AWI is cautioning eligible levy payers to strongly consider their vote at WoolPoll, given the recent significant decrease in wool production anticipated in the coming seasons as a result of the drought.
AWI Director Don Macdonald highlighted the organisation’s concern that some within the industry are calling for a reduced levy of 1.5%.
“The combined impact of a reduction to a 1.5% levy rate (which equals a 25% reduction) and the anticipated 15% production decrease, will result in a 36% drop in your company’s income,” Mr Macdonald said.
“Maintaining the current levy is critical to ensure AWI can continue to invest in current and new projects for the next three years.
“Due to the most recent supply figures published by AWTA, AWI anticipates a decrease of 15% in production in 2018/19 and it will take time for the industry to rebuild. With this anticipated reduction in supply, if the levy is lower than 2% we would not be balancing our financial responsibility with our capacity to deliver benefits for growers.
“To ensure responsible financial management, particularly in meeting contractual and operational commitments, AWI has a policy to ensure it maintains adequate cash reserves to meet the costs of winding up the company should a cessation in levy occur at any time.
“AWI has shown industry leadership by outlining the revenue projections to our industry stakeholders, including briefing woolgrower representatives at AWI’s Woolgrower Industry Consultative Committee (ICC) in Sydney this week and industry forums which are currently underway.
“We believe it is prudent to balance our financial responsibility with our capacity to deliver benefits for growers and we will continue to maintain AWI’s industry leadership position and act in the best interests of woolgrowers.”
Growers who haven’t received their voter kit should call the voter helpline on 1800 990 365.
All eligible levy payers are able to vote with voting closing on Friday, 2 November. AWI is encouraging every levy payer have their say.
WoolPoll is the opportunity woolgrowers have every three years to vote on what percentage of their wool income they’d like to invest in research, development (R&D) and marketing undertaken by AWI.
Anyone who has paid at least $100 worth of wool levies over the past three years is eligible to vote in WoolPoll, which opened on Monday, 17 September. Voting closes on Friday, 2 November.
Eligible woolgrowers should have already received information about WoolPoll, including their voting information kit. Growers who haven’t received their voter kit should call the voter helpline on 1800 990 365.
Voting online at www.woolpoll.com.au is the easiest and quickest way for growers to have their say. Growers can also vote via post or fax.
For more information head to www.woolpoll.com.au
AWI is a not-for-profit company that invests in research and development (R&D), and marketing to increase the long-term profitability of Australian woolgrowers.
AWI is funded primarily through a wool levy paid by woolgrowers and a matching contribution from the Federal Government for eligible R&D activities that are capped at 0.5% of the value of gross national value of wool production.
For more information head to www.wool.com