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More “Claytons” reform from Cattle Council

Cattle Councils promised reforms will do nothing to improve Cattle Producers control of the $56m in levies they give to Meat and Livestock Australia.

Nor will the

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proposed changes to CCA’s constitution give levy payers a real say in CCA policy, which will still be dominated by nominees from the State Farm Organisations.

“CCA claim of “overwhelming approval” is shallow rhetoric. The “approval” is by their existing State Farm Organizations, member – some of which have not paid their CCA membership dues for years,” Australian Beef Association, David Byard ABA CEO, said.

CCA claim they consulted “with thousands of cattle producers” to develop their new constitution.

“This claim is rubbish,” Mr Byard said.

The consultation was funded with cattle producers’ funds provided by MLA. Interest and attendance in these meetings was poor with less than 20 cattle producers at the Bendigo meeting, and the rest were very poorly attended.

CCA’s capacity to oversee the activities of MLA on behalf of cattle producers is comprised as it depends on MLA for funding. CCA does not publish its account despite its dependence on cattle producers’ money, Mr Byard said.

Mr Byard went on to explain, State Farm Organizations nominate people to sit on the CCA board. CCA is in reality a subcommittee of the SFOs. This subcommittee status is confirmed as some SFO require their CCA nominee to consult with their SFO prior to voting on matters before the CCA board.

“Cattle producers need an elected, transparent and fully accountable organisation to represent their interests in a highly challenging physical and commercial environment.

“They are entitled and deserve more than the ‘Mickey mouse’ arrangements proposed by CCA,” Mr Byard said.

“This reform is little more than an attempt to justify the diversion of cattle producers’ levy money to cover CCA’s operating expenses.

“I challenge CCA to table the proposed constitution for discussion and evaluation.

“Discussion of reform is meaningless until such time the constitution is tabled” Mr Byard said.

“The SFOs rejected CCA’s own Writing Groups proposal for a direct elected, transparent and fully accountable organisation in favour of tweaking the secretive, bureaucratic and unaccountable processes of the past.

“If CCA had any real intention to reform they would have accepted the Writing Group’s recommendation, but instead they spent $700,000 of growers money give to them by MLA on a nationwide ‘consultation’ – self-promotion,” Mr Byard said.

David Byard

ausbeef@bigpond.com

0409 426 710

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