Murray Irrigation (MI) has announced the removal of at least six roles as part of Phase One of its Business Review, in response to pressures placed upon the business by ongoing dry conditions.
MI CEO Phil Endley said the decision to reduce staff numbers was difficult but necessary in the current climate to improve the long-term viability of the business.
“We recognise the importance of regional employment during these tough times, so it was with very careful consideration that this decision was made.
“The move recognises the shift away from large scale construction works, implemented during the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP), to an automated water delivery and advocacy company that is operating during a time of water scarcity,” he said.
Phil said the business review aims to find the balance between maintaining infrastructure with delivering reduced levels of water and lowering overheads.
“One of the key challenges associated with this is the need to maintain service levels for customers in an environment of limited revenue, while meeting the obligations of a largely fixed-cost business,” he said.
“It’s a balancing act that we need to get right for our customers now, in drought, while still having the ability to ramp up operations when the drought breaks and water flows again,” he said.
Murray Irrigation’s Business Review will be completed in two phases, with the second phase - which looks at longer term business solutions - to be implemented from March 2020.
“We’ve done a lot of work over the past two months to respond to the drought, which has achieved $90,000 in savings through our employee-led Drought Response initiative.
“We now need to ensure that the business is right-sized and responsive to secure irrigation services for future farming generations,” Phil said