Cattle body for Pilbara

Rueben HaleThe West Australian

A new organisation has been formed to represent Kimberley and Pilbara cattle producers.

It is understood that after eight short months, the fledgling Kimberley Cattlemen's Association is set to change its name to Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen's Association.

The move is believed to be in recognition of the association needing to extend its reach and support to Pilbara producers.

The change will come at a timely and challenging time for the region, with pastoralists behind a push to use port facilities at Onslow for live cattle shipments amid lingering doubts about where the industry fits in with iron ore and salt at Port Hedland (see page 10).

_In its short history, the KCA has secured a number of government service agreements, but also been plagued by controversy after its first chief executive Gill Stassen resigned only three months into the job after an alleged falling-out with KCA president Peter Camp. _

At the meeting, it is also expected new executive members, Fitzroy Crossing helicopter pilot Rick Ford and Minderoo Station manager Ben Wratten, would be endorsed.

Mr Wratten is new to WA and hails from the Northern Territory, where he was a member of the NT Cattlemen's Association.

He brings with him more than 20 years of far northern cattle industry experience and is considered a good fit for the association with its new objective to represent Pilbara producers.

"I am responsible for all the five stations that are owned by Andrew Forrest's Minderoo Group, all in the Pilbara," Mr Wratten said.

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