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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Lee, sorry to hear that the ABA have expelled their greatest public supporter of the MSA eating quality grading system. All politics aside - taking your MSA 'science sense' and long term practical understanding, out of the ABA equation is surely a bad day for the Australian Beef Industry. I sincerely hope it wasn't your MSA support that led to you being shown the door.

Have you heard about the Greenhams Cape Grim product being exported very successfully to Japan, USA and Korea. A bloke who just came back from Tasmania yesterday told me the specifications are very simple. 0-8 teeth for Ox (in other words these people know that teeth have nothing to do with eating quality). However females are 0-7 teeth and I think we could all live with that. 6mm fat at the P8. 280-420kg carcass (nice wide weight range). MSA graded obviously! A premium if they grade boning group 6 or better (they get around 90% compliance) and another premium if they sign off on a clean green environmental standard. The product is eating extremely well apparently. Greenhams do also have a light weight domestic MSA yearling product that is 0-2 teeth. I expect they continue to sell these on dentition because our domentic wholsalers and retailers still tend to operate in the constraints of 'the teeth paradigm'. All in all we have a long way to go however at least some significant parts of our great industry are starting get over the teeth issue and letting our exceptional MSA sicience do it's job!
All the best.
Ian Mc
Ian, unfortunately the overwhelming majority of the ABA Board has a schizo DR. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde approach to MSA led by Mr. John Carter. Regarding the general ABA membership, their views are unknown and were never canvassed in the 4 years I was a Director. My concern about the ABA Board's ambivalence to & lack of support for MSA was intensified by the Board's support of the Torbay "Truth in Labelling Bill" which is really a voodoo meat grading scheme by DENTITION in disgiuse.

This led me to move a motion at a recent teleconference {seconded by R. Walton} " That the ABA accepts the science on which MSA is based" This was passed unananimously because they had no rational alternative.
However when I logically moved the follow up motion " that given MSA is a peer reviewed science based meat eating quality grading system, that the ABA endorse MSA as Australia's preferred meat grading system" ,only the mover and seconder {R.Walton} supported the motion.
I had delivered a generous offer made by Mr. Michael Crowley, the MSA Programme Manager to address the Board "anywhere, any place" to deal with their misplaced opposition to MSA but this was rejected. I believe their minds have been shut by the ongoing campaign by Mr. Carter behind ABA closed doors. This is all the more intruiging given that Mr. Carter is the longtime Chairman of the Intercollegiate Meat Judging Competion which is funded $55000 p.a. by the MLA and the Australian Meat Processors Corp. This competion has produced many excellent MSA graders who are doing great things in the meat industry. An excellent example is Tod Amor who is now Livestock Manager at Teys Bros. Biloela and has helped you and other forward thinking producers get MSA on a roll at that abattoir. Incidentally, Tod is the son of our neighbours and I encouraged him to become a MSA grader and rejoice in his achievements.
I believe my recently intensified support for MSA and opposition to the "Torbay Bill" within the ABA Board was one of the reasons I was expelled for "unbecoming and prejudicial behavoir". I would probably be thrown out of the Flat Earth Society for similar rational behavoir. Please keep up your excellent work in advancing MSA as a science based grading system
Regards Lee Mc Nicholl
Lee as you know I had nearly three years as a director till fairly recently when I stepped down.I felt that we needed to engage our members more and we were not offering enough strategy ideas for the way forwards if by some miracle we managed to get some fairness and accountability for PRODUCERS. It is a huge complex industry but OUR members are mainly cattlemen and women.
With the anti ABA press it seemed that we are isolated from our members as well as from our adversaries-not a good situation. People reading this must remember that the board positions are volantary and there is no funding trough or boys club expenses kitty. We pay for our petrol ,plane tickets ,motel beds because we believe in having a go for equity. This week I am receiving 1983 prices for my cattle!
My bone of contention stemmed from office inefficeincy mainly in regards setting up the ABA group Discussion site on here. I have been posting topics and trying to stimulate debate with limited success.The beauty of this forum is for anyone to have an open and frank exchange of opinions and let logic and fair play win the day and hang the consequenses. To do otherwise would make ABA no better than NFF,MLA,SFO ,Cattle Council etc
Now meat labelling and grading and MSA is what we are all here for. I have an open mind on it and want a fair result for ALL. Ian's comment is great and the high handed action of the ABA vote certainly begs an explaination from this member.
Surely the office would have given members a look at the Torbay Bill and it's proposed grid so as we can make informed opinions. there is alot of MSA detail that needs to be put up too- the place to debate this is on the relevant post in ABA Group.
Unfortunately the board has been pretty dysfunctional in my time and found that less than half contributed consistently and Lee would have been second to none in commitment. Lee was the instigater of the NLIS Data Base Audit and his two aquaintances did a truly Professional job for a reasonable fee.
The fact that it was dismissed and belittled by the authorities so easily was more a reflection of our lack of traction and tactics.( it doesn't change the facts though). Lets forget any childish legal posturing and if someone from the board can explain this strange vote and let us move on to POSITIVE territtory.
I know that if the tables were turned the protaganists here would not like the medicine that was handed out.
Lethal, sorry to hear about this. Remember nothing worth doing is ever easy. Not exactly farmiliar with the whole story but it sounds like you have been crusified for standing by the science, if infact this is true then we must have reached a place in society where logic means very little and I become jealous of your age as I may have to watch the madness for just a little bit longer than you.
It sounds as though the ABA have lost their way as seems to be fasionable for all ag based representative bodies.
When cutting costs out of my budget it would seem that paying fees to these representative bodies will become one column that I will be able to save in.
Chris, thanks for your support. It does seem that "The Flat Earthers" {those who ignore scientific truths} are making a come back in supporting the Torbay "Voodoo" Meat Grading Bill. I make no apology for opposing this retreat into ignorance within the ABA Board. In my view, this is one of the reasons for my expulsion for "unbecoming and prejudicial behavoir". Had I been discharged for "behavoir unbecoming an officer and a gentleman" at least I might have had some big nights out at ABA expense !.
I have challenged the ABA to publicize their unfounded "charge sheet" against me on Agmates. To date their silence has been deafening. Don't waste your youthful enthusiasm. Be comforted in the fact that the current ABA Board{ and other Agropolitical bodies} have all become a Dad's Army. I attempted to initiate reforms within the ABA before my "dishonorable discharge" includingthe empowerment of younger members. Unfortunately the Dinosaurs have ruled in the short term. Be comforted in the knowledge that you will out live most of them and eventually get a real say in the industry that you are truly passionate about. Maintain your rage and commitment.
Best wishes from your old Condamine Cods team mate Lee Mc Nicholl
PS make sure you are at the book launch of "Caging Octopuses- The First Ten Years of the Condamine Cods" at Condamine on Nov 14th. You get a mention.
Dale, the power of the internet to advance truth and transparency is truly a wonderful development for democracy and rational debate. Your critical contribution to the CO2 induced global warming debate and associated fraudulent ETS tax is testimony to my belief. I have asked my detractors on the ABA Board to detail their unfounded allegations against me a number of times and to do so on this site.
To date, their silence has been deafening. It would have been generous of the QCL to acknowledge that Agmates was where their story broke. The fact that the QCL did not, suggests to me that the QCL sees Agmates as serious competion that should not get any free promotion. I say congratulation to Steve Truman and Agmates for providing vital media diversity, More power to the people.
Regards to all Lee Mc Nicholl
Dale your comment sums the situation and my feelings up nicely. Most of my instincts say to keep your head down, work a bit harder and be a bit smarter than the pack and don't waiste time on Agro-politics.
Did that for 25 years and I suppose it comes with experience that sooner or later we all have to step out from under the trees and survey the woods. The Aust Beef Assoc was the only group with any backbone that pricked my curiosity. They were behind some very well supported meetings to harness resistance to the mandatory NLIS lobby coming from John Wylde (now a mla board member) out of VIC.
Mean while 4 years later -ABA has been vindicated many times over and I am still a member and decided to be the house keeper on the ABA Group page. A group where members and anyone interested can have there say. This public spat in the QCL is not the end of the road by any means for the ABA- a bit of a shake up and more importantly a bit of direction from the membership via this Forum has got to be the model for ALL member-based Lobby Organisations inc NFF,MLA,AWI,AGforce.
Logged in members on-line to have input into any current matter before the board if they so desire.TRUE democracy. The ABA should not be immune either.
The biggest hurdle is getting all of us 50 year old (av) that can do everything else bar typing and having the confidence to speak up.
This factor pluss the stifled Rural Press has led to the demise of every single Primary Industry in Aust. Now I don't have all the answers but my ideas are certainly as good as any man on that NFF who's who. WHAT"S the difference- They are in a comfortable boys club where "corporate" is the language not "primary" producers and I am some disaffected nuisance blogging away on some underground right wing website always whinging about everything etc.
Naturally ABA, AGMATES and any other people filled groups will have their dramas from time to time but if the common goal is WORTH it none of that will matter. I for one Question what the common goal of the NFF IS?
Folks, the Farmonline blog on their article "ABA grades out Mc Nicholl" descended to the bottom draw with contributions by a couple of gutless, white feather carrying annonymous bloggers called The Serf and PAYG.
I have given them a bit of an online rheeming out. Perhaps you might be interested in doing likewise as they take an air swing at Agmates as a part of their conspiratorial rubbish. You can assess thier sanity by referring to the link below
Regards to all from Lee Mc Nicholl
Cate, thank you for your support of Agmates and the role they play in adding transparency and democracy to the rural agropolitical scene. I note that The Serf has had another paranoid rave on the QCL Farmonline blog. I have a pretty good idea who the cowardly Serf is. Your school yard analogy is prophetically accutate. He does have a long record of dummy spitting and taking his bat and ball home when the game get tough. THe Serf does not subscribe to the principle " that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The Serf seems to believe that when the going gets tough Serfs should head for Coward's Castle and draw up the drawbridge of anonymity .
Come out and fight like a man I say ye craven Serf. Regards to all Lee Mc Nicholl
Folks, we have all been warned about "Serfing the Net" and I suggest that "The Serf" should do the right thing and identify himself/herself. The Serf made some wildly inaccurate claims on Farmonline that while on the ABA Board " LMcN would not support and scuttled an ABA Board move to have the processors removed from MLA by an injunction under Section 5[4] Schedule 3 of the Cattle Transactions Primary Industries Excise Levies Act 1999".
This is a blatant misrepresentation of the truth. The ABA Board obtained expert legal advice that such an injunction would be a costly legal expedition that was bound to fail. The Board responsibly refused to waste members funds and a majority of the Board rejected the injunction initiative. The Board member at the time most in favour of the injunction as I recall was a Mr. Rob Wass . Two other Board members also supported the injunction if my memory serves me correctly. All three subsequently resigned over the ABA's responsible decision not to opt for this and other expensive legal challenges of problematic outcome that the ABA could not afford to loose.
Now I don't profess to be a modern day Sherlock Holmes, but given that my father was a very successful Detective Inspector in the Qld Police, I believe I have a genetic predisposition towards making reasonable assumptions. I ask Agmates readers to ask themselves the question , is it reasonable to assume that The Serf could be one of the three former ABA Directors miffed by the Board decisions to reject various legal actions and use it as an excuse to attack yours truly?
I also suggest that Mr. Wass might be able to help Agmate readers "unmask" the shadowy Serf. I encourage him to join the Great Serf Hunt and help rid the blogging world of this craven, anonymous manipulator of the truth.
Regards to all from Inspector Cluseau {alias Lee Mc Nicholl}
PS Dam that Pink Serfinel - WE will seek him here; we will seek him there; we will seek him everywhere !
Surely there are more pressing issues facing beef producers than playing out an internal brawl in one particlular organisation, in the press and online. Sure, it is everyone's right to comment but, gee, I can think of many other ways the energy can be used to try to advocate good results for the industry.
I agree with you Ernest and your contibution here Susan is also on the money. If Rob Wass says he is not the "serf" it must be someone else.
As I said in my response that "the serf" can't have read Agmates or they would know that "Moore" doesn't do the Industry-MLA ,CC,Agforce bidding on any topic.
I don't know enough about the finer points of the old and the new Grading system and have an open mind -looking for all the info I can from any quarter.
I think you are reacting far to agressively to a couple of stooges, Lee. To name and accuse on the back of an anonoymous comment is not good form.
Rob Wass is a very knowlegable and energetic contributor to Agmates and when he finishes harvesting I hope to see him giving added value to our Discussions.

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