Bird

Irrigation advisory group provides valuable insight

An advisory group representing the interests of industry, farmers and community in the Shepparton Irrigation Region may have a new name but will continue the good work done by previous similar groups over the past two decades.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Sustainable Irrigation Program Manager Carl Walters said the Shepparton Irrigation Region People, Planning and Integration Committee (SIRPPIC) would provide advice on a range of issues affecting primarily irrigators but also other farmers, and related industries.

“The committee is made up of 12 community members as well as representatives from the Goulburn Broken CMA, Goulburn-Murray Water, Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources, Murray Dairy and local government, making a total of 22 members,” he said.

The community representatives are: Helen Reynolds, Heather Du Vallon, Allen Canobie, Roger Wrigley, Andrea Smith, Murray McDonald, Barry Croke, Kelvin Bruce, Jennifer Savage, Alfred Heuperman, Doug Brown and Pat Rochford.

The community members represent dairy, horticulture, aquaculture, cropping, urban, landcare and science/engineering interests.

“We’re well aware that while irrigated-agriculture continues to underpin the economy, the region is continually having to adapt to changes in climate, land use, water policy and demographics so it’s important the advisory group reflects those changes too,” Mr Walters said.

“Over the next 12 months the group will provide advice and feedback to us and our partners on two really important pieces of work: the regional land and water management plan, which outlines how we will look after our natural resources, and a review of the Shepparton Irrigation Region drainage strategy that deals with salinity and water logging.” 

Throughout the reviews of the land and water management plan and the drainage strategy, the advisory group will be seeking further community feedback.

“This makes sure these plans really reflect the region’s priorities and builds on years of local knowledge and experience,” Mr Walters said.

“While the work on these reviews is a current priority, the group will also be providing insight and advice on how to respond to other regional matters, such as water quality, drought, fire and fruit fly.”

More information about Goulburn Broken CMA’s Sustainable Irrigation Program is available at www.gbcma.vic.gov.au

*** Versions of this advisory group have previously been known as: Salinity Program Advisory Council; Shepparton Irrigation Region Implementation Committee; and Sustainable Irrigation Program Advisory Committee.