Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange (NRLX) project at Casino will open the doors on stage one of its massive upgrade project next Wednesday, just in time for the last sale of the year.
The opening of phase one will see users gaining access to semi-automatic drafts, eight new drafting pens, 12 multi-purpose pens, 50 new selling pens, soft floor throughout, full rail and gate replacement, walkways, storm water management, and electrical upgrades.
The project caused some friction mid year when livestock agents working out of the Casino saleyards refused to pay increased rates ahead of the opening of the new facility. Next week’s sale is expected to allay some of those earlier fears.
“The handover now allows contractors to move into the next phase which involves completion of the impressive new roof,” explained Richmond Valley Council’s general manager Vaughan Macdonald.
“Not only is the new roof big enough to cover the pitch at Suncorp Stadium, it also allows rain water harvesting and storage for use in the truck wash, pen hose down area, and public amenities. This will greatly reduce the NRLX’s reliance on town water supply. The capture of rain water will also mean a reduced volume of contaminated run-off to be processed onsite, providing significantly greater environmental outcomes.”
The upgrade also provides industry benchmarks for work health and safety, and animal welfare benefits.
Mr Macdonald said the community and region as a whole, stage two would only mean more great things for the local economy.
He acknowledged there would continue to be some disruption to normal processes, however, the end result will be a modern and efficient selling centre, matching any saleyard in Australia.
“It’s estimated the full upgrade will deliver a $50 million boost to the local economy,” Mr Macdonald said.
“The livestock industry is already one of the largest employers in the region and this investment will ensure it continues to grow and prosper.”
The $14 million project is fully funded thanks to a $7 million investment from the NSW Government, with the Federal Government and Richmond Valley Council committing $3.5 million each.