A new industry consultation model has been announced by Australian Wool Innovation this week.
Under the new model, two consultation forums will replace the existing Industry Consultative Committee.
The smaller AWI Woolgrower Industry Consultation Panel will be coupled with a broader Woolgrower Consultation Group.
Agribusiness executive Ron Cullen was unanimously endorsed by the members of the ICC as the new independent chair of the WICP.
AWI chairman Colette Garnsey said the the new consultation arrangements followed recommendations by the AWI Review of Performance to improve two-way communication with wool growers.
The model was decided after workshops with wool grower representative groups and submissions from the industry.
"AWI believes to be effective, accountable and productive, genuine consultation is essential," Ms Garnsey said.
"Honest and transparent consultation is important not only to wool growers but it is critical to AWI's business, enabling us to identify wool grower priorities and report on our activities.
"We believe we have a way forward that strikes a balanced position, meeting the expectations of wool growers, our levy payers, wool grower representative groups, government and AWI's business needs."
Ms Garnsey said the expanded WCG would ensure AWI received feedback from a wider range of regional and organisational perspectives, while the WICP was a core group that AWI could engage more regularly on specific issues.
WoolProducers Australia president Ed Storey welcomed the announcement.
"We are extremely pleased that our nominee, Mr Cullen was unanimously endorsed by other members of WICP," Mr Storey said.
"In putting forward a nominee for this role, WoolProducers were keen to find someone that could be considered independent but knew the workings of the industry and also had strong chairing and governance skills, Mr Cullen certainly ticks all of those boxes.
"WoolProducers has long been critical of the ICC process as it was essentially meaningless, so we have much higher expectations for the new industry consultation mechanisms within AWI.
"WoolProducers believes the appointment of Mr Cullen as chair is certainly a step in the right direction."
Mr Cullen called his appointment a privilege.
"Having been actively engaged in agriculture throughout my career I believe I can make a positive and productive contribution as chair of the WICP and I look forward to the challenge," Mr Cullen said.
"The unanimous support of the ICC gives me the confidence to get on with facilitating effective consultation with Australian wool growers."
Mr Cullen's appointment is effective for 12 months from 1 July, 2019.
It is anticipated that the WICP will meet three times a year and the WCG annually.
The members of the WICP are:
- Independent Chair
- Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders
- Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association
- Australian Wool Growers Association
- Broad wool representative
- Commercial Merino Ewe Competitions Association
- Pastoralists and Graziers of WA
- WoolProducers Australia
- Department of Agriculture representative
- Two AWI Board representatives