AWI’s ‘clean bill of health’ on eve of WoolPoll 2015 launch

Terry Sim, August 27, 2015

WOOLPOLL2015 logo Mar10-15AUSTRALIA’S wool marketing research and development body – Australian Wool Innovation – has been given a “very clean bill of health” in its latest performance review, AWI chief executive officer Stuart McCullough said in Melbourne today.

Speaking at the annual Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Wool Week luncheon  Mr McCullough said the latest independent review required as part of each WoolPoll had shown AWI’s programs and activities generated a $2.90 aggregate return for every dollar of woolgrowers’ funds spent.

The AWI CEO told the listening wool brokers, exporters, growers and industry service professionals he had been involved with five reviews of performance of the company.

“This is by far the company’s best review yet.”

The Deloitte review also made recommendations for improvement and this was welcomed, Mr McCullough said.

“What we have to do is recognise that we do have blind spots and we are actively out there taking counsel on how to address them.”

The review document will be part of the WoolPoll 2015 voting packs being mailed out to 44,000 eligible levy payers next week. Mr McCullough and WoolPoll 2015 panel chairman Will Roberts will launch the latest three-yearly poll at the Rural Press Club of Victoria in Melbourne tomorrow, starting the process to decide on what levy wool growers will pay until 2018.

Mr McCullough did not disclose the required five WoolPoll 2015 levy options today, but said two of those would be zero and 2 percent. However, he warned of the consequences of the zero levy option being adopted.

He said if the zero option was returned “then we all pack up and go home, and get another job”.

“Zero is always an option, zero is a chance, but the government would step in and an insolvency practitioner would step in and wind the business up and we would all go and do something else.

“That’s certainly a right of woolgrowers to vote whichever way they want, and the board vigorously defends that they have the option to vote zero.”

Last year WoolPoll about 45pc of eligible levy payers voted, representing about 65pc of the volume of votes.

“Not all (the 25,000) shareholders are created equal, the bigger ones have more votes than the smaller ones.

“We are hoping to improve on that.”

WoolPoll 2015 voting opens on September 4 and closes on October 30. The results will be announced on November 20 at the AWI annual general meeting.


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