Water

No general security entitlements reason for Murray irrigation not getting involved in class action

By Country News

Murray Irrigation has met with Southern Riverina Irrigators to reaffirm the company’s position that it will not be party to, or fund, a class action against the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Murray Irrigation board chair Phil Snowden said that while the organisation understood shareholder concerns over management of the Murray-Darling Basin, the company could not be party to the action.

‘‘Local shareholders are understandably frustrated over the continuing general security zero allocation and increased river losses,’’ Mr Snowden said.

‘‘As a board, we share those concerns and have been addressing this issue for over a year.

‘‘This includes making representations to the relevant governments, members of parliament and agencies to improve conditions for farmers in the southern Riverina.

‘‘Additionally, we’ve enhanced our operations to improve the safe and efficient delivery of water to shareholders.

‘‘This, however, doesn’t change the fact that Murray Irrigation is not eligible to be party to the class action, nor can we financially support it.’’

Mr Snowden said the organisation recently provided shareholders with the company’s position on several key water policies and would continue to advocate on behalf of local farmers.

‘‘We’re open with shareholders about the advocacy work that we’re doing and the platforms on which our conversations with the relevant parties will take place,’’ he said.

‘‘To this end, it’s crucial that we maintain open and respectful relationships with all parties if we are going to achieve sustainable, long-term outcomes for increased water availability and improved water security.’’

Murray Irrigation is unable to be party to the class action as it doesn’t hold general security entitlements.