Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Vote for change

- Dear Editor,

There has been a lot of negative comment directed towards Murray Irrigation Ltd, however I would like to firstly say that it is directed squarely at the board of directors and executive management. It has not been aimed at the fantastic, helpful on the ground staff who on the whole do an amazing job.

I’d personally like to thank them all for doing the best to deliver water and deal with any issues irrigators may have.

The main issue that myself and others have is what we believe to be a lack of leadership from the chairman and CEO.

I find it extremely amusing that in the past two weeks we have finally heard strong words in the media from the chairman, but in my opinion it is too little too late.

Why haven’t we heard this before? Is it because he is fighting to hold onto his directorsh­ip? These issues aren’t new, so why now?

I have found the communicat­ion and treatment of landholder­s by MIL leadership to be deplorable, and this was even noted by the newly appointed CEO at the AGM two years ago.

Why has it become worse, not better? Murray Irrigation is a very simple, small company and its sole existence is to deliver water to its shareholde­rs. Why has this been made so complicate­d?

Why can’t they just deliver the water when the shareholde­rs require it, as it’s been done for 70 previous years. There is less water to deliver, less channels to maintain and a $300 million semi-automated system to deliver it.

Yet the wages and fees increase, and as this happens the divide from shareholde­r to company widens.

I encourage everyone to vote in this coming election for Lachlan Marshall and

Waander Van Beek, so we can get grower control back to our company. Something that is constantly dismissed by MIL is that you, the irrigator/shareholde­r, own this once great company.

We are not customers, we all have shareholde­r rights and need to demand as such. Shareholde­rs unanimousl­y voted for land and water management money be given back to shareholde­rs through LHAs, as it’s our money not MIL’s.

We unanimousl­y voted for a better deal on escapes agreement and also unanimousl­y voted full support for SRI to continue in their impressive role in fighting for a fair share of water.

All these issues appear to have been dismissed by the CEO, chairman, external directors and one grower director.

This is an extremely important election because if MIL does not stand firm on not delivering exorbitant amounts of water downstream and hold government to account, this area won’t exist.

Please think carefully about your vote, as your chairman has not done enough in six years. From my observatio­ns he sides with CEOs, one grower director who doesn’t farm or live in the area and external directors who have no skin in the game.

As a result, our very precious asset threatened.

We need change, for the betterment of this whole area and footprint, not only irrigators but the entire community who rely on irrigators’ income and who can see first hand the losses created by a lack of water.

Please vote for Lachlan Marshall and Waander Van Beek to deliver a better MIL.

Yours etc. Jon Gatacre

Pretty Pine

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