9.15AM: Wangaratta Council has committed to the sale or lease of the local saleyards despite farmers' protests.
At a meeting last night, chief of administrators Ailsa Fox highlighted the need for the Wangaratta yard to undergo upgrades and improvements to remain viable against local competitors.
She said additions such as roofing had improved selling conditions and animal welfare at nearby centres and the Wangaratta centre would need to undertake the same investment to compete in the local market.
With this in mind, the council would call for tenders that fell within its allocated budget as well as seek $500,000 in funding from government and other sources.
“Council has an obligation under the Local Government Act to endeavour to achieve the best outcomes for the local community having regard to the long term and cumulative effects of decisions. This process is part of the due diligence required,” Ms Fox said.
“The expression of interest process will enable Council to understand the characteristics of the potential market for the saleyards business, including the type and number of interested parties and their preferences for owning or leasing.”
“The results of this process will not bind parties to any particular future course of action but will simply register interests and the form of those interests."