New fees set to boost beef trade

A NEW fee structure for feedlot applications was a good result for the region’s beef industry, Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett said yesterday.

He said the beef industry was a major financial driver for the region and particularly out west the industry was a significant “value adder” and major employer, that bought local cattle.

In yesterday’s general meeting when it came time to adopt the minutes of the Planning and Development Committee from June 2, committee chairman Cr Ian Petersen moved a motion to change the fee structure.

Originally there was a flat fee for all feedlot applications to council but after Cr Perrett advocated for smaller operations a three-tiered system was recommended.

That was to see application fees for up to 49 head of cattle cost $2069, 50 to 499 head $4143 and over 499 head $8128. But at a meeting to discuss the new fees last week Cr Perrett said those charges were unfair and proposed two fees – $2069 for up to 499 head and $8128 for over 499 – and the majority of councillors voted in favour of the proposal.

Yesterday Cr Petersen said he had concerns over the new fees saying the cost difference for council to assess a feedlot under 50 head of cattle was vast compared to a feedlot up to 499 head and he moved to bring in the three-tiered structure.

He also added a clause for feedlots in the 50 to 499 head range giving council discretion to consider a fee rebate on a case by case basis.

Cr Perrett immediately moved an amendment to that motion because, he said, he wanted to make certain the beef industry got a fair hearing.

He said his case had already been presented to council at last week’s meeting and he heard there wasn’t much difference in processing feedlots under 50 head and 50 to 499 head.

Cr Petersen told councillors with the draft budget approaching he didn’t want to reduce fees for feedlots as it would impact on rates and said he was assured there was a big difference in costs from feedlots under 50 head and 50 to 499 head.

Cr Donna Nielson said she voted in favour of Cr Perrett’s motion at last week’s meeting but after receiving phone calls about a feedlot application she realised how much work council staff would need to do, to assess that particular application and now supported the three-tiered system.

With the casting vote Mayor Ron Dyne carried Cr Perrett’s amendment to use only two fees.

Cr Perrett, Cr Graham Engeman and Cr Dyne voted in favour of the amendment, while Cr Larry Friske, Cr Jan Watt, Cr Nielson and Cr Petersen voted against.

Gympie Times

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