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WoolProducers offers growers assistance for 2019 AWI election

Terry Sim, August 7, 2019

PEAK wool grower body WoolProducers Australia is offering sheep producers assistance to nominate and to register to vote for the 2019 Australian Wool Innovation director election.

WoolProducers yesterday said the AWI director election was an important way for wool growers to have their say.

This year is an important year for wool growers to have their say in their representation of levy expenditure via the Australian Wool Innovation director elections, WPA said.

WoolProducers Australia is urging people who believe they can positively contribute to the control and management of AWI to consider nominating for this year’s director election. The body is offering assistance to any potential nominee in the collection of the 100 shareholder signatures, currently required to stand for election.

“WoolProducers believes that a contested election is a positive for both AWI and the wider industry as it provides the chance for a diverse range of candidates to seek election,” WoolProducers president Ed Storey said.

“AWI director elections provide an opportunity for suitably qualified people to put themselves forward for this critical role.”

The 2019 AWI director’s poll will be the first time since 2006 that former chairman Wal Merriman has been in a contested election. He has confirmed he will be seeking re-election. Sheep Central understands that under AWI’s constitution a third of its directors must stand down this year, which would include current board members Mr Merriman, fellow New South Wales director Meredith Sheil and Western Australian director David Webster.

At least four people are known to be seeking signatures to become candidates in the 2019 AWI election, including former board member Paul Cocking, New South Wales veterinarian Michelle Humphries, former AWI director and Australian Wool Growers Association Chick Olsson and former South Australian researcher and now full-time wool grower Janelle Hocking Edwards.

Ms Sheil has confirmed she will be retiring and not standing for re-election this year, but Mr Webster’s intention are not known, although it is rumoured he will re-stand.

WoolProducers said there will be a more transparent and independent board nomination committee process leading up to the 2019 AWI election, to consider desirable skills in nominees that better reflect the skills matrix required by the AWI board under its Statutory Funding Agreement with the Federal Government.

“WoolProducers are able to aid potential nominees with the collection of shareholder signatures through our network, noting that this does not mean that WoolProducers will necessarily endorse these candidates.

“If anyone is interested, please contact WoolProducers at info@woolproducers.com.au,” Mr Storey said.

Relevant information and forms for AWI director elections can be found at AWI’s website, www.wool.com.

WoolProducers also reminded wool levy payers to check that they are registered shareholders to ensure that they can vote in this year’s election.

“Levy payers must apply to become an AWI shareholder and must have paid at least $100 in wool levies over the past three years,” Mr Storey said.

The AWI nomination period runs from Friday September 6 to Tuesday September 24, 2019 and the election will be held in Sydney at the annual general meeting which will be broadcast live via webcast on Friday 22 November from 10am Sydney time. Shareholder enquiries are being directed to Link Market Services on 1800 113 373.

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