Deniliquin Pastoral Times
It’s time for MIL to become a ‘bigger player’
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.