GGL constitutional changes questioned

14 Sep, 2016 08:09 AM
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GGL board candidate Mark Hoskinson says he is uncomfortable with all the proposed constitutional changes at the organisation being included in just the one motion to be voted on at the organisation's annual general meeting.
GGL board candidate Mark Hoskinson says he is uncomfortable with all the proposed constitutional changes at the organisation being included in just the one motion to be voted on at the organisation's annual general meeting.

CANDIDATES for the Grain Growers board election, to be held this month, have said they could not support the company’s proposed constitutional changes because all the proposals are included in one resolution.

GGL has sent out its annual report prior to its September 27 annual general meeting (AGM) in Albury, where members will vote on two new southern zone directors and on the proposed constitutional change.

The changes include:

· Removing the power of the board to vote against director candidates or motions arising at the AGM. They will still be able to vote in favour of a candidate or motion.

· Removing the requirement that independent directors be voted onto the board by members.

· The merging of several membership classes into one class.

· Amendments to reflect the cessation of the geographic zones.

GGL has embarked on a process of constitutional change following feedback from growers after last year’s controversial AGM where proxy votes played a key role in deciding board elections.

Candidate for the board this year Mark Hoskinson, Kikoira, NSW, said he could not support the changes as they stood at present.

“The problem is that they are all lumped together, it would be more productive to have separate motions for the separate proposals.”

Fellow candidate Brett Hosking, Quambatook, Victoria agreed.

“There are some good points in amongst all of this but there are things that I would probably change so it is hard to support the resolution given it is all-encompassing.”

Dan Cooper, also standing for the board, said he had particular doubts about the move to allow the board to elect independent directors without member input.

“I have concerns about the transparency of it all and what criteria these independent directors need to meet.”

Mr Hoskinson said he did not think the board needed to appoint independent directors to access specialist skillsets.

“It is quite possible to bring in these skills to the business without appointing more directors.

For the resolution to succeed it needs at least 75pc of the votes.

Along with Mr Cooper, Mr Hosking and Mr Hoskinson there are two other candidates for the southern zone elections, Warracknabeal, Victoria farmer Julia Hausler and Bob McCormack, Junee, NSW.

The board has endorsed Mr Hosking and Ms Hausler as their preferred candidates following an independent interview process.

For its part, GGL said it was their normal practice to put up one resolution for constitutional change at an AGM and said members could discuss the various facets of the motion at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the organisation also announced in the annual report than it had made a $2.7 million loss for the financial year, in spite of a jump in revenue.

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FarmOnline
Gregor Heard

Gregor Heard

is the national grains writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
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READER COMMENTS

Vic voter
14/09/2016 7:37:16 PM

Good luck Mark, I look forward to your success. I think it will be the first and last time I vote for someone from NSW!!
the advocate
15/09/2016 9:17:05 AM

Mark has it spot on. We do not need to have independent directors to access specialist skill sets. However, what with the standing proxies and nepotism of the board; there may not be enough attraction of , or election of, these sort of talented people who are in the farming community!
Mark Hoskinson
15/09/2016 3:15:37 PM

The days of the Standing Proxy having much Influence over the outcome of the election is over. GGL phone campaign over the last 2 years has seen the Standing Proxy numbers dwindle I am informed. Yet we still have over past years seen a large number of undirected Proxies appointed to the Chairman to vote as the Board wishes usually toward the Two Board selected candidates. As with Standing Proxies this is all quite legal and above Board. To counter this Members are encouraged to read the material supplied, Do a Google search on the Candidate and make an informed vote.
LTF
17/09/2016 3:29:13 PM

What did GGL do to lose $2.7 million in one year? Under such circumstances, why would members succumb to the existing Board Directors advice on candidates at the upcoming election.

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