Casino forum: Invitations lost in the ether – Update

Beef Central, 17/08/2017

But wait, there’s more.. Yesterday we attempted to clarify the question yesterday of who was and who wasn’t invited to Monday’s producer forum at Casino (as per article below).  However, having committed to trying to clarify that question, more information provided by the Australian Beef Association overnight showing an emailed invitation was sent to MLA on July 31 now compels a further update.

First, some background: on Wednesday we reported as per an Australian Beef Association statement that MLA and Cattle Council of Australia had been invited to attend this coming Monday’s producer forum at Casino. We were subsequently informed by both MLA and CCA that they had not  received invitations, so we felt it important to clarify that point to readers ahead of the forum (as per our article below).

Now, update number three: Overnight, the Casino Livestock Agents association forwarded a copy of an email it forwarded to the MLA managing director’s email address on July 31 with a copy of the invitation to attend the forum.

Australian Beef Association David Byard said: “MLA say they have not been invited to Monday producer meeting. Information supplied by the Casino agents suggest that on 4:26 PM 31/7/17 managing was sent an official invitation to attend forum, there was no reply and the e-mail was not returned.

“On 24th of July Justin Toohey was contacted and asked if he would speak, he said he would ring back confirm that he could attend, to his word he rung back and confirmed he was coming.

“Howard Smith is correct there was never a formal invitation to CCA’s office, however seeing the position Justin holds we assumed that this was not necessary.”

In response MLA said it ordered a forensic IT search of its email systems today and the email in question from the Casino Auctioneers Association was found to have been blocked by a spam function, likely to have been triggered, according to the IT people, to another item in the same email containing “animated butterflies”.

MLA managing director Richard Norton wrote to the author of the email this morning, Casino Auctioneers Association Incorporated (CAAI) public officer, secretary/treasurer Trevor R Shephard, explaining that the search had found the blocked email in the spam filter. In the same letter, Mr Norton asked why only a single emailed invitation had been sent, why a follow up phone call had not made, and why the event had not been mentioned to him when he spoke with Casino livestock agents at the recent Yulgilbar Beef expo.

Mr Norton, who is travelling to Europe this weekend, said he will endeavour to attend an LPA/Biosecurity session scheduled in Casino on the 30 August 2017.


Original article Thursday 17 August:

Our article yesterday  “Casino meeting to focus on Johne’s and producer representation” reported Meat & Livestock Australia and Cattle Council of Australia had been formally invited to attend and address this coming Monday’s producer meeting.

Since publishing the article MLA and Cattle Council of Australia have both informed Beef Central they have not received an invitation to attend.

One of the groups involved in organising the meeting, the Australian Beef Association, told Beef Central today it understood an invitation had been issued to MLA by Casino livestock agents but now acknowledged that was not the case.

ABA CEO David Byard said MLA has now been invited to attend.

However, MLA managing director Richard Norton, who attended and addressed the recent Yulgilbar Beef Expo near Casino on Friday, October 4, said he is unable to attend Monday’s event because he is travelling to Europe this weekend as part of Australian red meat industry efforts to secure better terms of trade on grainfed and grassfed beef, which he are said grossly unrepresented in total imports into the EU.

The primary topics of Monday’s meeting include new biosecurity and JBAS arrangements and concerns around existing cattle producer representative structures.

Mr Norton said as MLA did not own or manage JBAS, Animal Health Australia or industry representation issues, it was not appropriate for MLA to attend.

He said MLA had been requested to fund producer consultation regarding JBAS and had contributed such funding to support AHA’s consultation efforts.

On the issue of changes to Livestock Production Assurance (LPA), he said LPA was an industry implemented program to which changes, compliance or charges are decided by industry, not by MLA. He said more details including MLA’s annual operating plan and strategic plans were available on the MLA website.

He said recent comments suggesting that MLA and its Donor company are not audited and not subject to both industry and government scrutiny were also incorrect. Annual reports including audited statutory accounts, for the past 13 years, were also available on the MLA website, he said, including the outcomes of independent performance reviews of MLA undertaken in 2010 and 2015.

The ABA said CCA animal health advisor Justin Toohey had been invited by telephone to address the forum some weeks ago.

However CCA president Howard Smith said that neither Cattle Council’s office nor he had received a formal invitation.

“As a result, and given our constant industry commitments, we have other priorities scheduled for next Monday and will not be attending the meeting. To expect us to do so without a formal invitation is at best discourteous,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith added that Cattle Council representatives Marc Greening (CCA Director) and Justin Toohey (Animal Health Advisor)  attended and presented at the Yulgilbar Field Day south of Casino on Friday 4 August. Mr Greening discussed structural issues and Justin discussed J-BAS and encouraged questions from the audience,  however no questions followed.

He said CCA would be attending the LPA/J-BAS workshop scheduled for 30 August at the Casino RSL Club.

Local attendees at next Monday’s meeting were also welcome to attend the August 30 workshop if they require clarification of LPA and J-BAS requirements.




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  1. matt arkinstall, 19/08/2017

    one wonders how may more are sitting there. at least 2 of mine anyway…

  2. Gordon Davis, 18/08/2017

    Don’t be so defensive Norton – Monday at Casino will be an episode of “Walking with Dinosaurs” amongst fields of socialist hobby farmers from Casino.

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