An experienced saleyard operator that has managed sites in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland is emerging as the front runner to take over a lease of Camperdown’s livestock selling centre.
Three operators expressed interest in taking over management of the Corangamite Shire-owned saleyards, with negotiations to begin soon with one company.
Corangamite Shire chief executive officer Andrew Mason said while the process was still in the early stages, the council would work to ensure that a lease enshrined a strong commitment to the site by preserving Tuesday sales and pledging to make capital investment.
”Both council and the company are keen to get an agreement in place as soon as possible,” Mr Mason said.
The company’s name would be released once negotiations were further advanced, Mr Mason said.
Corangamite Shire announced in September that it would be seeking expressions of interest to manage its saleyards.
The council hopes a private operator will increase investment in the site and future-proof the selling centre ahead of new regional saleyards opening at Mortlake.
On announcing the decision to try to lease the yards, Corangamite mayor Jo Beard said it was a decision made around sustainability.
“Leasing could provide the best outcome and value for money for shire ratepayers and residents because council will still own the asset and land, as well as generating an income,” she said.
The Western Victoria Livestock Exchange in Mortlake is set to host its first sale in January. Director Brendan Abbey has said it would set the stage for a battle between it and council-owned saleyards.