CICL Update March 2018
This newsletter provides Members with an update on key water issues affecting CICL and its Members’ businesses.
In this month's newsletter -
Department of Industry Allocation announcements
High Security 95%
General Security 34%
B.H. 02 6954 4003
A.H. 0427 544 269
Only to be used for emergency stops.
CICL Offices will be closed for Easter on Friday 30 March reopening 8.30am Tuesday 3 April.
No changes to services
Operational over the Easter break, however trades will not be approved until Tuesday 3 April.
External and internal trades close 31 May 2018.
New measures which aim to eliminate metolachlor from our drainage system
I raised in our December update and at the breakfast meeting of 5 March, that CICL was considering changes to its approach to manage the risks of metolachlor in our drainage system. The Board, based on advice from Management and the Community Environmental Reference Committee (CERC), has agreed to introduce stricter requirements that will apply to Members and/or Customers that use this product in their farm business operations, effective 2018.
The incidences of the detection of metolachlor in our drainage water, during sampling undertaken as part of our EPA Licence, present an unacceptable risk to CICL and our Members/Customers. CICL has decided it needs to be proactive in the management of this issue.
Details of the new requirements will be posted to you in the near future. In essence, the new requirements will request Members/Customers using products containing metolachlor to register with CICL and to demonstrate they have effective storage and recycling systems. In addition, if water contaminated with metolachlor is discharged into CICL’s drainage system in the future, CICL will cease supply to that landholding under Division 8 – Water Supply Rules of CICL. CICL’s goal is to have zero detection of metolachlor in its drainage system in 2018/19 and in future years.
I appreciate these changes are significant, however, CICL believes the change is warranted to protect not only the downstream environment but also CICL and Members/Customers’ reputations.
Members/Customers will be encouraged to consider alternatives such as pendimethalin.
CICL will hold an information briefing to provide you with a detailed explanation of our approach, the reasons for introducing this requirement and how CICL proposes to handle any legacy issues associated with metolachlor used in previous years.
Permanent Irrigation Display
The Board and Management are well progressed with “refreshing” CICL’s Strategic Plan for the years 2018 to 2023.
We received some terrific input from Members who participated in a Focus Group in January and this input has contributed to our discussions. Thank you very much to those involved.
I am calling this a Strategic Plan “refresh” because it is clear from the Board, Members, Staff and our external stakeholders that CICL’s current Strategic Plan has delivered on many of its objectives, however, many of them are still relevant going forward. Refreshing the plan is an opportunity to consider what has changed, new opportunities and/or risks and make sure we are not complacent but continue to strive for improvement.
The Board and Management expect to finalise the refreshed Plan and its strategies over the next two months after which we will share the results with our Members.
CICL welcomed Keith Thompson to our business last November, and Sam Casey and Shane Taylor in early October.
Keith is working in environmental compliance and also leading our Work Health and Safety accreditation. Keith has previously worked for Murray Irrigation and West Corurgan.
Sam Casey initially worked in Water Operations but recently transferred to CICL’s Information Systems department. Shane Taylor is working in our Water Operations department as a Channel Technician.
CICL is pleased these young, enthusiastic staff have joined our workforce, with all performing well.
CICL’s Assets and Maintenance department 18/19 “Winter Works” program includes working on approximately 30 concrete structures across our footprint. These jobs include a number of road culvert extensions. One road culvert will be replaced under Coly 4 on DonaldRoss Drive. Winter Works will also include a number of bank building projects and installation of additional rock at a number of regulators.
CICL is always looking for clay for bank rebuilding and clay lining. Members completing earth works near CICL channels who may have surplus earth are encouraged to contact Kevin Kelly on M. 0428 544 273.
In addition CICL has opportunities for “casual” work during the “Winter Works” period. If any of our members or their family is seeking winter employment, please contact Kevin Kelly.
Water outlook 2018/19
The Department of Industry will release its preliminary water availability outlook information for 2018/19 on Thursday 15 March 2018. Members and customers can subscribe to the Department’s updates here. CICL also forwards the updates to our Members via email.
All customers need to finalise their end of season account balances by 4pm on Thursday 31 May 2018.
The Labor Party’s decision to support the Greens’ disallowance motion to reject the 70GL reduction in the volume to be recovered from the Northern Basin in mid-February has caused significant uncertainty for the future of the Basin Plan and also irrigators.
The Senate will also vote, in early May, on the Greens’ motion to reject the 605GL Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Mechanism. This change to the Basin Plan is important to CICL as it will reduce the volume that needs to be recovered for the environment from the Murrumbidgee Valley.
The failure to achieve bipartisan support for the proposed change to the Basin Plan is extremely disappointing and is a backward step for the irrigation sector. While NSW and Victoria contemplate withdrawing from the Basin Plan processes, for irrigators it leaves the Commonwealth responsible for recovering at least 2,750GL of water.
CICL is continuing to work with National Irrigators’ Council and NSW Irrigators’ Council to influence government decisions on the Basin Plan and in encouraging Governments to not to play “politics” with the Basin Plan.
The MDBA recently released some of the results of the Social and Economic Analysis of the Basin Plan, including a profile of Coleambally which can be found here or by contacting CICL. This report is sobering reading. Key points to note from this work include the decline in the work force over 15 years from 2001-2016 of 21%, with the largest decline between 2011-2016. The data also shows a reduction in community advantage and wealth in 2011 compared to 2001. This information highlights that our community is changing and the importance of considering impacts on communities of Basin Plan implementation. Building Leadership Capacity - National Irrigators’ Council has received funding from the Commonwealth Government’s Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund for individuals to undertake leadership training from three programs: 1. Australian Institute of Company Directors 2. Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (Trial one week program) 3. The Peter Cullen Trust If you are interested in finding out more and/or applying please contact Jenny McLeod at CICL T. 02 6954 4003. Applications close Friday 30 March 2018.
Building Leadership Capacity
National Irrigators’ Council has received funding from the Commonwealth Government’s Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund for individuals to undertake leadership training from three programs:
- Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Australian Rural Leadership Foundation (Trial one week program)
- The Peter Cullen Trust
If you are interested in finding out more and/or applying please contact Jenny McLeod at CICL T. 02 6954 4003. Applications close Friday 30 March 2018.
As the end of the summer irrigation season approaches and our Members/Customers look forward to harvest, I wish you a safe harvest and pleasing crop yields.
If you would like more information about any of the items in this update please don’t hesitate to contact CICL at firstname.lastname@example.org
I take the opportunity to thank all who attended the breakfast meeting on 5 March. It was great to see more than 50 members attend. I continue to encourage Members/Customers to attend our breakfast meetings. These meetings are an opportunity for Management, Members and Customers to discuss issues in greater detail.
Clifford Ashby, CEO