Your views for the ACCC MDB Water Markets Inquiry

The RGA and SunRice are preparing a joint submission to the ACCC Murray-Darling Basin Water Markets Inquiry.

We invite all members to participate by completing a survey to ensure we represent the broader interests of the rice industry and all Growers. This Inquiry is a matter of great importance to our members and critical to the survival of our industry.

We appreciate that there are a lot of surveys out there and your time is valuable, therefore the Water Committee and RGA Staff have reviewed ACCC MDB Water Markets Inquiry interim report which is a  544 page document and picked up on the key questions which impact our industry and communities.  This survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

Whilst the responses are anonymous, if you choose to be in the running for a very fine bottle of wine and SunRice Rice Pack, you can provide a phone contact number to enter the draw which closes on the 21st September.   

Click here to start the survey. 

Outcome of RGA Elections

Thank you to all of those who responded to our emails and requests for nominations in the recent RGA Office Bearer and Policy Committee elections which were held on the 1st September.  Thank you also to our retiring Office Bearers for their service to RGA Members and the Rice Industry, and we look forward to working with our new Representatives over the following year.

Click here for the election results

The RGA has membership representation in Australia's Agricultural peak bodies and organisations, read their latest newsletters here:

  • National Irrigators' Council Update (link)
  • NSW Irrigators' Council News- (link)
  • Future Farmers Network Weekly Update (link)
  • AgriFutures Newsletter - November -(link)
  • Rice Extension newsletter - Winter (link)
  • National Farmers Federation Media (link)
  • H2OX (link)
  • Murray Darling Basin Authority Weekly Update (link)

Click here to read the RGA's latest media releases,  

Diary Update

Listed below  are some of the RGA's recent, significant engagements with Federal and State Ministers, Government Departments, Peak Bodies, and other major stakeholders
As well, the RGA are actively involved with the following organisations, meeting regularly and advocating on behalf of their members.

Murray Regional Strategy Group
Murray Region Regional Leadership forum hosted by Regional Development Australia
Murrumbidgee PHN, Empowering our Communities Steering Committee (EOC)
Murrumbidgee Water Sharing Plan Stakeholder Advisory Panel
NSW Murray Water Sharing Plan Stakeholder Advisory Panel
NFF Water Taskforce 
NSW Irrigator’s Council Strategic Food Security Response Taskforce – Chair Rachel Kelly



  RGA Board and Central Executive meeting including annual elections.  Rob Massina was re-elected as President for his second term.  Angela Urquhart was elected as Vice President and Erin Draper and Kellie Crossley are new directors elected to the Board.  Nic Morona stood down from the Board after 2 years in the role.   Click here to see the  full list of RGA representatives.


Innovate 4 water  
The International Water Centre held an online 3 day conference aimed at bringing together “Water innovators” from around the world to “pitch” on what innovations they have or what problems they need solving. The RGA Environment Manager; Neil Bull, pitched on Building Social licence for the Australian rice industry. Some positive feedback was received from this presentation that was watched by participants across the globe. Neil attended the full conference from the 4th to the 7th of August. 

Other presentations that were closely related to our region were from the Renmark Irrigation Trust and Cotton Australia. Renmark Irrigation Trust spoke about their operations and how they have been certified by the Alliance for Water Stewardship. The presenter highlighted how they were the first “Trust” to deliver environment water to riparian flood plains. I note Murray Irrigation started providing this service in 2002.

Cotton Australia told the “Australian Cotton Story” and pitched for a solution to reduce evaporation from storage dams. The conference saw an interchange from an international company with Michael Murray to discuss technology development to solve this problem.

Rachel and Graeme attended the NSWIC General Meeting from the 5th to the 6th of August, the agenda included a Q&A session with the NSW Water Minister, Melinda Pavey.

National Farmers Federation Council Meeting – which included a presentation by Mick Keogh ACCC Commissioner – providing insights into his interim report and the timing for the final report.

Rob Massina, Graeme, Michael Chalmers and Rachel attended a teleconference meeting with Helen Dalton, Member for Murray to discuss the RGA’s policy regarding water including transparency in the market. 

Murray Socio-Economic Taskforce – hosted by RDA.

Graeme and Rachel attended a NSWIC Information Session which focussed on the Murray Darling Basin Agreement and Special Accounting Rules. 

Graeme and Troy attended the AgriFutures Rice R&D Advisory Panel Meeting.  Topics on the Agenda included; Rice breeding program update, Step change scoping study, Rice Extension review, Agronomy and remote sensing project funding options and the Rice RD&E Plan.

Graeme attended a Murray Regional Strategy Group planning meeting to discuss options for the future of the group and how it can better function.

Rob Massina, Michael Chalmers, Graeme and Rachel attended the ACCC Review Workshop with SunRice & KWM Lawyers.

  Graeme attended IREC Executive Committee and AGM and gave a presentation on the rice industry. 

Graeme attended a Meeting with Sir Angus Houston, the newly appointed Chairman of the MDBA. This provided an opportunity to give an overview of the rice industry and raise matters of importance regarding water policy. An invitation was also extended to Sir Angus to attend a rice industry meeting.  This meeting resulted in a personalised response from Sir Angus, thanking the RGA for their presentation and stating that RGA will be contacted by the MDBA engagement team when schedule their meetings and regional visits over the coming weeks and months. As Sir Angus commences the process of listening and learning about the different issues that confront people and communities across the Murray–Darling Basin, he states in his letter that ‘ The Ricegrowers Association of Australia will be valuable in this process”.  

Graeme attended an AgSkilled Steering Committee.
Murray Socio-Economic Taskforce – hosted by RDA

SunRice AGM

NFF Climate and Energy Taskforce meeting
This meeting discussed the now adopted NFF Net Zero Emissions target for the agriculture sector and the Bioenergy Roadmap and how it can apply to regional hubs.


NSW DPI delivered the “Exploring beyond Diesel” webinar on the 10 July 2020. Neil Bull’s commented, 87% of energy used in Australian agriculture is diesel fuel,  therefore it was interesting to hear of some realistic options to farm with less diesel. Click here to see the webinar recording available for viewing

Jeremy, Rachel and Graeme attended National Irrigators Council (NIC) Webinar – which included a general briefing from the MDBA on the issues in their report card plus Progress on the SDL supply and constraints projects – particularly those projects considered to be at risk.  They also reported on a  meeting of Basin Water Ministers’ agreement to conduct a feasibility study on the capacity of the Choke.

Graeme attended Murray Socio-Economic Taskforce – a forum hosted by Regional Development Australia Murray – this is a forum of industry and community representatives to provide feedback on a broad range of issues and the impact of COViD-19.  This feedback is then collated and reported to Government.

Graeme and Troy attended an out of session AgriFutures Rice R&D Advisory Panel Meeting.  The focus of the meeting was to get an update on the Step Change scoping study being proposed.

Rob Massina, Graeme and Rachel together with representatives from SunRice attended a meeting with Productivity Commission regarding the National Water Initiative (NWI) Review.

Graeme and Troy attended a meeting with Rice Extension Review Panel to finalise the next steps.

 Graeme attended a Plant Health Australia (PHA) Fall Army Worm workshop to get an update on the biosecurity risks to Australian agriculture.

 Membership Taskforce meeting
Graeme attended AgSkilled 2.0 Steering Committee Meeting. The RGA have been invited to join the steering committee to provide input and guidance on the development of training programs for farmers and farm businesses. Cotton Australia will host the project officer and the NSW Govt has set aside $15 million for 3 years for this initiative. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a MOU for industry participation.
Graeme participated in a National Farmers Federation COVID-19 update.

 Rob Massina, Rachel and Graeme together with representatives from SunRice attended a meeting with Interim Inspector General’s office to broadly discuss water policy issues facing the industry.

Graeme and Belinda attended a meeting with Associations Forum to discuss membership and membership benefits and benchmarking in Australia. 

Graeme attended the Murray Socio-Economic Taskforce – hosted by RDA Murray.


Go to the RGA Website to learn more about your team