Newman retains seat on CBH board

Wally Newman retains seat on CBH board

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Three grower directors were elected to the CBH board following the co-op's elections.

Three grower directors were elected to the CBH board following the co-op's elections.

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IT was a tempestuous campaign but CBH chairman Wally Newman has retained his seat on the board following company elections.

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IN SPITE of a bitter election campaign, featuring allegations of inappropriate behaviour and misuse of confidential information CBH chairman Wally Newman has retained his seat on the CBH board following grower director elections.

Mr Newman, who farms at Newdegate in the south-eastern wheatbelt defeated Shane Carruthers for the position as a District 4 director with a comfortable margin, garnering 65.1pc of the vote to Mr Carruthers' 34.9pc, with the results released last week prior to the co-ops annual general meeting, held on Thursday.

There was a relatively small voter turnout for such a high profile contest, with Mr Newman polling 211 votes to Mr Carruthers' 113.

It came after a bruising election campaign in which Mr Newman was accused of releasing misleading company information in regards to the performance of its Interflour subsidiary and acting inappropriately towards women.

CBH, Australia's largest grains co-operative and its major exporter of wheat, has come under fire from parts of its membership regarding its financials after last year announcing a $29.7 million loss, which the co-op blamed largely on challenging trading conditions internationally.

The bulk handling and grain marketing business has about 4,200 WA grower members and is Australia's third-largest private company

In the lead-up to the election there were media reports where Mr Newman was accused of talking up Interflour's financials by quoting earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and armotization (EBITDA) figures rather than net profit numbers.

He was also accused of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

He addressed the misconduct matter in a speech at Thursday night's CBH annual general meeting.

He said there had been an investigation into the issue and that he had undergone the personal coaching recommended by the board at the conclusion of the investigation.

While the District 4 election attracted most of the attention it was one of three elections held.

In District 1, centred on the state's Mid North region Ken Seymour from Miling was elected, defeating Gareth Rowe from Walkaway and Kirrilee Warr from Yuna.

Mr Seymour is new to the CBH board, replacing Rod Madden who did not renominate for his position.

Mr Seymour won 42.51pc of the vote, Mr Rowe 32.85pc and Ms Ware 24.64pc.

District 4, which contains much of the wheatbelt east of Perth saw an upset with incumbent Vern Dempster, Northam, losing to John O'Neil, Mukinbudin, 36.4pc to 63.6pc.

The story Newman retains seat on CBH board first appeared on Farm Online.

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