Kempsey Shire Council have developed a business plan for the Kempsey Regional Saleyards (KRS) that will enable them to operate as a financially independent and sustainable entity into the future.
With a view to either leasing or directly operating the saleyards, the KRS Business Plan provides a roadmap for the future management of the saleyards that will maximise the commercial aspects of the facility while also reducing Council’s exposure to operational risks and ensuring legislative compliance.
The plan is a result of the Kempsey Regional Saleyards Strategic Options Review which commenced last year to determine the preferred operating model for the Saleyards moving forward and resolved at the October 2019 meeting to retain ownership of the saleyards on the back of overwhelming public support.
Council’s Director Corporate and Commercial, Stephen Mitchell, said the business plan outlined two financially sustainable options that will ensure the future of the facility.
“The saleyards currently run at a loss, resulting in annual cash deficits to Council. Under current operating measures, these cash deficits are forecast to continue and increase over coming years,” said Mr Mitchell.
“The options outlined in this plan were developed through extensive analysis, benchmarking and stakeholder engagement. They will ensure the long-term financial sustainability and viability of the saleyards for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
Council will release an Expression of Interest (EOI) process through the open market by 30 September 2020 to determine options for leasing the Saleyards. Subject to the response to that EOI, Council will then determine whether to continue operating the saleyards using new licence agreements with stock agents or lease the saleyards to an external party.
During the ongoing review period Council will continue to operate and maintain the Saleyards on an ‘as is’ basis.
Council highlighted that under all short term and ongoing operating models, Kempsey Regional Saleyards will remain available as a stock refuge at no cost to shire residents during a declared emergency event.