Mackay Sugar Limited chairman Andrew Cappello did not want to talk about the board furore yesterday and stayed off the radar, ducking behind a brief press statement.
Mackay Sugar Limited chairman Andrew Cappello did not want to talk about the board furore yesterday and stayed off the radar, ducking behind a brief press statement. Lee Carpenter

Shareholders vote to keep controversial duo

MACKAY Sugar's board spoke strongly and the crowd of more than 600 shareholders must have listened as the push to get rid of two board members failed.

A big majority - 400 to 263 - voted in favour of retaining chairman Andrew Cappello and Sydney Gordon.

This was despite a petition signed by more than 400 growers, led by shareholders Tony Bugeja, Eddie Westcott, Noel Durnsford and Andrew Barfield, seeking the resolution for the two grower members to resign.

Mackay Sugar refused to make further comment, instead preferring to put the controversy behind it.

Through a spokeswoman, it said Mr Cappello would not be interviewed about the result or even photographed.

The result left the four disgruntled growers leading the resignation action reeling.

"We can now only hope," Mr Durnsford said last night

"People are frightened, afraid of change, but people remain in high positions with no milling knowledge.

"The onus is on the board now to really make some changes. It's in their hands as the growers had the vote and have given the board the right to carry on.

"So it's in their hands to produce the goods.

"Andrew and Syd have assured me they have got the message, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating."

Mr Durnsford said it was the growers' decision and he would be abiding by that decision.

However, surprised at the vote, which was in stark contrast to the number of signatures on the petition, he said he could not say exactly why the result went that way except that people were afraid of change.

"There were probably around 140 to 150 people who signed the petition that crossed the floor against it," he said. "I congratulated both of them afterwards."

 


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