July 15, 2020
South Burnett Regional Council is calling for tenders for a new operator to take over ownership of the Coolabunia Saleyards.
On Thursday, the Council released a tender document for the sale of the saleyards land.
The property consists of two adjoining blocks located on the D’Aguilar Highway at Coolabunia.
One block contains the saleyards and its associated facilities, while the other is undeveloped but could be used for future expansion.
An industry source said he feared a new owner of the land could simply demolish the saleyards and turn the property to other uses.
However, southburnett.com.au understands that Council hopes the tender will attract a local operator keen to upgrade the facility as well as handle its day-to-day running.
If a suitable operator cannot be found, the Council will continue running the facility as usual.
The saleyards were built by the former Kingaroy Shire Council in 1982.
They offer regular cattle sales, act as a clearing dip and have penning facilities for stock in transit.
In January 2018, Council announced the AAM Investment Group had successfully tendered to take over the operation of the saleyards after winning a similar, earlier tender for the Murgon saleyards.
Former Mayor Keith Campbell said at the time the Council took the view that operating the saleyards was no longer a core responsibility, since the main beneficiaries were people involved in the cattle trade.
He said leasing the saleyards to AAM was expected to save the Council about $100,000 per year in administration and maintenance costs.
Later that month AAM Investment Group CEO Garry Edwards said the company wanted to secure a 15 to 30-year contract to operate the facility.
However, negotiations between Council and AAM subsequently lapsed.
The decision to put the saleyards land out to tender was decided by the former Council prior to the March election.
The tender closes on September 10.
- Related article: AAM To Lease Coolabunia Saleyards