Saleyard step closer – Wesley Vale plan hinges on funding

A PROPOSED new saleyard at Mill Park at Wesley Vale is nearing fruition, but is subject to government funding support, with a 45-page business plan to be presented to a public meeting in the New Year.

Northwest Saleyards Developments’ chairman Mike Badcock said a MOU has been signed with the owner of the site detailing future working arrangements, and the development of a cooperative enabling community ownership and management is being progressed.

“The cooperative will have two forms of memberships, one for the users of the saleyards who will be voting members and who will have the ability to elect a skills-based board to manage and operate this agricultural hub,” Mr Badcock said. “A second form of membership will be available (non-voting) for investors and or other interested parties who see value in having a new saleyard and stock-handling complex situated on the North West coast.”

Mr Badcock said the committee was proud of being involved in the successful redevelopment of the old Smithton saleyards that have turned over more than $11 million of stock sales in just over 12 months of operation and is prepared to work in conjunction with the saleyard on an ongoing basis.

“This success is indicative of how a saleyard at Wesley Vale would also be well supported.”

At the proposed public meeting an expression-of-interest form will be circulated, detailing potential membership details, $250 initially, then $100 a year, plus other opportunities such as naming rights for individual stock pens and sponsorship arrangements.

The business plan includes an economic analysis, design and costing comparisons.

“The plan shows that once built, and based on the numbers quoted on the recently returned questionnaire by 180 farmers, the saleyard would be viable.”

The numbers quoted in the questionnaire were below the numbers of stock being sold at Quoiba.

“Considering the number of ongoing public inquiries relating to the establishment of a saleyard we think that the numbers are conservative and there is demand for a yard.” Mr Badcock added:

“While the State Government has expressed enthusiastic support for the proposal it is yet to commit financial support.”

Funding could come from both Federal and State Governments.

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