As a conversation starter, the Goulburn-Murray Water Connections Project meeting at Undera last Tuesday hit the mark.By Cathy Walker
Neil Maher, strategic connections manager for the project, took a group of about 25 dairy farmers and irrigators through its proposals to modernise their water systems.
The venue was the football clubrooms and among the premiership pennants of history, Mr Maher was concentrating firmly on the future.
Offering options that ranged from probable to unlikely, Mr Maher explained that it was up to irrigators to decide the future water direction best suited their businesses.
Option two, for example, involved 14.84
Mr Maher took irrigators through the process including how the financials would work, but stressed it was up to them to decide, and encouraged them to join an advisory committee to be a conduit between farmers and G-MW.
Non-voluntary rationalisation, he said, was a last resort and before that ‘‘we would continue to explore options’’.
Dairy farmer Felice Sgammotta said later he still felt in the dark where his farm is concerned.
‘‘We had someone (from the former NVIRP) come out to see us last summer, probably more than a year ago,’’ Mr Sgammotta said.
‘‘We invited him into our home and shared our information and farm. He never came back.’’
At the beginning of the meeting Mr Maher apologised for the delay in the modernisation process during the transition of NVIRP into G-MW.
Mr Sgammotta said he and his three neighbours who are expected to form a syndicate still had no idea of the timeline for a project on their farms so his answer to whether he was satisfied with the session last week was an empathic ‘‘no’’.
While the potential new ‘‘private syndicates’’ are the unknown — and to some, uncertain — elements of the program, after the meeting a G-MW staffer said the reality was that they would make up just 10 to 20 per cent of the Strategic Connections Project.
While that had not been put to the meeting, it was clear from the questions Mr Maher fielded that the privatisation of assets was worrying some people.
For example, who is responsible for ongoing maintenance? ‘‘The would either be with G-MW or the landowners, it just depends on the circumstances.’’
Who owns the meters? ‘‘The parent meter is owned by G-MW and the child (individual property) meters by the landowners.’’
A Tamleugh North farmer has described the theft of four sheep fences from his tornado-damaged property ''a low act''.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
A Kyabram man who struck a cyclist on Echuca-Moama bridge with a beer can thrown from the vehicle he was in was convicted and fined $400 in Moama Local Court on Wednesday.
A Rochester mother told a health forum about the devastating effect drugs have had on her family.
Over six hours of junior football is scheduled for Kyabram Recreation Reserve this Sunday.
Ten people were injured after Two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) collided during a training course at the Puckapunyal Military Training Range in on Wednesday, May 22.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
A purpose-built bike, equipped with amateur radio, will be on the O'Keefe Rail Trail tomorrow.
Cobram residents John Anderson and Ian Cobb will race down memory lane this weekend when they compete in the annual Historic Winton.
Deniliquin Fire and Rescue's open day has been hailed a success by captain Bill Muirhead.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
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