The Maranoa Regional Council has refused to bow to pressure and will continue charging a buyers fee at the Roma Saleyards.
The $1.40/head fee was introduced on July 1 to address unsatisfactory revenue and return figures from the saleyards.
But the Roma Combined Agents Association have accused Council of botching the implementation of the new fee and say they have failed to consult widely with stakeholders on the issue.
Sources have told Queensland Country Life that some major buyers have refused to pay the fee, fueling concerns about restricted competition at Australia’s largest store selling centre. Buyers were contacted but declined to comment on the matter.
Roma Combined Agents Association president, Cyril Close, TopX Roma, said local agents were not opposed to the fee but believed the implementation had been handled badly.
“Since the Council meeting last Wednesday we have had nothing in writing to clarify what was decided at the meeting,” he said.
“We have asked councillors to come out to the yards and talk to buyers but they have refused. We just feel like we have been hung out to dry over this issue.”
Cr Peter Flynn heads the saleyards portfolio for the Maranoa Regional Council.
He has confirmed Council decided to continue with the fee at last Wednesday’s general meeting.
However, he said a new consultation period had been established with “all stakeholders, not just those affected by the fee”.
The fee is currently being collected by the saleyards administration after agents refused to collect on behalf of the Council. Cr Flynn said he envisaged the consolation period would conclude by November 23.