NEW SITE: Plans advance for Warwick Saleyards facelift
PLANS for the Warwick Saleyards upgrades are racing ahead, with a new and improved site seeming an increasingly likely option.
Since the release of Wiley's masterplan for a new site earlier this year, SDRC has been deciding whether to renovate, replace, or completely relocate the McEvoy yards.
The possibility of a purpose-built site (termed "Greenfields") was raised at SDRC's ordinary meeting on Wednesday, after Cr McDonald requested councillors' consent to travel to NSW sites in Tamworth and Inverell for "reconnaissance" at similar rebuilds.
All councillors were in favour of the excursion apart from Mayor Vic Pennisi, who cited concerns over the first-hand information swaying other councillors' final votes.
"I'm a little disappointed we aren't all going to see these together, and it could have easily been done by putting through a request to the CEO," Cr Pennisi said.
"The CEO and I were doing some background work over which ones we should visit as a council, and from my point of view, I think we're playing in dangerous territory," Cr Pennisi said.
Councillors Jo McNally and Sheryl Windle joined Cr McDonald in asking to have the current planning reports released to the public throughout the community consultation period, enabling residents to make "educated decisions".
The council eventually decided against releasing the plans and estimated cost of either option for confidentiality reasons, though did vote to extend public consultation until December 31.
The SDRC Saleyards Committee also voted for a new site as their preferred option at their most recent meeting, citing limited cover and poor water and waste management as their greatest concerns at the current space.
The board of industry heavyweights, including Jim Wedge, Ross Fraser, Matthew Grayson, and Andrew Costello, agreed a new site would best address these issues.
Councillor Cynthia McDonald questioned how an entirely new site would affect livestock fees, and was told $13.70 per head would likely be the new average.
The committee also agreed components of the draft system and the double-deck cattle and sheep ramps at the current site could be brought over to reduce overall costs.
SDRC has given no indication as yet where the purpose-built facility may be located, apart from within 10 minutes of the Warwick town centre.
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