MLA changes face opposition

30 Oct, 2003 07:00 PM

THE make up of a selection committee that nominates Meat and Livestock Australia board candidates will be a major focus at this year's annual general meeting in Perth on November 19.

MLA is urging members to vote for item 11 on the agenda that would see two MLA director positions on the selection committee replaced by two producer-elected members.

The vote would require a 75pc approval, with a similar resolution receiving a 70pc vote at the 2001 AGM.

If this year's motion is carried, producers would make up eight of the nine-member selection cmmittee.

MLA said the changes would give producers a greater say in the selection of board directors and ensure a skills-based selection process was maintained.

The proposed new selection committee would include two members elected by cattle producers, two elected by sheep producers and one elected by lot feeders.

There would also be three appointments to the committee by peak councils - Cattle Council of Australia (CCA), Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA) and the Australian Lotfeeders Association (ALFA).

The committee is chaired by MLA.

MLA said the proposed changes were in response to a recommendation by the 2002 Senate committee's review of the Australian meat industry's consultative structure over producer representation in the director election process.

The Queensland-based Australian Beef Association (ABA) said item 11 would not give levy payers the majority say on the board and therefore did not comply with the Senate committee's recommendations.

An ABA-sponsored motion calls for more than half of the MLA board to be elected by producers. The ABA said peak councils lacked producer support.

However, CCA said it represented 70pc of core cattle producers.

WAFarmers meat section president Mike Norton said that the selection process was not truly democratic but it had worked efficiently.

WAFarmers would support the motion to replace the two MLA directors with producer-elected members. The PGA also supported item 11.

WA sheep producer and processor Peter Trefort is one of five candidates nominated for election to the MLA board at this year's AGM.


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