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Macalister Customer Consultative Committee

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The Macalister Customer Consultative Committee (MCCC) is Southern Rural Water’s customer advisory group for the Macalister Irrigation Area (MIA). It provides an open forum for raising and discussing issues relevant to customers and SRW’s Eastern Irrigation Business.

Message from the Committee

As members of the MCCC it is our responsibility to ensure that irrigators get as much value as possible out of their water entitlements and that the community makes the best use of its resources – resources that will enable us to be an economically viable and productive irrigation district and community.

  • Members

    James Clyne

    James is the son of previous committee member Alan Clyne, and has run the 1000 head, family dairy farm since 2016, going on to buy the farm in 2021. 

    Since taking over the family farm, James has developed a long-term strategy and works with the staff to ensure they are aligned to it. 

    James was previously a member of the Fonterra Australis Supply Council where he as an advocate for all suppliers. 

    Bernard Coleman

    Bernard has been involved in farming his whole life, always living on the Macalister River. He has owned and operated his family farm since 2006, where he has a dairy and beef operation. 

    Bernard has previously held a position on the board directors for HICO, as well as being involved in community clubs, APEX and the Holstein Association. 

    Mark Coleman 

    (representing the Wellington Shire Council)

    Mark is the Agribusiness Economic Development Officer representing the Wellington Shire Council on the MCCC. 

    Mark has personal experience in farming, running his own commercial beef operation and irrigated Lucerne production. 

    Mark sits on a number of other advisory groups in the agriculture and timber industries. 

    Thomas Dwyer 

    Thomas is a lifetime farmer, and is the son of previous MCCC member, Stephen Dwyer. 

    Thomas has strong community ties especially to Newry and wishes to represent ‘young farmers’ on the committee.

    Thomas is also a member of the Newry CFA.

    Kate Lamb

    Kate Lamb farms with her husband, Robert, and their three children. Robert’s family has been dairyfarming for over 70 years, and Robert moved to the MID four decades ago. Kate is particularly interested in providing a voice for young people in the district. She is also passionate about making the most of available water from Glenmaggie Weir by reducing wastage. She believes that customers most value one-on-one contact with SRW staff, whether it be field staff or those who generally work in an office. She greatly appreciates our Customer Service Team who provide a hassle-free, friendly and personal approach to questions. In their off-farm time, the family enjoys camping and the sport of campdrafting.

    Tim Missen

    Tim has been farming for 42 years and has owned his farm in Denison for 38 years. Over that time, Tim has run both dairy and beef operations. 

    Tim is involved with his local CFA as well as holding membership with the Victorian Farmers Federation. 

    Warrick Purdon 

    (representing Hussey Farms)

    Warrick Purdon is the farm manager representing Hussey Farms on the MCCC.

    Hussey Farms is a baby leaf salad horticulture operation, which has farms in Newry and Bushy Park, as well as Pearcedale on the Mornington Peninsula. 

    Benn Thexton

    Benn is a fifth-generation farmer in the area but is new to the MID. During the past four years, his family has invested in two MID dairy farms. His motivation for joining the MCCC includes wanting to understand more about the decision-making involved in the way water is delivered. He also feels he can provide fresh insights as someone relatively new to the district. Benn would like to see a greater understanding of how future planning can be introduced into water management to help farmers make better decisions for their businesses.

    Christopher Van Den Dikkenberg

    Christopher owns and operates Fumina Farms an intensive horticulture and perennial tree crop business, which includes Rainbow Creek Orchards. Chris irrigates from the Thomson River. 

    Chris has previous experience in dairy farming in South Gippsland, southern NSW and northern Victoria. Chris has run tree crops for 10 years in non-irrigated Gippsland as well as 6 years of having tree crops in the MID.  

    Chris is involved in multiple professional organisations including Chestnuts Australia, Hazelnut Growers Australia, Australian Walnut Industry Association, as well as being involved in the Lake Wellington Irrigator Reference Group. 

    Brad White 

    Brad White grew up in the MID. His family has been farming locally since the 1940s and Brad and his wife have now taken over the family farm. Brad has a major interest in best-practice use of water. He and his wife took the option of rationalisation several years ago, reducing outlets and investing in pipe and riser flood irrigation. His system is fully automated and can be run on his smartphone. Brad is interested to learn more about the delivery side of water supply and has been excited to see modernisation programs realise benefits for farmers, especially in using water more efficiently.

  • Role of the committee

    This committee meets seven times a year in Maffra and is responsible for:

    • helping to shape and approve our Eastern Irrigation Business including future plans, prices, investments, budgets and performance indicators
    • providing input into system and service improvements
    • helping to shape tariff structures, pricing and billing arrangements
    • the operation and maintenance of the groundwater control pumps and free flowing bores in the MID and surrounds
    • acting as an advocate for the Salinity Management Program
    • monitoring customer communication strategies and activities
    • providing a customer’s perspective on business issues
    • assisting SRW to improve relationships with customers
    • helping shape positive external stakeholder views on the MIA.

    All MCCC members are selected to ensure that a broad range of customer views are heard. Each member brings a wide range of experience which helps us respond better to changing needs and concerns from our customers.

    The MCCC provides a direct link between SRW and its customers, ensuring that we:

    • remain responsive to customer needs
    • can understand issues and possible solutions from the perspective of different groups
    • involve the community in projects from the beginning, ensuring its views are considered as part of the project
    • have access to valuable community knowledge
    • receive feedback about our customer service performance
    • are advised about new or modified service requirements
    • take into account the customer perspective in responding to external stakeholder concerns about the MIA.

    If you are you interested in becoming a member or would like to have an issue discussed at a meeting please contact us.

Agenda and minutes