Shareholder Sunrice vote
Five director positions available
SUNRICE shareholders will determine the future direction and management of the company next month, when they vote to fill five director positions.
Four active grower director have come to the end of their term and their positions need to be re-filled.
The fifth position is currently held by SunRice CEO Gary Helou, who will leave the company just weeks after the August 26 election.
The election is an opportunity for the shareholders to help guide the company forward, or send a clear message.
During the debate on whether to sell SunRice to Spanish food company Ebro Foods SA, some shareholders expressed their disappointment in the current board.
They said the board’s decision to recommend the sale showed they had little confidence in the company.
Some even went as far to say that the current board should be reviewed if the deal was lost.
The possibility of overturning the board was not officially raised at any of the grower meetings held in June, after the vote to sell to Ebro was lost.
But with the elections forming part of the annual general meeting next month, people could potentially see a huge change in representation.
The four grower directors reaching the end of their four year term are Laurie Arthur, Norm McAllister, Mark Robertson and Alan Walsh.
Mr Arthur has already confirmed he would be re-standing for his position at the AGM, saying he wanted to stay actively involved in the company.
‘‘I think it’s a great company with a great future and is a valuable asset to all growers, and it needs prudent financial management,’’ he said.
‘‘I understand the issues of the shareholders and can contribute strongly over the next four years.’’
Mr Walsh said he would ‘‘absolutely’’ restand, saying he was one of the best people for the job.
‘‘You’re not going to get anyone more passionate about the rice industry than me.
‘‘It’s time to get on with the job, reunite everyone and work a pathway forward.
‘‘I’m not one to desert a sinking ship, not that it’s like that.
‘‘I get encouraging messages from shareholders in support of the board and what it did, and that they want that same strong leadership going forward.’’
Mr Robertson said his knowledge of the business and his desire to see some continuity in the business contributed to his decision to restand.
‘‘I intend to re-stand for a lot of reasons,’’ he said.
‘‘I know the business well, I understand the changes in the industry and I have a lot to offer.’’
Mr McAllister had not returned several phone calls from the SOUTHERN RIVERINA NEWS yesterday.
A SunRice spokesperson said under the constitution, one director may be a SunRice employee.
This position is also elected by shareholders and is currently held by the CEO, the spokesperson said.
Continuing on the board will be chairman Gerry Lawson, Russell Higgins, Gillian Kirkup, Noel Graham and Grant Latta.
Police are also investigating the break-in of the Finley football clubrooms late last week.
Between 7.45pm last Thursday and 1.45pm on Friday, a quantity of