Australian Wool Network (AWN) sets up reclass facility in Goulburn

After decades of waiting, a wool classing facility has now been set up in Goulburn.

The facility has been established by the Australian Wool Network (AWN) at 51 Finlay Road in Goulburn with wool receival facility at Hovell Street.

History repeats: Brett Watts with Mark Hedley at the recently relocated re-class facility at AWN's premises in Goulburn. Photo: Neha Attre.

History repeats: Brett Watts with Mark Hedley at the recently relocated re-class facility at AWN's premises in Goulburn. Photo: Neha Attre.

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"We moved the re-class facility from Newcastle to Goulburn earlier this year," Australian Wool Network manager for NSW and Queensland said.

"After setting up the re-class facility in Goulburn, we are drawing wool from various locations like Brisbane, Dubbo, Bathurst, Tamworth, Wagga, Cooma and Goulburn."

There hasn't been a re-class facility operational in the city since the 1980s.

"The decision to move the facility also has another significance as it means bringing a bit of heritage back to the town," Mr Hedley said.

"It will also help generate employment."

We have not had a reclass facility in Goulburn since the mid '80s. Apart from generating employment, it is a bit of heritage coming back to town.

Mark Hedley

The transition occurred in April and the the setup was completed in June.

"The facility has been fully functional since then," Mr Hedley said.

"The company feels that bringing the re-class facility to Goulburn makes it one of the best centres in the region for Australian Wool Network for training youths."

The facility is the central hub for surrounding areas and the wool from Canberra through to Yass, Cootamundra, Boorowa, Crookwell, Taralga feeds into Goulburn.

"We would handle around 4,500 bales of wool through our re-handle per year," Mr Hedley said.

"But through Goulburn as a selling centre, we would handle about 35,000 to 40,000 bales of wool.

"There are a number of wool brokers in Goulburn who would put through around 90,000 bales of wool in a year."

The decision to relocate the facility was made when the Newcastle wool store was being relocated to Tamworth earlier this year.

"We decided to relocate to Goulburn instead," Mr Hedley said.

"It is still our biggest handling facility in NSW for wool. It was a natural step to relocate here as it would help us reduce freight costs."

Moving the re-class facility to Goulburn is also an opportunity to provide education and training in the area.

"The Australian Wool Network feels that Goulburn makes for the best training ground for youths in the region," he said.

"Those who are interested in joining the industry will have the opportunity to be exposed to all parts of our business here including wool brokers, administration, the re-class facility and private buying.

"Bringing young people into the industry and training them would be good for the wool industry."

Currently, Brett Watts is the re-class handler at the facility and John Bell is the wool buyer. Wool can now be purchased at the door from the producers.

They have also employed a casual presser.

AWN was established in 1999 by a group of wool growers with the aim of bringing the industry closer together.