Media Release


New Chapter for NSW Irrigators’ Council

Today marks the start of a new chapter for NSW Irrigators Council (NSWIC), with a new Chief Executive Officer and 2 new Directors formally appointed.

We are very excited to announce that Claire Miller was today declared the permanent CEO of NSWIC, after filling the interim role for the previous 4 months.

Claire has extensive experience and expertise in water policy, and a deep understanding of irrigation communities, particularly in the Southern Connected Systems. Claire has been fully involved in Murray-Darling Basin Plan issues since its inception, and is a fearless advocate for getting practical solutions for communities and the environment. Claire has a background as an award-winning environmental journalist.

Chair of NSWIC, Jim Cush, said “Claire has been part of Murray-Darling Basin Plan reforms since Day 1, and has been working with communities particularly in the Southern Basin to get better outcomes. If anyone can get our sector out of the chaos we face, and into a secure and bright future, it’s Claire and our team.”

Ms Miller said, “This is a critical time for irrigation farmers in NSW, as we continue through the largest water reforms in our history, face a changing climate, and increasing social expectations on our sector.”

“NSW Irrigators’ Council has a critical role to ensure irrigators can have the future they envisage, and that the necessary policy changes are made to realise this secure future.”

“My immediate priorities as CEO include addressing the risks of SDL Adjustment Projects currently carried by irrigators, unlocking the black box of water allocations that impacts on entitlement reliability, and regulating floodplain harvesting to be subject to a licence, meter and to be compliant with sustainable levels.”

At today’s AGM, Jim Cush was re-elected to a second term as Chair of NSWIC, with Rachel Kelly (Policy Manager for Rice Growers Association) also re-elected for a second term as Deputy-Chair.

“The re-election of both our Chair and Vice-Chair is a testament to their hard work and dedication to our Council and industry,” said Ms Miller.

Mr Cush said “Our priorities are about bringing strength through unity, conquering misinformation, and getting on top of constant reforms.”

NSWIC also welcome the appointment of two new Directors to our Board – Peter Shepperd from Coleambally Irrigation, and Jon-Maree Baker from Namoi Water.

The new appointments mean the NSWIC Board has a balance of 2 Directors from the Southern Basin, 2 from the Northern Basin, and 1 from Central NSW.

Today we also farewell Tim Napier (Border Rivers Food and Fibre) as a long-standing Director of NSWIC, who reached his final term limits of directorship. Tim will continue as a Delegate of NSWIC, and we are grateful for his valuable contributions during his time as a Director.

“Tim has made tremendous contributions to NSWIC and our industry, across the State. Tim cares about our industry, its future, and works tirelessly to reach better outcomes”, said Mr Cush.

“We look forward to continuing to work with Tim, and the wealth of knowledge and experience he contributes to our sector.”

“We are embarking on this new chapter as NSWIC has a critical role to represent irrigation farmers from every corner of NSW to have a more water secure future.”

Secure - Sustainable - Productive