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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 service.


“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 Media Release).


“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 these positions.”


“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.

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