RDASI won't lie down on Goulburn wool sales relocation

Lease extensions at the Yennora wool selling centre appear to have stalled attempts to lure the operation to Goulburn.

Nevertheless, Regional Development Australia Southern Inland (RDASI) says it will still explore opportunities with both the industry and the owner of a former Goulburn woolstore to lure wool selling to the city.

Update: RDASI Chair Hugh Cooke with Mike Agnew. A proposal was earlier made to redevelop a former Goulburn wool warehouse to house the wool selling centre. Photo: Supplied.

Update: RDASI Chair Hugh Cooke with Mike Agnew. A proposal was earlier made to redevelop a former Goulburn wool warehouse to house the wool selling centre. Photo: Supplied.

Despite a concerted push in 2016/17 to convince the industry, wool brokers have only show lacklustre support for the move.

But it has not entirely deterred RDASI from pursuing it in conjunction with Mike Agnew, the owner of the former Australian Wool Networks building in Hume Street.

"Circumstances have changed due to renewal of leases within the current Sydney Yennora complex," RDASI CEO Mareeca Flannery said.

The expiry of leases at Yennora at the end of 2017 was one factor driving the relocation to Goulburn. However many have since been renewed, which RDASI said was "outside of its control."

However, discussions with the stakeholders regarding the project are on the cards.

"I wouldn't say that the project has stalled. We will continue to explore the strategies after holding discussions with the NSW wool industry stakeholders," Ms Flannery said.

"If this option does not work out, then we will see what other options can be explored."

RDASI commissioned a report in 2017 exploring the feasibility of relocating the wool selling centre from Yennora in Sydney to Goulburn.

It aimed to assisting decision makers.

It estimated $2.6 million in annual net savings as a result of the relocation and predicted tourism and economic benefits flowing from a plan to also establish a wool museum.

"The idea behind setting up the museum was to show the tourists the story of wool," Ms Flannery said.

"We wanted them to get a first-hand experience of the journey of wool which took them through the (entire) process."

The museum was also proposed to be a centre for wool industry education, training and demonstration.

RDASI and Mr Agnew are still discussing opportunities.

"Mike is still interested in refurbishing the proposed location into a vibrant wool sales centre," she said.

"He is still interested in returning his building to a wool selling facility."

Currently, the proposed premises houses his online hardware business, Agnew Hardware.

"We are still hopeful of retaining the wool sales in NSW and drawing it to a regional area," Ms Flannery said.

Mr Agnew could not be reached for comment.

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