Advisory Group

The irrigation program has an advisory group of industry leaders, who provide input and essential feedback to the direction and efforts of the program. View the Advisory Group Terms of Reference (PDF)


Allan Barr (Ruralco)

Allan was appointed to the role of General Manager Tasmanian Operations in November 2011 and is responsible for Ruralco's business units in Tasmania, including Roberts Ltd and Tasmanian Farm Equipment. 

Allan joined Roberts in 1998, his career spans over 30 years in agriculture in both Australia and New Zealand and he has extensive experience in rural merchandising, grain, seed trading and agronomy. Allan brings to the advisory group commercial and practical skills of farming practices, and is keen to ensure the project delivers tangible outcomes for the farming community. 


Michael Battaglia (CSIRO)

Dr Michael Battaglia is a research group leader in the CSIRO Agriculture Flagship and leads research in Agricultural Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation. The expertise that Dr Battaglia brings to the program includes systems modelling, decision support, and agricultural climate change adaptation and mitigation science. He brings rich connections to a wide network of scientists across the national innovation system. 


Greg Bott (Rabobank)

Greg Bott has a banking career spanning 38 years, working up through the ranks from Junior Batch Clerk to his present role of State Manager for Rabobank's operations in Tasmania. He has been directly involved in lending to the rural sector in Tasmania for 28 years, originally on the North West Coast, and statewide since 1996.

Greg is a Board Member of Dairy Tas and the Tasmanian Agricultural Productivity Group. He is also a member of the TIA Irrigation Advisory Group and the Northern Economic Development Group. Greg has a degree in Agricultural Economics and a Diploma in Business (Banking & Finance). 


Richard Gardner 

Richard Gardner is the owner and manager of a diversified farm business from Tunbridge. Richard has chaired various stakeholder groups during the lobbying and development stages of the Midlands Water Scheme. He has planned and developed the centre pivot irrigation of "Annandale" and is passionate about irrigation and the implementation of best practise using the latest technology. Richard is currently implementing a dairy conversion at "Annandale" to compliment the poppy and sheep enterprises. He is a Nuffield scholar and owns a stockfeed manufacturing business supplying retailers across Tasmania.


Peter Hardman (Simplot)

Peter Hardman is the Agricultural Services Manager for Simplot Australia Pty Ltd. Peter has worked in the Tasmania vegetable and potato industry for all his working life - for the past twenty years with Simplot. He has been involved with growers in all of the vegetable and potato growing areas in the state.  Simplot doesn't award contracts to growers that haven't the ability to irrigate their crops so Peter is very conscious of the value of irrigation to the Tasmania cropping growers. To show his age he was involved in investigating crops suitable for the newly established Cressy Irrigation Scheme in the 1970's.


James McKee (NRM North)

Mr James McKee is the Chief Executive Officer of NRM North, one of three regional NRM bodies in Tasmania. He is also Chairman at Tourism Northern Tasmania, and at the Launceston Airport Community Aviation Consultative Group.

Mr McKee has previously worked as the Operations Manager at NRM North and in the Queensland Murray Darling Basin in regional NRM planning and investment planning, monitoring and evaluation, project management and reporting. He comes from a farming background in broad acre and intensive agriculture and has undertaken formal studies in agricultural science and management.

Marcus McShane 


Tim Napier (TFGA)

Tim Napier grew up in Tasmania before a career in broadacre irrigated crop production in northern NSW and southern QLD.

As a Nuffield Farming Scholar, Tim studied sustainable farming systems around the world and has also served on the board of a regional NRM group in Queensland.

He has been involved in water policy and the Murray Darling Basin reforms for 7 years and is now based back in Tasmania.


Chris Oldfield (Tasmanian Irrigation)


Chris Thompson (Macquarie Franklin)

Chris Thompson is the Managing Director and a Principal Consultant at Macquarie Franklin, specialising in water resource management.  Chris has over 35 years of involvement in water resource and irrigation development, including specialist on farm irrigation advice to producers, irrigation scheme management,  development of design concepts for key irrigation schemes in Tasmania and construction supervision of major water development infrastructure such as Craigbourne Dam, Meander Dam and most recently, elements of the Midlands Water Scheme.

Chris has held industry positions including  being chairman of Education and Training for Irrigation Australia and membership of The US Irrigation Association Board Of Governors.  Chris is passionate about the opportunities that irrigation brings to Tasmanian agriculture, and believes in the need for an integrated approach between science and industry to optimise Tasmania's agricultural potential."

Robin Thompson (DPIPWE) 

Robin Thompson is trained as an agricultural scientist from the University of Tasmania and University of Melbourne. Robin has worked in various research, development and extension capacities concentrating in the area of grazing systems and feedbase production. He has also led development of a pasture based beef industry in the Falkland Islands and manages his family farm at Scottsdale concentrating on irrigated prime lamb, poppy, potatoes and onion production.