Saleyard bill split

Saleyard bill split

Mount Gambier City Council will meet today to discuss contributing $77,000 to the Grant District Council’s Saleyards Transformation Project.

The matter has been listed for discussion at City Council’s monthly meeting.

In her report, Corporate and Regulatory Services general manager Jane Fetherstonhaugh has recommended council contribute the sum over two financial years, subject to approval in the 2024-2025 budget process.

The report also provides an update in relation to the Grant Council’s Livestock Exchange 2030 Transformation Project.

At its meeting on February 20, City Council received a deputation from Grant Mayor Kylie Boston along with Cr Barry Kuhl.

Grant chief executive Darryl Whicker and Combined Agents Group chair Brad Holdman were also in attendance.

“Following the deputation to the February meeting, council resolved that a report be prepared for the March council meeting providing information necessary to enable council to make a decision in consideration of Grant District Council’s Mount Gambier Districts Livestock Exchange 2030 Transformation Project,” Ms Fetherstonhaugh said.

“The Saleyards Transformation Project aims to make the saleyards a central hub in the region, enhancing regional supply chains, increasing market sales, and offering a platform for producers to grow from project implementation to ongoing operations.

“The project will see an investment of $14m, with the Grant council seeking support from the Growing Regions Program, as well as having secured a $2.7m contribution from the State Government.”

Ms Fetherstonhaugh reported City Council chief executive Sarah Philpott has sought further clarification on the proposal.

This has included clarification on funding, timing of the project and financial support from other sources.

“City of Mount Gambier’s commitment will lower Grant District Council’s commitment if successful,” she said.

“They had essentially budgeted on a 25% share which due to price escalations would have been absorbed by them.

“Additionally, they have also invested between $400-$500K in detailed design which does not form part of the grant funding as a sunk cost.

“The build is estimated at 14 months which will go into multiple financial years.

“Grant District Council would be grateful for contribution over any period such as multi-years, at key milestones or following completion.

“Financial support has only been sought from State, Commonwealth and City of Mount Gambier.

“It should be noted the Combined Agents pay contributions towards the sale fee per cattle/sheep.

“This is essentially their way of helping to reduce costs for primary producers and has been in place for a long time.”

Ms Fetherstonhaugh reported both councils have a history of commitment to supporting major projects that are of benefit to the shared community.

“Recent examples have included the City of Mount Gambier contributing to Grant District Council Airport upgrade, Grant council contributing to Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre development, and currently, the City of Mount Gambier contributing towards the cost of telecommunications infrastructure within Grant District Council,” she 

It is suggested, based on past contributions, the City of Mount Gambier contribute an amount equivalent to 0.55% of the project.

Ms Fetherstonhaugh said this is in line with Grant Council’s contribution to Wulanda.

“This equates to a dollar amount of $77,000 which would be funded over two financial years,” she said.

While it is recommended that council contribute on the basis of the shared regional benefit and in the spirit of partnership, it is open to council to decide not to contribute, or to contribute on a different basis than that proposed.

“If the latter option is decided, it is still recommended to refer such a contribution to the budget process so that council finalises any decision in the context of the overall budget position,” Ms Fetherstonhaugh said.

In addition Ms Fetherstonhaugh said the saleyards make a significant contribution to the local economy and business community as one of the biggest livestock markets in the Limestone Coast area.

“Over the past two financial years (2021-2022 and 2022-2023), the saleyards generated over $274m in sales, solidifying their importance in the agricultural sector,” she said.

“Ensuring the saleyards are a pivotal hub for the region as a livestock exchange will not only have a direct positive impact through its implementation phase to operations, but continue to develop the capabilities of regional supply chains which strengthen not only the Limestone Coast but the South Australian economy.

“The multiplier effect of the project and the benefits to the City of Mount Gambier would be a clear demonstration of efficient government supported infrastructure investment with assured outcomes into the region and its linked economies.”

In her report Ms Fetherstonhaugh highlighted risks to be taken into consideration including cost overruns, market volatility, construction delays and supply chain disruptions.

“The City of Mount Gambier’s contribution will be a fixed amount and not subject to cost overruns,” she said.

A copy of the Grant council’s presentation has been attached to the report is available to view online,

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