The Southern Regional Livestock Exchange (SRLX) is located in Moss Vale and is one of the top ten saleyards in the state of New South Wales currently turning over around 60,000 head of cattle per year, with an annual gross turnover of between 30 to 35 million dollars per year.
Wingecarribee Shire Council runs the facility as a business unit of Council (at no cost to the rate payers of the Shire). The SRLX is a vital contributor to the local community and economy.
It is not recorded when the first saleyards were erected in the fledgling Moss Vale but from what has been gleaned this is as close as the history of saleyards as can be claimed as correct.
In 1876, John Cullen the owner of the Moss Vale Hotel built a set of saleyards just north of the hotel (about where the ANZ bank is now). These yards were still operating as Cullen’s on 21 May 1881.
Also in October 1876 John Adams, the owner of the Commercial Hotel (now the Jemmy Moss hotel) had selling yards behind his hotel. In 1887, auctioneer, Edward Hamilton Badgery operated a set of saleyards which may have been at the Cullen yards.
1895 was the year that the Family Hotel (where the “Bong Bong Motel” is now) which was owned by James Cullen (John’s brother) built a set of saleyards next to the hotel and opposite the Railway stockyards. In 1905 Thomas William Lackey operated the hotel and the saleyards, he was also an Auctioneer.
On the 6 December 1892 the Council Pound moved from Railway Street to Cullen’s yards near the hotel then named the “Royal” hotel, so the yards must have been owned by the council then.
The next year in September 1893 the saleyards were named “The Moss Vale Corporation Yards”.
In April 1894, council bought the site in Elizabeth Street for £72 which was 1 acre 3 roods and 8 perches but it appears that it wasn’t developed as saleyards until a special bill was passed on 26 September 1905 by parliament to authorise the construction, maintenance and regulation of cattle yards by the Council of the Municipal District of Moss Vale on this land. This land was where the current Masonic Hall is now, 2011.
On 12 April 1905 a local meeting was held to decide on when sales should be held and it was resolved that the sales would be on Fridays so all stock could be removed by Saturday. There was two yards operating then, the council yards and Thomas Lackey’s and quite often they ran their sales at the same times.
In April 1906 there was 1,400 head for sale and 1,200 sold with owners complaining that the yards needed to be enlarged and 12 months later the farmers were still complaining that the Public yards and the Council yards both needed enlarging.
In September 1945 at a council meeting it was proposed to move the saleyards to two different sites, one bounded by Yarrawa Road and the Railway line (near where the Housing Commission homes are now) and the other adjoining the Railway Siding near Hoskin Street (the old calf yards) but neither of these site were used.
The old Elizabeth Street yards had their last sale on 18 November 1952.
The Australian Mercantile, Land and Finance Company (A.M.L.and F) bought 76 acres of land on Berrima Road some two miles from Moss Vale on 1 September 1950 set about building a state of the arts saleyards, they were opened on Wednesday 22 October 1952 with their manager, Mr Wes Speechley occupying the chair. (Sheep sales have been held there since February 1951 and 35,270 have been sold up to October 1952). The first cow sold was a red heifer and realized £49/10/0 ($99).
On 1 July 1962 the Wingecarribee Shire Council bought the Berrima Road saleyards off A. M. L. & F.
Computerised scales were installed around July 1980 and were a great success and on 20 November 1991 a fully covered, modern selling system was built on the site at a cost of $750,000 and was opened by the Chairman of the Meat Industry Authority, Mr John Carter.