The Beaudesert Pig and Calf Saleyard is no longer heritage listed after the Planning and Environment Court reversed the Queensland Heritage Council’s decision.
On 28 October, Judge Nicole Kefford delivered the order, “that the decision of the Queensland Heritage Council to enter the Beaudesert Pig and Calf Saleyard on the Queensland heritage register as a State heritage place is set aside and replaced with a decision not to enter the Beaudesert Pig and Calf Saleyard on the Queensland heritage register.”
Kerry Valley grazier Sue Harrison, who together with Beaudesert Lawyer Cliff Kroesen led the push to save the historic saleyard, was gutted by the outcome.
“We were just ordinary citizens who felt strongly about something – we didn’t have the public purse to have unlimited funds to go fighting appeals and I just think the Council would have given it all they’ve got, using public money, it’s just wrong,” she said.
The Queensland Heritage Council entered the historic structure into the Queensland heritage register on 29 January 2021 in what was at the time celebrated as a win for Beaudesert.
It came after locals vehemently opposed Council plans to remove the historic saleyard as part of the Beaudesert Town Centre Revitalisation project.
The elation at the heritage listing was short-lived, however. Council terminated Hayes & Co’s lease over the site, spelling the end of 116 years of tradition with the final Beaudesert Pig and Calf Sale on 29 March 2021.
Council appealed the heritage listing, with Planning and Environment Court hearings spanning nearly 12 months from 16 November 2021 until the 28 October order.
Peter Hayes from Hayes & Co expressed his disappointment at the outcome.
“It’s disappointing for the Beaudesert people – there was a lot of history in it, and it was a very big social event – we did it for the community,” he said.
“We just had to move on because the Council wouldn’t let us there anymore, and it’s Beaudesert’s loss – the people in the businesses there will tell you that themselves.”
Council declined to respond to a Beaudesert Bulletin enquiry made on 4 November 2022, asking whether they would demolish or keep the Beaudesert Pig and Calf Saleyard after they won their appeal against the heritage listing.
At time of print, the mothballed saleyard on Helen Street was still surrounded by a construction site as the Beaudesert Town Centre Revitalisation project continued around it.