VFF, WAF query WoolPoll
We think we’ve done the consultation to justify the move (to a 60:40 levy split).
THE Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) and WAFarmers have questioned the effectiveness of the WoolPoll process, particularly whether growers have enough opportunity to have their say.
VFF wool spokesman Geoff Fisken put the question to Australian Wool Innovation at its annual meeting last Friday whether the board had considered a better consultation process with woolgrowers regarding levy rates to be voted on and the ratio split for the levy.
But AWI board chairman Wal Merriman rejected the suggestion, saying he believed there would be no change on either front.
AWI chief executive Stuart McCullough said growers had the opportunity for the first time in 2009 to vote on the ratio of spending between marketing and research and development.
But he said while his preference was to disclose more information than withhold it, the decision to allow a vote on the levy split had come back to bite them.
“We think we’ve done the consultation to justify the move (to a 60:40 levy split),” he said.
“We are concerned with how much money gets to marketing and how much money gets to R&D - the ratios are interesting but don’t really govern the money, they’re a theme.”
He said the board ultimately controlled finances and a higher market indicator would mean more money would go to projects.
Australian Wool Growers Association director Chick Olsson said the organisation was calling for information on the actual number of growers who voted, rather than the number of shareholding votes.
Because of the weighted voting system, if only the largest 200 growers voted, that could represent 40pc of the industry so more information would clarify how many growers had participated, he said.