Woolgrowers across Australia have their chance to vote on their preferred industry levy rate from today, with voting for WoolPoll 2021 now open.
Held every three years, the voluntary vote will determine the levy rate from Australian Wool Innovation research, development and marketing activities over the next few years.
Anyone who has paid at least $100 in wool levies over the past three years is eligible to vote over the eight-week voting period.
AWI has previously put forward a two per cent levy rate as their preferred option, while WoolProducers Australia says maintaining the current 1.5pc rate is sufficient funding for AWI's activities.
Growers will have a total of five options to choose from and can vote for one or more rates in order of preference.
Wool producers will also be asked to vote on whether WoolPoll should shift to a five-year voting cycle.
Chairman of the independent WoolPoll 2021 panel Steven Bolt is a mixed farmer based at Corrigin, Western Australia.
Mr Bolt is now urging every eligible levy payer to have their say.
"The poll is unique among Australia's agricultural sectors," Mr Bolt said.
"Few industries have a process where producers can vote on the levy rate they believe they should be pay.
"As woolgrowers, we are empowered with the ability to determine what our industry levy rate should be. It's our wool and our industry, and now we can have our say about how much we should pay for R&D and marketing as an investment in our future."
Mr Bolt said the Australian wool industry was emerging from a challenging period - including drought, a declining national flock and the supply-demand impact of the global pandemic - so it was important for woolgrowers to seriously consider the levy rate options to be voted upon.
"We have certainly been confronted by testing times, but we are a proud industry and I expect the resilience of our woolgrowers and their determination to ensure their future prosperity and that of their neighbours and peers will be reflected in a strong voter turnout for WoolPoll 2021," he said.
"The Voter Information Memorandum has been sent out to all registered levy payers and is also available on the WoolPoll website, so I encourage all woolgrowers to read through that and make an informed decision about their levy rate of choice."
WoolProducers Australia CEO JO Hall said WoolPoll presents growers with a unique opportunity.
"As we look to rebuild our national flock and galvanise our industry, each and every vote in WoolPoll is incredibly important," she said.
"Discuss the options with your families, farm managers, business partners and employees.
"Read the VIM, make an informed decision and then cast your vote."
Start the day with all the big news in agriculture! Sign up below to receive our daily Farmonline newsletter.