A man who has been instrumental in the Goulburn Valley fight against salinity was honoured by friends and colleagues last week.
Numurkah farmer Allen Canobie has retired from his 30-year role on salinity advisory bodies which are now part of the Goulburn Broken CMA.
Colleagues remarked on his quiet and steadfast contribution to salinity control, drainage and resource management.
Mr Canobie and his wife Margaret moved to the area about 40 years ago and Mr Canobie began his public service with Apex and Rotary clubs and then with Numurkah Shire Council.
The impetus to do something about the salinity threat in the 1980s came about as a result of work with the council on planning and the necessity to act as a region, rather than just by municipality.
He has stayed involved in the various committees, including Shepparton Irrigation Region Implementation Committee and more recently the Sustainable Irrigation Program Advisory Committee, which have evolved over time to keep salinity top of mind with decision makers.
Mr Canobie has also been involved in transforming Kinnairds Wetlands from a problem swamp into a valued wetland area.
Mr Canobie’s work was acknowledged by Goulburn Broken CMA chief executive officer Chris Norman, SIRRPIC chairman Kelvin Bruce, John Dainton and fellow committee member Russell Pell.
‘‘What really drove us in those early days was salinity,’’ Mr Pell said.
‘‘Ask anyone today, and they say: what’s salinity?
‘‘That’s how far we’ve come.’’
Mr Norman mentioned Mr Canobie’s contribution to the complex issues around the Katunga Deep Lead and the Muckatah drainage scheme.
Friday’s tribute included a song by Nanneella’s Peter Gibson, performed with a harp and carrying the refrain: ‘‘The voice of reason.’’