WAFarmers has stated its concerns about the process adopted to evaluate the Expressions of Interest submitted for the South West Saleyard project.
WAFarmers supported the Southern Dirt Expression of Interest (EOI) as it was based on establishing a cooperative model to be known as ‘The Southern Livestock Producers Cooperative’.
WAFarmers Livestock President David Slade said the goal of Southern Dirt’s EOI was to build a modern, competitive livestock selling centre in the South West that is owned by the community and the industry.
“This is an effective model which is used by the Katanning and Mount Barker saleyards and we were hoping the same model could have been adopted for the new South West Saleyards and Muchea, given the potential impact that a monopoly situation could have for livestock producers,” Mr Slade said.
“WAFarmers do not support the ownership of two major saleyards being in the hands of one private company.
“WAFarmers believes a cooperative model will benefit south west livestock producers because a farmer led cooperative has the interest of livestock producer’s front and centre and will keep saleyard fees cost effective to all participants.
“WAFarmers also has significant concerns with the transparency of the EOI process and the lack of representation on the evaluation panel by livestock producers or State Farming Organisations.
“WAFarmers would like clarification on what selection criteria was used which resulted in the Southern Dirt EOI being rejected to proceed to the detailed stage of the process.”
Today, Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced two applicants will proceed to the detailed stage.
Mr Slade said WAFarmers is hopeful that if these two applicants do not meet the selection criteria, others would be considered.
“WAFarmers has had an interest and played an active role in discussions about the South West Saleyard development for nearly a decade and will continue to be vocal in this space for the betterment of the south west livestock industry.
“WAFarmers would strongly encourage Minister MacTiernan to appoint livestock producer representation to the evaluation panel to balance the interest of all concerned.”