Chairman stands down

May 20, 2017

Murray Irrigation chair Mark Robertson has stood down half way through his second term at the helm of the local company.

He was replaced by his predecessor, Bruce Simpson, following an internal election on Thursday.

In accepting the position, Mr Simpson thanked Mr Robertson for his commitment and tireless efforts to lead the organisation through a challenging period of change, as Murray Irrigation looks to secure its long term financial future.

Mr Robertson had been chair of Murray Irrigation since November 2015, and has been a board member since 2009.

The Finley-based director also holds a number of other positions across the southern NSW Riverina, including as a director of Ricegrowers’ Limited (trading as SunRice).

Mr Robertson did not want to comment on his decision to stand down when contacted by the Southern Riverina News yesterday.

Mr Simpson said he believed Mr Robertson stood down to concentrate on his other roles.

‘‘Given these responsibilities, along with the commitments involved in running his own farming business, Mr Robertson informed the board of his desire to stand down from the role of chair as he felt that he could no longer give the time and commitment he believed the position demanded,’’ Mr Simpson said.

‘‘He will, however, continue on as a director of the company.’’

Mr Simpson received unanimous support to re-take the chair’s position.

A board member since August 2012, Mr Simpson previously served as chair from 2013 to 2015.

Independent director Ben Barlow was elected deputy chair, also unanimously. He has been a board member since June 2016.

Mr Simpson said it was important the transition of leadership was conducted as smoothly as possible, so as to maintain stability for the organisation and its shareholders.

‘‘Under Mr Robertson’s leadership, Murray Irrigation has made great progress in becoming a more customer focused and more financially sustainable business,’’ Mr Simpson said.

‘‘I want to assure our shareholders that it is my full intention to continue to deliver on this strategy, and that the board looks forward to working with the management team to deliver further benefits.’’

Mr Simpson’s term as chair is effective immediately and will extend to Murray Irrigation’s next annual general meeting in November.

After the AGM, those elected to the board will determine both the chair and deputy chair roles for the new term.

‘‘I know I speak on behalf of all board members when I thank Mr Robertson for his invaluable contribution over many years, and I look forward to his continued support and counsel as we move forward,’’ Mr Simpson said.

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