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.


WoolProducers Australia contact:

Ed Storey
0438 309 500

Jo Hall
0488 554 811