INCREASES: Richmond Valley Council is expected to increase fees up to 3 per cent under a new three-year fee structure. Two options are currently on exhibition. Photo: Susanna Freymark.
INCREASES: Richmond Valley Council is expected to increase fees up to 3 per cent under a new three-year fee structure. Two options are currently on exhibition. Photo: Susanna Freymark.

‘Progressive’ fee structure benefits farmers: NRLX boss

RICHMOND Valley Council's proposed new fee structure for the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange has drawn praise from the facility's manager, who said the fee increase comes at a time of high cattle prices.

The council is currently seeking feedback from sellers and agents over options for a flexible new pricing structure at the facility, which the council said aims to "provide certainty" for the industry over the next three years.

NRLX manager Bradley Willis said the council was considering two different structures for seller fees, and was keen to hear from stakeholders on their preference.

Mr Willis said one of the options was a 'progressive and flexible' fee structure which fluctuated depending on cattle prices.

He said this was designed as a support mechanism to enable producers to pay significantly less when cattle prices were lower.

He said based on historical data, under this proposed structure vendors would have paid less during last year's drought, and less for three out of the past eight years, as well as the same price for four of the past eight years and a higher fee for one year.

"Particularly when prices are lower, our vendors will pay less to use the NRLX," Mr Willis said.

"Given the extremes experienced across the valley over the past 12 months this structure provides the NRLX and vendors with a genuine flexibility, which reflects market conditions."

Mr Willis said based on experiences of the industry during the drought, such a fee structure would clearly support producers during challenging times by reducing overheads.

He said the other option was a traditional fee structure, with consistent annual increases of three per cent, identical to the structure in place prior to the freezing of fees last year.

He said during the consultation process with stakeholders, other alternative options may also be canvassed.

He said both proposed fee structures were competitive considering the modern facilities on offer at the NRLX.

Mr Willis said the upgraded NRLX attracted buyers from across NSW, Queensland, and even Victoria, because it offered significantly greater value than their local facilities.

A short survey will be sent to stakeholders this week.

Public submissions can be made online, via email to council@richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au, or via post to Locked Bag 10, Casino NSW 2470. Submissions close 4.30pm, Tuesday, June 16.

Casino Auctioneers Association was approached for comment.



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