Southern Riverina News

Southern Riverina Irrigators

On Tuesday around 700 people crammed into Waring Gardens at Deniliquin with a clear message for Federal Water Minister Tanya Plibersek NO MORE BUYBACKS.

There were farmers, business owners and community members who turned out in droves to support their community wonderful. and it was

What wasn’t so wonderful was the distinct lack of support shown by our own water delivery company MIL, who out of all the businesses in the community, probably have the most to lose.

And yet it was basically radio silence.

Increasing delivery charges to make up for lost income from water which is no longer being delivered because of buybacks, is an unpalatable solution which reverberates through the community.

Have the staff at MIL misread this?

Can they not recognise when water is no longer being delivered they no longer have a job or do they just see a future of delivering environmental water instead of shareholders water?

Thank you to the board member and lone worker I did see. If there were others, they certainly weren’t identifiable by their uniform.

And that is my point – where is MIL on this issue?

Are they in steadfast opposition or are they complicit?

SunRice workers were there with their placards and their voice with maintenance worker Clint Free stating “farmers are the heart of our town and all sorts of business and workers rely on them for related jobs in the supply chain – I can’t think of any other government in the world that is trying its best to ruin a world class farming and irrigation system”.

Perhaps management should have a chat to SunRice they seem to understand the situation.

Next Thursday, 30 November is the MIL AGM.

Here is a reminder of some of concerns and issues raised to SRI over the last year;

• MIL operating costs in 201717 were $22.6million, in 202122 they were $34.6million - an increase of 52 per cent and continuing to rise every year.

• Cost of water delivery is fast approaching $100 per ML – eroding profit margins and viability.

• MIL spent 12 months working on a business review with no shareholder consultation whatsoever.

• This year MIL sold 105,000ML of WaterWell water to fill a $7 million financial shortfall they haven’t adequately explained.

• MIL are seeking to establish a $440 million AMRR fund and looking to raise an additional $10.2 million annually to fund AMRR.

• MIL are currently devaluing delivery entitlements by offering no incentive to shareholders to hold them, despite them being a key source of income for the company.

We know there is a reason why the AGM is held smack bang in the middle of harvest but we urge you to take some time out and come along if you can.

Support the future of your business and let’s keep MIL board and management accountable to its shareholders – there has never been a more important time to invest in the future of your business.





McPherson Media