Share­holder Sunrice vote

Five di­rec­tor po­si­tions avail­able

Southern Riverina news - - News -

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

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