A Gunnedah councillor wants to get the ball rolling on a revamp of the saleyards to attract funding from the government.
Murray O'Keefe spoke passionately about the facility when the draft master plan was raised at this month's council meeting, and urged his fellow councillors to get the project "shovel-ready".
"I don't believe there's any one asset ... that drives so much positive economic activity in our community and delivers such huge direct impact into people's lives and flow-on effect into businesses," he said.
"I think it's really relevant that we take stock of what we're doing and seize the opportunity to make this shovel-ready project and really drive the utilisation of that asset and really drive for grant funding.
"We've been doing a pretty good job of being lean and mean and this is a chance for us to modernise and drive what is an economic showpiece for our shire into the future."
Cr Ann Luke disagreed and said it was "jumping the gun".
"We're talking about a draft master plan and to actually have investment and other work done when we're still at the stage of having the master plan on exhibition is pre-emptive ... There's time for further, more expanded options after the plan is approved."
But Cr Rob Hooke supported Cr O'Keefe's view, saying it "gives some clear direction on where we're going".
"I don't think it hurts us to get ahead of the game a little bit," he said.
The draft plan recommends removing the sheep yards, relocating the canteen, installing security fencing and utilising technology.
Gunnedah Saleyards is the fourth largest cattle-selling centre in NSW and over the last decade has averaged about 120,000 head of cattle, equating to more than $100 million a year.
Residents have until September 9 to give their feedback on the draft.
- To view the draft master plan, visit www.gunnedah.nsw.gov.au or the council offices at 63 Elgin Street, Gunnedah.