Research and Development

WA Merino breeder Steven Bolt to lead 2021 WoolPoll

Terry Sim, February 26, 2021

2021 WoolPoll Panel chairman Steven Bolt.

WESTERN Australian Merino breeder Steven Bolt has been elected as chairman of the 2021 WoolPoll Panel.

The Corrigin wool grower and director of The Livestock Collective was elected by the eight member panel at a meeting yesterday.

Mr Bolt is also principal of the Claypans Merino Stud and was nominated for the panel by the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders.

Mr Bolt won the leadership of the panel after voting was tied between him and Australian Wool Growers Association nominee John Murdoch in the first round of voting. Mr Murdoch then withdrew his nomination, enabling Mr Bolt to assume the position.

WoolPoll is the three-yearly vote of all wool levy payers through which the industry decides on its levy rate for investment in research, development and marketing.

At this year’s WoolPoll ballot, levy payers will also be asked if they want a five-year WoolPoll cycle. Last year’s WoolPoll Review recommended that levy payers’ preference for a five-yearly poll be tested via an additional question on the 2021 WoolPoll ballot paper, to inform the Federal Government’s consideration of regulatory amendments required to enact the change from the current triennial vote.

As chairman of the 2021 WoolPoll Panel, Mr Bolt will lead the efforts to get a strong turn out by growers when voting gets underway later this year.

“It is an honour and a privilege to be chairman of the WoolPoll panel at a time of enormous change and opportunity for the Australian wool industry,” Mr Bolt said.

“It is vitally important for all wool growers – no matter where you live – to cast your vote for the levy rate you want to pay,” he said.

“The panel’s role is not to tell growers what rate to support, but to encourage all growers to have their say.”

The panel also includes WoolProducers Australia chief executive officer Jo Hall, Australian Wool Growers Association nominee Kate McBride, NSW; Australian Superfine Wool Growers director Mark Waters; Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders nominee Daniel Rogers, Victoria; Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA nominee Michael Wright, and; commercial ewe group nominee Dianna Martin.

Growers will be given up to five options of levy rate to support and can vote for one or more levy rates in order of preference.

WoolPoll voting is scheduled to open on Monday September 13 and close on Friday November 9. Voting is not compulsory.


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  1. Jim Gordon, February 26, 2021

    Congratulations to Steven Bolt. You have an anonymous job to make sure the voting is not tampered with.
    I bring your attention to the most important sentence in this article, and I quote “It is vitally important for all wool growers – no matter where you live – to cast your vote for the levy you want to pay, he said.”
    Steven Bolt, the levy payer has never been able to set the levies. They have been set by AWI. This is why the voter turn-out has been so low. The levy payer has no control, so why vote?
    You have three jobs.
    1. Make sure we get 1 percent, 1.5pc, and 2pc.
    2. Make sure levy payers completely understand the voting system.
    3. Make sure AWI is kept completely out of the process.
    Good luck, and I hope you have 100pc integrity.

    • donald cameron, March 1, 2021

      On past experience, there will be no change to Australian Wool Innovation until a Minister of Agriculture performs his/her duty.
      Recent ministers have been abysmal.

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