NRLX gates open for first cattle sale in seven months

Tom Newsome from Armidale is the new Outcross Agri-Services managing director of the NRLX. Photo: Contributed

Susanna Freymark

After a long seven months, the gates to the Casino saleyards will open this Friday, February 2.

The George & Fuhrmann store sale on Friday starts at 10am. The sight and sound of cattle under the tin roof of the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange is something everyone is keen to see again.

Outcross Agri Services has taken on the lease at the NRLX after a lengthy dispute between Richmond Valley Council and the agents operating out of the cattle yards.

Tom Newsome is the managing director and he said the negotiation process with everyone involved has been professional and positive.

“All the agents are on board. We went through a process of negotiation with agents and we negotiated with buyers,” Mr Newsome said.

“It was rigorous process.”

Outcross are well established in the cattle industry. The company supplies staff to 33 saleyards up and down the east coast and manages two major centres – at Yass and Mortlake.

To give an idea of the size of the Casino yards, Mortlake sells 115,000 cattle and Yass sells 50,000 cattle and 600,000 sheep.

At it peak, Casino was selling 130,000 cattle, Mr Newsome said.

Typically, NRLX sells 90,000–100,000.

Outcross will lease and manage NRLX but the ownership remains public – the council still owns the saleyards but is not involved in day to day operations.

Mr Newsome said fees at the saleyards had been negotiated in discussion with agents and buyers.

Fees have risen by 5% and for the next 17 months will remain the same. Nothing will change.

Fees are on a sliding scale, we’ve kept the same structure per head, he said.

“Fees to buyers have increased to keep vendor fees competitive.”

Many agents have been operating out of Lismore saleyards during the dispute.

There will up to 20 Outcross staff at the Casino yards.

Mr Newsome said agents will handle all the pre-sale movement of livestock.

Outcross will then handle the cattle post-sale from selling to weighing to delivery although key agent staff will be working with them on this.

“It’s a standard way of doing it,” Mr Newsome said.

“We do all the post-sales ourselves at 4–5 other sites including the biggest cattle saleyard in Australia at Roma.”

There will be two sales every week – Wednesday and Friday – until July.

First one is this Friday.

The special Friday sales following that are:

• February 9 – Ray White Rural

• February 10 – Ray White Rural Breeder Sale

• February 16 – T&W McCormack/Ramsey Bulmer

• February 23 – T&W McCormack/Ramsey Bulmer Breeder Sale

• March 1 – T&W McCormack/Ramsey Bulmer

• March 8 – Ray White Rural

• March 15 – George & Fuhrmann

• March 21–22 George & Fuhrmann

• April 5 – T&W McCormack/Ramsey Bulmer

• April 12 – George & Fuhrmann

• April 19 – Ray White Rural

• April 26 – T&W McCormack/Ramsey Bulmer

The NRLX has been closed for seven months. Photo: Susanna Freymark
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