WA woolgrowers put $1500 on the line at WoolPoll

27 Sep, 2009 02:00 AM
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$1500 is more than the stimulus payment tax-payers received from the Federal Government earlier this year.

It’s the price of a new computer or a well-earned family

holiday.

It’s also the amount the state’s 5400 woolgrowers pay on average in wool levies each year, and the amount up for debate in the WoolPoll 2009 vote, which opened on Friday.

Figures from Australian Wool Innovation’s 2008 annual report reveal that on average, woolgrowers each paid $1,487.55 in that year in levies.

They also show that West Australian growers provided $8 million or 18 percent of the organisation’s total wool levies, not including the Federal Government contribution.

Ballot papers for WoolPoll 2009 were sent to all eligible growers this week.

The vote asks growers to nominate what percentage of their wool income will be levied for AWI - 0 per cent, 1pc, 2pc, 2.5pc or 3pc.

WoolPoll Panel member and WA sheep breeder Max Watts said it was time growers realised it was their money on the line.

“I can’t imagine anyone throwing away $1500, so why they wouldn’t make a choice about how it was spent through WoolPoll I can’t understand,” Mr Watts said.

“It’s actually a significant amount of money that we’re dealing with here. Woolgrowers should be looking at how this is being spent and deciding whether they agree. They then need to pass this message on via the WoolPoll vote.”

Mr Watts said that even mixed farmers should be taking note.

“With the Aussie dollar on the rise and grain prices dropping, every dollar counts.”

AWI’s financial figures show that Western Australia was the third largest contributor to AWI.

New South Wales was the biggest, providing $16.5 million or 36pc of grower contributions, followed by Victoria at just over $10 million. South Australia contributed $7.3 million, Queensland, $1.6 million and Tasmania, $1.2 million.

Under the Wool Services Privatisation Act 2000, AWI is required to conduct a poll of woolgrower levy payers every three years.

Woolgrowers who have paid $100 or more in wool sale levy in the three years to 30 June 2009 will be eligible to vote in WoolPoll 2009.

The poll closes at 5pm EST on Friday, 6 November, 2009.

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