Cattle Australia legal challenge adjourned

James Nason, 02/12/2022

Voting to elect the inaugural board of Cattle Australia will proceed through to this Monday’s deadline, after a legal challenge to the process was adjourned in the Supreme Court of Queensland this week.

Cattle Producers Australia is challenging the process Cattle Council of Australia has used to establish Cattle Australia as its replacement as the peak industry council representing grassfed cattle producers across Australia.

The newly formed constitution of Cattle Australia removes the right of State Farming Organisations to appoint their own representatives to the board of the peak industry council.

Instead, cattle producers who pay the transaction levy can now nominate to stand for election to the board of the national council, with the successful candidates to be decided by a vote of cattle transaction levy payers.

A number of State-based cattle producer representatives have hailed that change as a breakthrough that will achieve a long-called improvements in creating more democratic and transparent industry representative processes.

However Cattle Producers Australia has stated that the outcome will be little more than a “rebranded” Cattle Council of Australia and says CCA has not complied with the restructure process that was previously agreed to by industry representatives at the start of the restructure process.

Sixteen producer candidates have nominated to stand for positions on the inaugural Cattle Australia board, with the online voting window to close at 9am AEDT this Monday, December 5.

The CPA legal challenge in the Supreme Court of Queensland had loomed as a potential disruption to the voting process before it was completed, but it has now been confirmed that the case has been adjourned.

In a statement Cattle Producers Australia chair Paul Wright said the Court hearing between CPA and Cattle Council Australia has been adjourned, and Justice Brown has listed the matter for review on 13 December.

“A trial is likely to be scheduled for February or March next year.  While a mediation held on 23 November 2022 was unsuccessful, the CPA will seek to engage in ongoing discussions,” the statement said.

A Cattle Council of Australia news brief issued earlier this week said the adjournment means the current voting to elect directors will continue without disruption.

“The applicants in a legal challenge have now, for the third time, asked the Court to adjourn their case. If it is eventually heard by a Court, it will not impact on the election of directors.”





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