Federation Council has cleared the first hurdle in a major redevelopment of the Corowa saleyards.
One of the council's most significant drivers of economic activity will be the subject of a business case proposal for almost $8 million in NSW Government funding following the submission of an initial expressions of interest.
The overall project has a price tag of $13 million and remains contingent on another funding source being identified and obtained.
The Federation Council component of $766,760 will be included in its 2020-21 capital works budget.
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"This is a key economic driver for Federation Council in terms of the rural community we support and also council's own operations," Cr Paul Miegel said.
"It's an ambitious project, but now being the fourth largest (sheep selling) saleyards in NSW it is a key platform for council."
Cr David Longley said market day activity had a wider economic flow-on impact.
"It will also support a lot of people in the business community," he said.
"The agents bring the people to town and they in turn spend their money at a variety of businesses in town.
"Without the saleyards there, they wouldn't be here."
A key plank of the redevelopment will be roofing of the existing facility which will cover an area of 19,000 square metres to provide adequate shelter and protection, and mitigate broader public opinion of concerns around unprotected livestock facilities.
Roofing will also include installation of lighting to allow agents and buyers to effectively evaluate the quality of the sheep at market.
Other elements include Installation of water catchment, storage and delivery system, solar power, expansion of the existing truck wash facility and construction of a commercial weigh station.
An upgrade of the effluent management system will allow the site to comply with all relevant regulatory obligations in relation to the catchment, treatment and storage or wastewater.
But one of the more unique aspects of the proposal is "multi-purpose learning centre" in a potential partnership being struck with TAFE NSW.
It will cater for delivery of practical components of courses on site to supplement theoretical instruction occurring at Connected Learning Centres in Corowa, Albury, Finley and Deniliquin.
Broad support has been received for the project with letters of support being provided by state and federal ministers as well as various stakeholder industry groups.
Private public funding partnerships will be explored to fund parts of the overall project