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Murray Irrigation increases Board diversity and independence

Murray Irrigation have announced the appointment of former Federal MP, The Honourable Dr Sharman Stone as a second independent Director to the Board.

This announcement follows the appointment of Ben Barlow as independent Director in June. Murray Irrigation Chairman, Mark Robertson, said the Company had undergone an exhaustive recruitment process to ensure they identified the right person with the right skills, experience and independence to join the Board. “Sharman Stone is the right person to bring to the Board at this time.

She has been a passionate advocate for rural and regional communities and irrigation issues through 20 years of service as the Federal Member for the Victorian seat of Murray,” Mr Robertson said. Dr Stone describes her goal as achieving profitable, sustainable agriculture underpinned by secure access to water. “I am honoured to have been asked to join the Board,” Dr Stone said.

“It will be a privilege to participate in helping to ensure water stays as a secure and affordable farm input. Nothing is more important than the region thriving,” she said. Mr Robertson said Dr Stone’s strong understanding of the southern connected system and the issues faced in the Murray region and neighbouring districts made her an outstanding addition to the Board. “Dr Stone is committed to ensuring the Murray-Darling Basin Plan genuinely delivers triple bottom line outcomes and to helping Murray Irrigation achieve its goal to become a modern, customer focussed business.

“With a PhD in economics, she brings independent expertise and understands the need for economic diversity evidenced by her experience fighting for the future of irrigation, orchardists and the value-chain such as SPC Ardmona in Shepparton,” Mr Robertson said. Dr Stone is also a keen advocate for all aspects of diversity including race relations and advancing the full participation of women in the workforce and supporting more women into leadership positions. Identifying opportunities to increase the participation of women in the region’s agriculture and leadership is an area she is looking forward to focusing on.

Dr Stone served 20 years as the Member for Murray including time as the Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment, Parliamentary Secretary for Finance and later Minister for Workplace Participation and Shadow Minister for the Environment and Shadow Minister for Immigration. An academic and author, Dr Stone has written numerous publications on race relations, environment and geology. She has a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts (Rural Sociology), and a Graduate Diploma of Education and was awarded a PhD from Monash University.

Prior to entering politics, she was Director of Communications at the Victorian Farmers Federation, worked at the Victorian Rural Water Corporation and the Victorian Department of Agriculture. “Dr Stone brings a wealth of experience and a new perspective to the organisation and will add diversity to the Board of Murray Irrigation and the region,” Mr Robertson said.

“We now have two, highly qualified, independent Directors from vastly different backgrounds that will provide insight and depth to the Board as we continue to progress Murray Irrigation through significant change.”

Dr Stone was appointed by the Board on 18 August.