Scenic Rim councillors vote to appeal Beaudesert Helen Street saleyard heritage status

SALES: Peter Hayes' lease on the saleyard runs out in March.

SALES: Peter Hayes' lease on the saleyard runs out in March.

SCENIC Rim Regional Council will appeal the Heritage List status of the Beaudesert Pig and Calf Saleyard in Helen Street, with only Division 1 councillor Derek Swanborough voting against the decision.

In today's ordinary meeting, councillors took part in an extended discussion of the saleyard and the possible implications of the facility being protected as a place of heritage.

Mayor Greg Christensen said the decision was made ahead of the March 5 deadline for an appeal to be lodged in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court.

The vote came after a report presented to councillors suggested the protected saleyards would have an impact on the town revitalisation project should council need to extend the car park in future and there would be a cost involved to integrate the saleyards into the plan.

Council said a structural engineers report identified height issues and determined that the saleyards did not comply with government safety, environmental or animal welfare standards in its current state.

Issues raised included the earthen floor and problems with water sources and effluent drainage.

Cr Swanborough argued against the appeal, saying there were no grounds for it.

'It's listed. It's been done and we have to accept the decision," he said.

"We should put money into it to make it a viable proposition. We are a rural based community, Beaudesert should retain its cultural heritage.

"This is something special, something unique in the centre of a small town."

Cr Christensen said one of the "unintended consequences" of getting the site heritage listed could mean that the site could no longer operate as a saleyard.

"I think it would be very inappropriate interpretation that putting an appeal in place was anything other than council trying to execute proper responsibilty to ensure the clarity of the commitment around the heritage listing including any limitations and needs to have variations to that," he said.

"The only mechanism available to us is to work through an appeal to get those sorts of conditions, if it requires variation to allow further use or in fact to have the clarity that that's within their scope to allow any form of modification because it would impair its heritage value."

Council also acknowledged that further investigation was needed to fully understand the implications regarding upgrades, improvements and maintenance of the saleyard.

Councillor Michael Enright proposed a motion that in conjunction with the appeal, council agree to engage with community members who fought for heritage status to try and reach an amicable compromise.

Cr Enright suggested that the saleyard could be dismantled, with the original materials used to create an authentic Pig and Calf Saleyard display celebrating the history of the town's small livestock sales.

"It was never the intention of council to cease operations of pig and calf sales in the Beaudesert district," he said."

"The ability to hold a small livestock sale in this existing facility in its current state is no longer possible. This operation can no longer continue as it has done, now that we have received advice by an independent engineer that this facility does not comply with building, environmental, safety and animal welfare standards."

Cr Enright's motion was voted in by the majority, with Cr Swanborough insisting that the community wanted to keep the operation existing as a saleyard and Cr Duncan McInnes saying the proposal was likely to be met with cynicism from the wider community.

"I don't think it will go down well," he said.

Cr Christensen said it was often the case during the appeal process for mediation to be the first step towards securing a better outcome for the future of the pig and calf sales in Beaudesert.

"It's outrageous to say council was trying to bulldoze it," he said.

"But if the goal was to try and maintain usage, that can't happen without significant modifications."

The mayor said the current lease on the facility would expire next month.

Councillors also passed a motion that if the sale should be lost or withdrawn, consideration would be given in the 2021 - 2022 budget for upgrading the facility to the appropriate standards of building, environment and safety, as required.

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