Richmond Valley Council Mayor Robert Mustow has announced that work has commenced on the $7 million second stage of the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange at Casino, wholly funded by the NSW Government.
“Casino is renowned for its thriving beef industry, and redeveloping this facility will ensure it continues to thrive and can develop even further,” Cr Mustow said.
“The new facilities will be more efficient, speed up market processes, enhance animal welfare and improve safety for stakeholders making it more attractive for sellers and buyers.
“Not only will that deliver operational savings for local producers, manufacturers and exporters, it will also make Casino the lead option for industry participants across the region and further afield.”
Richmond Valley Council is managing the project, with stage two redeveloping the holding section of the exchange, including a new roof and soft floor, and renovating all holding pens. New technology will be introduced across the entire complex, including semi-automated weighing systems, in-yard tracking systems and online selling capabilities which will allow off-site buyers to view auctions and bid online.
There is a focus on animal welfare and work, health and safety, as well as energy efficiency and good environmental management of effluent and stormwater, including rainwater recycling for dust suppression.
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the $7 million in Restart NSW funding was awarded to the council under the Growing Local Economies program.
“Growing Local Economies is part of our $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, developed to help unlock growth opportunities in regional communities,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“This government is committed to creating long-term economic benefits in regional NSW, and projects like the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange improve profits for local businesses and create new job opportunities.
“The Northern Rivers beef industry is already one of the region’s largest employers, and this project will ensure its ongoing success and cement Casino’s place as the beef capital of Australia.”
General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said stage two of the project followed the $7 million first stage, jointly funded by the Federal Government and the Richmond Valley Council which saw an upgrade to the selling section, including a new roof and floor and an increase in the numbers of selling pens.
“It’s a pleasure to see three tiers of government coming together to deliver infrastructure that will help grow our regional communities,” Mr Macdonald said.
“This is going to be a world-class facility with the latest technology, best practice for animal welfare and worker safety as well as reduced ongoing maintenance costs for the council. The benefits to the economy are going to be felt across the entire region.”
The project is expected to be complete in 2019.