WANGARATTA Council’s chief administrator Ailsa Fox supported moves to build new Wodonga saleyards at Barnawartha North in a previous senior role with the Victorian Farmers Federation.
The Border Mail has obtained a letter signed by Mrs Fox in her position of VFF Livestock president in 2007.
Mrs Fox and her fellow council administrators, Irene Grant and Rodney Roscholler, are weighing up whether to proceed with upgrading the Wangaratta yards with competition from the privately owned Northern Victoria Livestock Centre a major consideration.
Mrs Fox’s 2007 letter was sent to Wodonga saleyards manager Vaughan Smith when it was still operated by the council.
“The VFF has recently became aware of the plan by the Wodonga Council to call for expressions of interest to build a new Wodonga livestock exchange,” Mrs Fox wrote.
“We fully support the council in their plan to invest in the Victorian beef industry and are encouraged to hear the plans for the livestock exchange will focus on achieving best practice for environmental performance, animal welfare and occupational health and safety.
“The VFF feels that the redevelopment offers the council an ideal opportunity to ensure that the exchange achieves best practice in a number of other areas that will both benefit its users and ensure its longevity.”
Attempts to contact Mrs Fox were unsuccessful yesterday.
Wangaratta administrators, chief executive Brendan McGrath and director Alan Clark recently inspected the Barnawartha North site at the invitation of Wodonga Council.
They also visited the Logic industrial hub.
A Wangaratta upgrade was the big-ticket item of the former council before its dismissal last September.
It was supported unanimously.
Administrators met the new lobby group Friends of the Wangaratta Saleyards on Wednesday, but failed to get a commitment that the project would proceed.
They were told the council was still awaiting updated costings and designs.
More than $3 million has been allocated for 2014-15 for new roofing and soft floorings.