The national peak body for the citrus industry, Citrus Australia, is the latest group to join the National Irrigators’ Council.

Based in Mildura in Victoria, Citrus Australia represents the interests of some 2,000 citrus growers across the country and the largest fruit export industry with annual exports valued at $190 million. Three quarters of citrus is produced in the Murray Darling Basin.

National Irrigators’ Council CEO, Danny O’Brien, welcomed the new group to the NIC, the latest to join the growing irrigator body.

“We are delighted to welcome Citrus Australia to the nation’s peak irrigator representative body and we look forward to working closely with the organisation on water matters.

“Secure water is of course critical to citrus production right across the country and we recognise the interest of citrus growers in ensuring that their rights as irrigators are protected.”

Citrus Australia CEO Judith Damianisaid with more and more decisions relating to water being taken in Canberra it is important to have a seat at the table.

“As an organisation, we have to make sure our members’ water interests are protected.

“The forthcoming Murray – Darling Basin Plan is likely to have an impact on our industry and it is essential that we have our say. We believe we can best do that through the NIC.”

Mr O’Brien said new membership helps strengthen the voice of irrigators and the industries that rely on irrigation.

“We have plenty of work to do to protect the rights of irrigators across the country, including in the Murray Darling Basin,and it’s great that we are getting new members to help develop our resources to ensure we are successful in that fight.

“Irrigators and industries dependent on water need to stand united in the face of significant challenges ahead and the NIC provides a strong, united voice for irrigators at a time when many decisions affecting their livelihoods are being taken in Canberra,” Mr O’Brien concluded.

Media contacts: Danny O’Brien (02) 6273 3637 or 0438 130 445 Judith Damiani (03) 5023 6333