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AWB restructure looks a bit shaky.



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Gavan O'Connor MP MEMBER FOR CORIO SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES

27 September 2006

AWB RESTRUCTURE LOOKING A BIT SHAKY

The steps AWB announced only two months ago to start rebuilding confidence in the organisation are already looking more than a little shaky.

The key element of this rebuilding process was to be a divorce between AWB International (essentially grower interests) from AWB Limited (essentially shareholder interests).

Growers will be more than a little surprised at the announcement today of the appointment of Ms Sarah Scales as the acting Managing Director of the now supposedly independent AWB International.

Ms Scales has been employed by AWB Limited in senior positions for a long time.

Whatever her merits, Ms Scales cannot be seen as independent of AWB Limited.

In her new position Ms Scales will undoubtedly have a key role in the promised renegotiation of the services agreement between the two companies and in any negotiations about responsibility for liabilities that may arise as a result of current and projected legal actions against the company both here and in the USA.

Decisions about the services agreement and about legal liabilities have the potential to impact directly on the incomes of growers through their participation in the pool.

Without further evidence to the contrary the restructuring of the former AWB empire is starting to look more like a deck chair shuffle than a genuine attempt to completely divorce AWB International from the murky recent past at AWB Limited.

Contact Gavan O’Connor on 0418 518 528 Bernie Eades on 0419 664 016