A clearing sale selling off infrastructure from Warrnambool's closed saleyards has raised $200,000, but the recently installed walkways failed to sell.
After the concrete walkways collapsed in October 2020, the council spent almost $300,000 installing new steel walkways which were installed a year ago.
Warrnambool City Council intends to plead guilty to a WorkSafe charge into the collapse of the concrete buyers walkways with a hearing set to go ahead in the magistrates court on July 14.
The council had been set to spend about $5.6 million upgrading the ageing facility but after a heated public debate over the long-term future of the site councillors voted 4-3 in November last year to close it down mid-2023 rather than spend the money. It was a decision that upset farmers and agents who decided to move their business elsewhere before Christmas which lead to the closure of the yards earlier than expected.
A clearing auction was held on line over the past week to ensure saleyards materials and equipment could be repurposed, allowing the council to generate a return on the community assets.
Of the 361 lots, 347 were sold. A council spokesman said the sale had sparked plenty of pre-auction interest which then translated into "healthy bidding".
There were 166 active bidders and 13,666 bids placed with interest coming from local buyers and from as far away as Millicent, Hamilton, Ballarat and Horsham. The successful bidders were mostly farmers as well as some transport operators.
Among the small number of items that failed to sell was the new walkways and some scanners. Another sale will be held later in the year with more items up for auction.
The more than $200,000 that was raised will go into the council's consolidated revenue, for now.
A masterplan is under development into the future of the site with a draft document expected later this year. That report is expected to put a dollar figure on how much it will cost to rehabilitate the site.
Among the small number of items that failed to sell was the new walkways...
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