WAFF grains meeting refuses CBH motion

WAFF grains meeting refuses CBH motion


Agribusiness
WAFarmers Grains Council vice president Kallum Blake (left), president Duncan Young and WAFarmers immediate past president Dale Park addressing questions of support for CBH amid the Australian Grains Champion's corporatisation bid.

WAFarmers Grains Council vice president Kallum Blake (left), president Duncan Young and WAFarmers immediate past president Dale Park addressing questions of support for CBH amid the Australian Grains Champion's corporatisation bid.

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A MOTION to support CBH in the wake of the Australian Grains Champion's (AGC) corporatisation bid was refused at the WAFarmers Grains Section meeting last week.

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A MOTION to support CBH in the wake of the Australian Grains Champion's (AGC) corporatisation bid was refused at the WAFarmers Grains Section meeting last week.

Outgoing president Dale Park disallowed the motion by Newdegate grower Rob McLean amid supporting murmurs from the crowd.

Mr Park and Grains Council president Duncan Young indicated on-going support for CBH to the room, but said they expect to form an educated opinion on the corporatisation bid following a formal briefing.

But Mr Young said he doubted his position would change.

The issue arose during the question period of the Grains Section conference following the re-election of Mr Young to the president position and Katanning grower Kallum Blake to vice president for the second year running.

East Newdegate grower Bob Iffla raised the subject, noting WAFarmers' long running policy to support CBH.

"You'll be wanting to make a decision pretty damn quick on the AGC and the corporatisation issue," he said.

"That's got to come out pretty quick, I think, and I don't think it's going to take very long to work it out.

"There's not a lot to work out.

"We've got a co-op in which we've been involved for 80-odd years and really it has served us very well.

"I'd be OK to cash out for retirement, but let's be very careful with what happens where and let's lead the way.

"We've got the best co-operative in Australia and we need to keep it the best in Australia."

He was followed by Mr McLean's impromptu motion for support.

"I notice in the information here, previously this organisation has sanctioned what CBH is doing and thought they were doing a very good job under their present charter," Mr McLean said.

"I think we should move a motion to that affect that this organisation, that is the Grains Council and WAFarmers, support the actions of CBH.

"They are there for certain people, for the growers of this State, and they've done it well in the past and I'm sure they'll do it well in the future."

Mr Park then took to the stage to address the group, supporting Mr Young's statement.

"You've already heard that Grains Council will be talking to both CBH and AGC," he said.

"We have been moving in this direction (towards a corporatisation bid) for certainly the past four years and probably before that.

"At the moment your motion is covered because our policy is that we support CBH as a co-operative.

"I've got every faith in the process going through that we will probably hold the same position."

Despite being pressed by Mr McLean to take an urgent motion under the precedent of previously doing so, Mr Park maintained his position and again addressed the crowd.

The issue of Tier 3 rail was also addressed during the Grains Section meeting, asking for more active involvement from WAFarmers.

In response Mr Park outlined his involvement in the issue over the past four years and also invited CBH government and industry relations manager Brianna Peake, who was attending the conference, to speak on the matter.

"When I first came into this job, Tier 3 was living on borrowed time and it had 12 months extended use for all sorts of reasons," Mr Park said.

"I have spent the past four years fighting Brookfield Rail.

"Today is the first day of arbitration.

"To have got to this point has been a long and torturous journey."

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