street when he attended the sales as a boy – 65 years ago.

Kellie Baxter attends the sale with her son in school holidays.

“He saves up his pocket money to buy calves from the sale,” said Kelly, “One of the best things about coming here is that he is mentored by some of the older farmers.  They tell him what to look for and give him tips on how to look after the calves.  This is something you won’t find elsewhere.”

Beaudesert solicitor Cliff Kroesen remembers coming to the sale with his father as a child. He is expressed concern about effect the closure of the sale yards would have on older farmers in the area.

“There is the loss of history, but that’s only part of the problem for these guys, without the social interaction they get at the sale yards they will be more isolated,” said Cliff.

Asked whether Council considered the historical significance of the site in plans for the Town Centre Revitalisation, a Council spokesperson said the current structure is not the original nor is it on the original site – stating that the original structure was further north to be positioned for connectivity with the railway.

“While Council recognises the connection that some in our community have with the operation of these yards as a meeting place, the overall benefit for having a space for a wider cross section of the community to meet in and enjoy has received strong support through the consultation processes.”

“Within the current proposals Council has scope to provide a “historic storytelling and celebration” style series of displays within the precinct. Council also recognises the practical need for ongoing commercially operated pig and calf sales to meet needs within our community.”

A dispute has arisen over the notification of the termination of the lease. Hayes & Co say they were advised in June 2020 that their lease would not be renewed, however Council claim the auction company were advised by letter when the lease was renewed in August 2019.  Hayes & Co currently do not have an alternative location for the fortnightly sale.

A petition to save the sale yards is available at Canungra Hardware and Bean To (Beaudesert).

Men attending pig and calf sale in Beaudesert, 1912.  Source:  State Library of Queensland.
About Keer Moriarty 62 Articles
Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady with Canungra Times.