Staying silent on wool vote
AUSTRALIAN Wool Innovation is keeping the number of wool growers who voted in this year’s WoolPoll under wraps.
While traditionally the vote count has not been made public until the annual general meeting, this year for the first time industry could keep up to date online with how many votes were lodged.
However, since voting closed last Friday, AWI said it would not reveal the count, in line with previous WoolPolls.
The decision comes after the lowest proportion of wool growers, at 50.68 per cent, voted in WoolPoll 2015.
WoolPoll voting was collated independently by Link Market Services. An AWI spokeswoman said votes were still being collated as growers had also voted via post or fax.
As of last week, according to the website, 18 per cent, or 8771 levy payers out of the eligible 47,107, had cast their votes.
WoolPoll panel chair Sydney Lawrie said the numbers were “very similar” to 2015. .
“We hope to end up with 30 per cent of voters and over 50 per cent of actual votes, similar to last time,” Mr Lawrie said.
The result will be announced at AWI’s annual general meeting on November 23.
Meanwhile, splinter wool groups have hit back at claims by AWI managing director Stuart McCullough they were damaging wool’s reputation, leading to a recent price drop.
Mr McCullough told ABC Radio last week groups such as WoolProducers and the Australian Wool Growers Association were pushing a “signal that it’s time to reduce investment in marketing and R&D” and this was “playing a part” in the price drop.
WoolProducers chief Hall dismissed the claim.
“Realistically, a 1.5 per cent levy [as opposed to the current 2 per cent] does not mean decreased expenditure on marketing and R&D [due to increased wool prices],” she said. Jo