A new Regional Livestock and Rural Information Exchange Hub and Truck Wash is being given serious consideration in the City of Greater Geelong.
The City this week has endorsed a resolution to proceed with a Business Case that will include further analysis from experts in relevant fields to deliver a multipurpose livestock exchange hub and truck wash.
The City will identify $200,000 from potential future savings in its 2022-23 budget for the Business Case, in addition to $100,000 previously allocated from its 2020-21 budget.
Capital and operating costings will be included in the business case for the delivery of a Regional Livestock and Rural Information Exchange Hub and Truck Wash, potential sites, availability, buffer zones, designs, land use planning, timeframes, and operating and ownership models.
The business case is in response to a November 2021 Notice of Motion from Rural and Coastal Chair Councillor Jim Mason seeking the delivery of a multipurpose livestock and information exchange.
At the moment livestock exchanges are located at Ballarat, Colac, Mortlake, and Camperdown.
“None of these livestock exchanges provide ancillary services such as a community shed facility or support our peri urban community,” said Greater Geelong Mayor Peter Murrihy.
“There are a number of issues that still need to be considered around supporting the exchange of livestock locally,” he said.
“This is about looking at all the options with industry experts and considering the best ways we can support peri urban and rural communities into the future.”
Geelong’s saleyards closed for sheep and cattle sales in August 2017, with poultry sales closing in July 2018.
The closure of the livestock exchange has, according to Rural and Coastal Chair, Councillor Jim Mason, reduced social opportunities for rural community members.
“Farmers are required to travel further to buy and sell stock,” he said.
“While the Geelong region is growing rapidly, we can’t forget that many of our residents are still in peri urban and rural areas and they would like us to consider the benefits of providing a livestock exchange locally,” said Mason.
Members of the Rural & Peri-urban Advisory Committee have supported undertaking a detailed business case to develop a Regional Livestock & Rural Information Exchange Hub and Truck Wash in Greater Geelong.
The report noted that the City would need to subsidise the ongoing operating costs for the facility, as well as seek public and private funds for its construction, which will be investigated as part of the business case process.