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RBMS Melbourne Seminar – Irrigation in Northern Victoria: Past reflections and future directions

21/04/2016 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm


 RBMS Melbourne seminar

Irrigation in Northern Victoria: Past reflections and future directions

The River Basin Management Society committee invites you to join the discussion on past and future challenges and opportunities for irrigation in Northern Victoria and its relationship with river basin management

Two renowned leaders in the field, George Warne and John Pettigrew, will share reflections based on many years of experience and involvement working in the area and offer their thoughts on the future of irrigation in Northern Victoria.

Following the presentations, the audience will be invited to participate in a facilitated discussion on the cross overs and relationships between the river basin management and irrigated agriculture industries. We encourage participants to come with an open mind and a healthy appetite for debate to explore some of the challenges that have caused friction between the industries in the past and consider what opportunities there might be to work together effectively in the future.


George Warne is a recognised leader in the rural water sector, with a strong understanding of rural communities. He is currently one of the 4 part time members of The Authority (the Board) at the Murray Darling Basin Authority. He has extensive experience in water reform and has held positions in the water sector since 1992, particularly in NSW.
George was the General Manager at Murray Irrigation, leading the water service delivery reform process for irrigation in southern NSW. He then joined State Water New South Wales as CEO, where he was responsible for rural bulk water delivery business, and delivered services to 6,300 licensed water users on the state’s regulated rivers along with associated environmental flows.
In early 2011, he headed up a large family farming and grazing operation in NSW. Between 2011 and 2013 George was appointed interim CEO of the Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Program and facilitated its transition to form a part of Goulburn Murray Water.
George is currently a senior consultant of RMCG, consultants for Business, Communities and Environment.

John Pettigrew is the Environmental Farmers Network’s spokesperson for Water Resources and Climate Change. John is also a presenter across Northern Victoria with Al Gores Climate Reality Project. 

John and wife Robin have an irrigation property at Bunbartha, north of Shepparton in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley. John, prior to retirement in 2011 had been growing fruit all his life. His involvement in the canning fruit industry combined grower organizations and 13 years as a Director of SPC Ltd.

John has also held office in many irrigator organizations including as a Director of Goulburn Murray Water. John has also been a Director of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority following over 20 year’s contribution to resource management in Salinity Action plans and land protection organizations.

John believes that past and future productivity gains in irrigated agricultural production more than compensates for any return of water to the environment and provides an opportunity to in part correct the past over-allocation of resources in the Murray Darling Basin.

 Nibbles and drinks start at 5.30 pm. The seminar will start at 6 pm.

Not currently a member and want to avoid the seminar fee? RBMS memberships are available at the door or in advance at Note: RBMS is currently reviewing the cost of seminars for non-members and cannot guarantee that costs will be the same for future events.


5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Theatre 2 – Basement
221 Bouverie St
Carlton, VIC 3053 AU
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