Farmers and agents who took their business to Hamilton after the closure of Warrnambool's saleyards have been welcomed "with open arms".
"It's absolutely fantastic to have them," Southern Grampians Shire Council mayor David Robertson said.
An expansion of Hamilton yards is now on the cards with the closure of Warrnambool's livestock exchange set to lift cattle sales by 50 per cent at the shire's council-run facility.
It will also inject more money into the shire's economy, Cr Robertson said.
"We've got a fantastic sheep yarding, and we'll continue to improve the cattle selling facilities and expand those," he said.
"We're there for the long haul."
Cr Robertson said the shire had just completed a strategic review of the facility focusing on what it needed to do to accommodate the future of marketing livestock.
"We will make further investments in our selling systems," he said. "Whether the future is electronic selling, what we've got to do we will make that investment."
Cr Robertson said the arrival of the former Warrnambool selling agents would add tens of thousands of dollars to the facility's profits each year which was more than $500,000.
"We have about 20,000 head of cattle through, but we have just over a million sheep," he said.
"What's predicted is that we may increase that by 50 per cent, the cattle. Hopefully increase it by 10,000 head, that's what we're aiming to do."
When Warrnambool agent Jack Kelly announced he would bring a lot of his business to Hamilton, Cr Robertson said he called him and welcomed him onboard.
"The Southern Grampians Shire runs to a huge degree on the rural enterprises, whether it's sheep or cattle or cropping," he said. "Increasing this will be an enormous amount of business, not only in throughput through the saleyards but merchandise stores, agents and so forth.
"It will be right across the board in expanding the economy of Hamilton and Southern Grampians."
Warrnambool's saleyards closed on December 28, six months before planned. The first Hamilton sales since agents relocated was held on Tuesday, and Cr Robertson said there was a "buzz around the market".
"It's fantastic to see other agents come and support Hamilton," he said. "It's great to have them on board.
"We've got to keep building on our cattle to get the buyers to come."
He said he was sympathetic to producers that had lost their selling centre. "We will welcome them in Hamilton with open arms," he said.
Cr Robertson said all councils were looking at the services they delivered and costs to the ratepayer.
"Yes we all have to make hard decisions and things that some people disagree with and that's inevitable in today's world," he said.
"We can't rely on governments to keep funding operations because they are all in debt and don't take much notice of rural economies anymore."