Stanthorpe could 'capitalise' on saleyards situation
STANTHORPE'S saleyards could be primed to capitalise on uncertainty surrounding Warwick's.
Rumours are rife in the Southern Downs, with lots of talk about the future of the Warwick Saleyards.
Last year, Southern Downs Regional Council announced it would be leasing out the complex to a private operator.
Stanthorpe saleyard manager Peter Bonner said speculation about fees spiking in Warwick could draw more people further south. "We're very keen to see more agents get involved and sell, particularly store cattle, it's very difficult to have another prime cattle sale with the meatworks and butchers buyers, they like to be centralised.
"Store cattle can be sold. You always see very good prices for store cattle in Stanthorpe. We'd like to see weiner sales on a monthly basis so hopefully we can attract other agents. It's very good for the town on sale day.
"I can see possibly with any changes in Warwick that costs could go up. We should be able to capitalise on that in Stanthorpe because we're very happy with our yard fees left at $6 (per head).
"I'm not too sure what Warwick is but I think it's a lot more than that and probably get dearer once changes are made,” Mr Bonner said.
Upgrades at the Stanthorpe site can only be beneficial too Mr Bonner said. "We're fixing up the water yards, replacing old timber posts with steel and eventually we'll shade certain sections too.
"We are EU accredited by the way too and Warwick is not,” he said.
Council conducted a survey in October/November, after it had already started seeking expressions of interest for a new lessee, to obtain suggestions from producers, buyers, livestock carriers and other interested people on their vision for the saleyards.
A Warwick stock agent, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was concerned about the spike in fees associated with the change in lessee, describing the possible hike as "the cost of a man's yearly wage”.
"Council seem to be operating behind closed doors on the matter,” he said.
The council survey results have not been released to the public.