Cattle sale will go ahead at NRLX

ABOVE: Cattle for sale at the NRLX some time ago. These are not the cattle for sale at the All Breeds Sale.

Susanna Freymark

The Casino All Breeds Sale will go ahead as planned at the NRLX on Saturday, July 29.

Bruce Lyle made the announcement on Facebook – “The sale committee and vendors sincerely thank everyone involved in ensuring our event is able to proceed as planned.”

The All Breeds Sale has 174 stud and herd bulls and 29 females registered.

All other scheduled sales at the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange in Casino remain been halted because of a dispute between agents and Richmond Valley Council over new licensing agreements.

The agents are refusing to sign those agreements that stipulate a change in the agent business usage fee from a fixed per head of cattle charge to 0.2% of gross revenue ($2 on a sale of $1000).

Casino Food Co-op chief executive Simon Stahl said the impact of the NRLX dispute on the Co-op was not significant “since we only source 100–200 head per week from the yards which can be readily replaced by direct consignment from producers or sourced from other selling centres”.

“However, members of the Co-op would be affected as the saleyards play an important role in the marketing of their livestock,” Mr Stahl said.

On the Facebook page there have been many comments on the stories we’ve posted. Here is a representative selection of those comments.

Greg Presbury: It is easy to fix. Council can sell saleyard to private industry.

James Ramsay: It would be nice to have some detail as to what each party wants. Producers have gross incomes at least halved recently, meaning probably now in a loss situation so can’t afford any more cost increases.

Brian O’Farrell: Council needs to have a good look at this, they are out of touch with the cattle industry that has made this community and what it was built on over hundred years. I would like to know how many councillors have the experience to make a decision on this.

Richmond Valley Councillor Robert Hayes: We have a lot of producers and transport operators telling us that what we are doing is supporting them because they are sick of being dictated to but they always end their communication with us by adding, “don’t put my name to it or we will be held to ransom and our business will suffer”. Sad situation out there! I have been involved since 2012 and nothing has changed. It is time for that change.

Kev Jones: It’s a case of council getting greedy. Cattle prices have fallen and farmers can’t afford to pay higher tolls. If agents go elsewhere, Casino will suffer.

Jacquie Reichmann: Council can’t hold farmers to ransom, there are other options and good on Lismore, they have been doing it very tough.

Dene Petty: Why as a ratepayer am I subsidising these businesses? What’s wrong with user pays?

Leanne Pholi: No saleyard organisation should be compared with others. It’s like towns or cities, no two are the same and some things should be judged individually, social demographics are different, the markets are different the sellers and buyers are different. Farmers are doing it just as tough as everyone else and need an outlet to sell their stock. We are extremely fortunate that people power got Lismore Saleyards reopened and we value the service Weirs provide.

Agents at NRLX in 2020. Photo: Susanna Freymark

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