Genesis of an ABA Expulsion

I wish to explain to the ABA general membership and that of the Cunningham electorate in particular, the events leading up to my expulsion from the ABA as a Director and ordinary member of said organization by a “Special Meeting of ABA Directors” held via Teleconference on Oct 22nd.

The ABA Board voted 10-2 to expel me under Section 14{1} of the ABA’s Articles of Association. This section states “The Board has the power to censure, fine, suspend or expel the member from the Company should that member {in the opinion of the Board} be guilty of any conduct, which is unbecoming or prejudicial to the interests of the Company”

My removal by such a substantial margin should beg the question by any reasonable member why in fact was my conduct so “unbecoming or prejudicial to the interests of the Company” to deserve expulsion. I believe that I am totally innocent of such slanderous allegations and I am pleased that such an effective online forum as Agmates gives me the opportunity to defend my reputation against completely unfounded allegations.

This intriguing expulsion process was set in motion at an ordinary teleconference of Directors on Oct. 8th when the following motion was put;
“That a motion of no confidence be moved against Lee Mc Nicholl and to ask for his resignation”. This was moved by Mrs. Linda Hewitt and seconded by Mr. John Carter.
The mover and seconder of the motion then spoke at length about my alleged unbecoming and prejudicial behaviour. I believe the allegations are complete fabrications rooted in paranoia and conspiracy theories. In rejecting these baseless allegations, I suggested that Banjo Paterson might have described them as “flights of erratic fancy”

A temporary outbreak of natural justice occurred when a motion was moved by Mr. John Niven and seconded by Mr. Rowell Walton that “the vote moved by Linda Hewitt and seconded by John Carter be held over until Monday 12th. 2009 “
When the meeting was reconvened on Oct. 12th, I was able to give a more detailed response to their unfounded allegations after being “ambushed” on Oct 8th. The mover and seconder had canvassed effectively and the original “no confidence” motion was put and supported with 2 votes against.
I refused to resign as I would not accept the injustice of the ABA’s “Kangaroo Court” and said the ABA Board would have to sack me.
This culminated in the ABA Board decision of Oct. 22nd. I now challenge my principal accusers namely Mrs. Linda Hewitt and Mr. John Carter to debate their baseless allegations on Agmates in the best interest of open and accountable governance within the ABA.. If they decline to take up my offer, I will be posting their outrageous claims to promote a long overdue debate about the direction and future of the ABA.

Tags: ABA, Expulsion

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I have just heard that Lee McNicholl, an experienced cattleman and veterinary surgeon has been voted off the board of the ABA. I’m sure the members of the executive who voted against him had their political reasons, but his knowledge and intelligence will be sorely missed whether they realise it or not. I had the privilege of working with the ABA on a consulting contract, awarded to Agribusiness Online, to expose the deficiencies in the NLIS system with a thorough analysis of the database. This involved several teleconferences with the board to discuss issues and strategy and a many of calls with Lee who was an invaluable source of information and intelligence on the functioning of the NLIS database. I could not have carried out my job as effectively as I did without Lee’s input. No other member of the board had his in depth level of understanding of how the NLIS system operated. In particular, Lee’s knowledge of how some of the code strings were constructed enabled me to unlock data and extract intelligence that I would not otherwise have been able to do. I also found him to have a high level of integrity, which no doubt was his undoing.

Scott Paterson
Database Analyst Consultant for
Agribusiness Online
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Get rid of Lee McNicholl before he get's rid of me, seems a reasonable answer to this question.

Lee's professional contribution to the ABA and Beef Industry can not be questioned. He put more into the recent NLIS data base analysis than all the board members put together. Trying to bring change and deliver benefits to the Beef Industry and its organisations has been a passion of Lee's throughout his long and successful career. However, this was Lee's undoing, as Scott Patterson our company's strategic business analyst pointed out, previously.

Lee made some enemies along the way by pushing hard for change, which may well be the real motive behind this irrational action, from the ABA Board. Just when the ABA was developing some traction, division at board level, has shaken them to the core. The truth is that Lee's support for MSA is completely warranted, because of its international recognition as a grading system. Let’s not forget it won the Millennium Prize for its contribution to global beef science and it has been instrumentive in helping the small retailers keep their market channel open, in a globalised world, that has largely witnessed the demise of small business. Lee’s understanding of science-based projects in the industry is exceptional I know he has put his money where his mouth is when it comes to promoting innovation and technologies, which deliver benefits to producers. Equally, he has been a critic that has fought against systems that threaten the productivity and profitability of cattlemen.

MLA may rest more easily now because ABA's capabilities are certainly diminished without Lee McNicholl on the board. Their efforts to bring change to the industry can now be questioned, because if the rationale they provided is true, then it follows that the ABA can't manage small policy changes within. If not, they are calling for industry transformation and resiting changes themselves, which is a more serious problem.

Paul Evans
(Founder/Director)
Agribusiness Online
Now we are back on fertile ground!
The NLIS Database Audit
I have given a big wrap to the highly Professional job that both Paul and Scott did for the ABA in an earlier comment.I am relieved that they have come on and said it like it is. There are two past chairmen at the centre of this dispute who one would think SHOULD want to calm the waters and help Brad front the Govt and its groupies on the committees. They deemed this necessary- so explain it to Lee and the membership!

Our NLIS Audit was dismissed out of hand by every State and the fed Minister of Primary Industry in a one page "Sir Humphrey"letter that all the Industry leaders have assured them that everything is working beautifully.Bit like the Climate Change hoax and the IPCC.

Lee's circle of friends and contacts put us in touch with Scott and Paul and I feel it was the most positive thing we achieved in my three years on the board. Instead of perpetually carping the NLIS "perception" fraud we have actually proved that 34.5% of cattle on the database have lost lifetime tracability.
Ironically one of these ex leaders thought that Uni students might be able to do a similar job for next to no cost and the other ex chair thought that he and his son could knock one up for a quarter of the cost and still have it taken seriously. Not a worldly judgement and thankfully not needed due to Lee.

I will paste in below Paul and Scott's C.V. and you the reader be the judge-

REPORT AUTHORS
Paul Evans established an agribusiness consultancy company in 1978 and has had a 'Paddock to Plate' experience in supply chain management. He has post graduate qualification in Strategic Marketing ( Agribusiness) and has worked with stakeholders across the whole chain of supply, in Australia's Horticulture and Beef Industries. Paul is one of the pioneers of technology transfer and innovation in Australia's fresh food supply chains and his business developed the first value based marketing systems, for beef and fresh produce, which were sponsored by the lead industry bodies, Horticulture and Meat and Livestock Australia.

Scott Patterson is a qualified Electronics Engineer with experience managing multi billion dollar projects for the Australian Defence Force. At age 34 he was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander and led a team managing the acquisition pf upgraded avionics and weapons systems for the Royal Australian Air Force F18 fleet. Scott was also responsible for the investigation and implementation of Business Intelligence System approach at the Gold Coast City Council. His knowledge of tools to extract and analyse data, as well as report on performance led to an Information Access and Delivery Project, which delivered valuable new Information Technologies (IT) capabilities to the Council. Scott also has post graduate qualifications in Management Studies and consults to businesses on Strategic Planning and Systemization. He therefore understands the need for systems to generate quality real time information that facilitates business decision making processes to produce gain rather than pain.
Your correct Susan, I do tend to try to pull this conversation off the grubby matter and onto general industry business.I am like everyone else- trying to pull something positive out of it (personal opinion of course.)

I have loaded the ABA Group with similar theads but doubt that some of the new onlookers to this little drama would not have bothered to look there. John Laws made a career out of this sort of thing.
Hi Susan, I'd like to clarify some points regarding your comment that Scott and I infer the contention is with Lee's stand on MSA and NLIS.

1. NLIS has no part of this at all. The comments that introduced NLIS into this content here relate to a project that the ABA commissioned us to do and to our interactions with board members, while we were engaged in the work. It was during this project that Scott (analyst) recognised Lee's capabilities and drew the conclusion that without his considerable contribution the methodologies used could not have been cross-checked as accurately. As previously stated Lee’s contribution was more than the other board members combined.

2. MSA and "misinformation" about the grading system is clearly a big part of this debacle and it is ABA's rejection of MSA that has been used as reason for them grading McNicholl out. I think it was because he was trying to reform the ABA and prepare it for the future not the difference of opinion on policy.

3. Finally, I have no interest in the politics or legalities of this fight, but I will not stand by and have the Serf’s and PAYG’s of this world attempt to assassinate the character of a person that has high levels of integrity and has made considerable contributions to rural Australia, in many areas. Many of these contributions have not been made public and it’s time they were, as a rebuttal to any bad reports. As previously stated, I believe the ABA will be a less capable organisation without Dr McNicholl on the board and his contributions will be missed. Let’s hope they will be able to manage the workload without the energy and intelligence that Lee provided. Also any questions about Lee's motives or allegiances are completely unfounded and inappropriate…Cheers…Paul Evans.
"Former" President John Carter still calling the shots

Particularly love the reference to Agmates as a niche online chat forum. One they obviously read to know what's happening in the industry.
Good move Dale, I had one last go after seeing the birth of another clone with a lot of opinion but no name!
It's not the content for me Cate it is simply that they have so many opinions but no guts for a name to go next to them.

The story is fish wrap by now and I am only interested in highlighting what a poor quality Blog it was. Where's all that bloody rain Gone?

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