Deniliquin Pastoral Times
MIL infrastructure showcased to chair
‘‘We’re now at a point where, after all the many reviews that have been undertaken, we want to see action to improve outcomes for all Australians.’’
That is the message Murray Irrigation Limited chair Phillip Snowden said was impressed on the new chair of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority last week.
Sir Angus Houston made his first official trip to the Riverina last week, and spent much of the Wednesday with MIL touring irrigation infrastructure and discussing the challenges faced by local farmers.
Sir Angus was accompanied by MDBA CEO Phillip Glyde on the trip, which started in Leeton on Monday and also included visits to Griffith, Jerilderie, Finley, Blighty, Mulwala and Albury before the tour ended on Friday.
Mr Snowden said Murray Irrigation is committed to working with the relevant agencies to find a healthy balance of water distribution for irrigation and environmental needs.
‘‘There’s some great opportunities to improve system efficiencies that can contribute to positive environmental outcomes and reduce the threat of future buy-backs, for only a fraction of the water when compared to flooding,’’ he said.
‘‘We know that river management is complex and that the MDBA has a difficult role balancing the needs of all water users across three states and various stakeholder groups.
‘‘Murray Irrigation is keen to work with them and other relevant agencies to find solutions to the many existing problems and sustain our farming communities.’’
MIL CEO Philip Endley said they left the meeting feeling ‘‘conversations around the unique challenges we face here were constructive’’.
‘‘We know there’s a lot of frustrated farmers out there and it’s important to explain why this is the case. Especially the unintended third-party impacts of water reform and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in its current form.
‘‘It was great to do so face-to-face, which has been difficult during the pandemic.
‘‘It was also a chance to exhibit some of our infrastructure including the Lawson Syphon and the Mascotte Escape, which enables local environmental watering.’’