AS the deadline for woolgrowers to cast their vote in WoolPoll 2021 draws closer, I encourage all those who are yet to vote to do so and contribute to the wool industry's direction.
The beauty of WoolPoll is it is open to all woolgrowers who have paid at least $100 in levies on their wool in the past three years.
You might be a Merino wool producer to the core, a Downs wool producer, a mixed farmer running sheep alongside crops or cattle or someone who only runs sheep as seasons allow. No matter what your enterprise make-up, WoolPoll is open to all of us.
As woolgrowers, we are afforded a unique opportunity to have a say every three years on the levy we think we should be paying to fund the industry's research, development and marketing activities conducted by Australian Wool Innovation. Not many other industries have that opportunity.
We all take great pride in the quality of our wool clip and I believe taking the time to vote in WoolPoll is a sign of pride in our industry.
As an industry, we have been through our share of challenges recently. We saw the value of wool drop last year largely due to the pandemic, but thankfully it is recovering.
The national sheep flock has declined due to drought, but recent projections indicate we are rebuilding and are on track to hit our largest flock size since 2008 by 2023. As we emerge from these challenges, every vote is important.
There are four options for growers to lodge their vote in WoolPoll 2021 - post, online, fax or email. I strongly encourage all woolgrowers who are yet to cast their vote to do so online to ensure it is received on time.
Voting online is a quick and easy process that only takes a couple of minutes. All that is required is your shareholder number, which is available with your WoolPoll voting pack or on your entitlement letter from AWI, which was sent out in August.
As a Panel, we have compiled a detailed Voter Information Memorandum for growers, providing information about AWI, because it is their company and an opportunity for them to have a say in the future level of investment.
The entire VIM and AWI Grower Document are available on the WoolPoll website to be viewed by all woolgrowers.
There are even more reasons to vote in WoolPoll 2021 due to the inclusion of a supplementary question.
In the 2020 WoolPoll Review, it was recommended an additional question be put forward to levy payers for the three-yearly cycle of WoolPoll to be changed to five years with the objective of providing greater stability in the levy rate.
This would inform the government's consideration of regulatory amendments that would be required to enact such a change.
More information on what the change to a five-yearly poll means is available in the VIM or on the WoolPoll website.
I encourage all woolgrowers to sit down with their families or their farm management team and discuss the options available to them at this year's WoolPoll.
Ultimately, the levy rate you vote for is a business decision. Like any good business, it is important to set a budget and plan for the future.
WoolPoll 2021 is our chance to have a say in what the industry budget for research, development and marketing should be for at least the next three years.
It is your wool, your business and our industry. Have your say in WoolPoll 2021.
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