PLANS for the proposed new Ballarat saleyards at Miners Rest could still be months away after the Ballarat City Council again extended the due date for the contractor’s planning application.
Regional Infrastructure Pty Limited (RIPL), who has had the tender for the new saleyards since 2008, was meant to submit a planning application to the council by March this year.
However, the council decided during an in-camera meeting on Wednesday night to grant RIPL another extension.
RIPL now has until September 1 to submit a planning application.
Asked why the council continued to support RIPL after more than five years of non-delivery, mayor Joshua Morris said the council was confident the company was making progress.
Cr Morris said RIPL would be required to provide “regular face-to-face” updates on the progress of the project.
“We remain supportive of them so long as the application is progressing and deadlines established by council are being met,” Cr Morris said.
“If the deadline is not met, we, as a council, will definitely be exploring other opportunities in regards to the current saleyard and any future saleyard.”
RIPL was selected in October 2008 as the council’s preferred tender to operate the existing saleyards in Latrobe Street and to find land to build a new saleyards.
In December 2012, RIPL identified a parcel of land in Miners Rest for the saleyards and alerted the council and the Miners Rest community of its intention to build there.
Ballarat Stock and Station Agents Association president Gerry White yesterday called for the council to scrap RIPL and re-open tenders for others.
“This is just another example of what the council has been doing for the last five years, allowing them (RIPL) to have another extension and just prolonging the process,” Mr White said.
“The whole thing should have been put up for public tender again long ago.”