28/05/2021 - 11:00

Former CBH chair seeks comeback

28/05/2021 - 11:00


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Wally Newman is eyeing a return to CBH Group’s board, with the former chair in a four-way race to regain a position he held for nearly 20 years.

Former CBH chair seeks comeback
CBH Group is owned and controlled by more than 4,000 grain growers

Wally Newman is eyeing a return to CBH Group’s board, with the former chair in a four-way race to regain a position he held for nearly 20 years.

By-elections to CBH Group’s board will be held next Friday to determine who will become the second representative in district four, which is drawn around Koorda in the wheatbelt’s northeast.

The group’s fourth district had lost both its members in 2020 following the resignation of Mr Newman and Trevor Badger.

Mr Newman, who was CBH's deputy chair between 2008 and 2012 and chair between 2014 and 2020, stood down his position on the board in April of this past year after he failed to be re-elected as chair.

That followed allegations Mr Newman had used inappropriate language about certain women running for CBH Group’s board in 2018.

He offered an apology for those remarks ahead of the February election at which he won re-election with 62 per cent of the vote.

Simon Stead, who has represented the 12th district since 2015, was later elected chair.

Mr Badger, meanwhile, was removed from his position in May following accusations he leaked confidential information and breached his code of conduct while serving as director.

He passed away in a light plane crash earlier this month, age 55.

Helen Woodhams is the fourth district’s only other director, having been elected in August.

In seeking to reclaim his seat, Mr Newman faces stiff competition from three other farmers: Royce Taylor, a former Lake Grace councillor; Phillip Blight, president of the Shire of Wagin, and; Gerard Paganoni, a board member for Grain Producers Australia.

Next Friday’s by-election is being held concurrently with a poll in the first district, which takes in Geraldton and primary receival sites further north along Western Australia's coast, to replace Brian McAlpine.

Mr McAlpine, who held his position since 2012, had informed the board he would not recontest his position in November.

CBH Group had delayed holding an election for his seat given members were to vote on a proposed reduction in the board’s size at February’s AGM.

The motion failed, however, with 58 per cent of members voting it down.

Mr Stead and Natalie Browning won re-election in their districts.

Just two farmers have declared their candidacies for that position; Gary Cosgrove, who is president of the Shire of Mingenew, and Gareth Rowe, whose farm is based in Walkaway, located approximately 22 kilometres southeast of Geraldton.

Elections will be held on June 4.

Whoever wins in the first district will be up for re-election in 2024, while whoever wins in the fourth district will face members again in 2023.


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