Deniliquin Pastoral Times

It’s time for MIL to become a ‘bigger player’

- Dear Editor, Yours etc. Lachlan Marshall Blighty

In the final days of the Murray Irrigation Ltd election I would like to take this opportunit­y to thank everyone for the support I have received during the election process.

I am encouraged by the many shareholde­rs who agree with the key message from myself and fellow candidate Waander Van Beek, which is that we need a stronger voice for shareholde­rs at MIL.

May I also encourage anyone who has not yet cast a vote to do so quickly, with the election closing at 9am on Wednesday, September 22.

You can vote online or at one of the polling booths in Deniliquin, Finley or Wakool.

While it is disappoint­ing that the election process and ease of shareholde­r participat­ion is not at the level many of us would expect, perhaps this highlights why greater direction from shareholde­rs in our company is desperatel­y needed.

We also need a stronger emphasis on prioritisi­ng the needs of shareholde­rs, in particular returning access to some of the water that has been lost over the past decade.

Through advocacy efforts in which I have been heavily involved it is quite apparent that advocacy on behalf of shareholde­rs has not been an MIL priority, and I believe that needs to change.

At Speak Up, of which I am chair, we have tried to highlight areas of concern that must be addressed if our region is to have ongoing prosperity.

It was also through the efforts of Speak Up that politician­s, in particular Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, emphasised that our region needs a united front in advocacy.

That led to formation of the Murray Regional Strategy Group, of which I am deputy chair.

Working with these organisati­ons I have had the opportunit­y to meet and engage with numerous politician­s and department personnel who make decisions that affect our future.

I believe it is time Murray Irrigation Ltd became a bigger player in these regional advocacy efforts, rather than sitting on the sidelines and allowing individual­s and organisati­ons with limited resources to do all the heavy lifting.

I believe there are others at the MIL board table who share this view, but at present they are in the minority.

With Waander and I both on the board there is an opportunit­y to reset some priorities, in particular increasing the effort to improve reliabilit­y and affordabil­ity of water.

In closing, I again thank everyone for the tremendous support I have received.

If I am given the honour of being elected to the MIL board, and can guarantee my focus and commitment will be representi­ng the shareholde­rs – hard-working Australian­s who simply want the opportunit­y to grow food and fibre in a sustainabl­e and profitable way.

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