On 1 July 2018 following overwhelming support from local irrigators, the ownership and management of the St George distribution system was transferred from the Queensland government-owned corporation, SunWater to the irrigator-owned entity Mallawa Irrigation Ltd.
The St George channel scheme comprises 112 kilometres of pipelines and channels, between the Balonne River and Buckinbah pump station. It distributes water to around 50 irrigators (comprising around 30 individual allocation holders) irrigating 10,000 hectares of land.
Mallawa Irrigation Ltd is the public company limited by guarantee, overseen by a five-member Board. The Company is owned by its irrigators, who have a water allocation in the scheme and have opted to become Members. The Board operates with a strong local focus and a mandate set by its Members, as outlined in the Company Constitution available for download here.
The core principles of Mallawa Irrigation are to be:
Customer centric: Mallawa Irrigation is a business owned by irrigators for the benefit of irrigators. Customers are defined as those who hold a water account in the scheme.
Accountable: The Board, which currently includes a number of local irrigators, is directly accountable to the Members of Mallawa Irrigation Ltd.
Transparent: Customers are able to track the performance of the Company as a standalone entity, with Members entitled to attend annual general meetings and see reports on the Company’s financial position.
Efficient: Operate under a lower cost base than existed under SunWater, and to continue to look for ways to reduce the cost of supplying water to customers.
Sustainable: Take a long-term view of management of the business, to ensure the irrigation network is available to support future generations of farmers in the district.
Additionally, Mallawa Irrigation will be Business focussed, Local, Resilient and Resourceful.
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The purpose of this document is to guide customer and stakeholder engagement for Mallawa Irrigation Ltd and assist with effective communication strategies which support the achievement of the Company's mission and objectives.
Mallawa Irrigation's mission is to:
Establish a sustainable and resourceful scheme with a solid customer focus
Deliver efficiencies and cost savings for the benefit of all customers
Consistently strive to meet and improve service standards
Develop and maintain strong customer relationships
Maximise opportunities for customers in water supply delivery and trade.
This document clearly outlines the principles for customer and stakeholder engagement and clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the Board, Members and employees of Mallawa Irrigation, with respect to communication. An organisational chart summarising information flows between Mallawa's key internal stakeholders appears below:
Mallawa Irrigation’s key internal stakeholders
The overall communication objective of this customer and stakeholder engagement plan is to promote Mallawa Irrigation as a member-owned company primarily focussed on:
Excellence in customer service
Affordable irrigation water
A sustainable irrigation asset and,
Safety and wellbeing of its employees.
Customers and stakeholders
Mallawa Irrigation's customers are defined as those who hold a water account with Mallawa Irrigation. Customers are the number one stakeholder of Mallawa Irrigation and comprise about 30 individuals.
Although 98% of customers are also members of Mallawa Irrigation, a small number account holders have opted not to become members. The expectations of the customer stakeholder group are slightly different from members stakeholders. In general customers seek services from Mallawa Irrigation, whilst Mallawa Irrigation is accountable to its Members who set the overall direction of the company, through election of Board members and agreeing the company Constitution.
Mallawa Irrigation recognises that the provision of excellent service to its customers has benefits for irrigators, their livelihood, their families and the prosperity of the wider St George community.
Other important stakeholder groups include:
Mallawa Irrigation employees
Other irrigators in the region
Industry groups - eg Cotton Australia, Theodore Water
Balonne Shire Council
State government departments - Natural Resources Mines and Energy, Main Roads, primary industry
Other regulators - QCA and ACCC
Local Members of Parliament, State and Federal