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Cattle Australia faces legal action

The rebranding of the Cattle Council of Australia to Cattle Australia could be the subject of a legal challenge, following accusations that the CCA acted unlawfully.

user iconLauren Croft 11 October 2022 Big Law
Cattle Australia faces legal action
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Aspects of the Cattle Council of Australia’s (CCA) strategy have been called “flawed” and “undemocratic”, as the organisation rebranded to Cattle Australia and allegedly purporting to be the new representative body for Australian grass-fed cattle producers.

Paul Wright and Cameron McIntyre, representing Cattle Producers Australia Limited (CPA), have appointed Queensland law firm Creevey Horrell Lawyers to lead the legal challenge.

Mr Wright and Mr McIntyre are members of the federal government-funded grass-fed cattle industry Restructure Steering Committee (RSC), which was charged with the reform process to establish a new democratic peak industry council to represent all grass-fed cattle levy payers.


“CCA illegitimately took over the reform process in its own interest and produced a flawed and undemocratic structure with no secure funding plan for ‘Cattle Australia’,” Mr Wright said.

“Unlike the constitution adopted by CCA, the grass-fed cattle producer peak industry council structure proposed by the RSC would have given fair representation for all levy payers, whether big or small. We will be instituting legal action aiming to halt the incorrect process and to call out the flawed structure that CCA appears to have devised in its own interests rather than in the interests of all Australia’s grass-fed cattle producer transaction levy payers.”

A proposed constitution for Cattle Australia was passed this month, although NSW Farmers and Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia voted against the resolution.

“At that CCA special general meeting held to adopt the new constitution, there were around 45 CCA members online, 71 proxies and the CCA president — a total of 117 people,” Mr McIntyre said.

“Can you believe that? A total of 117 CCA members voted in favour of adopting a CCA-devised constitution for all of us, all the 45,000-plus grass-fed cattle producers of Australia. This is not only bad; it is sad.”

Creevey Horrell principal Dan Creevey said he had instructions to have the matter listed for a hearing in the Supreme Court of Queensland urgently.

“Our clients, the CPA, believe the resolution of the CCA to adopt a new constitution and rebrand itself as Cattle Australia was in breach of the RSC’s terms of reference and the associated funding Auspices Agreement between the RSC and CCA. The new rebadged CCA constitution has not yet been agreed upon by the RSC, which was established to do just that.

“The draft constitution that has been adopted by CCA fails to encapsulate the requirements of the democratically elected Cattle Australia structure demanded by our clients and other cattle producers,” he said.

“The expenditure of RSC resources, of government and industry origin, carried out by CCA on behalf of RSC under the Auspice Agreement and the Department of Agriculture’s Procurement Agreement, has also not been adequately supervised by RSC, and despite requests, documentation supporting its expenditure has not been provided.”

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