Murray Irrigation has completed an intense round of talks with leaders in national water reform.
Company representatives, including CEO Michael Renehan and Chairman Bruce Simpson, last week travelled to Sydney and Canberra to provide a snapshot of the company’s concerns, its immediate priorities and its long-term determination to extract value from the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and water reform in general.
The trip follows the recent Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council decision on Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism projects, including the 650 gigalitres of ‘down water’.
Starting with a courtesy call to Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, Mr Simpson and Mr Renehan met with a ‘who’s who’ in water reform.
It included NSW Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair and his political counterpart and NSW Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Mick Veitch.
They also met with Federal Shadow Minister for Environment and Water and Basin Plan architect Tony Burke and WaterNSW CEO David Harris.
‘‘The meetings were important to reintroduce Bruce Simpson as chairman and to provide an update on our $206.3 million PIIOP Round 2 infrastructure investment, as well as the need for us to leverage these improvements to benefit our customers,’’ Mr Renehan said.
‘‘We also wanted to emphasise Murray Irrigation’s position as a key player in commercial water delivery and a strategic partner in environmental water outcomes.
‘‘Our efforts to maintain an open and productive relationship with these important organisations is essential to the ongoing success of our region.’’
Mr Renehan said Murray Irrigation also relayed a level of community concern regarding communication with government departments, and also reinforced these messages in subsequent meetings with the NSW Irrigators’ Council.
He said Murray Irrigation continues to highlight the need for local engagement to develop long-term sustainable solutions with the National Irrigators’ Council, the leadership of the Murray Darling Basin Authority and senior officers from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
‘‘We are determined to keep positioning Murray Irrigation and its links to commercial water users as an invaluable partner to ensure sound policy development,’’ Mr Renehan said.