Rodney Culleton was elected as a Senator for Western Australia at the July 2 election, in 2016.
Born and raised in Narrogin (in country WA), Rodney has worked in agriculture for 35 years and farmed in the town of Williams for over 20 years. He and his wife are very passionate about Rural Australia and the values of family structures, as they have raised three children on their farm.
Rodney is also a successful businessman, sitting on the board as a Managing Director of several companies. He has also conducted business on an International stage, exporting finished products to countries around the world that were manufactured at his special purpose built facilities, located both in Williams and Guyra, NSW.
Rodney has further used his entrepreneurial skills, developing his own logistics company that ran a fully integrated delivery system to supply the domestic market around Australia. He is a registered inventor on IP Australia as the originator of a concept that attracted international attention. His concept, which had positive environmental impacts, was seen as an industry changer and leader.
With success, came people and corporate companies who attempted to hijack his patent. Rodney would not let them walk over him and his family and he stood and fought for his rights as a Director, to protect his intellectual property. After lengthy legal action, Rod had a win and this showed his community that he was a man who would fight against injustice. Rodney continues to fight for his rights and has proven to show that he will not back down on his principals and is a force to be reckoned with; he cannot be bought off. Rodney is also an advocate for a fairer legal system and says that reform is needed throughout the courts.
"Getting justice should not be afforded to only those who have deep pockets. What hope does an individual or small business owner have should they find someone wanting to take over their business or intellectual property?"
Most recently, Rodney has been going into battle for the farmers who are losing their properties to banks, in what has been described as the biggest 'Assets for Asia' grab in Australia; in 2009/10, the ANZ wanted to be the biggest regional bank in Asian markets. This has personally affected Rodney and his family when in 2010, he was forced to ground his companies when the ANZ Bank took over the Landmark Loan book.
“Many people do not realise that thousands of Australian farmers have faced a full assault by the banks.
I stood and fought on principle to stop Australian farms being sold off to foreign interests. We must
protect our agriculture industry, which is valued at $155 billion. We must also have food security
for future generations."
Rodney appeared on a number of television programs including ABC’s 7.30 Report, regional television news and radio (ABC and Alan Jones 2GB), as well as the 60 Minutes story called “Fighting Back”.
“I attended the grower’s meeting with Alan Jones, where I spoke and witnessed distressed farmers and families; it was stated that 3 farmers at the peak were suiciding every 4 days! It was at this meeting I said to myself ‘no more, this stops now’.”
Since that meeting Rodney has been successful in putting the ANZ Bank in the spotlight to include events such as Charlie Phillott (of Winton, QLD), receiving an apology from the then CEO of the ANZ Bank, and having their property returned to the Phillott family.
Rod was instrumental in giving evidence into the joint committee of impaired loans, on behalf of affected growers. This resulted in major settlements being achieved with individual growers and sparked attention, paving the way for a Royal Commission.
“I have witnessed the lack of support of politicians to help the Australian people who voted for them. The politician’s usual response is that they are unable to assist and that the only remedy available to the Australian people is via the Courts, a huge and lengthy process and expense in time and money that is not always accessible to ordinary Australians to protect their life earned assets. People can’t get a fair go.”
Rodney says that he decided to run for politics due to the number of requests he had received; he is seen as being able to offer assistance due to his life experiences and knowledge through both success and adversity.
“There are many areas that need amending in our laws and this can only be done on the floor of the Australian Parliament. My ultimate aims are to restore people’s confidence in the future of our country, to insulate the assets of the Australian people in order for them to be the ultimate beneficiary of all their hard work and to protect these assets being financially harvested without a commercial remedy."
On the 11th January 2017, Rodney was removed from the Senate based on a purported bankruptcy and due to a conviction (in absentia) over a 'lost' tow truck key, when he attempted to stop his property being stolen by a bank (with no court order). Rodney believes, and the evidence shows, that Senator Parry and Senator Brandis (Attorney-General) went against the Commonwealth Constitution and Parliamentary Procedures regarding disqualifications and vacancies and he has been calling on the Senate to deal with the matter as the highest court in the land.