GRAIN GROWERS (GGL) chairman John Eastburn says he is pleased with the response from the organisation’s membership in regards to proposed constitutional change.
GGL has been running a series of consultation meetings across the country to talk with members regarding the changes, which are highlighted by a push to change the criteria for elections from a zone based process open only to eligible growers to a skills-based board.
Chairman of GGL John Eastburn said he expected the changes would not markedly alter the composition of the board.
“We think growers would continue to vote for grower directors, traditionally grower voters have been wary of electing too many independent directors.”
Mr Eastburn said the organisation was not concerned abolishing the geographic zones for directors would lead to members in particular areas not being represented.
“Our policy groups will remain on geographic lines and growers can get hold of their local policy group representative for their say on policy.
“The board is not to support a particular region, but the company as a whole.”
He said the two bodies had separate roles.
“The board will only be involved in governance and strategy, not policy.”
However, Moree district farmer Rebecca Reardon, who stood unsuccessfully for a GGL board position last year, said she believed grower director positions should remain enshrined in the constitution.
“There are 20,000 grower members out there, the skillsets can all be met from within the grower ranks and it is appropriate GGL does so.”
She also said the board remained important to growers, even if the policy group was handling policy matters.
“Growers want to know they have a link those setting the strategic direction for Grain Growers,” she said.
Mr Eastburn said the changes would benefit grower members.
“The strongest candidates will get the nod,” he said.
In terms of other controversies within GGL, Mr Eastburn said the organisation continued to try and lower the numbers of standing proxy votes.
However, he said there were limits as to what could be done.
“Under company law, those holding the proxies must vote them, so the only thing we can do is try and contact those who signed over proxies and get them to take the vote back, which is a slow process.”
“We’ve been chipping away at it and have reduced the number of standing proxies by a third.”