SFOs to vote on Cattle Australia constitution

Beef Central, 18/07/2022

The founding members are the eight State Farming Organisations, which will need to approve Cattle Australia’s constitution, if it is to replace CCA as the legislated representative body.

WA Farmers’ Livestock President, Geoff Pearson who participated in the Restructure Steering Committee said it was the first step that will allow CCA to clear the way for the new organisation.

“The new constitution will give Cattle Australia a clean start and producers and industry need to get behind the new organisation,” Mr Pearson said.

“The State Farming Organisations set up Cattle Council and it’s up to them to put the transition in motion.

“This is a rare chance to give the beef industry the clout it deserves, by bringing the industry together.

“We have to make the best of this opportunity and come to an agreement that keeps Cattle Australia on track.”

NTCA Chairman, David Connolly, said the new organisation would give producers more say over the future of their industry.

“What’s important is we get the right outcome, a stronger and more united voice for producers,” Mr Connolly said.

“Producers will be able to directly elect their own representatives, and those representatives will be accountable.

“All the pieces are in place to create a significantly more powerful representative body, with the interests of beef producers at its core.”

AgForce Queensland Livestock President Will Wilson said the transition was a once-in-a-generation opportunity at reform.

“This is the best opportunity at meaningful reform that I’ve seen in my working life,” Mr Wilson said.

“The new constitution will give Cattle Australia a solid start, with room to review and improve the organisation in 24 months.

“We need to grab the bull by the horns and get this one done – we owe that to beef producers across Australia.”

Livestock SA President Joe Keynes said the industry would benefit once Cattle Australia is formed (constituted), as the changes being made addressed the major criticisms parts of the industry had with the Cattle Council structure.

“Cattle Australia will take the good from Cattle Council, and build on those strengths,” Mr Keynes said.

“Cattle Australia will make improvements in democracy, transparency, and financial sustainability when it comes to industry representation.

“We will get this right, for the good of our industry today and into the future.”

The Cattle Council of Australia statement said the constitution will be released to the public once it is endorsed by the eight State Farming Organisations.

The Cattle Council Founding Members are AgForce (Queensland), NSW Farmers, Livestock SA, Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association, Pastoralists’ and Graziers’ Association of WA, Tasmanian Farmers’ and Graziers’ Association, Victorian Farmers’ Federation, WA Farmers.

Cattle Producers Australia members sent an open letter to industry stakeholders on Friday along with a transcript from an RSC meeting to reiterate its view that no formal agreement was reached between members of the Restructure Steering Committee to wind the committee up on June 30 and hand over the yet-to-be completed draft Cattle Australia constitution to Cattle Council of Australia on that date.

The letter from CPA states that the terms of reference under which the committee was convened stated that the ‘Steering Committee will convene on and from October 2021 and will cease to exist when the New Peak Body Board is installed’.

“A proposal was put to the face-to-face meeting in Brisbane 10 June 2022 by the CCA and SFO members of the RSC, that the RSC be wound up on 30 June 2022. This was not accepted, and it was agreed that the RSC maintain its position until the new organisation is established,” the CPA letter said.

It says there are a number of consitution and procedural matters that have still not been finalised or accepted by the RCS.

“Neither the content of the current draft of the Cattle Australia Constitution nor the determination to hand the implementation process over to CCA have been approved by the RSC.

“To meet its obligations under its Terms of Reference and Funding agreements the RSC must continue in its role to develop, to the satisfaction of a majority of levy payers, a sustainably resourced and truly representative Cattle Australia as the cattle producers’ national peak industry council and account for the public and private funding entrusted to it to achieve this objective.”

Sources: Cattle Council of Australia, Cattle Producers Australia


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  1. Rob Atkinson, 19/07/2022

    I don’t get it.
    I thought the development of Cattle Australia, including the Constitution, was the result of the combined efforts of the RSC, that is, representatives from CCA, SFO’s, CPA, & NPG.
    Why is CCA riding roughshod over the work of the other organisations?
    I don’t believe that the creation of Cattle Australia would have even got a guernsey if it wasn’t for the insistence of CPA.
    This latest action by CCA and SFO’s is not a good start to unifying our industry.
    It will be interesting to see if Cattle Australia will make improvements in democracy, transparency, and financial sustainability. From what I see, there is little change to what we have had, other than by name!

  2. Marian Joseph, 19/07/2022

    Putting the solution back into the hands of the problem, this will not create any change whatsoever. We are back at square one and will forever remain there considering the total disregard for proper governance and process that the CCA encompass.

  3. Val Dyer, 18/07/2022

    The legislative changes are immense.

    The proposed outcome is ideal.

    The draft constitution for Cattle Australia needs to be available to those who wish to review its capacity to deliver the desired outcomes.

    CCA (or State Organisations) must make this available to grass fed levy payers on request.

  4. John Gunthorpe, 18/07/2022

    So our industry returns to its old ways and leaves it up to the 16 votes on the SFOs to decide our future as set out in the highly manipulated constitution for our new organisation. Same faces, same voters, same destructive representation for our industry. Nothing new here. CCA is renamed Cattle Australia and the elections are being run by the SFOs with directors to come from their predetermined regions. No answers as to how it is to be funded. No control over the mandated transaction levies we pay. No democracy. No disclosure of meeting minutes or financial reports. The fight will have to continue to achieve a democratic organisation owned by the levy payers.
    Australian Cattle Industry Council

    • Michelle Finger, 19/07/2022

      Why the exclusive little clubs?
      Why the secrecy?
      Why aren’t the draft constitution & mission statements publicly available & open to input from & direct voting by all Grass-Fed producers?

      Until we know the details, it is impossible to say if we support it or not. We’re been asked to show our support for fog & fairytales. Maybe it’s fabulous, I don’t know, but the way it has been handled fills me with more dread than confidence. I hope I am wrong.

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