By Jeremy Sollars
Southern Downs Regional Council survey on the future of the Warwick Saleyards closes this Friday 17 November.
The council opened the survey on Monday 6 November, calling for users of the saleyards to “express their opinions on the saleyards future management options”.
The survey was released despite the council having already chosen a preferred ‘Expression of Interest (EOI)’ from a potential private operator of the saleyards after a process conducted earlier in the year.
The council has now moved to a ‘refined tender’ process with the undisclosed party concerned, which will determine if the saleyards will be leased out to them and managed externally from the council.
EOIs for external leasing and management of the Warwick Saleyards opened on 30 May and closed on 11 July, with the council yet to put a timeframe on a final decision on leasing out of the saleyards, despite having been asked to do so on multiple occasions by Rural Links and the Southern Free Times.
Mayor Tracy Dobie has previously stated that “while council has run the saleyards effectively to this point, professional experienced management is necessary to ensure best practice”.
Cr Dobie has also said the council would always retain ownership of the saleyards and could decide not to accept the preferred tender and continue to manage the saleyards directly.
A media statement issued by the council when the users’ survey opened said the survey had been “designed to obtain suggestions from producers, buyers, livestock carriers and other interested people on their vision for the saleyards”.
“Surveys can be filled out anonymously if you prefer or you can request that someone contact you regarding your suggestions,” the statement said.
Surveys can be collected from the Warwick Saleyards, or users can contact the council on 1300 697 372 and a survey can be emailed.
Completed surveys are due back to the council by Friday.
They can be returned by delivering them to the Warwick Saleyards Administration Building or to the Council Administration Buildings in Warwick, Stanthorpe and Allora, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org