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