Saleyards cost contractor $1.85m

ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council has been paid $1.85 million by a private contractor for the right to run Gracemere Saleyards for the next 30 years.

The deal, revealed yesterday afternoon, includes some plant, equipment, stock and associated leases.

In addition, the council will receive $100,000 a year – increasing annually by the rate of inflation – as a lease fee during the lengthy agreement with NSW-based Regional Infrastructure, with an additional $250,000 transition fee paid over 30 months.

So in the first three years the council will be paid $550,000.

The commercial partner will also spend $14 million on improvements to the complex over the period of the lease.

The council retains ownership of the saleyards complex which had run at a loss for many years.

In addition the council will save $700,000 a year in staff wages and other running costs, it said yesterday.

The financial side of the deal had been kept hush-hush prior to the joint statement yesterday issued by Rockhampton Regional Council and its new partner.

Councillors decided on Tuesday that ratepayers had every right to know the terms of the contract.

They voted to overturn the previous position that the information was confidential.

Regional Infrastructure also assumes responsibility for maintenance and keeping the structures in good repair.

Mayor Brad Carter said yesterday that it was a win-win agreement not only for the council, but also for the cattle industry and the community.

He said the agreed that investment would bring significant upgrades to the existing infrastructure.

The statement said the agreement was with funds managed by Palisade Investment Partners Limited.

Roger Lloyd, director of investments at Palisade, said the company was pleased to add Gracemere as a key element of its developing network of saleyards Australia-wide.

“Our superannuation-fund clients have a long-term horizon and have a shared goal of improving these facilities for the benefit of the Rockhampton region, for which cattle is such a major industry,” he said.

Cr Carter said although it was now the right time to release the financial details in the interests of the public, it was right that negotiations had been conducted in private.

KEY DETAILS
  • Sale of business component realises $1.85 million
  • Annual lease fee is $100,000 plus annual inflation
  • Council also gets $250,000 transition fee over 30 months
  • Council’s annual savings estimated at $700,000
  • Estimated investment in saleyards at least $14 million over 30 years


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