By Jeremy Sollars

The Southern Downs Regional Council has announced that a potential deal with a private operator to lease the Warwick Saleyards has fallen through, meaning the Saleyards will continue to be council-operated.

Mayor Tracy Dobie told a packed public meeting at the Warwick Town Hall tonight, Wednesday 6 June, that negotiations with a ‘preferred tenderer’ – understood to be RLX Regional Livestock Exchanges – had ceased, after the company said it was not prepared to accept the council’s management conditions.

Cr Dobie said the preferred tenderer had been offered a ‘management agreement’ – as opposed to a lease – and that those terms were “much more restrictive” than the terms of a lease.

She said the tenderer pulled out of negotiations as a result.

Cr Dobie said a new master plan will now be developed for the Warwick Saleyards and that council will run them for the remainder of the current council’s term in office, which ends in March 2020.

The news has been welcomed by producers who feared a private outside operator would significantly increase buying and selling fees at the Saleyards.

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