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New era for Southern Riverina Irrigators as chair resigns

After seven years at the helm of Southern Riverina Irrigators, Ted Hatty has stepped aside to make way for a ‘‘new face’’.

February 20, 2013 4:08am

Mr Hatty said he felt it was time to ‘‘let someone else have a go’’.

Taking up the challenge and elected at last week’s AGM was Jerilderie farmer Denis Tinkler.

Mr Hatty, a Tocumwal farmer, has led southern riverina communities through some of the toughest fights as chair of SRI.

‘‘When I first started, the first issue to come across my desk was the sale of the Snowy Hyrdo scheme – which was an interesting time.

‘‘I had only been in the job a few weeks.’’

Since then, Mr Hatty said the challenges kept coming, including the compulsory acquisition of water and subsequent fight for compensation and the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

It all came at a time when the district was wrestling with a decade long drought and consecutive years of zero water allocations.

‘‘It has been very rewarding and I have enjoyed the job, while also mindful it has been challenging as well.

‘‘I am looking forward to a change but I do have some fond memories.

‘‘I still have a keen interest in water issues and I will not disappear from the organisation completely.

‘‘I am still the SRI delegate on the NSW Irrigators’ Council and I am only to happy to help out where I can.

‘‘There just comes a time when you need a fresh face, and a sign of a healthy organisation is that there is someone there to be that fresh face.’’

Mr Hatty said Mr Tinkler’s current and previous irrigator group roles, and his wide knowledge of the industry, make him an ideal choice for the top job.

Mr Tinkler, 62, is a rice and meat sheep farmer. His ‘Grantham’ property is between Jerilderie and Finley, and he also owns a farm in Coleambally.

He was a founding member of MIL and was with the company from 1991 to 2000, on the advisory committee and then the board of directors.

‘‘I lost the ballot in 2000 and left MIL, and then decided farming was where I wanted to be.

‘‘I then took an interest in water politics and joined SRI.

‘‘I am passionate about the need of SRI as an advocate for irrigators and irrigations.

‘‘And I give Ted credit for the years he has put in, which has probably been the most difficult time.’’

Mr Tinkler is also a former chair of the Berriquin Ricegrowers Association of Australia (RGA) branch, is a representative of the NSW Irrigators’ Council and a delegate of the Berriquin Landholders’ Association.

Other executive members announced at the recent SRI AGM include Wakool Landholders’ Association chair David May as senior vice chair and Deniboota Landholders’ Association chair Alistair Starritt as elected junior vice chairman.

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