West Ber­riquin calls for ‘fresh start’ at MIL

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - NEWS -

Nearly 90 lo­cal land­hold­ers rep­re­sent­ing about 400 farms had con­struc­tive dis­cus­sions about the re­gion’s fu­ture at a meet­ing con­vened by West Ber­riquin Ir­ri­ga­tors Inc. on Mon­day night.

The meet­ing was to pri­mar­ily dis­cuss re­cent is­sues sur­round­ing Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Ltd, and was called be­fore all mem­bers of the MIL Board an­nounced on Fri­day they would re­sign. It was open to all MIL share­hold­ers and direc­tors.

WBI deputy chair­man Andrew Cross­ley said there was a high level of en­gage­ment from ev­ery­one who at­tended, and a de­ter­mi­na­tion to achieve a fresh start.

MIL share­hold­ers from across the re­gion, from Wakool to Ber­ri­gan, at­tended the meet­ing.

“There was con­struc­tive in­put lead­ing to ro­bust dis­cus­sion on a num­ber of top­ics and pro­duc­ing mo­tions which were passed, some unan­i­mously,” Mr Cross­ley said.

He said there was clear sup­port for duly elected can­di­dates Waan­der van Beek and Phil Snow­den to be ap­pointed as direc­tors to the in­terim board at the con­clu­sion of the AGM on November 28. Un­der MIL con­sti­tu­tion Mr Snow­den and Mr van Beek are en­ti­tled to ap­point four direc­tors to bring the in­terim board to six.

“There was con­sen­sus that the room had faith in the abil­ity of Mr van Beek and Mr Snow­den to ap­point who they saw fit to fill the po­si­tions on the in­terim board. Clearly those in at­ten­dance did not want cur­rent board mem­bers to be part of the in­terim or new board,” Mr Cross­ley said.

Con­cerns about the re­cent elec­tion process were raised and re­sulted in the pass­ing of a mo­tion to place the elec­tion of direc­tors back to the hands of the Aus­tralian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion, in­clud­ing us­ing the first past the post sys­tem.

Many ques­tions about the in­de­pen­dent (and yet to be re­leased) re­ports com­mis­sioned by MIL were raised by share­hold­ers. Feel­ings about what should be re­leased from these re­ports were mixed, how­ever a mo­tion was passed that the rec­om­men­da­tions and/or con­clu­sions of those re­ports be made avail­able to share­hold­ers only.

Mr Cross­ley said many of the mo­tions car­ried on the evening will be per­ti­nent to shap­ing the fu­ture di­rec­tion of the com­pany, which was the main fo­cus of the bal­anced de­bate.

“Share­hold­ers want to be in­volved and en­gaged in set­ting a new di­rec­tion and struc­ture for MIL, which is a com­pany that is not only im­por­tant for the farm­ing busi­nesses rep­re­sented at our meet­ing, but for the en­tire com­mu­nity.

“They want an in­jec­tion of new blood on the MIL Board. There was a sense of an­tic­i­pa­tion that we are on the verge of new beginnings and a new era of col­lab­o­ra­tion,” he said.

“On be­half of West Ber­riquin Ir­ri­ga­tors I would like to thank ev­ery­one who made the ef­fort to at­tend.

“We are on the cusp of ex­cit­ing times, and re­cent events have given us an op­por­tu­nity to eval­u­ate the struc­ture of MIL and per­haps look out­side the square when we consider the pos­si­bil­i­ties for our com­pany and the re­gion,” Mr Cross­ley said.

He added dis­cus­sions had al­ready taken place with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of MIL to talk about the views ex­pressed by share­hold­ers at the meet­ing.

West Ber­riquin Ir­ri­ga­tors looks for­ward to fur­ther dis­cus­sion and work­ing with MIL to help se­cure a struc­ture that ef­fec­tively rep­re­sents the share­holder land­hold­ers, Mr Cross­ley said.

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