In battle: Key stakeholders in the live cattle trade at the Roma Saleyards have expressed great dissatisfaction over certain aspects within the recently introduced buyer fee.A move from the Maranoa Regional Councilto introduce a buyer fee at the Roma Saleyards has been met with stiff opposition from various stakeholders in the livestock trading scene.
Nanjing Night Net

Maranoa Regional Council Roma Saleyards chairperson Peter Flynn said the fee, introduced on July 1,addressed unsatisfactory revenue and return figures from the saleyards.

“Last year the Roma Saleyards turned over 335,000 head which was by far the highest number in Australia,grossing$308 million.Our gross return on that was less thanone per cent so we had tothink of how we could increase revenue to the Maranoa Regional Council from the saleyards,” he said.

“We had a recommendation from the saleyards advisory committee in May that we introduce a post sale handling fee of $1 per beast plus GST that was unanimously agreed on by the committee.

“The only difference waswhen we looked at a projection for 2016-2017 and noticed plant numbers were expected to drop from 335,000 to 260,000 we increased the fee to $1.40 per beast plus GST.”

Cr Flynn said the saleyards advisory committee consistedof representatives for vendors, buyers, livestock agents, police, workplace health and safetyand council itself and livestock agents in particular offered robust debateagainst the price rise.

“We were a new council and fees and charges had to be adopted in June before the budget so there wasn’t a lot of time to go back to stakeholders and discuss it,” he said.

“In saying that, the agents have been quite vocal not about the fee itself but the fact we expect them to charge it.

“We’ve given them a three month moratorium where the Maranoa Regional Council is issuing the charges until October 1.”

Cr Flynn said if council reviews proved the process was “tracking well,” come October 1 the Roma Saleyards would move to invoice the appropriate selling agent who would then be responsible for collecting the fee.

When queried, Cr Flynn said there was so far no evidence of any negative impact to sale results.

“We turned over $32 million at the saleyards last month and we’ve seen records broken at recent store sales. In the last two weeks we’ve put through 12,000 head so we’re well and truly on track to hitour predicted numberof 260,000.”

Dissatisfaction is rife amongbuyers and livestock agentsand while theRoma Saleyards combined agents association declined to comment they confirmed they were currently seeking legal advice on the matter.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.