Stock agent slams administrator’s saleyards stance

A LEADING stock agent has slammed council administrator Ailsa Fox over her view saleyard fees could rise by up to $9 per head post-upgrade.

Mrs Fox last week claimed that yarding fees could climb to $16-$18 following a proposed upgrade to the facility that would include a roof and soft flooring.

Her high estimate was based off the back of the required return on investment to repay a $1.7m loan.

It was also taking into account that the publicly owned Wangaratta Saleyards would need to be within a pricing range to the new privately owned yards at Barnawartha due to competitive neutrality.

However, Wangaratta Livestock Agents Association president Justin Keane said the assertion fees could rise that much could not be based on fact.

“The feedback that I’ve been getting from agents, stakeholders and producers is that this figure is highly distorted,” he said.

“There needs to be fact involved, which there doesn’t appear to be any at this stage.”

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