RGA Leaders in Water Advocacy
National and State industry leadership is a key priority for the
RGA, and the RGA is proud that our people continue to take up key leadership
roles within our peak bodies.
RGA President Rob Massina said “These organisations in
particular are critical to shaping the future of water reform at both a
National and State level”.
In late October the RGA’s delegate to the National
Irrigators’ Council and previous President, Moulamein grower Jeremy Morton was
elected as the new Chair of the National Irrigators’ Council (NIC
Media Release). In addition to being a member
of the RGA’s Water Committee, Jeremy is also a current director of SunRice.
“Jeremy is highly experienced in governance and advocacy and has
an incredible knowledge of the key issues facing the sector. He is well placed
to lead the National Irrigators’ Council through the challenges associated with
the remaining Murray Darling Basin Plan implementation, the commencement of
National Water Market Reform and the many other National issues facing the
sector” said Mr Massina.
Jeremy replaced previous Chair Gavin McMahon from the Central
Irrigation Trust after he retired from the role following eight years of
“Gavin has done an exceptional job leading both the National
Irrigators Councils and the industries advocacy efforts, particularly with
regard to the Basin Plan implementation. During this time, the successive
Federal governments have significantly shifted towards a more triple bottom
line approach to water reform, as evidenced by the introduction of the cap on
buy-backs, the strengthening of the socioeconomic test, and more recently the
ACCC inquiry into water markets” said Mr Massina. “The RGA is very thankful to Gavin for his constructive,
inclusive and professional leadership during this time.”
At the same time, another of RGA’s previous Presidents, Braham
grower Les Gordon continues to Chair the National Farmers’ Federation Water
Taskforce, a role that he has held for several years now.
“We are incredibly proud to have two rice industry members
leading the irrigation industries advocacy efforts at a national level.”
This month, RGA’s Policy Manager and Bunnaloo grower Rachel
Kelly was also re-elected as Vice- President of the NSW Irrigators Council for
a second year, and the RGA’s previous Policy Manager Claire Miller was
announced as the Chief Executive Officer, after undertaking the Interim CEO
role for the past four months NSWIC
“The NSW Irrigators’ Council is the lead advocate on matters
pertaining to Water Sharing Plans and water entitlement reliability, improving
the allocation framework and the implementation of many of the Basin Plan
projects, amongst other key issues. It is great to have Rachel and Claire at
the forefront of these issues” said Mr Massina.
“Water policy continues to be both the number one concern for
our grower members and the key risk facing our industry. For this reason, the
RGA set an objective three years ago to have greater level of representation
amongst our peak bodies, and it is fantastic to see our people stepping up to
“The RGA has focused on developing the capacity of our industry
and people through the Rice Industry Leadership Program for over a decade now.
Jeremy, Rachel and Les have all participated in this program and are just three
of many examples of the program’s success” said Mr Massina.