Saleyard ‘beef’ a hot topic at budget forum

QUESTIONS about the Wangaratta Livestock Exchange upgrade dominated council’s first public information session on the 2014/15 budget.

A few familiar faces including former deputy mayor Paul O’Brien, and rural identities Harvey Benton and Pat Larkin were among those to ask questions about the saleyards.

The Rural City of Wangaratta has committed $3.4m to the roofing and soft flooring project in the 2014/15 draft budget, while it has also allocated $200,000 in the current budget towards the project.

While the money has been allocated, administrators and council management have been reluctant to give an iron clad commitment the upgrade will go ahead and as recently as last month the option of council seeking private investment for the council owned selling facility was being discussed.

Mr Benton said he was frustrated by the delays.

“Why are we still wondering if we will do it or we won’t do it,” he said.

“Why has it been sitting there for eight years on the council radar?

“For me there must be some other influences stopping it.”

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