National Irrigators’ Council (NIC) is searching for a new CEO following the decision by CEO, Tom Chesson to move on.

NIC Chair Gavin McMahon told Members of the organisation: “Tom has been a great advocate for the irrigation industry in both water and energy policy and I thank him for his dedication and commitment to the organisation. I wish him success in the next stage of his career and am sure if he takes the same energy and passion to his new position he will be successful in achieving outcomes for his new employer.”

Mr Chesson said it was his firm belief that the successful introduction of the Carp Herpes Virus will be one of the greatest environmental outcomes, not seen in a lifetime and he was very keen to be part of it.

“I will be joining Matt Barwick at the Carp Commission and working over the next two and a half years in getting the virus up to the point of release here in Australia.”

“While I have no doubt as to the future success of the virus, it will not be as effective if there are not ‘complimentary measures’ undertaken in combination with the release of the virus.”

“There is no doubt that native fish will never recover to the levels being sort via the billions of dollars of investment on the Basin Plan if carp, cold water pollution, fish ways, habitat restoration and restocking are not part of the Sustainable Diversion Limit offset mechanism,” he said.

Mr Chesson said irrigated agriculture communities had been put through the ringer by what he considered to be a very poor public policy approach.

“Communities are already poorer for the ‘just add water’ approach.

“Communities were promised ‘adaptive management’ and ‘localism’ had been hardwired in to the Basin Plan, yet to date they hadn’t seen examples of it.

“The 2016 Spring floods comprehensively demonstrate the flaws in the modelling that underpins the Basin Plan. It is time for an honest appraisal of what can and can’t be delivered in the real world.”

“While NIC is no shrinking violet when it comes to standing up for communities, it has proven that it can do what Governments too often can’t, that is produce sound, pragmatic policy positions designed to underpin real world triple bottom line outcomes across state boundaries, “Mr Chesson said.

Mr Chesson said irrigators were the key to managing the risks associated with climate change and it had been an honour to work with Australia’s innovative and progressive farmers whose dedication to their communities, the environment and growing the nation’s economy, was second to none.

The positionof NIC CEO is advertised on Seek and is available here.

Media Contact: Tom Chesson 0418 415597