Cousin of wool boss part of se­lect­ing

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

A COUSIN of Aus­tralian Wool In­no­va­tion chair­man Wal Merriman helped se­lect pre­ferred can­di­dates for this year’s AWI board elec­tion.

The rev­e­la­tion comes amid fur­ther claims of gov­er­nance is­sues at the peak wool grower body ahead of its board elec­tion and an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in Syd­ney next Fri­day.

For­mer NSW pri­mary in­dus­tries min­is­ter Ka­t­rina Hodgkin­son was on a five­mem­ber com­mit­tee that in­ter­viewed can­di­dates for the three va­cant seats on the AWI board this year.

Ms Hodgkin­son is a cousin of Mr Merriman, who also sat on the com­mit­tee.

Other mem­bers of the com­mit­tee in­cluded AWI di­rec­tor Mered­ith Sheil, for­mer pres­i­dent of the World Fed­er­a­tion of Merino Breed­ers Rob Ashby and for­mer AWI chair­man Brian van Rooyen. Mr Merriman and Mr Ashby are past pres­i­dents of the Aus­tralian As­so­ci­a­tion of Stud Merino Breed­ers and sat to­gether on the 2003 Wool Poll panel.

The com­mit­tee last month rec­om­mended share­hold­ers vote to re-elect cur­rent di­rec­tors Co­lette Garnsey and James Mor­gan, and elect for­mer AWI con­sul­tant Will Wil­son.

Mr Merriman, who has been AWI chair­man for nine years, has come un­der pres­sure after he se­cretly viewed an in­dus­try re­search fo­cus group from be­hind a one-way mir­ror.

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