Survey results: Majority against new lessee of saleyards
THE future of the Warwick saleyards remains uncertain, with Southern Downs Regional Council refusing to disclose plans for the facility.
Earlier in the month, Rural Weekly reported the Regional Livestock Exchange was tipped to take over the lease of the yards, with the council refusing to comment.
A Warwick stock agent had expressed concern to Rural Weekly, regarding a spike in yard fees if RLX took over. Late last year the council conducted a survey to gauge community feedback around the future of the yards.
Southern Downs Regional Council stated it would not release the results of the survey to the public.
"The results of the Warwick Saleyards survey have been collected and considered but, as a part of the tender process, are also unable to be released at this time," a council spokeswoman said.
Rural Weekly conducted it's own community survey, with the results as follows, from the 117 people who participated.
QUESTION ONE: What is your relationship to the Warwick saleyards?
Buyer/seller: 99 responses.
Agent: Two responses.
Livestock transport: Three responses.
Other: 13 responses.
QUESTION TWO: Do you agree with Southern Downs Regional Council seeking expressions of interest for a new lessee of the Warwick saleyards?
The majority of survey participants, 86.87 per cent, disagreed with the council seeking a new lessee of the saleyards, while 10.10 per cent agreed and 3.03 per cent said they didn't care.
QUESTION THREE: Did you participate in the survey Southern Downs Regional Council conducted about the future of the Warwick saleyards last year?
24.24 per cent said they had participated in the council's survey, while 36.36 per sent said they didn't, 10.10% knew about the survey but couldn't obtain a copy, while 29.29 per cent of Rural Weekly survey participants said they didn't know the council had conducted a survey last year.
QUESTION FOUR: What state do you believe the saleyards to currently be in?
The majority said they believed the yards to be in good condition (75.26 per cent) while 24.24 per cent said they thought they were in need of an upgrade.
QUESTION FIVE: How do you believe a new lesser of the saleyards will effect your business?
Participants were required to write responses, here is just a selection of the 93 provided:
"Concerned about excessive charges. Maintenance may not be as good."
"I believe it would be irresponsible if SDRC did not look at all options moving forward. We are seeing the rationalisation of regional sale yards. Warwick is competing against new yards in Roma and Dalby for continued numbers. It would be great to see the yards used on a more regular basis and not just Tuesday and Wednesday sales and the odd special sale."
"More cost would send cattle to other sale yards but if selling small numbers will not be profitable may have to sell online."
"Probably make it more expensive. I think it is always ok to be aware of alternatives, so I don't mind that the council has undertaken the process. However we should all be informed at every step."
"Hopefully doesn't, however if they improve the facilities it may encourage better players into the future."
"If the new lesser is a business person, I think they have the potential to bring in more buyers and quality yardings. If not they could cost us money. There will be an extra player involved. The lessee will demand a profit."