Opinion

Choosing local a win for G-MW

By Shepparton News

It may come as a surprise to Goulburn Valley communities that a new managing director for the troubled Goulburn-Murray Water has been found living in Shepparton.

Charmaine Quick, appointed yesterday to head the water corporation, comes with impressive credentials; well educated, travelled, experienced and recognised among her peers.

The News also understands that she has been ‘‘doing her homework’’ in researching the issues facing farm irrigators prior to her appointment.

While her gender should be only of passing interest it is still noteworthy that she has been successful in a historically male-dominated industry.

She was counted among the top 50 women in the Victorian public sector in a study of exceptional female leaders.

These are encouraging portents for leadership of an organisation which has undergone governing upheaval in recent years, leaving some major challenges only half-done.

She will be joining an organisation weary of the leadership changes and perhaps a little wary of newcomers, so it may take some time for her to establish herself and win trust to enable her to introduce change.

And change is required.

Irrigators are looking for a leaner organisation which can account for all charges which they have to pay, and which will allow them to sustain and grow modern, efficient farms.

We hope she and the relatively new chair will also take a close look at whether the organisation needs to be restructured to better reflect its responsibilities to irrigators, the Murray-Darling Basin, the state and other stakeholders.

The corporation has become a multi-faceted organism.

G-MW is carrying out functions for a range of other bodies and agencies which may or may not be bearing the actual costs.

Ms Quick’s local knowledge (she has lived here for many years) will be mightily useful in addressing the challenges facing the water corporation.

We hope we can look forward to a more stable governance structure while the board and management develop a more efficient body.