Westcoast extend operations in Kimberley move
One of WA’s wool and livestock companies has expanded its foothold in the State’s agricultural market and extended into the Kimberley pastoral area.
Westcoast Wool and Livestock confirmed yesterday it had appointed two livestock agents, Tony O’Neill and Nick Benson, to work from Broome as part of its northern Australia expansion.
Westcoast is set to rival Elders and Nutrien in the Kimberley.
The announcement comes after the Bibra Lake-based company launched the Northern Territory arm of its business last year under the Westcoast Northern Livestock banner.
Westcoast livestock manager Gerald Wetherall said Mr O’Neill and Mr Benson’s appointments would bolster the agribusiness’ cattle division in the State’s north.
“It’s a good strategic move for us,” he said.
“It really does fit like a glove for us to push into the region and leverage our relationships right across the supply chain.
“We now have great network coverage across the Pilbara, Kimberley and Top End.”
Mr O’Neill, who originally hails from Pingaring, boasts a long agriculture career spanning 42 years across the Wheatbelt, Mid West, South West and Kimberley
With experience in managing agribusinesses, real estate and finance, Mr O’Neill was forced to take a short break from work earlier this year after two knee replacements. However, he said he was looking forward to the new opportunity.
“There are some really great people in the Westcoast business,” Mr O’Neill said.
“Some of my best times in the industry was when I was working for a company many years ago that was like a small family company, and the Westcoast business has that feel.
“There are also a lot of people here who are pretty excited to see the company coming into the region.”
Mr Benson is originally from Bunbury, but family friends at Beverley and Boyup Brook ignited his interest in farming and he completed his education at WA College of Agriculture — Narrogin.
He has livestock experience through roles at Alcoa Farmlands and in Queensland with beef-producing giant Australian Agricultural Company, which ran Brahman and Brahman composite cattle.
After leaving AACo, Mr Benson worked at Pilbara and Kimberley cattle stations overseeing Droughtmaster and Shorthorn herds, before relocating to Geraldton where he supported pastoralists and big sheep producers.
Mr Benson said he was excited to be involved in Westcoast’s northern WA expansion.
“The company has been very welcoming and supportive,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to getting around the region with Tony and also connecting with our Northern Territory colleagues.”
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