Seventeen students say YES to jobs with Council

RICHMOND Valley Council is already reaping the benefits of its new Youth Employment Strategy (YES), with 17 local high school students accepting a range of positions across the organisation.

The new recruits will take up their positions in January.

Council’s General Manager John Walker said YES was formed in response to the emerging issue of the lack of youth employment opportunities in our community, as well as the need for Council to future-proof its workforce.

Mr Walker said to continue its role of delivering quality services for the Richmond Valley community, Council must become an attractive employment option by creating opportunities for younger, less experienced employees, and emerging leaders.

He said helping young people find meaningful employment would have a lasting impact on Council’s competitiveness and the long-term strength of its workforce.

“YES is Council’s commitment to help young people gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to enjoy a successful career in local government,” Mr Walker said.

“We are excited to announce 17 local high school students have accepted a range of positions with Council, through professional scholarships, full-time apprenticeships and traineeships, and school-based traineeships.

“Nurturing new employees straight from high school will not only generate a great talent pipeline into the organisation, providing valuable progression opportunities from within, but will also ensure knowledge is transferred, and skill loss is managed.”

Mr Walker said recruiting young people was part of Council’s long-term approach to workforce investment.

He said when young people find meaningful work, the whole community benefits.

“Providing opportunities for our young people to learn the skills which will equip them for the future is important not only for them, but also for the future wellbeing of our community,” Mr Walker said.


Media Release: Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Council makes second bid for funding to restart stalled saleyards redevelopment

Richmond Valley Council is escalating its push for an upgrade to the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange (NRLX) after last year’s Federal election put its plans on the backburner.

Council yesterday lodged a second application for $3.5 million for Stage 1 of the saleyards redevelopment under the Federal Government’s new National Stronger Regions Fund. If successful, the grant will be matched by Council to ensure the project is completed as soon as possible.

Although supported by the former Federal Labor Government, initial project funding was withdrawn by the Coalition soon after the 2013 election.

Council will also seek a further $5 million from the NSW Government for Stage 2 works, under the proposed regional infrastructure fund set up by the lease of the State’s poles and wires.

Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett said he appreciated competition for National Stronger Regions funding and the NSW Government’s yet-to-be-named fund would be tough, but he could see no reason why the saleyards project shouldn't get support.

Cr Bennett said he would strenuously lobby local Members of Parliament, Kevin Hogan and Chris Gulaptis, to apply pressure on their governments for financial help.

He said both governments would benefit from the project because the grant money would generate significant economic activity.

“The NRLX is the fourth largest in cattle sales in NSW, and Council's two-stage redevelopment plan has merit,” Cr Bennett said.

“The upgrade is a most critical project for the region’s productivity and economic growth, and we cannot allow it to fall through the cracks a second time.

“We need action on this priority project now, and I’m asking our local representatives to get behind us 100 percent.”

The project will deliver a modern facility by providing roofing to the cattle muster and sale areas, which would also permit soft flooring to be introduced.

The roof will also permit rain water harvesting and storage for use in truck wash, pen hose down and public amenities. This will greatly reduce the facilities reliance on town water supply and provide significantly greater environmental outcomes. The capture of rain water will also mean a reduced volume of contaminated run-off to be processed onsite.

Installation of modern, self-latching gates and barriers will protect staff and the public providing modern stock handling facilities to comply with WH&S standards. All non-compliant steps and stairs will be replaced to ensure public access areas meet current criteria.

Cr Bennett said the value-add which would occur should more cattle be sold from the saleyards was significant and quantifiable, and a good case had been made for Council to receive funding.

“Week in, week out, local agents work tirelessly to ensure they offer good numbers and quality stock for buyers to choose from,” Cr Bennett said.

“But a more modern and efficient regional saleyards will help them achieve higher sale prices, and will attract more regular attendances by major buyers.

“For our producers, and the economy of the region, it is important we get this project underway.”

Media Release: Thursday, 27 November 2014

Nominations now open for the Richmond Valley Citizen Awards Australia Day 2015

Nominations for Richmond Valley Citizen Awards’ are open. If you want that special someone to have all their hard work recognised, then nominate them now. Go on, nominate someone great in our community today!

Download the Nomination Form (PDF 607kb)

Download the Australia Day Flyer (PDF 450kb)

This year there are seven award categories:

Citizen of the Year: A person, who is 25 years of age or over, who has either made a noteworthy contribution during the current year or given outstanding service to the local community for a number of years.

Young Citizen of the Year: A person, who is 24 years of age or under, who has either made a noteworthy contribution during the current year or given outstanding service to the local community for a number of years.

Sportsperson of the Year : A person, who is 18 years of age or over, who has actively supported the sporting community in a voluntary capacity, achieved outstanding results in their sporting field or assisted in promoting sport in their local area.

Young Sportsperson of the Year: A person, who is 17 years of age or under, who has actively supported the sporting community in a voluntary capacity, achieved outstanding results in their sporting field or assisted in promoting sport in their local area.

Volunteer of the Year: A person, who is 25 years of age or over, who exemplifies the spirit of community service, serves as a role model and works tirelessly without recognition behind the scenes.

Young Volunteer of the Year: A person who is 24 years of age or under, who exemplifies the spirit of community service, serves as a role model and works tirelessly without recognition behind the scenes.

Indigenous Citizen of the Year: An indigenous person who actively supports the promotion of Aboriginal culture in an effort to increase awareness and understanding of Aboriginal identity, culture and practices.

Nominations close at 4pm on Friday, 9 January 2015.

For further enquiries contact Richmond Valley Council Event Officers on 6660 0300 or email

Send your nomination to:

The General Manager
Richmond Valley Council
Locked Bag 10


Fax: 02 6660 1300

Fireworks a feature at this year’s community Christmas Tree Lightup and Street Party

A fireworks display will light up the sky next Thursday as part of this year’s community Christmas Tree Lightup and Street Party.

Richmond Valley Council has engaged a pyrotechnics company, Pyro Oz, to produce an awesome light show featuring comets, multi-shot boxes and Roman candles, above Casino’s CBD as part of this year’s event.

Hailed as a great family event, the annual Christmas Tree Lightup and Street Party will be held on Thursday 4 December between 5pm and 9pm. 

Click here for more information

Residents assured water safe for drinking

Richmond Valley residents may have recently noticed discoloured water coming through their taps. The decolourisation is harmless and is mainly due to the levels of iron and manganese in the water. The issue is only associated with the appearance of the water, it does not affect the quality. Richmond Valley Council is assuring residents it continues to provide high-quality drinking water which consistently meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and regulatory requirements. As per the guidelines, chlorine is being used as a steriliser, adding to the discolouration. A comprehensive flushing program is currently being undertaken by Council to help push the chlorine through the reticulation system. The water is, and will, remain safe for use at all times.

Council joins fight for more library funding

Richmond Valley Council is supporting a State-wide day of action on 5 December to draw attention to the urgent need for increased library funding at the local level. Local supporters of the Richmond-Upper Clarence Library network, including Friends of the Library and library users, are encouraged to join the campaign to lobby State Members of Parliament.

Council’s General Manager John Walker said there had been widespread support by NSW councils for the NSW Library Funding Campaign, which was being coordinated by the NSW Public Libraries Association, with input from Local Government NSW and the Australian Library and Information Association. Mr Walker said the burden of funding libraries fell mostly on the shoulders of local government. He said while Council acknowledged the recent NSW Budget delivered a $15 million Infrastructure Public Library Grant program over four years from 2014/2015 to 2017/2018, it only reinstated the grant funding program to the level it was in 2005/2006. He said Council believed a fixed-term recurrent program was needed to provide the certainty required for this all-important annual grants program.

“There is currently a high degree of uncertainty as to the level of ongoing funding for public libraries in NSW,” Mr Walker said. “The intent of the NSW Library Act in 1939 was for equal funding from State and local governments to provide library services. Since that time local government has increasingly carried the funding burden and the situation has deteriorated significantly over the past few decades. Without urgent action from local government and NSW Public Library Associations, this situation will continue and local councils will once again be forced to pick up the funding shortfall.”

Mr Walker said the Richmond-Upper Clarence Library network provided an important service to our communities, through events such as exhibitions, story time for kids, information technology programs for seniors, and stimulating holiday activities for teenagers and the younger members of our community.

Media Release: Friday, 21 November 2014

Richmond Valley Made (Do Not Delete)

The Richmond Valley is full of unique places, people and produce, all shaped (or ‘made’) by the local environment.  This is what makes the Richmond Valley area special.  Let’s shout about it. Let’s celebrate this diversity.  The ‘Richmond Valley Made’ icon allows us to stamp our pride across all that the valley has to offer.