Board election battle must not hurt AWI warns Colette Garnsey

AWI chairman worried board election battle could hurt company


Sheep
DON'T DO DAMAGE: AWI chairman, Colette Garnsey, wants candidates at the upcoming board elections not to seek to raise their profiles at the expense of the company.

DON'T DO DAMAGE: AWI chairman, Colette Garnsey, wants candidates at the upcoming board elections not to seek to raise their profiles at the expense of the company.

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Australian Wool Innovation chairman, Colette Garnsey, doesn't want campaigning to fill board vacancies to hurt the company.

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Candidates campaigning to win a seat on the board of Australian Wool Innovation have been warned not to damage the company while seeking to raise their own profiles.

AWI chairman, Colette Garnsey, said politicking was a feature of the lead up to board elections as candidates sought to "elevate themselves".

And sometimes they did that at the expense of the AWI, she told a drinks evening hosted by Merino SA, which represents stud breeders in South Australia, during last week's Adelaide Show.

Some leading growers have taken to social media to criticise the performance of AWI since the recent plunge in wool prices which has been triggered by the US-China trade war.

It's believed but not officially confirmed that the board seats of incumbents Wally Merriman, David Webster and Meredith Shiel will be up for grabs at this year's AWI annual general meeting on November 22 in Sydney.

ONE MORE TERM: Former AWI chairman, Wally Merriman, will seek one more term as a director of the company before handing the reins to the younger generation.

ONE MORE TERM: Former AWI chairman, Wally Merriman, will seek one more term as a director of the company before handing the reins to the younger generation.

Mr Merriman, who resigned as AWI chairman late last year, has confirmed he will stand again despite pressure from critics for him to quit after 15 years as a director.

He said AWI vacancies should be decided by grower shareholders, "not bureaucrats".

If re-elected Mr Merriman said he would serve one more term before handing over to the next generation.

Ms Garnsey said she expected a large field number of growers would contest the upcoming ballot.

Former AWI director and NSW rural businessman and farmer Chick Olsson has announced he will stand on a ticket with fellow former director, George Falkiner, Haddon Rig, Warren, and Paul Cocking, Wagga Wagga.

Dr Michelle Humphries, Livestock Breeding Services, Jerilderie, will also stand and has been attended the recent National Merino Sheep Show and Sale in Dubbo and Adelaide Show, as has Mr Merriman.

NEW BLOOD: Dr Michelle Humphries, Livestock Breeding Services, Jerilderie, will contest the AWI board elections in November.

NEW BLOOD: Dr Michelle Humphries, Livestock Breeding Services, Jerilderie, will contest the AWI board elections in November.

Nominations for the AWI board are now open and will close on September 24.

Ms Garnsey has urged all shareholders of AWI to vote in the upcoming election.

She said the drought in many districts and the wool price fall was making life difficult for many growers and AWI's budget.

Growers had also voted to reduce their levy contributions to the marketing and research company to 1.5 per cent of gross returns which was adding to AWI's budget pressures.

AWI was spending its shrinking pool of money in areas which would best provide longevity for the company and the industry, she said.

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