Shareholders lose faith in company

October 24, 2017

Deniliquin farmer Karen Macdonald says she’s lost all faith in the Murray Irrigation Limited board following its very public stance against two elected directors late last week.

Responding to the board’s vote of no confidence motion in James Sides and Chris Brooks, Mrs Macdonald said she was ‘‘so disheartened and confused’’.

It followed an earlier letter to shareholders in which the board said it would not endorse Mr Sides in the current director elections.

‘‘I am even more concerned now,’’ Mrs Macdonald said.

‘‘The first letter only implicated one director after the board reviewed the external review now a week later apparently after a further review of the same external review we now have votes of no confidence in two directors.

‘‘I have no confidence in any of the directors now.

‘‘The shareholders have to be wondering what’s going on, and maybe we need a whole new board.

‘‘We have to have confidence, trust and respect in our board; even if we don’t agree with their decisions.’’

Berrigan shareholder Graeme Pyle said Friday’s announcement left him ‘‘shocked and dismayed’’.

Insisting he was speaking to the Pastoral Times independently of his role as chair of Southern Riverina Irrigators, Mr Pyle said the ‘‘very public squabbles’’ had also shaken his confidence in the board.

He said he was concerned the boardroom ‘‘antics’’ had impacted on Murray Irrigation’s ability to represent its shareholders effectively.

‘‘We’re looking for guidance and governance, and we get this,” he said.

‘‘(Last week) while they were playing their internal boardroom games the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries stakeholder advisory panel did not get a member of Murray Irrigation Limited on it; it is a major group that will have input on the water sharing plan.

‘‘Also, no-one from Murray Irrigation attended the annual general meeting of the Deniboota Landholders Association, when at previous meetings there has been at least five.’’

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