Has­sell calls time on CBH

Great Southern Herald - - News - Rueben Hale

Pin­gelly farmer John Has­sell will re­sign from the CBH board to have another tilt at Fed­eral pol­i­tics.

Mr Has­sell has told CBH that after nine years on the board, he will not seek to re-nom­i­nate beyond his term, which is due to ex­pire at the con­clu­sion of the 2018 An­nual Gen­eral Meet­ing.

He said there re­mained a fire in his belly to have another crack at stand­ing for the Na­tion­als, de­spite be­ing de­ci­sively beaten for the Fed­eral seat of O’Con­nor by Lib­eral Rick Wil­son at the last elec­tion.

Mr Has­sell , who re­cently pur­chased a new farm nearly twice the size of his old farm 15km fur­ther out from the town, says his po­lit­i­cal as­pi­ra­tions, busi­ness and study com­mit­ments, and ex­pan­sion of the fam­ily’s farm­ing en­ter­prise, made the de­ci­sion to “give some­one else a go” a straight­for­ward one.

Mr Has­sell’s ten­ure on the board has over­seen a change in di­rec­tion un­der the lead­er­ship of chair­man Wally New­man, fight­ing off a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar pitch to its mem­bers by Aus­tralian Grains Cham­pion to cor­po­ra­tise the 85-year-old co-op­er­a­tive.

He has also worked through the dereg­u­la­tion of the grain in­dus­try, has sup­ported the $175 mil­lion in­vest­ment in CBH’s rail as­sets, as well as the Blue Lake Milling in­vest­ment and the re­newed fo­cus on the co-op­er­a­tive model.

“I have loved my time on the CBH board, but I am hop­ing the Na­tion­als will sup­port me to re-con­test for the seat at the next elec­tion be­cause the re­sent­ment of West Aus­tralians over WA re­ceiv­ing its fair share of GST is steadily grow­ing each day,” he said.

Mr Has­sell said his CBH com­mit­ments had be­come too much with his other re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“I’m mak­ing this an­nounce­ment now be­cause rather than just not put my­self for­ward when the next elec­tions are held next year, I would in­stead en­cour­age younger mem­bers and maybe even farm­ers’ wives who are ac­tive farm­ers them­selves to stand up for the board,” he said.

“Pro­vid­ing this amount of lead time for peo­ple to con­sider stand­ing for elec­tion leads to a well­con­tested elec­tion in my area and a healthy demo­cratic process for the co-op­er­a­tive.”

Mr New­man thanked Mr Has­sell for his con­tri­bu­tion to CBH and rep­re­sen­ta­tion of grow­ers in District 3.

“John has been an ex­cep­tional ad­vo­cate for the co-op­er­a­tive over many years,” he said.

York farmer Rhys Tur­ton has not ruled out re-con­test­ing for the District 3 board po­si­tion from Mr Has­sell.

Mr Has­sell eas­ily beat Mr Tur­ton in the 2015 Mem­ber Di­rec­tor Elec­tions.

“I plan to talk to Mr New­man about this and weigh up my op­tions be­fore I make a fi­nal de­ci­sion about re-con­test­ing in Fe­bru­ary next year,” Mr Tur­ton said.

Pic­ture: Shan­non Hamp­ton

Pin­gelly farmer John Has­sell will re­tire from the CBH board next year to pur­sue a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer.

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