PGA boss seeks younger direction

29 Oct, 2016 01:00 AM
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Murray Grey, Glenflorrie station, says the PGA is still relevant to industry and wants more young people involved.
Murray Grey, Glenflorrie station, says the PGA is still relevant to industry and wants more young people involved.

THE imminent departure of one of its remaining policy officers has prompted Pastoralists and Graziers Association president Tony Seabrook to call for an organisational revamp.

With the recruitment process underway Mr Seabrook said the group was seeking four active and clever policy makers.

"It is going to be a slow process, but it is my objective to refocus and revamp and work hard to get younger people to step up as well," he said.

"We are looking for someone to focus on the grains and meat sections and at this stage could take on two policy officers."

Mr Seabrook said it was changing times for the lobby group that was established in 1907.

During that time many lobby groups had industry support but he said rural people were not getting involved,

"What do they expect?" Mr Seabrook said.

"If two thirds of farmers aren't paying anything, and feel like they are getting a raw deal - they can't expect more.

"Nothing will be done for free, if they want to be protected they will have to pay, because there is no one else that is willing to protect them."

Mr Seabrook said the PGA had "copped criticism" in the past for its "ageing membership" and was working on ways to develop a younger membership.

Young pastoralist Murray Grey, Glenflorrie station, said to lose policy officers was not good in the short-term, particularly with the State election due in March, but he said it also created opportunities for young people to join.

As one of a handful of younger PGA members, Mr Grey believed the PGA was still a relevant group but said industry had to get more involved.

"If we can manufacture higher levels of involvement into these bodies, it will help make it more attractive," he said.

"Industry isn't getting involved, it's dismal that less than about 40 per cent of the State is being represented whereas Queensland and the Northern Territory have more than 70 to 90pc representation.

"It's a sad that the State can't support them, for what ever reason."

Mr Grey welcomed the revamp plans and said it could create more interest in the industry.

"Yes the PGA is generally more northern focused, so it has a wider spread and has a lower per capita population, but we need to create more networking opportunities and have forums where we can share ideas," he said.

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READER COMMENTS

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30/10/2016 5:15:52 PM, on Farm Weekly

Mr Grey and Seabrook, it is patently obvious that we do not have enough primary producers in WA to sustain two representative groups. I would suggest that it is a no brainer that the evolution of a sinlgle entity is well overdue, let's face it there is basically NO fundamental policy / philosophical differences between PGA and WAFF. I would challenge the next generation to initiate change.

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