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Don’t Touch The Reserves

The Wool Board’s rumoured plan to take up to $60 million of grower’s reserve funds to finance its own version of the McKinsey restructuring is tantamount to theft, ACT Rural Affairs Spokesman Owen Jennings said today.

“There is no mandate for what is a vastly different proposal to the one growers voted on last year. The Board are arrogantly flying straight into the face of the express wish of the vast majority of growers who want the Board wound up, the end of the levy and a return of all levy money," Owen Jennings said.

“Growers are facing, once again, the prospect that the Wool Board will rip them off with a grandiose scheme more aimed at the preservation of jobs and Board seats than the good of wool growers. Growers cannot afford to ignore the current moves. They may be disillusioned to a point of abject cynicism. They may have given up on meetings, votes and more glossy material trying to justify another big spend up, but they must take control of their destiny by demanding accountability.

“There is still money to be made from wool and however much a grower wants to concentrate on terminal sires and meat, only the shearing must be done.

“Growers need to demand that all the proposals for the mid micron and strong wools that are based on compulsion, levies and the current Board be dropped. Growers should continue to require the disestablishment of the Wool Board, stopping the levy and let common-sense, open market initiatives emerge. They would surprise themselves at what would happen. Current and new players presently crowded out by the Wool Board and its compulsory levy would suddenly have good reason to develop relationships based on realistic commercial imperatives.

“The money held in reserves belongs to growers. They should have it paid to them immediately. They should have those resources to invest as they see fit. If they want to group together and seek a levy under the Commodity Levies Act to do some research they will be free to do so. They don’t need a Wool Board with its unbelievably bad history of waste, failure and extravagance to dictate to them.


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