Regional Infrastructure set to lease Longreach yards

Longreach council applies for $8m to redevelop saleyards

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Changes: The Longreach Regional Council hopes to tap into the federal government's Building Better Regions funding pool to undertake a major saleyard redevelopment, along with proposed new lessee, the AAM Investment Group. Pictures: Sally Cripps.

Changes: The Longreach Regional Council hopes to tap into the federal government's Building Better Regions funding pool to undertake a major saleyard redevelopment, along with proposed new lessee, the AAM Investment Group. Pictures: Sally Cripps.

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The AAM Investment Group will be investing in its second saleyard complex in Queensland when it signs a 30-year lease agreement with the Longreach Regional Council.

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The AAM Investment Group will be investing in its second saleyard complex in Queensland when it signs a 30-year lease agreement with the Longreach Regional Council.

The asset management and strategic investment group, which oversees Regional Infrastructure Pty Ltd and the Regional Livestock Exchanges’ portfolio of six modern livestock selling facilities in three states, including CQLX at Gracemere, was the successful tenderer for the lease of the Dick Law Municipal Saleyards complex at Longreach.

Two expressions of interest had been received by the council when it held a special meeting at the end of February.

Final approval is subject to the wording of a lease agreement being drawn up and the conversion of land tenure, but will incorporate trucking yards and the Aurizon spelling yards.

It’s understood that a feedlot is also being considered.

The council resolution asked for the lessee to offer individual licences to members of the Longreach Combined Agents group and other interested parties, at zero initial cost and zero initial throughput.

It asked for negotiations between the lessee and agents to occur regarding suitable licence agreements on agent and producer fees, anticipated annual throughput, and pre-sale processes.

Longreach Combined Agents spokesman Bill Seeney said the group would remain in place despite this but described it as “early days” as far as future workings were concerned.

“This is going to be a positive step for us, but we haven’t been given any fees to consider, or been told any structure yet.

“Once that’s all set up we’ll be able to speak more about it.”

Longreach saleyards manager Greg Paterson, along with staff Bill Sitters and Sam Coxon, were happy to see saleyards pens utilised last week, when a bull sale took place.

Longreach saleyards manager Greg Paterson, along with staff Bill Sitters and Sam Coxon, were happy to see saleyards pens utilised last week, when a bull sale took place.

Over $8m funding sought

Following the special meeting, the Longreach council put in an application of $8.114m to the Building Better Regions Fund for infrastructure improvements, including shade cover and yard redesign.

Works previously identified by the Combined Agents include water treatment areas, to store runoff, a first flush system and additional water treatment areas, as well as full deck weighing, expansion of the transit holding and feeding areas, new fodder store and a plant and equipment building, new loading and unloading ramps, and a new amenities block, among other things.

AAMIG was noted as contributing $2.277m to the project, while the council would put in $100,000 and waive town planning and building application fees, and contribute project management services.

The RLX portfolio handles over 754,000 cattle and 2.268m sheep a year, representing a total turnover in excess of $1b annually.

As far as re-establishing sales in the existing Longreach yards this year, Mr Seeney said the season in western Queensland would have to turn very quickly for that to be a reality.

“To make sales viable you need large numbers to attract a panel of buyers, and the weather hasn’t allowed for much of a build-up in numbers,” he said.

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