WoolProducers Australia has welcomed the new AWI board and called for genuine collaboration for industry good.
WoolProducers chief executive officer Jo Hall congratulated the newly elected directors – George Millington, Emma Weston and Neil Jackson – and said the WPA board expected to work more constructively with the AWI board going forward.
“I would also like to acknowledge and thank the unsuccessful candidates Ed Storey and Steve McGuire for standing in this year’s election,” she said.
The new AWI board are now required to get on with working in the interests of all Australian wool growers, WPA said.
“WoolProducers, as always makes the offer to work constructively with the AWI board to achieve whole of industry good outcomes.
“It is our expectation that AWI start working with WoolProducers on industry issues for the betterment of wool growers,” she said.
“WoolProducers’ policy expertise should be complementing AWI’s research, development and marketing skills, however this opportunity has largely been ignored by AWI..
“This lack of willingness of AWI to collaborate with WoolProducers has been to the detriment of industry in recent times on issues such as the proposed Biosecurity Protection Levy, trade, animal welfare and live export,” Ms Hall said.
WPA said the narrative from AWI has been that they cannot tell growers what to do and nor can they do policy, and that ‘agripolitical groups’ need to step up in many areas.
“The reality is that WoolProducers has stepped up in these and many other areas, and we are the only industry group that does national wool policy; however, too often we are stifled by AWI and other representative groups who have opinions, but not policy on these critical issues.
“This is hurting our industry and more importantly our growers,” she said.
“The Wool 2030 document, which AWI refers to as the roadmap for our industry, states that there should be one industry voice.
“It is time we start actioning this starting with the new AWI board,” Ms Hall said.