MORTLAKE has lodged an official bid with Warrnambool City Council to be considered for a new south-west regional livestock selling centre.
Nanjing Night Net

A community committee put in an expression of interest after the city called for ideas on a replacement for the ageing saleyards on Caramut Road which council operated for more than 30 years.

The council wants to relinquish its operation and hopes a new owner and operator will invest in a selling venue within 20 kilometres of the city.

Mortlake community group spokesman Bill Whitehead told The Standard yesterday an application had been lodged for the city council to consider his town.

“We are awaiting a reply and a firm indication of where the process will head, then we’ll take it from there,” Mr Whitehead said.

“There have been a lot of vagaries in the past from the city.

“We’ve had quite good feedback from the community and an indication of ongoing support if needed.”

A special Mortlake committee was formed in January to investigate the potential for building saleyards and a road transport hub to bring a new economic stream and secure the town’s future.

City council communications manager Kim Sweetnam said the number of expressions of interest or details of where they came from would not be divulged as they were confidential.

“Council officers will go through a process of due diligence checks with applicants before they make recommendations to the council for the next steps in how the issue should be handled,” Ms Sweetnam said.

When the topic of closing the Caramut Road yards was aired three years ago it stirred widespread debate from the rural and business communities who called for the site to be retained.

However, the cost of upgrading the infrastructure and an ever-expanding nearby residential zone prompted a change of opinion in aiming to have a replacement in another site within the next decade.

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