On Tuesday 8 November Cattle Council of Australia (CCA) attended a hearing at the Supreme Court of Queensland, whereby applicants Cattle Producers Australia (CPA) and Loretta Carroll via Creevey Horrell Lawyers attempted to restrain CCA from implementing the reforms recommended by the Grass-Fed Cattle Industry Restructure Steering Committee.
Dan Creevey, acting for CPA, has issued a statement “the order from Justice Brown prevents CCA from proceeding with the formation of Cattle Australia until the hearing is held on November 29-30, 2022”. That statement is untrue.
The orders issued by Justice Brown were for mediation to take place between the parties at the end of November. They come after CPA twice backed down on seeking the injunction they now falsely claim was ordered by the Court.
CCA President, Lloyd Hick said the orders agreed between the Barristers before the Court at yesterday’s hearing, which are yet to be made by the Court, impose no restraint on CCA, now known as “Cattle Australia” continuing to implement the reform process – including the current election process.
“It’s unfortunate that Creevey Horrell Lawyers, on behalf of CPA, released an untrue statement after the conclusion of the hearing. I fear that CPA is maliciously seeking to disrupt the democratic election process with this “fake news”. CCA’s legal team have written to Mr Creevey asking for a retraction of what appears to be a deliberately false statement, designed to interfere with implementation of the reforms.
“The current reform process is completely unrestrained by yesterday’s order, and we will vigorously continue to deliver what the independent Grass-Fed Cattle Industry Restructure Steering Committee has asked of us.
“We will continue to work for our members who overwhelmingly voted to accept the new Cattle Australia Constitution, and for the grass-fed cattle industry. We will maintain this momentum to the inaugural democratic Board elections.
“Let’s be clear here: CPA wants to retain the old structure; that is what its orders seek. After years of discussion and over half a million dollars spent on the reform process, CPA and Ms Carroll, at the eleventh hour, want to derail a process that has the overwhelming support of the industry.
“We are frustrated that resources intended to progress the interests of cattle producers are being wasted on unnecessary legal actions based on unfounded accusations of impropriety.
“This action says that CPA (a body of merely 345 members) and Ms Carroll would rather keep the old model where producers have a very limited say about who represents their interests.
“Despite repeated attempts by CCA to engage with CPA, they continue to show they are blatantly “anti-reform” and “anti-unity”. The have shown a patent disregard for the will of producers, their public statements being devoid of any evidence. They have not offered one statement as to what in the Cattle Australia Constitution they object to, yet they object.
“The State Farming Organisations are once again to be commended for conceding their power and privilege in favour of these reforms, allowing for the first time a Board made up of elected cattle producers, elected by cattle producers alone.
“CCA calls on all industry participants to put aside short-sighted, self-interested politics and embrace the legacy that is now available by implementing the democratic reform process.
Lloyd Hick said CCA protects and values its stakeholder interests, as will Cattle Australia. “As the legally recognised representative organisation for the grass-fed cattle industry, CCA was the only organisation that could finalise the transition process.”
“The Grass-Fed Cattle Industry Restructure Steering Committee embraced the recommendations of its independent legal advisers, leading law firm King & Wood Mallesons, which were given to the committee on 10 June 2022: that the value of statutory recognition of CCA should be preserved in favour of the considerable cost and operational gap of the alternative of establishing an entirely new body. Once the December 2022 elections are held, CCA becomes a very different company, one driven by a Board elected by the very people it represents – Australian grass-fed cattle producers.
“I urge all grass-fed cattle producers to get behind the reforms and reject the false and improper messages CPA issue.