Farmers urged to vote on renewed wool levy

Farmer consultation has officially been launched before October's referendum seeking to reintroduce a wool levy.

The referendum, on October 10, asks sheep farmers to fund a new industry body by approving a levy of between 2c and 5c for each kilogram of greasy or slipe wool at the first point of sale.

That equated to $4.6 million at 3c a kg for 154,000 tonnes of wool annually if the 17,000 farmers eligible to vote agreed.

There was further potential investment from the Government but farmers needed to ''put our money where our mouth is'' before that happened, Wool Levy Group chairwoman Sandra Faulkner said.

Wool was the ''fibre of the future'' and the referendum was the industry's chance to make a difference to its future.

''Sheep is not a one-dimensional animal. It is dual purpose but the value of wool is not recognised here or overseas, and as a result, we are underselling ourselves in the market,'' Mrs Faulkner said.

The industry was worth $700 million and a collective voice was needed to educate, innovate and invest in its future, she said.

Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers outgoing meat and fibre chairwoman, urged farmers to make sure they were informed and to vote.

''Voting is the expression of commitment to ourselves and our industry, no matter which box you tick,'' Mrs Maxwell said.

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