Conargo Shire resident and Deniliquin community leader Bruce Simpson was awarded the Conargo Shire Citizen of the Year award.By Zoe McMaugh
It’s not just a commitment to the Conargo community which saw Bruce Simpson named Conargo Shire’s Citizen of the Year on Australia Day.
Mr Simpson’s involvement in community spreads throughout the region, particularly when it comes to his latest two roles - chair of Murray Group of Concerned Community and a director on the Murray Irrigation Limited board.
For many years, Mr Simpson has offered his own time to fight for rural beliefs and rights.
When presenting him with his Australia Day award on Saturday, Conargo Mayor Norm Brennan said Mr Simpson’s accomplishments are almost too numerous to list.
In revealing his most notable achievements, however, Cr Brennan said he has proven to be a valuable member of the Conargo Shire Community.
‘‘He was heavily involved as Chairman of the Yanco Creek Tributaries Committee. The primary focus of this group was to ensure that landholders on this creek system received regular flows of water to satisfy their farming needs.
‘‘Bruce was a strong voice on the North Conargo Land Management Group dealing with issues such as the Plains Wanderer that had the potential to affect many landholders.
‘‘He is chairman of the Edward River Country Education Fund where he has provided direction and strong leadership in the distribution of funding for Scholarships to distribute to rural students seeking a higher education.
‘‘He is chair of the Murray Group of Concerned Communities, examining the Murray-Darling Basin Plan .
‘‘Bruce has given very freely of his time on this committee and it has consumed thousands of hours dealing with a complex problem that affects every farmer in the Murray Darling Basin.’’
‘‘Communities rely very heavily on people like Bruce Simpson who are prepared to step up to the plate and shoulder the responsibilities on steering committees and groups who negotiate with government and government departments on a wide range of issues that affect isolated rural communities.’’
Mr Simpson was also recognised for his contribution to the Deniliquin North Public School P&C where his children went to school and his involvement in Conargo community groups.
Mr Simpson and Cr Brennan also thanked Mr Simpson’s wife Shandra for her support.
‘‘Thank you Bruce for everything you have done for the Conargo Community, and indeed farmers in the whole of the Murray-Darling Basin,’’ Cr Brennan said.
‘‘We should also thank Shandra and your family for the support they have given (Bruce) to allow him to participate on all the committees he has served on.’’
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