MEDIA RELEASE

26 June 2018

WoolProducers calls for AWI to get on with implementing recommendations

Peak woolgrower representative body, WoolProducers Australia is calling on Australian Wool Innovation to implement all recommendations made in the recent review of performance called by Minister Littleproud.

 

Recent claims made by AWI has included that the recommendations will cost ‘millions of woolgrower dollars’.

 

Whilst acknowledging that there will be a cost in implementing these recommendations, WoolProducers rejects that these will costs will be as substantial as claimed.

 

WoolProducers Senior Vice President Ed Storey said ‘The reality is the recommendations are aimed at modernising AWI and their operations.’

 

‘Any costs associated with implementing these changes are due to AWI Board not ensuring that AWI have kept abreast of good governance practices over the past few years.’ Mr Storey said.

 

WoolProducers are calling for consistency in the implementation of these recommendations – governance issues are the responsibility of the AWI Board and there is no need for these to go to shareholder votes.

 

‘There are a number of recommendations that will require shareholder approval, but also a number that the Board can implement themselves. The report suggests that many recommendations can be made without the need for shareholders to vote.’

 

‘WPA see no reason why those recommendations that the Board can implement themselves aren’t done immediately to make AWI the most effective and efficient organisation for woolgrowers.’ Mr Storey said.

Although there is ambiguity around how some recommendations are implemented, AWI have indicated that they have sought legal advice on how best to implement these. As this legal advice has been funded by woolgrowers, WoolProducers are calling for this advice to be made public.

 

AWI has also claimed that the recommendations regarding the Board Nomination Committee and how director elections are conducted will see woolgrowers lose their ability to vote for candidates for Board elections – this is simply false.

 

‘Comparisons with the Meat and Livestock Australia election process are factually incorrect, no where do the recommendations suggest that the number of candidates running for board elections will be stifled.’

 

‘Nominees will need to possess certain skills in line with a skills-based Board, which is a requirement under the Statutory Funding Agreement.

 

This does not mean that candidates will not possess knowledge of the wool industry; rather they will be able to use these skills in addition to their industry knowledge to add further value to AWI’. Mr Storey said.

ENDS

 

WoolProducers Australia contact:

Jo Hall

Chief Executive Officer

0488 554 811

 

Ed Storey

Senior Vice President

0438 309 500