17 September, 2018

WoolProducers urges growers to vote 1.5% in WoolPoll

Peak woolgrower representative body WoolProducers Australia has announced that they will be advocating for 1.5% in this year’s WoolPoll.


With voting opening today, WoolProducers are recommending to levy payers to choose 1.5% as this will provide Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) with enough money to continue their work on behalf of industry and invest in necessary new projects.


WoolProducers President Mr Richard Halliday said ‘According to the WoolPoll Voter Information Memorandum (VIM), 1.5% offers projected annual income of between $85.8M – $88M per year for the next three years which is ample money for AWI to conduct their current business as well as invest in relevant new areas.’


AWI are urging levy payers to vote 2%, particularly in light of reduced supply and price concerns, however WoolProducers disputes the assertion that 1.5% is unviable.


‘2% will see an expenditure of $110M per year over the next three years, which coupled with the budgeted expenditure of $111.2M for this financial year, means that AWI are intending to spend nearly half a billion dollars in woolgrower and tax payer money during the next four years’. Mr Halliday said.


A 1.5% levy offers a projected annual total income of between $85.8M to $88M per year for the next three years. The last three financial years has seen expenditure by AWI of between $70 and $88M per year.


‘Even a $100M annual expenditure represents a 28% increase over the $78M average of the past three years. While $110m would represent a staggering increase of over 40% on the average of the past 3 years – we feel this is too much money to spend and we cannot stand for wastage of growers’ money.’


‘1.5% levy is actually supporting a substantial increase in the amount AWI has to spend, even under a scenario where production volumes incur a significant shock and should enable the board of AWI to do most, if not all of the programmes they are keen to do’. Mr Halliday said.


The VIM states that the unaudited reserves of the AWI are $115M, which given the strong finish in the EMI of the last financial year, could be even higher.


‘The reality is that AWI has never had so much money given the current healthy state of the reserves and the continued strong prices. ‘


‘Whilst the concerns of productions are valid, we believe that one of the best ways to contribute to increasing production is leave that extra half a percent in woolgrowers’ pockets by voting 1.5%’. Mr Halliday said.


WoolPoll is a triennial vote undertaken by eligible wool growers to determine the amount of their wool cheque that goes towards research, development and marketing which is administered by AWI.


WoolProducers Australia contact:

Richard Halliday                                                                                     Jo Hall

President                                                                                                 Chief Executive Officer

0428 854 759                                                                                          0488 554 811