MOYNE Shire Council will press ahead with plans to undertake detailed research on the need for a new regional livestock selling centre despite the idea getting the cold shoulder from other councils.
Councillors have unanimously voted to form an advisory group consisting largely of rural industry stakeholders and invite neighbouring councils to participate.
At a recent meeting of the Great South Coast Group municipalities Moyne’s motion to approach the state government for money to investigate the regional saleyards concept failed because there was no seconder.
Yesterday, Moyne mayor James Purcell confirmed his council was still keen to pursue the issue.
“We just want to make sure any new regional livestock selling centre is built in the best place for the good of the whole region,” Cr Purcell said.
“At the end of the day it will be an investor decision, but that should be based on well-researched investigations with a regional perspective. We are not pushing for it to be in Moyne.
“Almost every day I, along with other councillors, have people asking about the yards issue.”
Warrnambool City Council has clearly indicated it does not want to operate the Caramut Road municipal saleyards indefinitely and has selected NSW-based Regional Infrastructure Pty Ltd (RIPL) to find an alternative site to run a commercial operation.
Corangamite Shire Council, which runs saleyards at Camperdown, is also negotiating with RIPL.
Cr Purcell said his council believed Warrnambool and Corangamite would consider research undertaken with a regional approach.
“We will be meeting with government representatives soon to determine if there is money available for a proper study,” he said.
“It may be that Moyne will have to contribute some of its own money, but I’m sure ratepayers would support our decision. The proposed advisory group would be based on similar lines to the one set up by the city council some years ago.”
Commmunity meetings conducted by Moyne in Koroit and Mortlake recently revealed a groundswell of sentiment that any new saleyards should be sited to suit south-west livestock producers, rather than investor preferences.
“People realise the saleyards will eventually be moved from Warrnambool and that agriculture is our main industry,” he said.