Setback for NW cattle venture

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
Gill Stassen.
Camera IconGill Stassen. Credit: The West Australian

The fledging Kimberley Cattlemen’s Association has been rocked by the departure of its inaugural executive officer after just three months in the job.

Former investment banker Gill Stassen packed his bags this week amid speculation of a falling out with KCA president Peter Camp, who runs Kalyeeda Station and was a driving force in setting up the not-for-profit association.

The KCA was launched this year with financial backing from the State Government via service agreements. It is closely associated with the Department of Agriculture and Food WA’s northern beef futures project, which received $15 million in Royalties for Regions funding.

The setback for the KCA comes as northern pastoralists grapple with a big drop in cattle orders after Indonesia’s shock decision to slash imports.

They are also trying to position themselves to take advantage of a breakthrough in the export of slaughter and feeder cattle to China.

Mr Stassen refused to discuss the circumstances surrounding his sudden departure but said he would maintain his longstanding links to the industry.

“The potential is enormous and my relationship with all of the producers has been fantastic,” he said.

Mr Stassen also praised the work being done by DAFWA staff under the northern beef futures project.

“They are really focused and really want to bring about change,” he said. “There are unbelievable opportunities in the export markets.”

Mr Camp could not be contacted yesterday. At the time of Mr Stassen’s appointed in April, he said: “Gill’s experience in start-ups, project management and business development will be very valuable in getting the KCA up and running.”

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