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.