WA grower backs zero rate

22 Oct, 2003 10:00 PM
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NORTHAM woolgrower Don French has voted for a zero WoolPoll rate.

Mr French said Australian Wool Innovation needed to produce more measurable results over the next three years with its existing reserves to show that it was providing better value for growers.

He said growers had nothing to show for the amount of money that they had been forced to contribute through their levies over the years.

"I will reassess what rate level I will support AWI in three years' time, depending on how they perform and if they produce worthwhile results," Mr French said.

York woolgrower Norm Ashworth said he had not voted in the poll but said 2pc was too high and he was inclined towards backing the zero rate.

And about 14pc of WA growers surveyed by Rural Press Marketing agreed with Mr French, backing the zero rate - the second highest level of support nationally, with 15pc of Tasmanian growers also backing zero.

But the highest level of support, according to the survey, was for the 2pc rate with 32pc support.

A total of 27pc of growers backed the 1pc rate in WA and 14pc backed the 1.5pc rate.

Support for 3pc rate was marginal, with only 2pc of growers in favour of it, while the remaining 12pc surveyed had not yet made up their mind.

Support for the research direction of the current board and senior management was lowest in WA, with only 49pc saying they were happy compared to the national average of 56pc - highest was Queensland, 62pc.

A further 25pc of WA growers said they were not happy with its current direction and a further 26pc were undecided.

The majority of WA woolgrowers surveyed want AWI to spend about 25pc of their wool levy funds on wool marketing and promotion.

AWI's research budget should be split half-and-half between on-farm and post-farm research, according to 59pc of WA growers surveyed.

Second highest support was 25pc for most post farm research, followed by 14pc for most on-farm, 2pc all on-farm and 1pc all post farm.

The survey found 85pc of WA growers intended to vote in the WoolPoll with the remaining 15pc still undecided.

p Industry reaction next week.

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