Markets remain in growers’ hands

CANNING Vale’s Market City will remain in the hands of growers after the State Government announced Perth Markets Limited as the preferred bidder.

The winning bid, thought to be about $120 million, was announced last Wednesday – a week after the State Government passed legislation to allow the sale in a marathon 15-hour parliamentary debate.

Perth Markets Limited (PML) is a consortium led by the Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries in WA (CFVWA) and negotiations to finalise the sale are on track for completion in early 2016.

Premier Colin Barnett said the consortium was recommended after a rigorous evaluation process, with its proposal demonstrating the best value for money for the State and a commitment to the long-term operation of the wholesale markets.

CFVWA president Trish Skinner would not confirm the accepted figure, but said she expected the price to remain fixed during negotiations.

“It is great news, but we are just preferred bidders at this stage and we are not owners until negotiations with Treasury are finalised,” she said.

She said she was confident throughout the negotiations. “I was confident the industry would come through, we had a combination of industry backers,” she said.

Treasurer Mike Nahan said the Government was confident PML would deliver on its long-term vision for Market City, drawing on its experience in the local and interstate fruit and vegetable markets.

“This decision will deliver the best outcome for the industry and the state,” he said.

Mrs Skinner said she looked forward to the future for growers and wholesalers in WA: “We are thrilled we are at this point.”