Board Briefing October 2012

Dear Voting Member,

October Board meeting

The October Board meeting focused on three things

  1. First impressions of our new CEO Alan Kirkland
  2. Results of the staff engagement survey
  3. Governance issues in the lead up to the November AGM

1. Alan’s first impressions

Alan has found an organisation with strong IT capabilities, great ideas and huge power in the market place.  Alan will build on those strengths and is moving quickly to expand our digital business and strategic capabilities. 

On the policy front you can see Alan talking about power price rises on the ABC News or at the annual CHOICE Shonky Awards on the Channel Nine news.

 2.  Staff engagement

Over the past few years we have significantly improved pay and staff facilities, and a strong sense of collegiality exists amongst the team.  The Board values our passionate people and was pleased to see better results than our last engagement survey, but is very committed to see further improvements. Action will be taken on issues identified in the survey, and the results of a further ‘Pulse Check’ in mid-2013 will be reported to the Board.

 3.  Governance

With 5,000 voting members we need to modernise our voting system, but this requires Constitutional change. Our Constitution, written in 1959, only allows for paper based voting.  We are preparing a Constitutional amendment to provide for electronic voting. 

After the success of this year’s mid-year General Meeting and Consumer Forum in Melbourne we have decided to hold a similar event next year in Brisbane - in May.  We’ll let you know the date and venue details as soon as possible.

Campaigns Update

Our Take the Power Back campaign to reduce pressure on electricity bills is making spectacular progress, with the Senate Select Committee on electricity prices endorsing many of our recommendations to reduce pressure on electricity bills. This comes after CHOICE launched a joint Plan for affordable energy with community and business groups. It’s not too late to join the 3600-plus people who have signed our petition.

CHOICE nabbed a super-win for consumers last month after the federal government announced $10 million in seed funding for an independent Superannuation Consumer Centre.

We welcomed another major victory for consumer rights with the ACCC rejecting Australian Egg Corporation Limited’s (AECL) proposed maximum of 20,000 birds per hectare for free range eggs. CHOICE put in a submission and has campaigned strongly opposing the proposed change.

We have also launched our first-ever call to campaign supporters to donate in support of our continuing campaigning on free-range labelling and other key consumer issues.

As ever, please don’t hesitate to contact me any time with any matter at all at

Kind regards,

Jenni Mack

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