The ongoing viability of the Singleton Regional Livestock Market (SRLM) will be assured following a Singleton Council resolution to invite a selective tender process for the lease of the site.
Councillors considered a closed-Council report on the outcome of an Expression of Interest process for the saleyards at last night’s meeting, which called for interest from parties to either purchase and operate the SRLM or lease and maintain the site subject to conditions that the saleyards continue to operate in the current location.
As a result, Council deemed the most feasible option was to proceed with a lease arrangement and invite two parties from the Expressions of Interest process to submit tenders.
Council’s resolution also strongly reinforced the facility would not be sold. Details of the submissions received as part of the Expressions of Interest process will remain confidential.
General Manager Jason Linnane said a lease was more consistent with Council’s position that the saleyards continue to be a viable operation and contribute to the diversity of the local economy.
“Singleton Regional Livestock Market is an important economic and historic facility for the local community and Council is committed to ensuring the facility provides the best value not only for sales agents and buyers but the people of Singleton as a community asset,” he said.
“A service delivery review of the saleyards found that Council was not adequately positioned to address the challenges facing the site, including the need for more upgrades in the coming years to meet modern standards.
“Having said that, improved animal welfare and efficiencies as a result of a major upgrade of the site, including a roof over the selling yards and new elevated walkways which opened in February 2018, will allow the saleyards to be repositioned in the marketplace to attract new agents and increased stock levels in order to grow the business to a sustainable level.
“At the same time, proceeding with a lease option means the community will retain ownership of an important historic and economically strategic asset.”
An indicative timeframe sets out the call for tenders in May 2018 for an eight-week period, with the potential for a lease arrangement to be in place by 1 December 2018.
Mr Linnane said Council would also develop a detailed business model for the SRLM at the same time, to assist with the continued operation of the facility should the tender process be unsuccessful.