Calls For MLA Member Information To Be Made Public

AUSTRALIA - Recently, the Australian Beef Association (ABA) has been pushing for thewind up of Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). Yesterday, ABA Chairman, Brad Bellinger expressed his amazement as the Cattle Council called for the names the MLA members who had signed the member motion for the wind up of the MLA to be made public.
calendar icon 5 October 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

He said: “What does Cattle Council want to do with such a list? Do they want to “reprimand” those who have signed it - apparently so. We have had complaints from several signatories that they have already been contacted by MLA Directors and we know their names were not made directly available from the ABA Office.”

Mr Bellinger continued: “Cattle Council is in a separate class of MLA membership; - they are one of the Four Peak Council Special Members. So what the producer members of the MLA sign, is none Cattle Council’s business until a motion is carried on the floor of the MLA AGM and is then referred to them for their ‘Power of Veto’(as with the Senate).”

Mr Bellinger said: “This is a real 180 degree policy u- turn on demands of transparency by Cattle Council. Only 15 months ago they were prepared to sign a secrecy agreement with the ALP Government, which agreed to beef coming from countries with BSE (mad cow disease) into Australia. The Press, Australia’s cattlemen and beef consumers, were to be kept ignorant of their decision. All this is on record in the Hansard of the Senate RRAT Committee.

When the embarrassing news became public, they then spent over $400,000 of producer money trying to explain their massive betrayal, when they placed full page advertisements in the National weekend papers.

Whilst Cattle Council is in transparency mode, they may like to explain how they overruled their own Red Meat Advisory Council (RMAC) Selection Committee in their appointment of a RMAC Chairman.

“I can understand Cattle Council’s desperation to justify their hold onto their payouts from the interest from the Levy Fund that was once $40 million (made up from the cattlemens’ levies and now down to $32 million through total mismanagement). However, we think that Cattle Council President Brown and Cattle Council executive member Leonard Vallence would be wise to keep their heads down on a matter, which is definitely none of their business,” Mr Bellinger stated.

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