Warwick Saleyards redevelopment submitted for major funding
11 August 2021
At the Southern Downs Regional Council’s Ordinary Meeting on 11 August 2021, Councillors voted to submit a $4.5m funding application under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants (BSBR) program for the Warwick Saleyards Redevelopment, with a minimum co-contribution of $3m.
Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the saleyards is a critical piece of infrastructure for the Southern Downs and supports one of the region’s biggest industries and brings benefit to everyone.
“Council is committed to the region’s livestock industry and maintaining a sustainable and competitive market position for our saleyards,” Mayor Pennisi said.
“The iconic Warwick Saleyards is a major piece of infrastructure that every producer in the Southern Downs has the ability to use and it also plays an important part in connecting our rural and agricultural community.
“It is critically important to us to obtain funding to progress the redevelopment project and shore up jobs and economic growth for our region.”
The Warwick Saleyards Redevelopment is a key regional infrastructure project which meets all three of the BSBR program’s recovery and resilience needs, specifically in relation to the built environment and economic recovery criteria.
The saleyards project was a perfect fit for this submission as the project is well progressed with a site plan already completed and the design and costings expected to be available by mid-August 2021.
The redevelopment design will address the facility’s viability and sustainability, animal welfare, environmental issues, industry standards, biosecurity, traffic management, information technology and workplace health and safety.
The improvement to the saleyards will assist Council in attracting more business to the facility, thus driving regional economic growth and assisting with the creation of new jobs through construction which will include cattle pens, amenities, canteen and administration office, car and truck parking and internal roadworks as well as ongoing operations.
During the meeting, it was also voted that shade structures at Weeroona Park in Stanthorpe would be added to the submission and Mayor Pennisi said that although it is a smaller project submitted for $230,000 with a $25k contribution from Council, the benefit in the community would be truly valued.
“People are always looking for shade when attending events in Weeroona Park. If we are also successful in obtaining approval for this second, albeit smaller infrastructure project, it will greatly enhance the community’s experience of the park and add to the overall enjoyment of events,” he said.
Council identified several projects which meet the objectives of the BSBR program, including the extension of highly successful previously funded projects such as the Rural Water Tank Rebate Scheme, Local Event funding and the Business Advice Support Program, however these projects were not eligible as they had received funding in prior rounds.
The intended outcomes of the BSBR program are to empower local communities to address bushfire recovery priorities through job creation, sustainable infrastructure and community investment and rebuild and grow local economies impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires.
In 1 July 2021, the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management announced a $276m Black Summer Bushfire Recovery (BSBR) Grants program to address community priorities for recovery following the 2019-20 bushfires. The BSBR program will run from 2021-22 to 2023-24 and Southern Downs Regional Council was listed as an eligible local government out of the 34 local governments identified nationally under category 1, making Southern Downs eligible to receive up to $4.5m based on the impact of the bushfires in the area.