Choice of candidates for AWI board elections was 'bizarre'

AWI board nomination committee's recommendations were 'bizarre'

Wool
DON'T BE SHEEP: WAFarmers has urged all Australian Wool Innovation shareholders to cast their own votes to fill three vacancies on the AWI board on November 22. Photo: Lucy Kinbacher

DON'T BE SHEEP: WAFarmers has urged all Australian Wool Innovation shareholders to cast their own votes to fill three vacancies on the AWI board on November 22. Photo: Lucy Kinbacher

Aa

A leading Western Australian farmers' body has slammed AWI's independent board nomination committee.

Aa

"Bizarre" is how the Western Australian Farmers Federation describes Australian Wool Innovation's board nomination committee's choice of preferred candidates for the upcoming board elections.

WAFarmers' vice president, Steve McGuire, asked why the committee, chaired by Dr Mary Corbett, had recommended four candidates to fill three vacancies on the board.

He said the nomination committee had also ignored candidates with significant research experience which was a major deficiency of the current board.

A well, while a $900,000 federal government-commissioned review last year of the AWI by consultants, Ernst & Young, had identified board renewal as a major need, the nomination committee had recommended shareholders vote for two long-serving directors, Wally Merriman, NSW, and David Webster, WA.

He said the EY review had called for a 10-year term limit for directors, a recommendation which the nomination committee had clearly ignored.

Mr McGuire said while the board nomination committee had been made more independent, as recommended by EY, the result hadf been "bizarre".

The board nomination committee recommended Messrs Meriman and Webster along with two new candidates, Noel Henderson, a Victorian stud Merino breeder, and Dr Michelle Humphries, a livestock consultant from Jerilderie in southern NSW.

Shareholders are not obliged to follow the recommendations.

The AWI board has announced that all undirected proxies will be shared equally between Dr Humphries and Messrs Webster and Merriman.

Mr McGuire said all shareholders should cast their own votes because it was the only opportunity they had to influence the grower-owned marketing and research company.

He said AWI had no representative oversight body to hold it to account.

WAFarmers has urged its members to vote for Phil Holmes, a NSW-based livestock management consultant, Mr Henderson and Dr Janelle Hocking Edwards, a South Australian farmer and former sheep industry researcher.

The story Choice of candidates for AWI board elections was 'bizarre' first appeared on Farm Online.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by