WAFarmers endorses one incumbent, two new candidates in AWI board elections

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Bob GarnantCountryman
WAFarmers vice president and Kojonup woolgrower Steve McGuire recommends a vote for better governance as a priority.
Camera IconWAFarmers vice president and Kojonup woolgrower Steve McGuire recommends a vote for better governance as a priority. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The Sunday Times, Daniel Wilkins Picture: Daniel Wilkins

WAFarmers is pushing for better governance within Australian Wool Innovation, urging woolgrowers to support two new candidates and one incumbent as voting in the tightly-contested board elections approaches its final week.

The lobby group’s vice president and wool spokesman Steve McGuire this week recommended incumbent Don Macdonald and new candidates Steven Read and Michael Field.

There are a total of seven candidates vying for three positions on the board with directors Colette Garnsey announcing her retirement in March and directors James Morgan and Noel Henderson choosing not to re-elec.

“Mr Macdonald and Mr Read have experience in the wool processing pipeline while Mr Field runs a large wool growing farm, all three very capable of good governance strategies,” Mr McGuire said.

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WAFarmers candidate selections are opposed to the Board Nomination Committee’s early October recommendations of four candidates including current AWI director and chairman Jock Laurie, plus Mr Macdonald, Mr Read and new candidate Georgia Read.

The AWI board accepted the Board Nomination Committee’s recommendations, but choose only to put its open proxy preferences on Ms Hack, Mr Laurie and Mr Macdonald for the three board vacancies.

Mr McGuire said AWI had its own interest in mind along with its recommendation to woolgrowers to vote in this year’s WoolPoll for a two per cent levy rate.

“AWI’s request for a two per cent WoolPoll vote outcome demonstrates its lack of good governance,” he said.

“It is claiming poor, but why then are they looking to re-locate former chief executive Stuart McCullough into an expensive overseas marketing position.”

Mr McGuire said it was more likely a move to show Federal Agricultural Minister David Littleproud that changes were happening.

AWI board candidate votes can be made online until Wednesday, November 17 at 10am EDST which is the 48-hour cut-off time before the AWI’s annual meeting on Friday, November 19.

The successful candidates with the most votes and the outcome of the WoolPoll levy rate will be announced at the AGM.

To find out more, visit wool.com/agm.

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