THE new $21 million Ballarat saleyards site has finally been announced after a three year wait.
Palisades Investment Partners yesterday revealed the Central Victorian Livestock Exchange will be built on the north west corner of the Western and Sunraysia highways intersection, near Miners Rest.
The signing of the land parcel’s contract took place recently, with work expected to begin in 2014.
Community members and stakeholders will take part in a forum early next year which will outline detailed project elements.
Palisades Investment Partners managing director Ian Mitchell said the site needed to meet very specific criteria.
“After nearly three years of searching, assessing and validating up to 20 different land options within the Ballarat City Council region, the preferred location has finally been confirmed,” Mr Mitchell said.
“Consideration has been given to a range of critical factors including road and transport infrastructure, management of noise and odour impacts and, critically, the ability to have a sustainable onsite water capture and effluent management system.
“(These) projects are a great way for the private sector to sustainably invest back into regional and rural Australia to provide modern, state-of-the-art, long-term essential infrastructure in the agricultural sector.”
The saleyards will be run by Regional Infrastructure, which currently operates the Gillies Street saleyards and is an arm of Palisades Investment Partners.
The next stage will be the completion of investigative reports to become part of a detailed planning application to Ballarat City Council.
Mr Mitchell said some planning and development process elements could be “complex and time consuming” but it was hoped the new saleyards would open in 2015.
Ballarat Stock & Station Agents Association president Gerard White yesterday welcomed the announcement after “lengthy and drawn out negotiations”.
“Agents’ input on design and capacity of the yards will be crucial to the success of this significant development, and we look forward to the next step in moving forward,” Mr White said.
Regional Infrastructure was appointed the new saleyards operators in 2009 and was meant to have a new site up and running by last year.
However, problems with several sites around Ballarat, including community protests at Learmonth, and legal issues surrounding the selected site, have caused delays.