The State Government has come down in favour of building new livestock saleyard facilities north of, but in close proximity to, Midland.
Announcing Cabinet's decision today, Agriculture Minister Ernie Bridge said the Government would seek to extend the existing lease to allow time for a thorough environmental assessment of several proposed sites along the Great Northern Highway between Upper Swan and Bullsbrook.
Mr Bridge said it had been a difficult decision because industry opinion was divided on whether to try to regain the existing saleyard site or opt for a new facility.
"The decision to build the new facility close to Midland recognises the economic importance of the saleyards to Midland, and seeks to ensure minimum disruption," he said.
"However, there are a number of advantages in moving to a new site, including reduced maintenance and operating costs at new modern facilities, direct access by road trains from the north, and greater long-term security."
Mr Bridge said it was recognised that planning for the Midland region may have required relocation of the existing saleyards sometime in the future, and the Government's decision had been framed with a view to the long-term.
A final decision on which of several options would be the new site had been deferred pending the outcome of a detailed environmental review.
"With construction likely to take about 12 months, it is important the present lease - due to expire next June - is extended, and present indications are that this should be possible," Mr Bridge said.