A his­toric trans­for­ma­tion

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - RURAL OUTLOOK - By MICHAEL RENE­HAN Michael Rene­han is chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Lim­ited.

Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion is on the brink of achiev­ing the most rev­o­lu­tion­ary change in its his­tory.

In the com­ing months, the com­pany will fi­nalise its Pri­vate Ir­ri­ga­tion In­fra­struc­ture Op­er­a­tors Pro­gram (PIIOP) Round 2 project which will see the tran­si­tion from man­ual to pre­dom­i­nantly re­mote-con­trolled op­er­a­tions.

The $206 mil­lion project spans the com- pany’s en­tire foot­print and com­prises the up­grade of more than 3400 struc­tures. To­gether with im­proved fi­nan­cial re­sults and a new fo­cus on safety, the works will en­sure the com­pany is fu­ture-ready.

The steps we have taken to re­duce costs, tar­get our cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture and fo­cus on safety are pay­ing div­i­dends this year.

We’re now po­si­tioned to take ad­van­tage of a pos­i­tive cash­flow and build our re­serves for the fu­ture.

We’ll con­tinue to up-skill our work­force to op­er­ate the re­mote-con­trol net­work while en­sur­ing we keep enough ‘boots on the ground’ to mon­i­tor and main­tain man­ual op­er­a­tions where re­quired.

The com­pany de­liv­ered 824 gi­gal­itres in 2016/17, in­clud­ing the de­liv­ery of 100GL on be­half of the Com­mon­wealth En­vi­ron­men­tal Wa­ter Holder to mit­i­gate lo­cal black­wa­ter events.

We’re fo­cussed on iden­ti­fy­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to max­imise wa­ter use within our sys­tem.

Farms are be­ing pro­gres­sively switched on with their new out­lets and linked into an ag­gre­gated con­trol sys­tem.

We now need to work with our cus­tomers to lever­age these im­prove­ments and ex­tract both on-farm ef­fi­cien­cies and in-chan­nel im­prove­ments.

This will take time, ef­fort and pa­tience as we move into a new op­er­at­ing en­vi­ron­ment that will likely lead to an im­prove­ment in our re­gion’s over­all pro­duc­tiv­ity.

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