The Story of Newmarket Saleyards

Board 11: Working Together

Melbourne City Council had an historical responsibility to provide a site for the sale of livestock. The Saleyards site was granted by the Crown on August 30th, 1856 and the first yards were constructed in 1858 and in operation the next year.

The early Administration building with its central courtyard was constructed in 1874 and was the centre of operations for both Melbourne City Council staff and the Stock and Station Agents Association of Melbourne until the Saleyards official closure on Thursday, September 26, 1985.

However the Stock Agents obtained an injunction which kept the Saleyards operating till April 1st, 1987. On that very last day of sale a total of 2,915 cattle were sold.

Melbourne City Council was in charge of the administration and maintenance of the Yards and employed carpenters who repaired fences and fittings, clerks who kept a record of livestock in and out of the Yards and cleaners who were responsible for rubbish and manure removal.

The Stock and Station Agents were responsible for the business of buying and selling in the Yards, and acted as representatives for the vendor or seller of the livestock. The Melbourne City Council and the Stock and Station Agents Association of Melbourne worked together for over 100 years. Most of the men spent 40 to 60 years of their lives working together at the Yards.

Note: original panel sponsored by City of Melbourne