THE State government is working through its tender process for a replacement to the Boyanup Saleyards but cattle producers in the South West will have to wait until next year for any announcement about its future to be made.
WA Meat Industry Authority (WAMIA) chairman David Lock said the process was underway with the first round of proposals closing last week, but there wouldn’t be any “clarity” on the issue “until next year” after “serious proposals” were reviewed and a decision was made.
The Boyanup saleyards have been the topic of discussion and review for years and time is ticking on its future, as the site ages and its lease expires in 2022.
The Shire of Capel no longer wants it in its current location.
Liberal spokesperson for agriculture Ian Blayney has weighed into the debate about what the future ownership and management plans for the Muchea Livestock Centre and the replacement Boyanup saleyards should be.
Mr Blayney said the process should include the consideration of a grower-owned and managed co-operative, because there were two issues to be considered – cost and long-term ownership.
“A grower owned and controlled co-operative would have as its focus, lower costs to producers and long-term ownership,” Mr Blayney said.
“Growers and grower bodies have also told me there is $6-8 million remaining from the sale of Midland sale yards.
“I think that money should go towards the capital base of the new co-operative, if it was decided to go down that path.
“Currently, the government is running an expression of interest for a replacement of the Boyanup saleyards.
“I understand the government wants to get out of this space and pass the project to the private sector, rather than considering all options available or listening to producers.”
Mr Blayney said all options should be on the table, including a grower-owned and controlled co-operative.
According to previous statements by the former WAMIA chief executive officer Andrew Williams, there was no money left over from the sale of the Midland yards as that was reinvested into Katanning and other yards.
Farm Weekly understands that a number of tenders have been submitted, but the details are commercially sensitive.
About 60,000 cattle are sold each year through the Elders and Landmark-run Boyanup saleyards.
South West producers have expressed a desire to retain a saleyard in the region due to the distances and costs involved in transporting to Muchea or Mt Barker.