A community-led team in support of continuing sales at the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange has delivered a 52 page report to the NSW Ombudsman calling for a full investigation.
The $28.5 million facility, based on replacement-cost accounting, has sat idle since the start of the financial year while Richmond Valley Council and livestock agents maintain a stand-off over contractual issues.
Spokesman for the citizens' push in support of the saleyards Neil Schneider, who runs cattle at Coraki and Kyogle, said businesses in Casino had suffered millions of dollars worth of loss due to saleyard trade now going through Lismore, rather than the "beef capital".
"We are calling for mediation," he said. "The effect on the town needs to be considered."
The substantial report, drafted in response to a motion voted on at a public meeting in late September, includes evidence supporting the position of local agents in managing the throughput of cattle at the yards. The report is critical of the council's approach to the dispute, particularly its lack of willingness to discuss the changes through a saleyards' committee.
Meanwhile the council has voted unanimously to pursue a third party lease for the facility bringing it in line with other council-managed facilities run by outside operators - in particular Tamworth, Inverell and Carcoar.
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