AWI announces delay to conversations about governance

Australian Wool Innovation announces delay to conversations about governance

AWI chairman Colette Garnsey.

AWI chairman Colette Garnsey.


Australian Wool Innovation has confirmed it is cancelling its proposed EGM and delaying conversations until later this year.


Australian Wool Innovation has confirmed it is cancelling its proposed Extraordinary General Meeting and delaying final conversations about its governance until late November this year.

It also announced that one particular recommendation that came out of its Review of Performance (ROP) last year, limiting directors' tenure to 10 years, would be resolved on or before its 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

This is despite calls from the industry and Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud late last year to implement all 82 recommendations as soon as possible.

But AWI chairman Colette Garnsey said an extensive consultation process, run through AWI's Industry Consultative Committee, had allowed woolgrowers to support alternative methods of addressing the intent of five of the recommendations, while protecting the democratic nature of the director election model and shareholder rights.

Ms Garnsey said as a result of this consultation, it was agreed the EGM, originally stated to be held in March, was unnecessary, and instead, the remaining proposed changes to its constitution would be put to shareholders at its 2019 and 2020 annual general meetings.

AWI's next Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, November 22.

AWI said it would improve transparency related to proxy voting, as well as the reporting related to the testing of director independence, as requested in the ROP.

It also said an alternative Board Nomination Model had been agreed, and the requirement for all board nominees to have 100 shareholder signatures had been retained.

WoolProducers Australia (WPA) president Ed Storey said cancelling the potentially "hostile" EGM was the best way to resolve the outstanding recommendations.

"To gain 75 per cent of shareholder support was a big ask, particularly when there was no initial agreement by sectors of the industry on these contentious issues," Mr Storey said.

"Without this negotiated outcome, there was no guarantee that the required changes would have been made."

Mr Storey said WPA would work with AWI to resolve the board tenure recommendation.

Other parties involved in the consultation process included the Australian Wool Growers Association, Australian Superfine Wool Growers' Association, Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders, Pastoralists & Graziers Association of Western Australia, Birchip Cropping Group, Flinders Ranges Merino and the Don Brown Ewe Competition.


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