Two weeks left for WoolPoll levy vote

By Mal Gill
January 21 2022 - 10:00am
Independent WoolPoll 2021 Panel chairman and Corrigin mixed farmer Steven Bolt has reminded woolgrowers they only have just over two weeks left to cast their vote on the wool levy rate to apply from July 1 next year.

WOOLGROWERS have been reminded they have two weeks to vote in WoolPoll 2021 for their preferred wool levy rate option.

They have until 2pm Western Australian time on Friday, November 5, to vote for one or more in preferential order of the five rate options which will help determine investment in research, development and marketing activities conducted on behalf of producers by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI).

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Woolgrowers who have paid at least $100 in wool levies over the past three years are eligible to vote in WoolPoll and on a supplementary question on whether the current three-year WoolPoll cycle should be retained or changed to a five-year cycle.

Independent WoolPoll 2021 panel chairman and Corrigin producer Steven Bolt, who is charged with generating as much participation as possible in WoolPoll 2021, said the signs so far indicated a good response level.

"It is extremely encouraging that so many woolgrowers have acknowledged the importance of WoolPoll by taking the time to consider the levy options and casting their vote," Mr Bolt said.

"I urge every eligible levy payer to do the same and have their say on the direction of the wool industry by voting in WoolPoll 2021."

Mr Bolt said he was aware of reports of some woolgrowers experiencing delays in receiving voting papers, particularly in WA and some isolated parts of the Eastern States.

He encouraged woolgrowers to vote online where possible, using their shareholder number on an entitlement letter sent out previously.

"The voter information memorandum is available on the WoolPoll website, as is the AWI growers document," Mr Bolt said.

"I encourage growers concerned about delays to review this information online so they can make an informed decision on their levy rate of preference and to lodge their vote online via the WoolPoll website.

"The WoolPoll website has an instructional video which explains the different ways growers can lodge their vote or they can call the voter helpline on 1800 990 365."

Boyup Brook producer and fellow WoolPoll Panel member Michael Wright said WoolPoll 2021 was an important platform for woolgrowers to help shape the future of their own enterprises and of their industry by voting for the levy paid on every bale of wool they sell.

"Woolgrowers are in a unique and fortunate position of being able to vote on the levy rate they believe they should be paying," Mr Wright said.

"Like any good business, it's important to set a budget and plan for the future.

"WoolPoll 2021 is our chance to have a say in what that budget should be for at least the next three years.

"The vote by growers sets the R&D and marketing budget for investment in activities that will enhance the industry's profitability, international competitiveness and sustainability.

"As we look to rebuild our national flock, every vote is important, (so) by participating in WoolPoll 2021, woolgrowers can directly influence industry direction and growth."

As reported in Farm Weekly last week, AWI director and chairman of its audit and risk committee David Webster has urged woolgrowers to support the AWI board's preferred option of a return to a 2 per cent wool levy.

Mr Webster warned AWI reserve funds would be run down to a bare legal minimum over the next three years to fund a marketing push for Australian wool back into post-COVID European and North and South American markets if the current 1.5pc levy was retained.

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Kojonup producer and WoolProducers Australia director Steve McGuire has argued a 1.5pc levy is sufficient and should be retained.

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