Deniliquin Pastoral Times

‘We need to fight harder’ says MIL nominee

- Dear Editor, Yours etc. Lachlan Marshall Blighty

After being encouraged by a number of shareholde­rs, I have decided to stand for election to the Murray Irrigation Ltd Board of Directors.

I would like to highlight some issues which I would like to address if I am given the honour of being elected to the MIL Board.

Firstly and most importantl­y, I think we need to fight harder for a fair and reasonable share of available water supplies.

I moved here with my family in 2006 to take advantage of the region’s water security, but in the past 15 years all we have seen is our reliabilit­y being eroded.

Through my involvemen­t with the Speak Up Campaign and the Murray Regional Strategy Group I have advocated strongly on behalf of this community, and I believe progress is being made.

A question often asked is: Should Murray Irrigation Ltd being doing more to advocate on behalf of its shareholde­rs?

In my view, the answer is a very definite ‘‘yes’’.

While I understand the reluctance of MIL to get involved in a political stoush, the unequivoca­l fact is that’s what we are in the middle of and we therefore have to fight for our rights.

If we do not fight for an adequate and reliable water supply so we can grow food and fibre and make our businesses sustainabl­e, we will lose the battle. And if we lose the battle, what becomes of our businesses and our communitie­s?

All we have seen in the past 15 years is our fees and charges going up while our reliabilit­y goes down. This has to change, and change will only occur if we stand up for what is just and fair.

In the past MIL has been prepared to fight political battles on behalf of its shareholde­rs, however in more recent times it has been reluctant to get involved in this area.

In government policy areas where MIL should have a loud voice on issues directly impacting its shareholde­rs, we instead get a vacuum. I believe that needs to change, and if elected to the MIL Board that will be one of my priorities.

I also want to ensure there is transparen­cy and accountabi­lity of performanc­e at MIL. As shareholde­rs we should have a right to question decisions and ensure our company is adequately representi­ng our best interests.

I am tired of the cloak and dagger culture that I have seen and experience­d, and want a company working collaborat­ively with its shareholde­rs to build an organisati­on that has a focus on doing what is best for the people, farmers and industry in our community.

If elected to the MIL Board, will I change the culture in day or a week? No I won’t.

But I will work diligently with the best interests of you, the shareholde­r, in mind.

Quite simply, I believe that if we do not fight for higher water allocation­s and improved reliabilit­y our government­s — with their eyes firmly fixed on election cycles and environmen­tal votes — will continue to put us at the bottom of their priority list.

I will do my utmost to ensure that does not happen.

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