Council to vote on Midfield land sale

For more than a decade, the city council and The Midfield Group have been in discussion with the state government over a proposal to purchase state government land and sell it to Midfield.

For more than a decade, the city council and The Midfield Group have been in discussion with the state government over a proposal to purchase state government land and sell it to Midfield.

A HIGH-PROFILE Crown land sale to meat processor Midfield International will be voted on by Warrnambool City Council tonight in a special meeting.

Councillors will vote on three measures including the purchase of land from the state government, on-selling the same land to Midfield and authorising chief executive Bruce Anson to sign contracts relating to both decisions.

The council plans to purchase the land for $1.41 million from the state government and sell the same title to Midfield for $1.7 million, with the $290,000 difference reinvested by the municipality to reconfigure its adjacent depot.

Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh said the meeting finalised a Midfield plan earlier this year to expand into the milk production sector.

“It’s pretty straight forward in terms of the purchase of the land by the council and then its immediate sale to Midfield,” Cr Neoh said. 

“There’s no risk element (for the council) in that it has already been agreed that Midfield will buy the land. The council takes a very supportive role when it comes to industry and this is a clear example of that — a move which will create more jobs for the great south coast.”

For more than a decade, the city council and Midfield have been in discussion with the state government over the proposal. The deal was the subject of controversy earlier this month with national media scrutinising the announcement and the relationship between Premier Denis Napthine and Midfield managing director Colin McKenna.

Dr Napthine stated he did not have any form of friendship with Mr McKenna while the Midfield proprietor declined to comment on the matter.

The special council meeting will be held at the municipal reception room from 5.45pm.

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