CBH board candidate profiles: Lindsay Tuckwell
The battle is on for the final position on the CBH board, representing district 3. Vying for the spot is Lindsay Tuckwell of Kondinin, Natalie Browning of Kondinin, Stephen Strange of Bruce Rock and Rhys Turton of York. In this four part series, we sit down with each of the four candidates to ask why they have nominated and what they hope to achieve...
Lindsay Tuckwell is a grain grower in Kondinin with more than 22 years of experience in the industry. She farms 3600ha in partnership with her husband, Grant, and is a strong advocate for CBH to remain a co-operative. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has a BA (Psych), Diploma Counselling, with 10 years as a councillor in local government, and is a member of the CBH Growers Advisory Council and the Wheatbelt Rail Retention Alliance.
Why have you nominated?
I have the time and experience to dedicate to the role of being a director and I support diversity and renewal on the CBH board. I want to ensure our co-operative is efficient, will embrace new technologies (such as the CDF App currently being trialled) and that every decision is made with co-operative principles.
What can you bring to the CBH board?
I have a proven track record of standing strongly for those I have been elected to represent. I bring to the board high-level governance experience, a strong work ethic and learning mindset, adaptability to change and the ability to collaborate. I have knowledge of the grain industry and its challenges, including the Tier 3 rail issue.
What does CBH do well? How can it improve?
CBH provides an efficient, cost-effective and safe storage, handling and freight system. The board’s role is to ensure management has the funds to keep improving the model. The Network Strategy is part of the ongoing modernisation of the system. The co-operative is in a sound financial position and this should remain the case. CBH must look for new markets for our grain and ways of value-adding to growers’ bottom lines.
I would like to see more flexible ways of accessing rebates and, in the Kwinana Zone, growers given the ability to deliver direct to vessel. I will advocate for maximum terms for directors (three) with four for the chair. I want the board to ensure management ensures bins are fit for purpose at the start of harvest.
What are your thoughts on potential attempts to corporatise CBH?
CBH is always going to be a target for corporates, because it would be a valuable acquisition for any company. It is Australia’s largest co-operative and the recent Australian National Mutual Economy Report ranked it first in annual turnover of Australian CMEs. My position on corporatisation aligns with a majority of grain growers, and that is we should remain a co-operative model.
What is your view on CBH investing outside of WA?
Any investments by CBH should be made with the ethos of creating and returning value to growers. It is important the board emphasise these guiding principles to management when any future investments are being considered. The board should question management to produce real data that can be used to form a consensus view based on fact.
What are the biggest challenges for CBH during the next five years?
The number one challenge facing WA grain growers, and therefore CBH, is the increasing world production of grain, particularly from the Black Sea region. Currently the region’s storage, handling and transport systems are not efficient but once it overcomes those hurdles we may lose current markets. WA grain growers have large input costs and CBH must continuously review its charges to growers. CBH needs to be the most efficient and cost-effective system so as to maintain tonnes in the co-operative. Leaking tonnes would be extremely detrimental. WA growers have a reputation for producing high-quality grain and we must ensure that we maintain those standards.
The board should embrace every opportunity to maximise growers’ profitability. While competition has arrived in WA in the storage, handling and shipping space, CBH is well placed financially to acquire any facilities that may become available. Competition is healthy as growers can compare their CBH system and realise others may not be so flexible. CBH has the ability to handle multiple grains, varieties and grades at all times.
I welcome your feedback on my nomination and look forward to representing district 3 growers on the CBH board.
To view the other three candidate profiles, see Countryman’s website.
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