CONSTRUCTION of Wodonga’s replacement saleyards could begin before the five-year anniversary of the bitter, but unsuccessful battle to keep them at Bandiana.
Wodonga Council defied widespread opposition from cattle producers and agents to make the decision in October 2008 to privatise and relocate the saleyards from Bandiana to Barnawartha North.
Palisade Investments’ Regional Infrastructure is eyeing off a September start for the $20 million project after a last gasp bid by the Save Our Saleyards group failed at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last year.
The company gained EPA works approval in June and a head construction contractor is close to being finalised with a Queensland firm poised to win the job.
Company director Gary Edwards said a long-awaited construction start date was drawing closer.
“We are at the point where we are co-ordinating the commencement of the construction,” he said.
“There are certain processes that need to be followed to do that.
“They include applying for the construction certificate and getting that approved through the council.
“There is some actual finalisation of some actual contractors involved.
“We would like to start as soon as possible, but the process needs to be followed.”
Construction time will be about 12 months.
The replacement Wodonga saleyards will be bigger than a $17 million saleyards complex recently opened at Tamworth.
They were also established on a “greenfield” site and took five years to complete.
The company will extend its lease on the Bandiana yards until their replacement is completed.
The Queensland company poised to win the Barnawartha contract built the Tamworth yards which are used to sell both cattle and sheep.
“Traditionally we use a company out of Queensland and we are just assessing that at the moment,” Mr Edwards said.
“It is most likely we will utilise them given they have had experience building them for us.”
In total, Palisade has invested $70 million on saleyards since 2008 at Wodonga, Ballarat, Inverell, Tamworth and Gracemere in central Queensland.
Selling and receival areas will be undercover with soft floorings made up of saw dust and fine wood chip.