SAFETY is a top priority at the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange.
The Naracoorte Lucindale Council has been given a $225,000 grant from the Australian Government as part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity program.
It will use the funds to upgrade the cattle loading/unloading infrastructure at the saleyards, including the installation of seven new loading/unloading ramps and infrastructure to enable transport operators to safely unload cattle from their transports.
Council director of planning, environment and community development Steve Bourne said council was rapt with the funding.
"We're obviously pleased," he told the Herald. "Every little bit of funding allows us to upgrade the saleyards more."
Council applied for the grant in conjunction with the District Council of Grant - which is looking to improve the Mount Gambier and District Saleyards.
These projects will build on the substantial upgrades to the livestock selling facilities done by the two councils and provide great improvements to safety for transport operators.
Three deaths have occurred in Australia since 2010 involving heavy vehicle operators loading and unloading livestock.
Naracoorte Lucindale Council will contribute $261,000 of its own money to the project.
More upgrades are on the wishlist for the saleyards, with Mr Bourne saying some more planning for improvements was on the way.
"We're having a workshop with the new saleyards board coming up in mid-March," he said. "We'll be prioritising new developments at the saleyards."
Among these developments will be reconfiguring cattle pens to maximise use of the soft flooring, improving the sheep pens, upgrading the canteen and doing more work on the cattle holding pens.