MIL hosts ministers ‘engagement is imperative’

At Murray Irrigation, we value and understand the importance of positive, respectful relationships with politicians of various persuasions.

That does not mean we always agree with their decisions, however if we are going to achieve positive outcomes for our shareholders and the region in general, this engagement is imperative.

It was therefore gratifying to have the opportunity this week to host numerous government ministers from state and federal level, at which time MIL — on behalf of our community — was able to highlight the critical role our company plays in the delivery of water within the Murray-Darling system.

On-site meetings at the Mascotte Escape on Monday included a vast range of government representatives and regional stakeholders who were able to see first-hand two examples where the company, through leadership, innovation and collaboration, has positioned itself to ensure we are able to provide long-term sustainability and viability of irrigated agriculture within our region.

We appreciated the opportunity to showcase our achievements to Federal Minister for Water Keith Pitt, Federal Minister for Environment Sussan Ley, and our local Senator Perin Davey.

Murray Irrigation also appreciated the efforts of so many local people, representing a broad cross section of community and farming interests, who joined us and were also able to engage effectively with ministers Pitt and Ley, Senator Davey and other government representatives who attended.

On Tuesday, our communication with government continued when representatives from Murray Irrigation hosted a half-day session with the recently appointed NSW Minister for Water Kevin Anderson. We are confident this, too, will be a catalyst for improved communication and understanding of unique issues around water policy and management in the NSW Murray.

The new Murray Irrigation board, elected in late 2021, is looking forward to ensuring this week’s engagement is just a small part of ongoing cooperation between our company, shareholders and community that leads to positive outcomes in our agricultural production and therefore regional prosperity.

We acknowledge that the past decade has been a challenging time in water management. However, we cannot turn back the clock. We must work with elected representatives and the personnel appointed to their departments to develop solutions that are for mutual benefit.

As such, it is important that we move forward towards implementing policy and projects which have the dual purpose of providing environmental benefit, while at the same time maximising the volumes of water that our shareholders can use for the food and fibre production which is an integral part of our regional and national economies.

At Murray Irrigation, all our shareholder-elected directors are also irrigators. They understand the complexities around water management and are committed to working as a team on behalf of all shareholders to build a financially sustainable company that works alongside the needs of our irrigation farmers.

We are likewise committed to engaging whenever possible with ministers and government representatives, as we have done this week, to highlight the importance of what we do, and what our shareholders grow. There are long-term solutions that can strengthen the sustainability and viability of MIL and the businesses our shareholders operate.

We will not shy away from difficult conversations, but acknowledge the way ahead needs to be one of collaboration and cooperation to ensure these solutions are identified and delivered.