Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Deniliquin secures positions on Murray LLS Board

Deniliquin farmers Ken Crossley and Graham Allitt were two of three people to be landholder-elected to the Murray Local Land Services Board.

ZOE MCMAUGH March 18, 2014 4:57am

Deniliquin has secured two of the three landholder-elected positions on the Murray Local Land Services Board.

In what is seen as a win for the local area, Deniliquin farmers Ken Crossley and Graham Allitt won enough votes to secure a place each on the seven-person board, which includes four government-elected directors.

The other landholder-elected director is Balranald landholder and former Riverina LHPA director Terry Gorman.

Mr Allitt said his priority was to ensure the Murray LLS head office, which has an interim base at the Catchment Management Authority office in Deniliquin, remains local.

‘‘The first thing we need to do is to keep the head office in Deniliquin,’’ Mr Allitt, a former Riverina Livestock Health and Pest Authority director, said.

‘‘We have to ensure people still have their jobs.

‘‘Deniliquin is almost dead centre of the whole Murray LLS region and we are probably one of the main sheep and cattle areas as well.’’

Mr Allitt said Deniliquin was home to both the head office of the Riverina LHPA and the Murray Catchment Management Authority before both were merged with NSW Department of Primary Industries on January 1 this year to form LLS.

‘‘This shows us that the resources to manage the regional branch of the organisation already exist in Deniliquin,’’ said Mr Allitt, who also listed ‘‘monitoring of spending and management of the organisation’’ as other key priorities.

‘‘We need to keep an eye on the costs of this new organisation and look after our ratepayers. It’s also important to look after our stock routes and biosecurity.

‘‘Before last week’s election results were announced the interim board was dominated by former CMA people.’’

While admitting he was reluctant to speak about his role before today’s first Murray LLS Board meeting in Albury, Mr Crossley did say he wants traditional agricultural issues given equal priority to that of natural resource management.

He also welcomed the ‘‘good local representation’’.

Moulamein farmer Alexandra Anthony, who was appointed chair of the Murray LLS by the NSW Government in December, said she was pleased with the expertise on offer from the board.

‘‘I welcome the new board members, who bring a lot of talent and experience to the table. We had a very high standard of candidates and I appreciate their participation.

‘‘We have been able to get some work done with the interim board, but it’s nice to have the entire board in place. Now we can get on and do what we need to be doing,’’ she said.

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