ABA: MLA Turn a Blind Eye to Members' Motions

AUSTRALIA - The Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has again refused to accept motions signed by over 150 of their members who contribute to the funding of it. The Australian Beef Association has branded the latest move as the pinnacle of "ten years of total arrogance".
calendar icon 24 September 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Chairman of Australian Beef Association Brad Bellinger said, "MLA Chairman Don Heatley has previously called on producers to stop criticising the supermarket 'mark-ups.' MLA assesses the success of their promotions on higher prices paid by consumers and is not concerned that due to the obscene supermarket mark-ups that the people who fund them - the producers, who are getting less for their cattle than they were getting five years ago; - with friends like Heatley, producers need no enemies."

Mr Bellinger continued, "Mr Heatley claimed that Motions 2 & 3 were refused because they were 'potentially defamatory' This must be a brand new legal defence. Apparently producers, who fund the MLA, are not entitled to criticise it.

"Motion 1, the vote of 'No Confidence in the Board', was rejected 'because it couldn't be implemented"

Mr Bellinger said, "The MLA constitution only allowed motions calling for the removal of Directors or a change to the constitution. The change to the constitution motion can then be vetoed by the Peak Councils, which only leaves a motion calling for the 'Removal of Directors."

"The MLA AGMs had become increasingly dictatorial with the meeting Chairman refusing to allow questions to the auditor at their AGM held in Melbourne in 2005 and giving defenders of motions critical of MLA twice the time that the mover was allowed. From 2004, the MLA has refused to release the transcript of these meetings", Mr Bellinger explained

"The MLA must be the most undemocratic organisation in the Western World. The Australian Government guarantees their income with a compulsory levy on all meat producers. The MLA CEO is paid nearly twice the Prime Minister's salary and a higher figure than any Commonwealth Public Servant, yet they need not account to levy payers on how they spend the levy payers' money," Mr Bellinger stated.

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