AWI results show dissent

20 Nov, 2007 09:00 PM
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PASTORALISTS and Graziers’ Association wool committee chairman Digby Stretch said last week’s Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) elections reflected levels of uncertainty and discontent among woolgrowers.

He said the poll also risked unwanted changes to the future direction of AWI.

“AWI now faces an internal battle to retain its research and development programs in the face of a stronger push to increase spending on promotion,” he said.

The PGA has been a staunch campaigner against blatant promotional marketing of Australian wool using woolgrower levies.

“We should not forget that the original charter of grower support was clearly for research and development, rather than promotion,” Mr Stretch said.

“We anticipate a fiery period for AWI as it moves to accommodate the new directors, possibly signalling a push for future changes to the AWI management model.

“The new board must display a high level of corporate governance and lift itself above the personal attacks and politics that have surfaced in the month before the election.

“They have to put all the fireworks and petty politics aside and get on with the job.

“Although this process is turbulent, it is a much more democratic and accountable system than older models that have burdened the wool industry.”

The PGA will continue to work with re-elected WA director Kevin Bell and newly appointed director Roger Fletcher to ensure WA woolgrowers are fully represented.

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