Sense of re­lief, says ‘Ir­ri­ga­tors’

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - OUT & ABOUT - By ZOE MC­MAUGH

Many ir­ri­ga­tors are feel­ing a ‘‘sense of re­lief’’ fol­low­ing Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Ltd’s an­nounce­ment that the com­pany’s en­tire Board will stand down later this month, ac­cord­ing to South­ern Rive­rina Ir­ri­ga­tors chair Graeme Pyle.

Mr Pyle said the ma­jor­ity of the ir­ri­ga­tors he rep­re­sents were ‘‘up­set’’ with the re­cent ac­tions of the Board.

He said this in­cluded a let­ter sent to the com­pany’s share­hold­ers from MIL deputy chair Ben Barlow say­ing the Board did not en­dorse sit­ting di­rec­tor James Sides as a can­di­date in the re­cent di­rec­tor elec­tions and then a vote of no con­fi­dence in Mr Sides and fel­low di­rec­tor Chris Brooks.

The SRI chair said while there were some reser­va­tions to the changes to be made as a re­sult of the Board’s de­ci­sion to stand down, he added that ‘‘a fresh start’’ would be wel­comed.

‘‘There is a sense of re­lief that we are now on the path to ex­cel­lence, and I feel it’s not far to go now to achiev­ing that,’’ Mr Pyle said.

‘‘We are all look­ing for­ward to that be­ing achieved, what­ever the Board’s make-up.

‘‘We must al­ways strive for ex­cel­lence and put up with noth­ing less.

‘‘There is quite a lot of in­trigue and con­cern about the fu­ture (of MIL). If we face that to­gether and mend our dif­fer­ences, we can mould a sys­tem that can and must achieve ex­cel­lence as soon as pos­si­ble.

‘‘The tran­si­tion from the old Board to the new Board must be smooth, and it must be as ef­fi­cient and quick as pos­si­ble.’’

Mr Pyle did point out one as­pect of Fri­day’s res­ig­na­tion an­nounce­ment which he said was caus­ing some angst among some SRI mem­bers.

The com­pany has an­nounced that all can­di­dates for the MIL Board must be sub­jected to ‘‘rig­or­ous assess­ment’’ by an in­de­pen­dent com­pany.

Mr Pyle said some share­hold­ers had al­ready taken ex­cep­tion at be­ing ‘‘told how to vote’’ in the re­cent di­rec­tor elec­tions, say­ing this pro­posed new sys­tem would be ‘‘po­lar­is­ing’’.

‘‘Share­hold­ers be­lieve they are ca­pa­ble of se­lect­ing who is best to rep­re­sent them,’’ Mr Pyle said.

‘‘I fear this vet­ting process will also stop peo­ple from hav­ing a go at be­ing elected.

‘‘I think the cri­te­ria for this se­lec­tion process must be widely known.’’

Graeme Pyle.

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