2020 WOOLPOLL REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS

In 2020, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) reviewed the WoolPoll mechanism and issued a report outlining 10 recommendations aimed at improving procedures; bolstering transparency; and clarifying existing roles and responsibilities. This report is available on AWI’s website at www.wool.com/wollpollresponse.

In brief summary, the recommendations are –

 AWI is working with DAWE to ensure that all of the recommendations are implemented in time for WoolPoll 2021.

OPTIONAL PREFEReNTIAL VOTING EXPLAINED

The Regulations contain details about optional preferential voting and articulate a process for counting the votes. The process is similar to the one used in Federal Government elections.
Levy payers may, but are not compelled to, indicate more than one preference on their ballot paper.

For your vote to have the most impact, you must place number 1 in the box of your first preference and then you may complete the remaining four boxes in order of your preference 2, 3, 4, 5 with 5 being your last preference.

Voters using an optional preferential voting system. You must write the number ‘1’ in the square next to the levy rate of your choice.

If a rate has a majority of votes, based on the number of votes on which a first preference is indicated for each rate, that rate will be declared to be elected. 

If after the first count there is no option with more than 50%, a second count will be undertaken. If needed, further preference counts are undertaken until a majority option is identified. 

Should you select one preference, and your preferred levy does not receive as many votes in the voting process, your poll preference may not be reallocated.

Supplementary Question

In the 2020 WoolPoll Review, it was recommended that an additional question be put forward to levy payers for the 3-yearly cycle of WoolPoll to be changed to 5 years with the objective of providing greater stability in the levy rate. 

This question is being put forward in the WoolPoll 2021 ballot paper to test the preference for a 5-yearly poll more widely with levy payers. This would inform the Government’s consideration of regulatory amendments that would be required to enact such a change. Should the frequency of the WoolPoll period change to 5 years, this could potentially provide industry with:

  • greater stability in the levy rate.
  • longer term investment in projects.
  • potential alignment with Meat Livestock Australia planning processes.
  • reduced cost of running WoolPoll.
  • Should the frequency of WoolPoll not change AWI will continue on with a three-year strategic planning basis.