WoolProducers Australia (WPA) is urging all shareholders of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) to
vote in this year’s AWI director elections.
Shareholders should be receiving their voter information packs either online or via post and voters
must make their voice heard through voting and not giving a proxy.
WPA President Richard Halliday said ‘Last week’s Senate Estimates revealed the lack of
transparency, independence and accountability with the current voting process with AWI.
Under questioning from the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport (RRAT) Senate Committee, AWI
were unable to clearly articulate the process of selecting Board Nomination Committee (BNC)
members, including the independent members required under their Statutory Funding Agreement
with the Commonwealth.
‘Given that a number of previous so called independent BNC members are either now AWI Board
Directors, running for the AWI Board or were previous Board Directors, calls into question the
integrity of this whole process.’
‘WPA are calling on woolgrowers to take the time to consider the information provided and vote in
the best interests of their organisation and not appoint a proxy.’
It was also revealed, amongst other things that the Chair receives an enormous amount of proxies
and does not have to declare where he allocates undirected proxies.
‘WoolProducers does not believe that there is adequate transparency or accountability in this
process’. Mr Halliday said.
According to the Board Nomination Committee report, the BNC has assessed all five candidates
running for this year’s election considers that they are collectively of a high standard, and capable of
making a contribution to the skills of the board in one or more areas.
AWI state that shareholders have the power to direct the company, so it is incumbent on
woolgrowers that if they are not happy with the current operations of AWI to vote for change.
‘As a company responsible for the expenditure of a compulsory levy, AWI shareholders cannot sell
their shares if they are unhappy with how it is running, so now is the time to make your voice heard’.
Mr Halliday said.