Menu
Livestock

Fighting for grazier safety at 90 years of age

WORRIED: Maurice Binstead AM (left), pictured here with Maurice Hetherington, Baralaba, is concerned someone will be injured at CQLX Gracemere, unless better disabled access is built.
WORRIED: Maurice Binstead AM (left), pictured here with Maurice Hetherington, Baralaba, is concerned someone will be injured at CQLX Gracemere, unless better disabled access is built.

AT 90, Maurice Binstead AM is still standing up for his fellow graziers.

Due to a lack of disabled access at CQLX Gracemere, he is certain it's only a matter of time until someone is injured.

The retired cattleman, who now lives in Rockhampton, uses a walker, and along with other graziers who use wheelchairs or walkers, he can only enter the selling areas via the cattle lanes.

"There's cattle all the time going out of the scales so there's a flow of cattle," he said.

"In the morning there's nothing moving they're all penned, but once they start selling they start weighing, they've got to get it done."

He said another grazier at the sale had been kicked in the head by a bull while trying to use the cattle lane to move between aisles.

Mr Binstead said the saleyards staff were supposed to halt the cattle when anyone requiring disabled access came along, but it didn't always go to plan.

"One day we were trying to climb up with a mob of heifers and they were stupid and they knocked the gate open," he said.

"When you were young you'd grab a rail and pull yourself out, we were both trying to get up as much as we could, young Kenny jumped off and pulled the gate across in time to stop them.

"But someone's going to get hurt if they don't do something, there's just too many cattle moving."

He's shocked a public facility could get away without wheelchair access.

"If I build a building in Rockhampton for commercial use, anywhere that people are going to have access to it, public, I've got to put wheelchair access," Mr Binstead said.

"I believe you can't have a public facility where peoples lives are in danger... It's a public facility and people have a right to go there," he said.

The saleyards are owned by the Rockhampton Regional Council, but are leased the RLX Operating Company, which hired Regional Infrastructure Pty Ltd (RIPL) to oversee management.

RRC CEO Evan Pardon said as the owner, council does have an interest in workplace health and safety but no breaches or incidents had been reported.

RIPL general manager Andrew McCarron said they weren't required to provide disabled access as they had an operational plan in place.

"There are access points previously in place at ground level to provide access to selling areas," he said.

"Those people can be escorted ... that can be controlled by instructions to the stockman while the man goes through.

"Management are conscious of the issue ... there has been consideration for various options ... but ultimately it's reverted back to operational controls that have to be employed to deal with the issue."

Topics:  disability access farm safety livestock ohs


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.