A $5.75 million upgrade to Casino saleyards' effluent management system will bring total government investment - federal, state and local - in the regional selling facility to more than $20m.
Meanwhile, a boycott by livestock agents has seen the structure lie idle since the start of this financial year, with the controlling authority Richmond Valley Council now seeking long-term lease arrangements with a private party, "setting the facility up for its next phase of growth and operations, with the forthcoming open tender leasing opportunity".
The council's General Manager Vaughan Macdonald welcomed the funding, saying it would help to complete the NRLX's transition to a modern, fully-compliant facility. Council has previously invested $15m in upgrading the saleyards and the next key focus for improvement was upgrading the effluent management system Mr Macdonald said.
"Unfortunately, due to an historical lack of funding to maintain and improve the system, it had reached the point where substantial investment was required."
The funding will be used to strengthen the ponds' walls, as well as desludging, remediating and upgrading the system, to ensure that risks to the environment, human health and safety are effectively managed in the future.
The NRLX's effluent treatment system consists of two sedimentation lagoons, a facultative pond and an effluent polishing pond.
"The sedimentation ponds were damaged during the 2022 flooding events, resulting in significant slumping and destabilisation of their walls and posing a potential risk of failure and downstream impacts," Mr Macdonald said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.