Wool levy spending specifics outlined

Inrformation on how a proposed wool levy would be spent has been outlined before October's referendum.

The proposal would ''bring to life'' the business case which sheep farmers have voted on three times, most recently in March, Wool Levy Group chairwoman Sandra Faulkner said.

About $2.7 million would go towards education, which was about stimulating demand.

It would be for the Campaign for Wool; a contestable fund for collaborative projects educating retail staff and consumers; tertiary teaching fellowships; a contestable scholarship fund; and International Wool Textile Organisation obligations.

Up to $500,000 would be spent on innovation, including co-ordination, communication and extension of the investment in wool research and development, and a contestable fund to allow research projects not covered by current funding but which were of benefit of the industry to be carried out.

That funding may be reassessed after a year, based on the industry's research needs.

About $500,000 would be spent on communication, used to support trade negotiations and improve market access; provide a ''voice for wool'' and be a first point of contact for government, business, banking and universities; ensure economic service was provided for wool to collect accurate production and sales data; engage key personnel to deliver specific activities and deliver regular grower communication.

Governance and administration would also cost $500,000. Administration would be ''kept to a minimum'' with a proposed board of three farmer-elected directors and up to two appointees postharvest.

It was proposed the three farmer directors on the Wool Levy Group would form the first transitional board to ensure continuity.

The board would be supported by a pan-sector advisory group. The group continued to consult wool producers and the wider industry on the plan, Mrs Faulkner said.

A levy of 3c on the average 5.4kg (including slipe) greasy weight equivalent per head produced per annum would equal 16.2c per sheep.

Initially, the levy would be no higher than 3c/kg and there would be an upper limit of 5c/kg stipulated in a new Wool Commodities Levy Act.

Voting papers will be spent out on September 10 and voting closes on October 10.

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