Anson denies council depot moving

RUMOURS claiming Warrnambool City Council will abandon its Scotts Street depot near Midfield abattoir and shift it to Caramut Road have been denied by chief executive Bruce Anson.

“There’s no truth to that at all,” he told The Standard.

“We will be staying there and there’s no plan for relocation.”

Rumours were revived during recent debate over future closure and relocation of the Caramut Road saleyards and last week’s media scrutiny of  Premier and South West Coast MP Denis Napthine over his involvement in backing a proposed $20 million expansion by Midfield and purchase of a hectare of Crown land through the council.

The land deal would involve half a hectare now leased by Midfield and half a hectare of the current council machinery storage yard.

Only one objection was received to the council’s proposal to buy the land from the state government and then on-sell it to Midfield, which would produce a $300,000 profit for council.

Mr Anson said two hectares would remain for the depot. “We will reorganise the depot for a slightly smaller footprint,” he said.

“It’s about managing it as a more efficient and modern design. There probably hasn’t been major work there for at least 20 years.”

City councillor Peter Hulin has described the decision to keen the depot at Scott Street as shortsighted, saying it should be moved to a new, larger area which would allow for expansion.

“In the future this decision on Scott Street will be shown to be shortsighted and council will have to spend millions on buying another site,” Cr Hulin said.

“I’m all for the Midfield expansion and we should have taken the opportunity and allowed them to buy all the depot area.”

pcollins@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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