Murray Irrigation Limited (MIL) has announced all of its Board directors have agreed to resign at the company’s Annual General Meeting on 28 November 2017.

MIL Board Chairman, Bruce Simpson, announced the decision in a statement sent to all MIL shareholders.

The announcement follows an independent two-part report which highlighted poor behaviour and dysfunction had built up over many years within the Murray Irrigation Board.

Mr Simpson said this ultimately led to a vote of no confidence in Directors Chris Brooks and James Sides.

‘‘The five directors who took that vote of no confidence have put their shareholder responsibilities first and foremost, and have taken the unprecedented step to end the bitterness that continues to simmer among some of the shareholder base,’’ Mr Simpson said.

‘‘Their decision was supported by current Board member James Sides who was not successful in being re-elected to the Board, and Chris Brooks who also agreed to resign.

“Waander van Beek and Phil Snowden who were recently elected have shown an extraordinary level of courage and commitment by also offering to resign.”

Mr Simpson said the decision will have no impact on management or the operations of the company, and following the Board’s resignation there will be an interim governance structure, which will be guided by independent advice being sought from experts in corporate transition.

“An interim governance structure is critical to ensure an appropriate level of company oversight,” Mr Simpson said.

“That advice will also determine when an election of directors should be held and in what format.”

Mr Simpson said candidates will be subject to rigorous assessment by an independent, top-tier selection company, and the new Board is likely to include four shareholder directors and three independents.

“The CEO’s position will become a Managing Director appointment subject to a change in the company’s constitution,” Mr Simpson said.

“No one knows more about the business than its most senior manager and as such it is important for that position to have an equal voice at the Board table.”

Mr Simpson said the Board’s modernisation will also call for a renewed relationship with landholder associations and an increased role for those associations to play in effective, industrial strength advocacy.

“We are working on a Memorandum of Understanding and hope to have it concluded by the end of the year.” 

Elisa is an experienced industry journalist and is a regular contributor to a range of energy and infrastructure titles. She has a unique knack for quickly finding the angle in any story her audience is most interested in learning more about.

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