WoolPoll panel members selected for 2024 levy ballot

Sheep Central, January 22, 2024

WOOLPOLL panel members have been selected for the 2024 ballot to decide the levy rate growers will pay to Australian Wool Innovation for the next three years.

The WoolPoll Panel Selection Committee met last Thursday and appointed 10 members to oversee the 2024 ballot.

The selection committee of Wool Industry Consultative Committee chair Nick Turner, AWI director Neil Jackson and Paul Maisey, the acting assistant secretary for the levies, livestock and innovation branch at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry considered 11 nominees for the panel.

They selected Victorian grower Alexander Lewis; Western Australian grower Marcus Sounness; Tasmania’s Dr Luke Rapley; NSW growers Tom Moxham, Chris Kemp, Richard Keniry and David Young; South Australian grower Di Martin; DAFF representative Jo Harris and Neil Jackson from AWI. The AWI and DAFF representatives hold non-voting status on the panel.

AWI said the selection committee aimed to deliver a WoolPoll panel from the nominee pool that was reflective of the diversity of levy payers. Importance was placed on the nominee’s production experience and industry engagement, as well as ensuring representation across varying wool sectors, diverse production systems and different geographic areas, an AWI statement said.

The 2024 WoolPoll Panel will have its first meeting on Friday, 23 February when they will elect the panel chair.

Every three years, Australia’s wool growers decide the levy rate paid to fund AWI as the industry’s research, development and marketing body. Those funds are the major source of funding for AWI.

The Commonwealth also provides matching funding for eligible research purposes. Growers are currently paying a levy rate of 1.5 percent.

Under the Wool Services Privatisation (Wool Levy Poll) Regulations 2003, AWI must form an industry Panel comprising eligible levy payer representatives to confirm that the draft forms and the process for conducting the ballot have been examined and assessed as appropriate.

The purpose of the WoolPoll panel is to:

• Meet the statutory obligations set out in the Wool Services Privatisation (Wool Levy Poll) Regulations 2003

• Oversee enhanced processes for delivery of WoolPoll with regard to the Review findings and recommendations from the WoolPoll Review2020 in order to encourage all eligible wool levy payers to have their say and vote.

The role of the WoolPoll Panel is to:

• Oversee development of the WoolPoll communications strategy.

• Approve the Voter Information Kit (VIK)

• Approve the poll process

• Deliver the final report on the operation of WoolPoll to AWI and Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).

The role of the WoolPoll Panel chair is to:

• Facilitate the respectful and orderly conduct the WoolPoll panel meetings,

• Ensure all WoolPoll panel members have an equal opportunity to contribute in meetings.

• Report back to the AWI Board on feedback and decisions from the WoolPoll Panel.

Voting for WoolPoll will be conducted in September and October with the results announced at the AWI annual general meeting in November.



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