Make your vote count to re­strain wool levy

Countryman - - OPINION - Richard Hal­l­i­day, pres­i­dent, WoolPro­duc­ers Aus­tralia

WoolPro­duc­ers Aus­tralia is urg­ing all el­i­gi­ble wool grow­ers to cast their vote for the 2018 WoolPoll.

Vot­ing closes on Novem­ber 2 and this is your chance to pro­vide di­rec­tion to your com­pany, Aus­tralian Wool In­no­va­tion.

This WoolPoll, WPA is rec­om­mend­ing that wool grow­ers vote for 1.5 per cent.

The board of WPA se­ri­ously con­sid­ered all fac­tors when de­ter­min­ing this po­si­tion, in­clud­ing the fore­cast down­turn in pro­duc­tion due to dry con­di­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the WoolPoll Voter In­for­ma­tion Mem­o­ran­dum, 1.5 per cent of­fers pro­jected an­nual in­come of be­tween $85.5 mil­lion and $88 mil­lion per year for the next three years, which when con­sid­ered in the con­text of the last three fi­nan­cial years AWI ex­pend­ing be­tween $70 mil­lion and $88 mil­lion, is am­ple money for cur­rent busi­ness to be con­tin­ued as well as in­vest in rel­e­vant new ar­eas.

It is im­por­tant to note that a 1.5 per cent levy is ac­tu­ally sup­port­ing a sub­stan­tial in­crease in the amount AWI has to spend, even un­der a sce­nario where pro­duc­tion vol­umes in­cur a sig­nif­i­cant shock and 1.5 per cent is a vi­able op­tion for fu­ture in­vest­ment.

By vot­ing 2 per cent you are vot­ing for an an­nual ex­pen­di­ture of $110 mil­lion for the next three years, which rep­re­sents a stag­ger­ing in­crease of more than 40 per cent on the av­er­age of the past three years.

WPA be­lieves this is too much money to spend and we can­not stand for wastage of grow­ers’ money.

The VIM states that the unau­dited re­serves of the AWI are $115 mil­lion, which given the strong fin­ish in the EMI of the last fi­nan­cial year, could be even higher.

The re­al­ity is that AWI has never had so much money given the cur­rent healthy state of the re­serves and the con­tin­ued strong prices.

While the con­cerns of pro­duc­tions are valid, we be­lieve that one of the best ways to con­trib­ute to in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion is to leave that ex­tra half a per cent in wool­grow­ers’ pock­ets by vot­ing 1.5 per cent.

WPA would also like to re­mind grow­ers that vot­ing in WoolPoll is op­tional pref­er­en­tial, so to re­ally make your voice heard WPA rec­om­mends putting your pref­er­ences to more than one op­tion.

Ul­ti­mately it is up to grow­ers to de­cide the amount that they wish to con­trib­ute to re­search, de­vel­op­ment and mar­ket­ing in their in­dus­try and we again urge all grow­ers to make their vote count.

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