Regional Infrastructure Pty Limited understands the concerns many ratepayers have toward a private company purchasing a community owned facility.
However, modern councils often conclude that although a particular service must be retained for all time in the district it is not always best that it be run by council employees. Most current sale yards around Australia and their surrounding facilities are run down and require major capital investment to bring them back up to current Animal Welfare, environmental and Occupational Health and Safety standards. Some yards have simply reached the end of their useful life and no longer service enough of the local community to warrant major council expenditure. The reality is few councils can afford to maintain, let alone upgrade or replace their yards. In our experience most Councillors and users believe that private industry would be able to take the current service to much higher levels of efficiency and quality, especially where that company has access to equity for capital development of the existing site and investment in related businesses.
Maximising selling prices for producers is a key objective for Regional Infrastructure Pty Limited. A significant part of our operating budget is allowed for promotion and marketing. We likewise intend to assist and encourage the development of closer working relationships with a wider range of buyers and meat processors. Better presentation of animals and careful handling to MSA standard procedure will be a priority to ensure that the best prices are obtained. Training will be provided to all people involved in stock handling including transport operators and sale yard staff to enable MSA certification. No existing service will be lost to the community. In fact, additional services, higher modern standards and better operations are expected to be provided.
Regional Infrastructure Pty Limited invests in sale yards under a 25+ year plan. In this time the sale yards and the allied businesses will continue to grow at an optimal rate and become a more substantial proportion of the regional prosperity. New industries are spawned, employment opportunities improve, service contractors, Agents and buyers gain more business and the community as a whole benefits directly and indirectly.
Another concern that is often raised by the community is the fear that rates and charges will be increased to the disadvantage of the users. Suffice to say it cannot happen. The commercial reality is that competition from sale yards in other centres will ensure that fees remain competitive. Regional Infrastructure Pty Limited knows that they need to retain the loyalty of Agents and Producers if the sale yards are to remain viable and grow into the future.
Under the Regional Infrastructure Pty Limited management plan, users will have more control over the successful operation of the service than they do now. There will also be a larger budget and marketing plan and support to make it happen.