Ad­vance ap­proved

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Reg­u­la­tory ap­proval for the Snowy Ad­vance scheme has been re­ceived.

Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion Ltd said ap­proval to fi­nalise the deal — a bor­row of 200 gi­gal­itres of wa­ter from Snowy Hy­dro Ltd — would in­crease the use of pro­duc­tive wa­ter across the re­gion.

Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion chair­man Mark Robert­son said it was great news for the com­pany and its cus­tomers.

‘‘The whole idea of the project was to in­crease the pro­duc­tive use of wa­ter in our re­gion and sup­port our farm­ers dur­ing low al­lo­ca­tion years,’’ he said.

‘‘With this fi­nal ap­proval, Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion share­hold­ers can now plan for the 2016/17 sea­son with much greater con­fi­dence.

‘‘The project was also about the board and the busi­ness think­ing more com­mer­cially.

‘‘We must thank our lo­cal mem­bers, Sus­san Ley (Fed­eral Mem­ber for Far­rer) and Adrian Pic­coli (NSW Mem­ber for Mur­ray) for their sup­port for this from the out­set.’’

Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Michael Rene­han said the news bodes well for the 2016/17 ir­ri­ga­tion sea­son.

‘‘Our cus­tomers have shown great sup­port for this project, so I’m sure it will be wel­come news to hear that ap­proval has been re­ceived,’’ he said.

‘‘Gov­ern­ment ap­proval of the project took longer than hoped, but it is rea­son­able that the NSW Gov­ern­ment did ev­ery­thing in their power to en­sure the in­ter­ests of all wa­ter hold­ers across the basin are not com­pro­mised, re­gard­less of their par­tic­i­pa­tion in this deal.

‘‘The ap­proval now pro­vides our cus­tomers with an­other tool to plan their win­ter and sum­mer crop­ping pro­grams.’’

Ap­pli­ca­tions for par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Snowy Ad­vance project closed on Fri­day, May 13.

Snowy Hy­dro Lim­ited made up to 200GL avail­able to Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion as an ad­vance.

Of this, the ma­jor­ity has been op­tioned by Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion share­hold­ers, in ad­di­tion to a vol­ume that has been re­served for con­veyance.

The re­main­ing vol­ume has been taken up by in­vited cor­po­rate part­ners, to be used pre­dom­i­nantly in Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion’s foot­print.

The wa­ter will be made avail­able as an ad­vance for the 2016/17 ir­ri­ga­tion sea­son. The bor­row is to be re­paid by farm­ers, but only when a pre-de­ter­mined wa­ter al­lo­ca­tion level has been reached.

‘‘We are con­fi­dent cus­tomers will re­ceive the full al­lo­ca­tion they have ap­plied for, and are el­i­gi­ble for, through the ad­vance ap­pli­ca­tion process,’’ Mr Rene­han said.

Mur­ray Ir­ri­ga­tion ex­pects to have the fi­nal deed signed be­tween all par­ties be­fore the end of the month.

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