IN just three short years, the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange (NRLX) has outperformed key regional livestock markets to become number two in NSW for throughput.
According to Meat & Livestock Australia’s 2018-2019 NSW cattle saleyard survey, the NRLX was sitting at number seven in NSW. The 2021-2022 results show the NRLX is just 1150 head behind the Tamworth Regional Livestock Exchange, which leapfrogged Dubbo and Wagga who held the top two spots for a number of years. The NRLX contributed 10.8 percent of the total saleyard numbers for NSW.
The top five NSW saleyards are:
- Tamworth Regional Livestock Exchange 124,863
- Casino/Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange 123,713
- Dubbo Regional Livestock Market 122,289
- Wagga Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre 107,274
- Carcoar/Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange 102,770
The total value of livestock sold through the NRLX for the 2021-2022 financial year was $210,437,317.88. This was an increase of almost $70 million on the previous year. The total throughput was 123,713 head, up 20,277 on the previous year.
NRLX Redevelopment & Operations Manager Brad Willis said it was important to acknowledge the vast array of people, businesses and organisations who contributed to the NRLX’s success.
Mr Willis said from vendors producing quality livestock, which was widely renowned and sought after, to livestock carriers, agents and buyers who continued to support the facility and support the vendors, to staff – every person had contributed to this remarkable result for the region’s agriculture community.
He said in 2015 Richmond Valley Council produced the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange Redevelopment Project Business Case, Asset Management and Operations Plan and a journey towards these results commenced.
He said the $15 million facility upgrade was one of many changes that had to be made to move the NRLX towards a sustainable business model, resulting in a positive flow-on effect for the local community.
“Council has been unwavering in its vision for the facility and these consistent results demonstrate that good strategy, good decisions and good management are all contributors to the success,” Mr Willis said.
“Now as the number two saleyard in NSW it shows NRLX is a destination for business and a strategic partner for growing enterprises.”
Mr Willis said the Richmond Valley community derived significant direct economic benefit from the NRLX, such as local growers having a facility close to their operations, transport operators who move stock and purchase fuel, locals who work there, agents who use the yards, and the businesses who support the NRLX operations and its users.
“There are also substantive indirect benefits which flow to the community through increased business transactions and services, which are required to service the families who live in the area because of the saleyards, and the additional activity which takes place when people outside of the area attend sales,” he said.
Mr Willis said the NRLX team acknowledged there was devastation for some vendors following the two weather events earlier this year and ongoing rain.
He said during this period the NRLX had demonstrated its capacity as a regional livestock exchange by providing vital support for many producers who suffered significant losses, or were impacted.
“The facility provided temporary housing and feeding of livestock, and also acted as a distribution centre for donated hay, loading out almost 600 bales,” Mr Willis said.
“The NRLX team assisted with stock consolidation before moving to agistment, using the facility to treat animals or tag prior to going to agistment.
“The facility also housed any livestock which was found and the team liaised with North Coast Local Land Services, Rural Crime and the Department of Primary Industry to return as much livestock as possible to the rightful owners.”
Mr Willis said the NRLX was the premier all-weather centre, and he congratulated all stakeholders for their ongoing support.
“As the premier livestock exchange for NSW, we are leading the way, we are evolving and we will continue to make decisions that grow the NRLX across northern NSW,” he said.