SOUTH Australian Merino breeder Sydney Lawrie has been announced as chair of the 2018 WoolPoll panel.
WoolPoll is held every three years and calls woolgrowers to nominate how much of their wool cheque gets paid to the wool industry’s marketing and research body, Australian Wool Innovation.
Mr Lawrie’s role is to form an independent panel of woolgrowers and promote woolgrower participation to have a say on the future of the industry.
Typically there are five voting options, ranging from zero to three per cent.
The previous WoolPoll held in 2015, cost levy payers about $660,000, more than $15 for each of the 43,000 eligible woolgrowers voters, reportedly marking the lowest engagement in the previous five WoolPolls held.
While more than 20 forums were held across the country in the lead-up to the last WoolPoll, just 50.68 per cent of votes were lodged.
Mr Lawrie, principal of Collandra North Poll Merino Stud, owns a mixed enterprise at Tumby Bay on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, which includes about 4000 sheep and 2834 hectares of crops.
He was a 2015 WoolPoll panelist and is a member of AWI’s National Merino Challenge, Eyre Peninsula Stud Merino Breeders Committee and Tumby Bay Silos Committee.
AWI is calling on woolgrower representative groups and state farm organisations to nominate three growers for the WoolPoll panel, including a grower under 40 years and a female.
The Panel will also include a representative from the Australian Government and AWI.
WoolPoll voting packs will be sent to eligible growers towards the end of September 2018, with votes to be returned by 2 November.
Earlier this year, AWI chairman Wal Merriman told Senate Estimates the industry group wanted to extend the period between votes to four years.