Saleyards deadline stays

28 Nov, 2001 10:00 PM

AGRICULTURE minister Kim Chance has stood firm on the deadline for submissions to the Meat Industry Authority regarding the relocation of the Midland saleyards.

But just days short of the November 30 deadline, major players, including Moora shire, are yet to make formal submissions, continuing to campaign strongly to win rights to host the facility.

Moora shire spokesman Devon Gilmour said after meeting with Mr Chance last week, he had understood submission closing dates would remain open.

He claimed Mr Chance had been "very supportive" of the Moora bid, encouraging the group to continue to gain the necessary support for the project to be approved.

He said Mr Chance had clearly indicated the direction Moora shire needed to take to secure its bid.

MIA CEO Mike Donnelly said he was not certain how the Moora bid would be dealt with because the appeared to be "doing their own thing".

He said the MIA intended to summarise all the submissions received by November 30, but it was up to Mr Chance to make any other decisions.

Mr Gilmour said while the November 30 date would close the "comment period" on the MIA report, it did not limit other groups making a separate proposal.

He said Moora hoped to meet the deadline to prevent any further delay on the long running issue.

Adding to the confusion, however, is that Moora and PGA have agreed to meet on December 6 to further discuss the Moora bid.

PGA policy director Damien Capp said the meeting was arranged because Moora insisted they had additional information, which might sway opinion.

Mr Capp denied the agreement to meet with Moora shire meant a window of opportunity existed for the group to get the PGA on side.

He said he would be surprised if the meeting would alter the PGA's stand to back the Muchea facility.

Meanwhile, the Northam Partnership, who continue to push for the split facility option, with the sheep section to be located at Northam, have said they presented convincing arguments to Mr Chance last week that the MIA feasibility report was seriously flawed.

A spokesperson for Mr Chance said the issues raised by the Northam partnership would be considered as part of the submission process.

Mr Chance said he was comfortable with the investigative process, which allowed the MIA to comment on all submissions before a further independent line of advice was provided by the Agriculture Department.

He said submissions after the deadline would not be considered, and no further requests for extension had been received.


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