Applications for WoolProducers' Raising the Baa now open!

MEDIA RELEASE

16 April, 2019

Applications for WoolProducers' Raising the Baa now open!

WoolProducers Australia is pleased to announce that applications for its ‘Raising the Baa’ Leadership in Agriculture Program are now being accepted.

WoolProducers recognises the importance of developing wool industry leaders who are trained in governance and technical areas of industry strategy and policy.

WoolProducers Australia President, Mr Ed Storey said, “The Raising the Baa Program provides an innovative and supportive environment for wool industry leaders to develop and refine their  leadership skills so they can contribute to ongoing capacity and capability building within the wool industry.”

Raising the Baa consists of two components, with applicants selecting the one they would like to apply for. The components are the Australian Institute of Company Directors – Company Directors Course, and the WoolProducers Australia Youth Ambassador position.

Current WoolProducers Australia Youth Ambassador, Ms Dione Howard said “The Youth Ambassador position has fostered my interest in wool industry governance and policy development, and has helped me gain a much deeper knowledge of the decision-making process behind policies and regulations that affect my day to day role as a district veterinarian in New South Wales”.

“I am hoping to combine the knowledge I have gained during my time as Youth Ambassador with my veterinary skill set in animal health and welfare, so I can play an even bigger part in Australia’s wool industry”.

“Through working on policy projects, I have developed a skill set of identifying industry issues, stepping through the process of how they can be addressed, and the importance of input from stakeholders along each step of the policy process”.

“I have gained a great deal from my experience over the past year and highly recommend Raising the Baa to anyone who is interested in Australia’s wool industry” Ms Howard said.

To apply for Raising the Baa, head to the WoolProducers Australia website (www.woolproducers.com.au) and click on the link for information on how to apply. Applications close 23 April 2019.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Edward Storey

President

0438 309 500

 

Ashley Cooper

Policy Manager

0455 442 776


WPA Policy Manager selected as International Young Wool Professional

MEDIA RELEASE

9 April, 2019

WPA Policy Manager Selected as International Young Wool Professional

WoolProducers Australia is pleased to announce that our Policy Manager, Ashley Cooper, is attending the 88th International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) Congress in Venice this week, having been selected as an Australian Young Professional Delegate.

Mr Cooper was selected as one of 25 young professionals chosen from around the world to attend the Congress as part of the IWTO’s Young Professionals Programme.

“I was very excited when I got the news that I had been selected to attend,” said Mr. Cooper.

“To be selected from applicants from around the world, each with a different involvement in the wool industry and different skillset is a privilege, and I look forward to meeting new people and attending meetings where I will get to see how the work WoolProducers carries out for Australian woolgrowers influences industry at an international level”.

The Programme matches each young professional with a senior wool trade mentor for the duration of the Congress, who is responsible for guiding their young professional through the conference and offering opportunities for networking.

“The Congress began this morning and already I have had the opportunity to meet a range of industry members from all over the world. Some of these conversations have led to invitations to meet with various organisations and learn more about topics such as trade, biosecurity and processing. All of which is important when working on policies for Australian woolgrowers” Mr Cooper said.

Mr Cooper will be attending the Congress with WoolProducers Australia President, Ed Storey and CEO, Jo Hall.

“The Congress provides WoolProducers opportunities to meet with our international partners and to advance our advocacy, health, welfare, biosecurity, trade and market access work,” said Mr Storey.

“WoolProducers provides the Australian country update at the Congress and attends meetings focussed on our priority work areas. It will be a great experience for our Policy Manager, Mr Cooper to attend these meetings and continue to develop professionally in his role at WoolProducers”.

Mr Cooper will presentation a report on his experience in the IWTO Young Professionals Programme at the Congress  when he returns to Australia next week.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Edward Storey

President

0438 309 500

 

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811


WoolProducers Australia welcomes budget measures

MEDIA RELEASE

2 April, 2019

WoolProducers Australia welcomes budget measures

WoolProducers Australia welcomes the first budget surplus in 12 years, as announced by the Morrison government in Tuesday night’s budget, which also included a number of items aimed at the agricultural sector.

WoolProducers Australia President, Mr Ed Storey said ‘The federal government has announced a number of measures to assist primary producers and their businesses’.

WoolProducers was pleased to see the extension and expansion of the instant asset write off for small businesses, which was a key priority in the WoolProducers Pre-Budget submission. ‘The accelerated depreciation measures enable small businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million to immediately deduct asset purchases under $30,000’.

‘This measure encourages these businesses to immediately invest in capital expenditure such as fencing, tanks, and feed silos.’ Mr Storey said.

Additional to the support already on offer to those farmers facing drought and flood, Treasurer Josh Frydenburg’s announcement the establishment of a $3.9 billion Emergency Response Fund. ‘The aim of this new fund will be to ensure additional resourcing is available when natural disasters strike our farmers and the regional economies in which they operate’. Mr Storey said.

WoolProducers were also pleased to see the confirmation of the earlier commitment of $220 million to regional telecommunications, through funding for Regional Connectivity and extension of the Mobile Black Spot Programs.

‘Many woolgrowers live and work in parts of Australia that suffer poor connectivity and provision of telecommunications services.’

‘Improvements to regional telecommunications was another key theme of WoolProducers Pre-Budget submission, as reliable and affordable telecommunications is important for farming families in order to access the digital economy for their business, education, health and social needs.’ Mr Storey said.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Ed Storey
President
0438 309 500

Jo Hall
Chief Executive Officer
0488 554 811


WoolProducers Australia Raising the Baa in Industry Capacity Building

MEDIA RELEASE

1 April, 2019

WoolProducers Australia Raising the Baa in Industry Capacity Building

WoolProducers Australia is excited to announce that the second round of nominations for their ‘Raising the Baa’ Leadership in Agriculture Program are now open.

 

WoolProducers identified a gap in industry representative capacity building within the Australian wool industry. In order to address this gap, WPA pursued and were successful in obtaining a grant under the Commonwealth Government’s Leadership in Agricultural Industries Fund.

 

WoolProducers President, Ed Storey said, ‘while there are a number of leadership programs that exist in the wool industry, there was no program that focused on enhancing the governance capacity of the industry’.

 

There are two separate components of the Program that WoolProducers are currently taking nominations for - Australian Institute of Company Director (AICD) – Company Directors Course and the WoolProducers Australia Youth Ambassador.

 

‘We had a wonderful response last year when we called for nominations and the five people that were selected to undertake the AICD, Peter McCrabbe, Stacey Lugsdin, Dan Korff, Matt Bartlett and Robert Pocock, were a diverse group of people who all have varying roles within the wool industry’. Mr Storey said.

 

‘Dr Dione Howard has participated in the WoolProducers Quarterly Board Meetings as the Youth Ambassador and has undertaken two research projects; ‘Youth in the Wool Industry’ and ‘Animal Health Communications’, with updates presented at each meeting, which have been very well received by the WoolProducers Board.’ Mr Storey said.

 

WoolProducers are again seeking nominations from interested parties who have a passion for the wool industry and are active in any sector of industry throughout the supply chain.

 

The AICD Company Directors Course is a globally recognised qualification which provides participants with a thorough understanding of corporate governance.

 

While the WoolProducers Youth Ambassador provides a young person, aged between 18-35 years of age, with the opportunity to join the WoolProducers Board as an observer for a 12-month period.

 

Mr Storey said, ‘this concept is aimed at providing exposure and experience to young people who have an interest in industry policy development and agri-politics in general’.

 

‘The Raising the Baa Program enables future leaders of the wool industry to gain knowledge in compliance, risk, strategy, finance and the role of the board.’ Mr Storey said.

 

Course costs, accommodation and travel expenses will be covered. Nominees will be required to apply for these positions and all appointments will be merit based. Nominations close on 26 April, 2019. For further information email info@woolproducers.com.au

 

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Ed Storey

President

0438 309 500

 

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811


No AWI EGM required after negotiations

MEDIA RELEASE

19 March, 2019

No AWI EGM required after negotiations

The peak grower representative body for the Australian wool industry, WoolProducers Australia (WoolProducers) is pleased that the wool industry will avoid a contentious Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on issues affecting the operations of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI).

Since the release of the 2018 Ernst Young Review of Performance into AWI, WoolProducers have advocated for the implementation of all 82 recommendations to improve the transparency and governance of AWI.

In late 2018, WoolProducers initiated discussions with AWI to avoid a hostile EGM whereby 75% of votes returned needed to be in favour of the resolution to change the constitution.

WoolProducers President Mr Ed Storey said, “to gain 75% of shareholder support was a big ask, particularly when there was no initial agreement by sectors of the industry on these contentious issues.”

“The recent WoolPoll vote gained 52.82% support for 1.5% on the third round of preferences, which is a long way short of the required 75% for constitutional change, which is why WoolProducers strongly believes that to negotiate this outcome was in the best interests of all woolgrowers.” Mr Storey said.

This outcome has ensured that the intent of the recommendations is retained and there will be improvements made to the operations and governance of AWI.

Mr Storey said, “without this negotiated outcome, there was no guarantee that the required changes would have been made”.

While there is agreement to five of the six contentious recommendations, the issue of board tenure is still unresolved.

“There is still work to do on tenure and WoolProducers will continue to show leadership and enter into these discussions with AWI in good faith in the best interests of industry.” Mr Storey said.

WoolProducers looks forward to continuing to work with the new leadership of AWI and hopes that these recent discussion demonstrate the start of a constructive relationship between AWI with the peak woolgrower body, WoolProducers.

WoolProducers would also like to acknowledge the Hon. David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources for his leadership in wool industry issues.

ENDS

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Ed Storey
President
0438 309 500

Jo Hall
CEO
0488 554 811


Primary producers need practical assistance, now

MEDIA RELEASE

22 February, 2019

Primary producers need practical assistance, now

The peak grower representative body for the Australian wool industry, WoolProducers Australia (WoolProducers) is today calling on all levels of government, regardless of party, to offer practical assistance to farmers currently facing hardship.

The vast nature of Australia means that we currently have a number of areas across the country facing crisis. WoolProducers CEO Jo Hall said ‘We currently have producers in far North Queensland dealing with catastrophic fallout from floods, large areas of NSW in drought and the Gippsland area of Victoria dealing with the driest conditions on record’.

WoolProducers acknowledges that there are different types of assistance available to people in these areas, but the assistance being offered varies greatly across the country.

‘Assistance must be made easier to apply for, be processed faster, and be distributed quickly so that farmers can continue producing the food we eat and the fibre we wear.’ Ms Hall said.

Today’s announcement by the Victorian government that they will not issue a rate reprieve for those battling drought in Gippsland contrasts sharply with the approach taken by the NSW government, who have waived this year’s Local Land Services levy.

“When you need help, seeing others in need able to get assistance that you can’t, becomes incredibly frustrating. One off cash payments will not address this issue”.

“The cash payment of $2,500-$3,500 will only address on average a 30% rate payment and in the scheme of things, while the cash injection will be appreciated to some extent, it does not go anyway in offering real assistance to those producers in dire need”.

“This is not about party politics and we are not asking for handouts. But we firmly believe that there are practical measures that all jurisdictions can take to alleviate the pressure facing not just farmers, but all people in regional economies who are battling” Ms Hall said.

Whilst preparedness is an important part of business risk mitigation, there is a limit to what producers can prepare for and in regional economies, if primary producers are not doing well financially then the whole regional economy suffers.

“Preparedness can only last so long, this is about managing and sustaining regions to ensure that they can survive these exceptional circumstances and be setup to flourish and thrive when favourable seasons return.”

“The time for preparedness has long past for many producers and despite their best efforts cannot be expected to carry on without tangible assistance.” Ms Hall said.