Wakool (NSW) district irrigator Stewart Ellis has been elected the new chairman of the National Irrigators’ Council.

Mr Ellis was elected at today’s NIC annual general meeting, with South Australian irrigator Ian Zadow re-elected as Deputy Chair.

Mr Ellis grows cereal crops and beef cattle in the Murray region of NSW and was recently re-elected as Chair of Murray Irrigation Limited.

He said he was looking forward to the challenge of leading the NIC, the peak national body for irrigators which was formed last year.

“The NIC is committed to looking after the interests of all irrigators no matter where they are, what they grow or how they use water.

“It is a privilege to be elected to lead the organisation and I look forward to engaging with irrigators across the country as we seek to ensure their interests are protected so that they can get on with the important job of producing food and fibre for this country.

“Our council debated a number of hot issues today including the new issues paper on Sustainable Diversion Limits in the Murray Darling Basin, water metering and how to deal with future cutbacks to water entitlements.

“There were many other issues on the agenda covering areas both inside and outside the Murray Darling Basin and we know we have a heavy work schedule over coming months to ensure that the interests of irrigators are protected during a period of intense reform.”

Mr Ellis thanked outgoing chair Col Thomson for his work in helping to establish the NIC and getting it up and running.