THE $15 million investment in the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange (NRLX) near Casino has paid dividends with it passing a significant revenue milestone this week.
NRLX Operations Manager Bradley Willis said the current revenue from sales for this financial year after Wednesday's sale hit $200,355,594. That's a hefty $57 million increase from $143M in 2020/21, with five sales still to go in this financial year.
Mr Willis said breaking the $200 million mark was a remarkable result for the facility and the agriculture community of the Richmond Valley.
"Council got it right with the changes which have been made and will continue to pursue improvements to the operations to increase the sustainability of the business", Mr Willis said
The NRLX had been on track for this result throughout the year, and again the results vindicated the $15m investment by Council with the support of the Australian and NSW Governments in upgrading the facility.
"This result demonstrates the growth of the beef industry and the momentum building since completion of the NRLX redevelopment," he said.
This year NRLX has demonstrated its capacity as a regional livestock exchange by providing vital support for many primary producers who suffered significant losses and destocking following the flood events.
The facility provided temporary housing and livestock feeding, allowing for stock consolidation before moving to agistment and using the facility to treat animals and identify ownership.
This has been further demonstrated with the closure of Lismore Saleyards and the ability of the NRLX to service the whole region's livestock selling needs.
"The success of this year for producers, agents and all related businesses will flow through the local economy for some time," Mr Willis said.
NRLX has moved to number three in the state with throughput of 103,436 head, and for the 2021/22 year sits at 116,438 head.
Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan Macdonald praised the success of the NRLX and said it was an important result to assist the region's recovery.
"On the day of sales, Casino CBD businesses are a hive of activity, whether for people grabbing supplies or doing other business." Mr Macdonald said.
"This business activity contributes to the strength of our local businesses and provides important local employment growth."
Mr Macdonald said NRLX was a modern best-practice facility with further improvements to services and technology on the way.
"The COVID-19 pandemic impacted many businesses, but the NRLX team adapted quickly, and the beef industry has grown throughout this period," he said.
Mr Macdonald said financial sustainability had been a key focus of the facility in recent years, with increasing pressure to remain viable due to escalating compliance costs, higher expectations from buyers and sellers, and animal welfare and work health and safety requirements.
"While producers and agents are enjoying unprecedented revenues, it is critical the NRLX returns a surplus each year to enable reinvestment in the facility and support for the agricultural community more broadly," he said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.