News

Seven stand

by
April 27, 2018

Seven candidates have been confirmed for the Murray Irrigation Ltd election, including former director John Bradford.

Three other former directors — Chris Brooks, James Sides and Mark Robertson — who along with Mr Bradford resigned late last year after a report concluded the company’s board was ‘dysfunctional’, withdrew their nomination before Friday’s cut-off.

The six other confirmed candidates are Noel Baxter, Steven Fawns, Ryan Gleeson, Noel Graham, Ted Hatty and Louis Kelly.

Mr Bradford said despite some MIL shareholders believing there was an ‘‘understanding’’ that those board members who resigned late last year would not re-stand, he was comfortable with his decision.

He also said he was comfortable with an executive summary of the report being released to shareholders so they can make an informed decision when voting.

‘‘On November 3 (last year) there was an agreement by the elected directors that while the board would stand down everyone could renominate,’’ Mr Bradford said.

‘‘I believe you need a current board member for continuity and if elected I would make a commitment to transition off the board after the first election cycle.

‘‘I was on a board that was deemed dysfunctional but I don’t believe I personally added to this dysfunction.’’

But former board member Chris Brooks said his interpretation was that there was a ‘‘general understanding that all former directors would get out of the road’’.

Mr Brooks went one step further saying the interim board should disendorse Mr Bradford’s nomination.

‘‘It’s been discussed publicly by (interim chairman) Phil Snowden and discussed at the recent EGM that the interim board didn’t want any of the former board members to nominate.

‘‘I had no intention of nominating (for the election) until I heard there were others from the former board who had nominated but I was happy to withdraw (my nomination) at the interim board’s request.

‘‘I think any former board members who stand should be disendorsed.

‘‘I reiterate the fact that the report said the dysfunctional board should resign and there was a general understanding that that would be the case.’’

Mr Brooks also said he was happy for the full report to be released to shareholders.

Murray Irrigation’s interim board chairman Phil Snowden said earlier this week: ‘‘The report is confidential and remains that way. We’re reviewing what information can be released to shareholders.’’

He also said he would not comment on any of the individual candidates.

‘‘The large field provides shareholders with the opportunity to elect candidates who would be expected to put the interests of the company first and foremost.’’

The MIL election is being contested to fill three of the five member director positions on the company’s restructured board.

Current elected directors Waander Van Beek and Mr Snowden were encouraged to continue their tenure until 2021 after the interim board voted unanimously on the matter in December.

The ballot for directors opens this Friday and closes on Monday, May 28. A candidate can withdraw their nomination at any time.

The membership of the board, which is expected to be finalised in June, will comprise five member directors and three independent directors.

Ballot papers will be mailed to shareholders on April 27.

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