November 27, 2020
Aussie Land & Livestock director James Bredhauer says he has accepted the decision by the South Burnett Regional Council to retain ownership of the Coolabunia Saleyards but he now hopes Council will work with his company to improve the facility.
The Kingaroy-based business submitted one of the three tenders that were considered at Wednesday’s Council meeting but ultimately rejected.
Mr Bredhauer told southburnett.com.au Aussie Land & Livestock was one of the biggest financial contributors to the Coolabunia saleyards.
“We are one of the key stakeholders and we have a wide range of stakeholders who work with us,” he said.
He said the saleyards required a major upgrade to bring them into line with facilities in neighbouring areas, eg. Biggenden, where a new saleyards was opened last year; and Dalby, run by the Western Downs Regional Council.
He said Coolabunia Saleyards needed new pens and yards to improve safety.
Mr Bredhauer said Aussie Land & Livestock employees have been providing labour to do repairs at Coolabunia Saleyards at no charge to Council.
“We want some vision and action from Council,” he said.
“There have been no plans and no action for five years.
“We want Council to work with us – together – instead of just telling us how things are going to be done.”
He cited as an example Council’s alleged refusal to reimburse the company for the hire of yard panels required for a weaner sale in April, yet had charged pen fees for cattle that went through these temporary yards as well as collecting the extra dipping and weighing fees.
- Related article: Council Rejects Saleyard Offers
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Aussie Land & Livestock released an official statement on Friday morning:
Leaders in agriculture, Aussie Land & Livestock accept the decision of South Burnett Regional Council on Wednesday, November 25, to reject all tenders to purchase the Coolabunia Saleyards, noting that the needs of our agriculture sector and agricultural ratepaying base are the right place for their focus.
Over the past 15 years, our business, Aussie Land & Livestock, has grown the agricultural industry, including the throughput of the Coolabunia Saleyards to 10,000 head a year. Our business proudly continues to motivate community and commercial use of the saleyards in realising the activity it sees today.
We now call for South Burnett Regional Council to take ownership and effectively manage their asset so that the businesses in the industry can realise ongoing commercial success.
We insist that South Burnett Regional Council use this decision to front the industry with vision and action.
Should Council do their part, business will be ready to drive the commercial opportunities that will be revealed with forward-thinking infrastructure.
Our models show us that growth in the Coolabunia Saleyards is more than possible and can be achieved with informed action. Over 40 per cent of small businesses in the region identify as agriculturally based, the largest proportion of small businesses in our region and an industry deserving of Council’s attention for growth.
To date the missing pieces of saleyard success has been lack of focus, contribution, and certainty from the owners of the land. We know, through our own processes and business reviews, this facility has the opportunity to upgrade (in safety and value for money principles), grow and diversify.
Aussie Land & Livestock are ready to drive the next level of advancement in the agricultural industry. If Council meet the leadership request from our industry and listen to the insight of local industry, we know that the Coolabunia Saleyards will drive growth for a range of agricultural value chain businesses.
We challenge Council to quickly progress and identify the five-year plan, capital works plan, infrastructure plan and saleyard fees and charges, alongside, and in full consultation, with our industry.
We are already prepared with feedback and don’t want to go back in time to when the saleyards were in ruins and underutilised. Among the many business and agricultural challenges that we face in present times, our industry can’t afford to be idle.
We, like all businesses, are in need of certainty and direction. The facility holds fortnightly cattle sales, specialty store and fat sales, breeder shows and sales. The tick clearing dip is an important facility as it provides a venue for cattle producers to have all cattle inspected and treated for cattle ticks – it’s a critical piece of infrastructure for our community that requires immediate attention and upgrade.
As the first-choice livestock and real estate agents of the South Burnett Region, we support Council’s decision and stand ready for action supporting commercial outcomes.
Let’s get together and beef up the Coolabunia Saleyards.