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Northern Rivers Local News

NRLX business plan sets path to growth

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Council votes to progress NRLX lease arrangements
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NRLX business plan sets path to growth

THE Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange (NRLX) will be seeking expressions of interest from agencies looking to provide services at the state-of-the-art facility following decisions made at Council’s 20 December meeting.

NRLX Operations Manager Brad Willis is pleased Council last night endorsed the 2022 NRLX Business Plan, which aims to position the NRLX as a financially sustainable, modern livestock exchange and a leader in best practice saleyard operations.

The expressions of interest (EOI) process will be for a three-year Agent Licence Agreement, which sets the scope of requirements for livestock agencies seeking to operate from the facility.

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Mr Willis said the EOI allowed for an impartial, open, and competitive process aimed at refining the businesses which have the benefit of utilising community assets for commercial and financial benefit.

He said it was critical Council ensured a competitive marketplace was provided as the community was compelled to utilise the services of an incumbent agent when they chose to sell through NRLX.

“Expressions of interest for agents’ licences will ensure Richmond Valley ratepayers can have confidence the best businesses in the marketplace have been selected to operate from the NRLX,” Mr Willis said.

“Agencies to date have done an excellent job along those lines and future agencies will need to demonstrate a commitment to the facility, customer service, and the values and behaviours commensurate with the NRLX’s status as one of the leading livestock selling centres in the country.”

Mr Willis said obtaining value for money for vendors was enhanced when there was open competition and the market was tested.

He said an increase in agents meant more opportunities for primary producers and local businesses.

“The message is clear here: We are open for business, we are willing to continue to grow the business, expand our footprint and we are ready to support more farmers across northern NSW to achieve top dollar for their stock,” Mr Willis said.

Council’s General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said it was vital for the NRLX’s future sustainability that the producer continued to pay their fair share towards the facility, and vendor fees remained competitive in the marketplace.

Mr Macdonald said vendors historically contributed most of the fees to the NRLX business and Council had been implementing an incremental realignment of the cost sharing between vendors and agents from the previous model since the completion of the $15 million upgrade.

He said since the introduction of stock price-based vendor charges in 2020, there had not been an increase to vendor sale fees, and with Council’s decision to fix for a further three years it was a significant acknowledgement and support of the beef industry.

“In solidifying our offer for producers, the 2023-2024 NRLX Revenue Policy shows no change in core vendor sale fees and these fees will remain fixed to June 2026,” Mr Macdonald said.

“This will mean there have been no vendor sale fee changes in six years.”

The Business Plan also proposes changes to the operational processes at the NRLX, with a key priority to vertically integrate operations and services for the long-term viability and success of the business.

Mr Willis said streamlined information, knowledge, communication, and strengthened biosecurity and animal welfare measures would provide significant improvements to services, compliance, efficiency, and sustainability.

He said the plan highlighted current operational challenges, inadequacies of services and demonstrated the benefits and capacity Council had as an organisation to further advance the business for the benefit of the Richmond Valley agricultural sector.

“The plan includes strategies and actions to pursue growth, such as driving momentum in current successful areas of the business on the one hand, while pursuing untapped opportunities on the other,” Mr Willis said.

Another exciting development is the introduction of an NRLX Scholarship Program to enhance the future of agriculture in the Richmond Valley with an aim to commence students in January 2024.

“To build a strong pipeline for talent and reinvest in our agriculture community, we will be offering agricultural scholarships to find candidates who want to build a successful career in the agriculture sector, particularly in the beef sector, with great growth opportunities,” Mr Willis said.

The key priorities within the Business Plan are:

  • A review of Agent Licence Agreements and the transition to a modern licence agreement with an increased focus on behaviours and values, WHS, biosecurity, transport chain of responsibility, branding, and marketing. The licence agreement will also form the contractual agreement for the supply of services which will occur with the change of operational processes.
  • NRLX Agent Licence Agreement expressions of interest procurement process as an open and transparent market test to reduce limitations and remove entry barriers to the marketplace. A target to have seven agencies undertaking livestock sales at NRLX from 1 July 2023.
  • The introduction of an NRLX Scholarship Program to enhance the future of agriculture in the Richmond Valley with an aim to commence students in January 2024.
  • Recruitment and implementation of an NRLX livestock team, including a dedicated Livestock Coordinator and a defined and appointed Animal Welfare Officer as is now required.

Mr Macdonald said these changes were in the overall interests of future NRLX operations, site users and Richmond Valley ratepayers.

He said it was critical the NRLX remained competitive and financially sustainable into the future.

“The NRLX is already a significant contributor to the region’s agricultural economy and we need to capitalise on opportunities to further grow its economic output,“ Mr Macdonald said.

The 2023-2024 Draft NRLX  Revenue Policy will be on public exhibition until 4pm, Tuesday 28 February. Any person may make a written submission during the exhibition period by sending it to Richmond Valley Council by:

Post  – Locked Bag 10 Casino NSW  2470

Email – council@richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au

Hand delivery – at either of Council’s Customer Service Centres in Casino and Evans Head

Online submission – by completing an online submission form via Council’s website

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Casino NSW News

Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

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Casino Showground
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Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

 

We are excited to announce that the recently revitalised Casino Showground and Racecourse precinct will commence accepting bookings starting from Monday, June 3rd.

With a generous funding injection of $12.8 million from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, alongside contributions from various sources including the NSW Showground Stimulus Program, Drought Communities Funding, Crown Lands, and Council, the total investment in this redevelopment has reached $14.4 million.

This newly enhanced facility boasts a range of features including a spacious undercover arena, an outdoor sand arena, turfed areas, covered stables, and a state-of-the-art racehorse stable complex capable of accommodating up to 80 horses. Additionally, new parking areas for cars, trucks, and floats have been added for the convenience of visitors.

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Of notable appeal is the newly constructed racehorse exercise area, which includes round yards, a horse walker, and a 50-metre equine pool. These amenities are expected to draw considerable interest from equestrian enthusiasts and event organizers alike. Furthermore, enhancements such as powered event camping areas have expanded the facility’s versatility, allowing for hosting a diverse range of events including country music festivals, car shows, trade exhibitions, and markets.

Despite the official opening ceremony held on April 20th to commemorate the acknowledgment of government funding, certain essential construction tasks remain pending due to unforeseen circumstances. These include the high-voltage power upgrade, completion of the equine training area, and fencing installations crucial for ensuring the safety of all facility users.

Unfortunately, adverse weather conditions in the Northern Rivers region have exacerbated delays, saturating many areas of the facility and rendering them unsuitable for immediate use. However, efforts are underway to expedite the finalisation of these outstanding projects in alignment with the originally tendered project costs.

In tandem with these developments, the Council is set to deliberate on its Draft Revenue Policy for 2024-2025 at its upcoming meeting. This policy will outline the proposed fees for utilising the facility and will undergo a public exhibition period of 28 days following the meeting, during which community feedback and submissions will be welcomed.

We extend our gratitude to all existing stakeholders and potential users for their patience throughout this project’s completion, which has been hampered by unforeseen challenges. We eagerly anticipate opening all elements of this facility to serve the broader community.

For those interested in booking the venue, please visit the Council’s venue hire website.

 

For more Casino news, click here.

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Evans Head News

Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

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Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head
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Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

 

Serenitas, a leading provider of lifestyle communities and resorts for individuals over 50, proudly announces the grand opening of the state-of-the-art Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort, Evans Head. The celebratory event saw enthusiastic homeowners joined by Mayor Robert Mustow and Serenitas CEO Rob Nichols, who officiated the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Nestled in the tranquil coastal enclave of Evans Head, the Clubhouse epitomises refined living and leisure. Located near the historic Evans Head Aerodrome and a short walk from pristine beaches, Thyme Evans Head offers an unparalleled blend of luxury and laid-back coastal charm.

Rob Nichols, CEO of Serenitas, expressed his excitement about the new facility: “We are thrilled to be opening the Thyme Evans Head Clubhouse, inviting residents and their guests to immerse themselves in the pinnacle of luxury living. With its striking architecture, ties to Evans Head’s aviation heritage, and a host of premium amenities, this opening heralds the next inspiring chapter for the resort’s homeowners and underscores Serenitas’ unwavering commitment to excellence.”

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The multi-million dollar Clubhouse features an array of exquisite facilities, including a fully equipped gym, heated swimming pool, health and beauty studio, luxurious cinema, sports bar complete with darts and pool table, croquet court, and more. A standout feature of the Clubhouse is the sophisticated Evans Lounge, providing homeowners a serene setting to enjoy views over the aerodrome by a cozy fireplace.

“The Clubhouse caters to every taste,” added Mr. Nichols. “From our active residents utilising the fitness facilities to our social groups making use of the Art & Craft Studio and other recreational spaces for gatherings and events.”

Demand for homes at Thyme Evans Head has been incredibly strong, with sales surpassing expectations since its inception. Located in the highly sought-after Northern Rivers district of NSW, Evans Head has emerged as a coveted community known for its relaxed coastal vibe and pristine waters.

“Our homes have garnered significant interest and are selling at an unprecedented pace,” remarked Rob Nichols. “With prices starting from $615,000, we are preparing to release our final homes for sale, reaffirming Evans Head’s status as a desirable destination for discerning homeowners.”

For more information about Thyme Evans Head, please visit here.

 

For more Evans Head news, click here.

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Local News

Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award
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Ranger Nick Honoured with Australian Owned Achievement Award

 

In a competitive field of contenders, Ranger Nick emerged victorious, securing the prestigious “Australian Owned Achievement Award 2024” in the recently announced Australian Owned Business Awards on May 7, 2024.

Surprised by the announcement, Ranger Nick received a message from the judging panel praising his unwavering commitment to Australian ownership and excellence. The panel acknowledged the stiff competition and commended Ranger Nick’s business as a leader in its domain.

Reflecting on the unexpected news, Ranger Nick expressed his elation, stating, “I was on my way to the Capella Country Music Festival, after spending a few days in the scrub with no mobile reception, when I received the news. Needless to say, I am absolutely thrilled, flattered and honoured.”

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This accolade marks Ranger Nick’s third triumph in a year, following his recognition as a Finalist in the Australian Small Business Champion Awards and as a Winner in the Innovation and Sustainability Excellence category of The Australian Rural Business Awards.

Renowned as the charismatic Aussie Bush Cook, Ranger Nick embodies the authentic Australian spirit with his unwavering passion for Australian heritage and traditions. He has dedicated himself to sharing his camp oven cooking and bushcraft skills with fellow adventurewrs across the country and abroad.

With four published books, his own merchandise line, and notable appearances on television and radio, including Channel 7Mates’ “Step Outside with Paul Burt” and West Bremer Radio, Ranger Nick’s influence continues to grow.

Grateful for the support he has received, Ranger Nick humbly thanked his supporters, expressing his determination to continue his endeavors. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to all for your unwavering support,” he said. “I better pull up my socks and keep on going.”

Ranger Nick eagerly anticipates receiving his official trophy at the Dayboro Annual Show in early July, marking another milestone in his illustrious career.

 

For more local news, click here.

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