55 Per Cent in Favour of Increased Remuneration

AUSTRALIA - Australian Beef Association Chairman, Brad Bellinger, claims that the vote of 55 per cent, to increase the remuneration package to the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Directors at the recent AGM held in Orange New South Wales, was 'hardly an overwhelming vote of confidence in the MLA Board'.
calendar icon 27 November 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

'The ABA acknowledges that the MLA has put a freeze on this increase for six months but that decision was made only as a result of public pressure put on them, prior to the meeting by the ABA, which represents the concerns of most cattle producers,' Mr Bellinger said.

The unique MLA voting system, whereby votes are allocated on the amount of cattle each producer sells, strongly favours the 'big end' of town, says the ABA. This system allows nine of the top ten voters, to be drawn from either large corporate cattle producers, or processors, most of whom are foreign owned. Consequently, the average producer has little chance of voting down, any motions put forward by the MLA.

'Despite this and the fact that only 5% of producers participated in the voting process, the MLA received one of the worst results of any motion that they have put forward, since the MLA's inception', said an ABA press release.

Mr Bellinger said, 'I challenge Minister Tony Burke to recognise that the overwhelming majority of producers that participated in the AGM vote, were against the pay increase. If he was at the meeting he would have witnessed that the support for the increase, came from members of the levy funded Peak Councils, not from the un-sponsored producers'.

'Minister Burke should listen to a majority of cattle producers and not just the large corporations that control the voting process. When the Chairman of MLA receives the lowest vote of any of those put up for Board election and their pay increase motion received, on our estimation, less than 20% of the producer vote, a clear message of 'no-confidence', has been delivered to the MLA at their AGM', Mr Bellinger stated.

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