Following the close of the Warwick Saleyards Survey on 31 December 2020, attention will now turn to a series of consultative meetings with key stakeholders as part of the systematic approach to determine the future of the facility and making sure that we select the right project.

Survey responses are now being collated and Southern Downs Regional Council will meet with the Saleyards Advisory Committee, agents, feedlot owners, and other key stakeholders of the saleyards to review the survey results and discuss viable options. Findings will be presented at a future Council Information Session, after which a formal report will be presented to Council.

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the uptake on the survey had been encouraging and the data now provided a solid and informed platform for the next stage of the decision-making process. “It is encouraging to see that more than 450 community members completed the Warwick Saleyards Survey,” Mayor Pennisi said. “Council takes the future of the saleyards very seriously and our approach to this important decision will be better informed with the feedback received from the community through the survey”.

In 2019, Council commissioned the Warwick Saleyards Master Plan which addressed the sustainability of the current facility and made recommendations on future business operations.  Subsequently, Council was advised the current saleyards may be reaching the end of their operational life without significant investment and options have been mooted since. Following the formal adoption of this Master Plan, Council engaged consultants to undertake a detailed Business Case to further inform the future direction of the Warwick Saleyards.

“These saleyards are iconic to the Southern Downs,” said Mayor Pennisi. “In reviewing the future of the saleyards, we will consider the facility’s viability, sustainability, and what the long-term financial impact to our ratepayers will be for each option. Animal welfare, environmental issues, industry standards, biosecurity, traffic management, information technology SDRC Media and, workplace health and safety all form part of the key considerations in selecting the right project.”

Council is hopeful that a final decision will be made by the end of February 2021 although this could change to March depending on the next stage of the extensive consultation process.

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