A move by the board of Australia’s biggest co-operative to oust a longstanding director has prompted some of WA’s most respected grain growers to publicly share how they intend to vote. Members of Co-operative Bulk Handling are to vote ahead of a May 15 special general meeting on whether Trevor Badger should be removed after the board lost confidence in him for allegedly breaching confidence. Mr Badger, a Pingrup farmer, denies the allegations, which relate to disclosing the identity of a woman to whom former chairman Wally Newman directed inappropriate language. Recently appointed chairman Simon Stead said CBH directors would reassess their futures if the resolution to oust Mr Badger was lost, and directors have been calling members, campaigning for their votes in favour of the resolution. The issue has divided farmers across the State and threatens to tear the co-operative apart. Twenty growers, including Watheroo’s Bradley Millsteed, Bruce Rock’s Stephen Strange, Esperance’s Andrew Fowler and Bonnie Rock’s Romina Nicoletti, signed a letter to fellow members, saying they would vote for the resolution. “As CBH members we feel strongly about the future of our co-operative and want to see it operate with the highest professional governance standards,” the letter said. “The board have asked for growers’ support in achieving this, and we need to stand with them.” Highbury farmer Ashley Wiese voted for the resolution, based on what he considered was the best outcome for CBH, rather than whether he felt Mr Badger acted inappropriately. “I have nothing against Trevor Badger. If nothing else he is passionate and intelligent,” Mr Wiese said in his letter. “I respect the fact that a director may have opposing views to others on the board ... but I also believe if that director cannot convince the board to accept their views they should fall into line, behave professionally and as a member of a team. “I want to give the new chair the chance to pull this boardroom together.” Coorow farmer Michael O’Callaghan voted against the resolution, describing the process as unfair and disgraceful to CBH and its members. “The one word against another and ‘he said I said’ style is childish,” he wrote. “The CBH board needs to represent growers in a much more ethical and professional style. “The CBH board should withdraw this process and eliminate the need for CBH members to be forced to vote on the removal of a legally voted-in director.” WA Grains Group chairman Doug Smith, a Pingrup grower, wrote to growers saying the process was flawed, and advising they voted against the resolution. “We do not believe that this process would stand up in a court of law,” he said. “It is hearsay and one person’s word against another. “We are against the whole process of 3800 members being asked to act as the jurors, when the members have no right of cross-examination of the prosecution, the witness or the defendant.” Mr Badger said yesterday he planned to exercise his right to speak at the meeting, meaning it could be adjourned so members can submit or vary votes taking into account his address.