Buyers for Casino saleyards
RICHMOND Valley Council staff will spend about a fortnight examining three proposals from companies interested in buying or leasing the Casino saleyards.
However, mayor Col Sullivan insists that doesn’t mean the council will ever sign off on one of them.
In confirming the council had received the expressions of interest in the saleyards, Cr Sullivan reiterated his personal opposition to any plan that would put the facility out of council hands.
He agreed the philosophy behind the idea was essentially the same as the one a few months ago that led to the council divesting itself of the Mid-Richmond Retirement Village at Coraki, despite strong community opposition to the move.
However, he said he and many of the graziers that relied on the saleyards worried about possible price increases if they the facility were delivered into private hands.
“Each farmer who sells a beast there pays a levy,” Cr Sullivan said. “Under council, that’s set annually by council and they have access to put their case to keep the fees down. If private enterprise takes control of it, it will take away that access.
“What farmers are concerned about is increased costs and if there’s a doubling of the fees it will put a lot of farmers out of operation.”
Cr Sullivan was unsure whether a report on the staff review would be ready in time for the next council meeting, which is scheduled for September 21.
The idea would also go to a public meeting to discuss proposals and the potential outcomes of those proposals, Cr Sullivan said.
While having mostly been under council control, the saleyards had once been briefly run by an outside group.