Sa­le­yard EOI goes ahead

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - The Mulberry Project - So­phie Lester

DE­SPITE field­ing heavy crit­i­cism from some ratepay­ers, the South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil said it would con­tinue to ex­plore new man­age­ment op­tions for the War­wick Sa­le­yards.

The SDRC has ad­vised that it would stick with the ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est process for the man­age­ment of the sa­le­yards, which it be­gan in late May and con­tinue to a re­fined ten­der process, as sup­ported by the Sa­le­yards Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee.

Over the next few months, the pre­ferred re­spon­dent in the EOI process will be asked to re­spond to is­sues raised by the coun­cil and the com­mit­tee.

At the end of the ten­der process, the coun­cil said it could choose to is­sue the ten­der or end the process.

The coun­cil has de­fended the move to in­ves­ti­gate pri­vate man­age­ment op­tions as “the process will al­low the com­mit­tee and coun­cil to fur­ther ex­plore how the pri­vate sec­tor might be able to im­prove ef­fi­ciency and en­sure com­pet­i­tive prices to pro­duc­ers and sell­ers.”

Mayor Tracy Do­bie said while the coun­cil had man­aged the sa­le­yards ef­fec­tively to date, pro­fes­sional and ex­pe­ri­enced man­age­ment was needed to con­tinue best prac­tice at the fa­cil­ity.

“It is im­por­tant that the War­wick Sa­le­yards func­tion ef­fec­tively, re­main com­pet­i­tive and con­tinue to pros­per,” Cr Do­bie said.

“This de­ci­sion rep­re­sents an op­por­tu­nity to build upon the de­ci­sion of both this coun­cil and the pre­vi­ous coun­cil to ex­plore best prac­tice for the sa­le­yards.”

The SDRC said com­pet­i­tive pric­ing re­mained a pri­or­ity as up­grades con­tin­ued at com­pet­ing fa­cil­i­ties near War­wick, in­clud­ing a $14-mil­lion in­vest­ment at Casino.

Pro­gres­sion of the EOI fol­lows the coun­cil re­ceiv­ing a 454-sig­na­ture pe­ti­tion at its gen­eral meet­ing on Wed­nes­day that called for the SDRC to main­tain con­trol of the sa­le­yards.

It is im­por­tant that the War­wick Sa­le­yards func­tion ef­fec­tively, re­main com­pet­i­tive and con­tinue to pros­per. — Cr Tracy Do­bie

PHOTO: SO­PHIE LESTER

STRONG MAR­KET: TopX auc­tion­eers tak­ing bids at last Wed­nes­day’s sheep sale at the War­wick Sa­le­yards.

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