The agents predicted it would take until Christmas to sort this mess out and indeed a dispute with the local council over terms and conditions at the Casino livestock exchange consumed six long months.
However, as Santa is packing his sleigh the Richmond Valley Council has announced a new independent manager just in time to take advantage of what surely will be a better cattle market in the new year.
Following a thorough independent evaluation of leasing proposals for the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange (NRLX) by agribusiness leader JLL, Richmond Valley Council has announced Outcross Agri-Services Pty Ltd will take over the facility's management for the next five years, with an option in its favour for an additional five years.
The Armidale-based company is Australia's largest saleyard service provider, involved in some of the biggest selling centres in the country including: Roma; Blackall; Dubbo; Forbes; Yass; Moss Vale; Mortlake; Hamilton; Yea; Naracoorte; and Mt Gambier.
In welcoming the signing of the contract, General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said Outcross Agri-Services's experience and expertise were exactly what the council was looking for to ensure the NRLX "continued to grow and prosper" and retain its reputation as the leading saleyard facility in northern NSW.
Mr Macdonald said the path to continued improvement at the NRLX had been a long and challenging one, Council was confident key local and regional stakeholders would embrace the new management arrangements so cattle sales could resume as soon as possible, allowing the NRLX to continue to play a pivotal role in the regional economy.
"In 2016, Richmond Valley Council made a commitment to the community that it would invest in the future of the Casino saleyards, to create a leading, modern facility," Mr Macdonald said.
"With funding support from both the Australian and NSW governments, the NRLX now stands as testament to that commitment, having generated $862 million in cattle sales since that time and achieved an industry rating of number two in NSW in 2022-2023, under Council's management of the facility.
"Council has a vision for this facility to continue to grow as a modern saleyard for the benefit of all stakeholders and ratepayers, which meets industry standards for safety, animal welfare and environmental management and continues to achieve top returns for vendors and quality cattle for buyers.
"Having Outcross Agri-Services on board to guide the NRLX's next phase is a win-win for all stakeholders and we look forward to supporting its transition into the Richmond Valley local economy."