Woolgrowers vote for 1.5 per cent levy in WoolPoll 2018

Friday, 16 November 2018

Australian woolgrowers have voted in favour of a wool levy of 1.5 per cent on wool sales to fund research, development and marketing of the natural fibre.

The result was determined by a count of preferences that was overseen by Link Market Services and endorsed by the WoolPoll Panel and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Of the 13,506 votes received, following the allocation of three rounds of preferences, 52.82 per cent voted in favour of a 1.5 per cent wool levy.

Australian Wool Innovation Chief Executive Officer Stuart McCullough said that on first preferences, 88.28 per cent of woolgrowers had voted for a levy option of either 1.5 per cent or 2 per cent, demonstrating continued support for AWI’s role investing in R&D and marketing on behalf of woolgrowers.

“We have listened to woolgrowers and we have heard their message that they believe a 1.5 per cent levy is the appropriate levy rate to be paying at this time on their wool sales,” Mr McCullough said.

“Let me assure woolgrowers, we are committed to investing your levies effectively and efficiently to deliver results for all woolgrowers.”

Australian Wool Innovation CEO Stuart McCullough


Mr McCullough said AWI would continue to be prudent in managing its balance sheet and would adjust its operations to match available funding as part of the next three-year strategic plan, which commences in 2019-20.

He said the company would endeavour to ensure no loss of momentum in the marketing of wool in Australia and overseas and would continue its targeted investment across sheep health and welfare, reproduction, vertebrate pests, genetics, fibre advocacy, farm automation and software development.

“We recognise confidence in the market and volatility along with other challenging conditions woolgrowers are facing and we are committed to continuing to explore new and innovative ways to make wool growing easier and more profitable for the benefit of woolgrowers,” he said.

“As woolgrowers adjust to the seasonal conditions, so will AWI adapt to the democratic choice of our levy-payers. In doing this we will make certain our operations are transparent and lean.”

AWI Chairman Colette Garnsey said the board was appreciative of the strong level of participation in WoolPoll 2018 and the level of support for the continuation of the levy.

“I am encouraged that the vast majority of woolgrowers see the value in AWI’s work and are prepared to contribute towards our R&D and marketing efforts on your behalf,” Ms Garnsey said.

“Let me assure all woolgrowers, we are committed to building resilience into our research, development and marketing investments. AWI will continue to put the interests of woolgrowers first.”

Mr McCullough thanked the WoolPoll Panel and its Chairman Sydney Lawrie for their contribution and for encouraging participation and ensuring the voting process was conducted in compliance with the regulations.

WoolPoll follows strict guidelines set out in the WoolPoll Regulations as an independent, democratic process.

WoolPoll results before preferences were allocated

 Proposed levy

Valid Votes Returned

3%

1.16%

2.5%

2.07%

2.0%

43.51%

1.5%

44.77%

0%

8.49%

 

WoolPoll results after three rounds of preferences

 Proposed levy

Valid Votes Returned

3%

0%

2.5%

0%

2.0%

47.18%

1.5%

52.82%

0%

0%



About WoolPoll
WoolPoll is the opportunity woolgrowers have every three years to vote on what percentage of wool income they would like to invest in R&D and marketing undertaken by AWI.

Anyone who had paid at least $100 worth of wool levies over the past three years was eligible to vote when WoolPoll opened on Monday, 17 September. Voting closed on Friday, 2 November.

About AWI
AWI is a not-for-profit company that invests in 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 per cent of the value of gross national value of wool production.

Ends
For more information contact:
Australian Wool Innovation
Media Relations
Mob: +61 497 100 043