Deniliquin Pastoral Times

MIL talks basin plan, recovery strategy with Deputy Premier

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Murray Irrigation continued its engagement with political leaders when it hosted a visit from NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole last week.

Mr Toole was provided with informatio­n about food production and irrigation in the Southern Riverina, and its contributi­on to the nation’s economy and food security.

He also participat­ed in a tour of Murray Irrigation infrastruc­ture and a local property, which included a unique opportunit­y to travel in a rice header with farmer Warwick Strong, to get an insight into how rice is grown and harvested.

Before the tour, Mr Toole and his advisers received a presentati­on in the Murray Irrigation board room which outlined the importance of irrigation to our region and the nation, as well as the impacts of water policy changes over the past 20 years.

It included proposed solutions through Murray Irrigation’s Regional Recovery Prospectus.

Mr Toole was accompanie­d on the farm tour by Murray Irrigation personnel, including chair Steve Fawns, director Lachlan Marshall, general manager operations Scott Barlow, and water policy manager Michael Pisasale.

The delegation inspected one of more than 400 bridges across the Murray Irrigation supply network that are in need of assessment for upgrading to be fit for future vehicle mass limits.

They were also given an explanatio­n by Mr Barlow of Murray Irrigation’s approach to modernisin­g its delivery infrastruc­ture, such as regulators and irrigation outlets.

This has saved significan­t capital costs by retrofitti­ng mechanical assets with company structures and incorporat­ing metering accuracy to reflect national standards.

Mr Barlow explained how Murray Irrigation’s water delivery is leading the industry in supply system efficiency.

Mr Fawns said the visit and tour provided another opportunit­y for Murray Irrigation to explain how the region can play a key role in providing food production and security, as well as economic and environmen­tal benefit, if everyone works together and develops sound water management policies which balance environmen­tal and productive needs.

“I believe the Deputy Premier gained a better understand­ing of our issues, our proposed

solutions and how our system operates,” Mr Fawns said.

“It is important that Murray Irrigation continues to engage with our decision-makers so they can appreciate the challenges we face and the solutions which exist,” he added.

Mr Fawns thanked Mr Toole for taking time in his busy schedule to visit and learn more about Murray Irrigation and irrigated agricultur­e, which is the cornerston­e of the region’s prosperity.

“Our company will continue to engage with politician­s, as we prioritise developing and presenting solutions that can protect the environmen­t, while at the same time providing water for productive use,” Mr Fawns said.

 ?? ?? (Back, from left) Deputy Premier Paul Toole and farmer Warwick Strong; (front) Murray Irrigation water policy manager Michael Pisasale, general manager operations Scott Barlow, director Lachlan Marshall and chair Steve Fawns during a visit to Mr Strong’s farm last week.
(Back, from left) Deputy Premier Paul Toole and farmer Warwick Strong; (front) Murray Irrigation water policy manager Michael Pisasale, general manager operations Scott Barlow, director Lachlan Marshall and chair Steve Fawns during a visit to Mr Strong’s farm last week.

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