Senator Pocock headlines large delegation
This was highlighted over the weekend at one of the most important gatherings in our region for some time.
The star of the large delegation of water and environmental stakeholders was independent ACT Senator David Pocock.
He and the other delegates were welcomed to Deniliquin and the district on Saturday as part of a weekend informational and educational tour of the southern Riverina.
The event, hosted by Murray Irrigation in partnership with local community members and organizations, focused on showcasing local examples of agriculture and the environment coexisting and thriving together.
The weekend’s delegation also included Federal Senator Perin Davey, an adviser to the Office of the Minister for Environment and Water Tanya Plibersek, the Deputy Inspector General for Water Compliance, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Watertrust Australia, One Basis CRC, SunRice Group, Ricegrowers’ Association of Australia, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, Coleambally Irrigation Co-Operative, National Irrigators’ Council, Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre, NSW Environment and Heritage, Cummeragunja Local Aboriginal Land Council, Bangerang Aboriginal Corporation, Werai Land and Water Aboriginal Corporation, local stakeholders and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water.
Upon Senator Pocock’s arrival at Deniliquin Airport, the weekend program began with a Welcome to Country and Traditional Smoking Ceremony conducted by Liticia Ross of the Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Centre.
Over the weekend, Senator Pocock toured the Deniliquin SunRice mill, visited local farms, attended a Mascotte Escape demonstration that supplies environmentally friendly water, was taught about the cultural and environmental importance of Reed Beds Bird Hide and discussed river operations Challenges of the Barmah Choke and learned about the water management infrastructure at Gulpa Creek Offtake.
At Saturday’s breakfast meeting were (back, from left) Andrew Reynolds, Steve Fawns, Andrew McConville, Simon Banks, Senator David Pocock, Geoff Moar, Phil Snowden, Malcolm Holm and Michael Wrathall; (front) Matthew Dadswell, Noel Baxter, Amanda Barlow, Louise Burge, Meagan Marshall and Senator Perin Davey.
Given Senator Pocock’s roots as a professional rugby player, the delegation also enjoyed a touch football match hosted by Deniliquin Drovers Rugby Union Club.
They also enjoyed the hospitality of local cafes and restaurants.
Ron McCalman, CEO of Murray Irrigation, hailed the weekend as a great success and thanked local organizations, community groups and government officials for their commitment and support.
“Murray Irrigation is fortunate to have strong relationships with local First Nations organizations like the Yarkuwa Indigenous Knowledge Center as well as other irrigation companies, agricultural organizations like SunRice, local landowners associations and representatives from all three levels of government who helped make this weekend possible.” , McCalman said.
“Agriculture and environment working together is a shared goal for our region, and we’re pleased that Senator Pocock was able to see some of the local modernization and innovation in action that is helping to achieve this.
“With its rich irrigation history, the Southern Riverina has the right infrastructure to pioneer agricultural and ecological water supplies that function as a unit.”
Damanu Bangerang Dance Group performs at Mathoura Reed Beds Bird Hide.
Murray Irrigation is trying to do just that with its Murray Reconnected Floodplains project.
When complete, this initiative will be Australia’s largest targeted ecological irrigation project, using the company’s vast water supply network to connect thousands of kilometers of river systems and wetlands in the Murray Floodplain and target vulnerable ecosystems.
“On behalf of Murray Irrigation, I thank Senator Pocock for taking the time to learn more about our region and its important role in Australian primary production,” said McCalman.
“We are pleased to have been given the opportunity to introduce him to the work that is being done in our local community to provide sustainable eco-friendly irrigation solutions.”
Senator David Pocock reconnected with his rugby roots during a friendly match hosted by Deniliquin Drovers Rugby Union Club. A meeting at Picnic Point was attended by (back, from left) Prof Mike Stewardson, Phil Snowden, Andrew Reynolds, Brett Jones, Annabelle Plunkett, Senator Perin Davey, Clifford Ashby, Michael Pisasale jnr, Matthew Dadswell, David Crew, Aunt Jeannette Crew OAM part, Dr. Nick Austin, Stewart Taylor and Gabrielle Cusack; (front) Neil Bull, Finoa Scott, Dr. Simon Banks, Andrew McConville, Michael Wrathall, Ron McCalman, Ben Malden and Senator David Pocock. Liticia Ross speaks one-on-one with Senator David Pocock.