29 July: Scenic Rim Regional Council is continuing to consult with stakeholders as it considers the future of the Beaudesert saleyards.
Scenic Rim Regional Council is continuing to consult with stakeholders as it considers the future of the Beaudesert saleyards.
In August 2019, Council advised the saleyards’ operators that their lease on the site at Helen Street would end in 12 months to enable the Beaudesert Town Centre Revitalisation project to proceed and transform the heart of Beaudesert into a vibrant town centre.
Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said that, with the lease due to expire in August 2020, Council had met with community representatives last month and was considering a range of issues raised.
“We recognise the importance of ongoing access to a pig and calf sale for some of our local producers and have active discussions underway for such an option to continue,” he said.
“An extension of the existing lease until December 2020 may be considered to allow these discussions to progress."
Cr Christensen said Council’s extensive community consultation on the Beaudesert Town Centre Masterplan had commenced in 2016 and that the continuing operation of the saleyards in their current location was inconsistent with elements of the project identified during further consultation in December 2019.
“Our initial review suggests that retaining the saleyards as they are currently operated would significantly disrupt the concepts and principles of the precinct and would require significant modification of the business case that has gained both Queensland and Australian government support through grant funding to progress the project,” he said.
“This poses a risk to maintaining the availability of that funding and thereby the ability to achieve the goals of the Beaudesert Town Centre Revitalisation project.
“Additionally, it would require significant capital expenditure to bring the saleyards up to a suitable standard if they were to remain as part of the town centre precinct.”
“In the 2017-18 financial year, Council completed essential structural and roof repairs to meet minimum safety standards for the yards to continue to operate, and further significant maintenance, not currently funded or budgeted for, would be required in the near future to get the saleyards into a suitable condition.”
The saleyards at their current location date to the late 1940s or early 1950s and concerns have been raised about the safety of those attending the sales as the outdated layout does not provide the separation of people and animals consistent with modern saleyards.
“The condition of the current saleyards is very poor and, if Council had not carried out emergency repairs three years ago to bring them to a minimum safety standard, the yards would have been closed then,” Cr Christensen said.
Following its meeting with stakeholders last month, Council is currently assessing the saleyards for structural condition, operational safety, cost estimates for upgrading and maintenance, and the potential impact on the redeveloped site if the yards were to remain.
“As a result of this meeting, we have taken their views on board and are considering them as part of the broader picture,” Cr Christensen said.
Cr Christensen said the Beaudesert Town Centre Revitalisation project aimed to create a sense of place for the community and deliver a built environment which not only resonated with residents and visitors but also delivered economic benefits for Beaudesert and the wider Scenic Rim region.
“Within the scope of the project, a real opportunity exists to showcase, through storyboards, the history of the yards when as many as 500 calves and 500 pigs came to market every Monday,” he said.