Bernie Dunn steps down at stock exchange

HORSHAM Regional Livestock Exchange chairman Bernie Dunn has retired after 15 years.

Mr Dunn has been chairman since he was elected as a Horsham Rural City councillor in 1997.

"Because I was a rural councillor, I was elected chairman of the saleyards committee," he said.

"One thing on the agenda was the relocation of the saleyards and I was given the challenge of seeing that project through."

The old saleyards site was bordered by Hamilton, Darlot and Madden streets in Horsham.

"We couldn't continue to operate the saleyards in the city. It was one block from a supermarket," Mr Dunn said.

Horsham Regional Livestock Exchange opened in December 1999.

"It's been operating successfully ever since," he said. "It was something that wasn't just for farmers people didn't like having sheep in the city centre.

"It was a dead, unsightly part of the city, so moving it was a win for Horsham and opened up the area for the Hamilton Street development."

Mr Dunn said a highlight of his time as chairman was seeing the exchange grow.

"In the old yards, 320,000 livestock a year was the biggest we ever had," he said. "At the new exchange, we started a weekly market instead of fortnightly and consistently had 630,000 livestock each year.

"It is the fourth largest sheep and lamb market in Victoria."

Mr Dunn said he also worked hard to have the weekly market reported by the National Livestock Reporting Service.

"That took years to negotiate and now our market report goes right across the country," he said.

Mr Dunn retired from council nine years ago after a number of terms as mayor.

"I was no longer sitting around the council table but I continued as chairman of the exchange," he said.

"It's now time to put the chairman's role back into council's hands."

Mayor David Grimble will take over from Mr Dunn.

"I couldn't report on the exchange at council meetings and David is a very good councillor and experienced person in the livestock industry," Mr Dunn said.

"He was the logical successor."

Cr Grimble said council sincerely thanked Mr Dunn for all he had achieved as a pivotal leader in the community.

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