The Australian Water Brokers Association has a new president, South Australian Ben Williams.
Mr Williams, of Ruralco Water, took over from NSW broker, Tom Wilks at the AWBA annual general meeting, in Melbourne.
He previously served as secretary of the organisation.
“I felt a degree of being duty-bound to step up, and take a bit of the load from Tom,” he said.
“It’s an industry I am very passionate about, this is my seventh irrigation season, my background was in the wine industry, so water is a significant issue in that sector.”
He said good governance was “incredibly important”.
Education was a key aspect, ensuring brokers were kept up to date with timely relevant market information.
“We have got several issues around governance, which are particularly important,” Mr Williams said.
“The water market is not regulated, as other markets are, and we’ve had an ongoing conversation with the Federal Government, regarding self-regulation.
“That’s important for me to take one more step, towards that, and important for the executive.”
He said other issues he expected to address were around trust accounts, standardised contracts and the ability to be able to offer membership to corporates.
He said most industries tried to avoid government regulation.
Self regulation would provide the greatest benefit to brokers and irrigators alike.
“The conversations we have had with government so far is that they have encouraged us to go down the path of self-regulation,” he said.
“That would enable us to determine the model, which delivers the governance that’s required but doesn’t impede our members, in the marketplace.”
He’d also like to see more members of the association.
“Anything, we, as the peak organisation for brokers can do to provide further confidence to water market participants, and irrigators in particular, would be beneficial to the market.”