The $1.4 million-a-year Naracoorte saleyards will soon be run as a separate business under the council’s umbrella.
It is a major step forward for Naracoorte Lucindale Council in appeasing ratepayers who have for years called for more transparency and accountability in the running of the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange.
The council’s director of planning, environment and community development Steve Bourne said community public consultation last year had given the council valuable feedback about how it should be running the saleyards.
It was clear the community wanted to see how the money was generated and where it went.
“The council want to be quite clear that the NRLE operates on revenue generated from the use of the facility,” Mr Bourne said.
“Establishing a board, with the responsibility of implementing a strategic management plan for council, gives the board clear direction on operating the NRLE as a commercial business.
The board will have a long-term strategic view and set longer term plans, in addition to an annual business plan.
“Capital upgrades will be factored into business plans to ensure the NRLE does not require council funds when new infrastructure is constructed.
This includes the current development, which will be totally funded by the NRLE users and the Australian Government grant.”
A new Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange Committee was set up on May 30.
It will be what’s known as a section 41 committee – a reference to part of the Local Government Act 1999 which says a committee can “manage or administer property, facilities or activities on behalf of the council”.
The council is also considering a draft 10-year strategic management plan for the new committee to implement.
The council’s May 22 meeting decided to review the draft again before adopting it.
The committee will consist of two elected members of the council; two community representatives with “strong business acumen (and) knowledge of the livestock industry” who will be “committed to the growth of the NRLE”; non-voting members, chief executive officer Helen Macdonald and Mr Bourne.
The council will decide who chairs the committee each year.
Mr Bourne said the council was ready to advertise for community representatives.
The committee will oversee the development, construction and general operations of the saleyards, which expects to have a throughput of 500,000 sheep and 105,000 cattle in 2012-13.
It will also monitor the saleyards’ financial performance; advise the council on the strategic plan; and develop an annual business plan.
The committee will meet at least four times a year and the meetings will be open to the public.
According to the council’s 2012-13 draft budget, the saleyards will have an operating income of $1,431,550 - 7.5 per cent more than this financial year.
Revenue will include: EU cattle $21,000, store cattle $56,700, dead stock disposal $10,000, paddock charges $10,000, National Livestock Identification System tags $18,000 and truck wash $120,000.
Operating expenses are estimated at $928,945.
Depreciation of $250,133 is nearly 75 per cent higher than in 2011-12 because of the new roof and other improvements now being built.
Some of the other major spending items in the 2012-13 saleyards budget are:
$55,510 in recovery of administrative costs from the council, which provides management, payroll and accounts services to the saleyards.
$70,000 for electricity, including $30,000 for the wastewater treatment plant and a 10 per cent allowance for cost increases.
$166,301 loan interest.
$41,533 project management.
$20,000 truck maintenance.
$85,000 reduction in yard maintenance and washing as a direct impact of the new infrastructure.
$15,000 soft fl oor loading only, contract for supply and transport.
The saleyards will have a similar fee structure to 2011-12 in the next financial year but with a Consumer Price Index increase.
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