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Australian Wool Industry Council Act - Australian Wool Industry Council - Report - 1992-93 (2nd)

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© Commonwealth of Australia 1992 ISSN1038-944X

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B a c k g ro u n d

The Australian Wool Industry Council (AWIC) was established under the Australian Wool Industry Council Act 1991 on 1 July 1991 to replace the Interim Wool Industry Policy Council established by the then Minister, the Hon. John Kerin, as part of the restructuring of the wool industry. The Interim Council provided advice and feedback to the Minister on

the restructuring process.

AWIC is a consultative body whose membership broadly represents the major industry sectors and includes the Chairpersons of the three statutory corporations as well as the Presidents of the peak woolgrower, broker, exporter, private treaty merchant and processor associations. The object of the Council is to facilitate the development by the

Commonwealth Government of sound, consistent and comprehensive policies concerning the wool industry, through the active and coordinated involvement of that industry in the process of policy formulation.

An important aspect of this review process is the legislative requirement for the Council to convene an industry review conference every three years to develop strategies to address particular industry issues. The first conference was held in Sydney on 23-24 November 1992.

F u n c tio n s

The Council's functions are:

• to keep under review, and report to the Minister on, the strategic direction of the wool industry;

• to inquire into, and report to the Minister on, matters affecting the wool industry which the Council thinks require investigation or action;

• to inquire into, and report to the Minister on, matters affecting the wool industry referred to the Council by the Minister,

• to convene industry review conferences;

• to consult and cooperate with such persons, organisations and bodies as the Council thinks fit in relation to matters affecting the wool industry; and

• such other functions as are conferred on the Council by this Act or the regulations or by another Act.

P o w e rs

The Council has the power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for, or in connection with, the performance of its functions.



C h a ir p e r s o n

Sir William Vines, AC CMC (to 31 December) Mr Rodney F Price (from 1 January)

D e p u ty C h a ir p e r s o n

Mr AH Bowman (to 5 May) (President o f the Wool Council o f Australia to 5 May)


Wool Council o f Australia nominee: Mr CT Armstrong (to 4 May - Mr Armstrong's deputy was Mr A McNeil. When he succeeded Mr Bowman as President of the Wool Council of Australia (WCA) on 5 May, Mr Armstrong became an ex officio member rather than the one appointed by the Minister on the nomination of the WCA). President o f the Australian Council o f Wool Exporters: Mr DF Booth Federal President o f the Federal Council o f Private Treaty Wool Merchants: Mr RW Amos

Chairperson o f the Australian Wool Realisation Commission: Mr DS Clarke, AO Chairperson o f the Australian Wool Corporation: Mr KM Drysdale Representative o f the Commonwealth: Mr BJ Hill President o f the Australian Wool Processors Council: Mr DWAM Jones (to 4 October)

Mr AE Thomas (from 5 October) Chairperson o f the Wool Research and Development Corporation: Mr JM Landy, MBE A woolgrower appointed by the Minister: Mr AW Morrison President o f the National Council o f Wool Selling Brokers o f Australia: Mr TH O'Brien (to

21 July), Mr EP Harnett (from 22 July)

The Act establishing the Council provides for the appointment of other members nominated by organisations which may be prescribed in regulations made under the Act. No such organisations were so prescribed in 1992-93.

All Council members hold office on a part-time basis.

Most Council members are ex-officio members, they hold office by virtue of their office in the organisations specified in the Act. The Minister appoints the Chairperson, Commonwealth representative, WCA nominee, his/her deputy who is also nominated by WCA and the additional woolgrower representative. The Minister also appoints, from amongst the members, the Deputy Chairperson.

COUNCIL STAFF 1 9 9 2 -9 3

The Council Secretariat is staffed by permanent full-time employees of the Australian Public Service employed within the Department of Primary Industries and Energy portfolio. The Secretariat staff work part-tim e on Council business. In 1992-93 staff comprised:

Mr CP Coggins, Executive Director Ms A Cronin (to 21 February), Mr J Abbey (from 22 February) Ms S Keal '


Vines to plan and arrange for the establishment of a wool exchange which would become operational with effect from 1 July 1993. The President of the Australian Wool Processors Council (AWPC) later joined the Committee.

Following the May AWIC meeting agreement between the key industry sectors was reached on the establishment of a wool exchange. An interim board was formed and held its first meeting on 18 June 1993. It is expected that the exchange will become partly operational on 1 October 1993 and fully operational'on 1 January 1994.

Objective Measurement

In February 1992 AWIC commissioned Mr Peter Kidman of Aviter Pty Ltd to conduct a review of objective measurement of raw wool. The terms of reference of the review were:

• to undertake an examination and review of the important aspects of objective measurement of raw wool and how objective measurement can be more effectively used by industry; and

. to report on research, development and implementation programs to improve the present measurement system and new measurements required to benefit the industry.

After due consideration at its August meeting, the Council decided to not accept the consultant's final report.


Following a request from the Minister in July 1992 for advice as to how best to develop linkages between the Australian Wool Corporation (AWC) and the Wool Research and Development Corporation (WRDC), Sir William Vines entered into discussions with the AWC and WRDC boards. Both boards ultimately supported a proposal for amalgamation of the two bodies. AWIC supported this proposal and advised the Minister accordingly.


The low wool prices have resulted in low wool tax collections and a consequent erosion of the funding base of the AWC, the International Wool Secretariat (IWS) and the WRDC. AWIC was concerned that the reduced funds available for promotion were hampering the demand building efforts of the AWC and IWS and concerned even more about the impact of reduced funding for R & D.

Mr. JM Tandy briefed the Council at its May meeting on the alarming decline in R & D funding. It is projected that expenditure on wool research in 1994-95 will be only 54% of that in 1991-92. There is a serious risk that the critical mass necessary to maintain key research groups will be lost. The need to address this problem was drawn to the Minister’s




Council was briefed at its May meeting on the difficulties then being experienced with contracts covering wool sales to China. AWIC subsequently suggested to the Minister that high level Australian representation to the Chinese could assist in overcoming these difficulties.


A National Symposium on Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was held in Canberra in September 1992, to provide a national forum to exchange the latest scientific knowledge about FMD and consider what future action needs to be taken to enhance Australia's preparedness to cope with the disease, including trade implications. The Chairman was invited to join the FMD Symposium Panel in recognition of the very serious impact that an FMD outbreak in Australia would have on the wool industry. AWIC agreed that WCA nominees should be the wool industry representatives on the Panel and the Management

Group which is working to the Panel.


The Council received a presentation by a firm of advertising consultants. Flakelar, McLaren and Associates, at its February meeting on an advertising strategy for enhancing the demand for wool through consumer re-education of wool’s unique benefits. The presentation was well received with details of the consultant’s research being passed onto the AWC for their consideration.


Council members represent all major sectors of the industry and provide feedback on Council activities to those sectors.

Council members attended a number of meetings during the year including the Dalgety Wool Conference in July, the Wool Teleconference at Walcha in July, the FS Falkiner Pry Ltd Management Seminar in July, the WCA Conference in Adelaide in October, the Wool

Forum held in Tam worth in April and the annual general meetings of the statutory bodies and of the WCA.

Mr Price served on the three member Wool Industry Review Committee chaired by Professor R Gamaut. This Committee will report to the Minister in July 1993.


The inaugural Chairperson of the AWIC, Sir William Vines, resigned with effect from 31 December 1992. The Minister appointed Mr RF Price to the position with effect from 1 January 1993.

When Mr CT Armstrong succeeded Mr AH Bowman as President of the WCA on 5 May 1993, he also succeeded Mr Bowman as an ex officio member of the Council.


When Mr AE Thomas succeeded Mr DWAM Jones as President of the AWPC on 5 October 1992, he also succeeded Mr Jones as an ex officio member of the Council.

When Mr EP Harnett succeeded Mr ΤΉ O'Brien as President of the NCWSBA on 22 July 1992, he also succeeded Mr O'Brien as an ex officio member of the Council.


C o u n c il M e e tin g s

The Australian Wool Industry Council Act 1991 and corresponding regulations require the Council to meet at intervals not exceeding three months. During 1992-93 the Council met four times - 11 August, 15 December, 9 February and 3 May. All meetings were held in Melbourne.

C o n f e r e n c e s o f C h a ir p e r s o n s o f W ool In d u stry S ta tu to ry B o d ie s

The Australian Wool Industry Council Regulations require the Chairperson to convene monthly conferences of the Chairpersons of the Australian Wool Corporation, the Australian Wool Realisation Commission and the Wool Research and Development Corporation.

These conferences facilitate effective coordination of the activities of the statutory bodies in the industry.


The Council had no operational problems during the year.


The Council has no subsidiary companies.


General inquires concerning access to documents or other matters relating to freedom of information should be directed to the Executive Director, AWIC, GPO Box 858, Canberra ACT 2600, or telephone (06) 272 5428, or facsimile (06) 272 3350.

During 1992-93 the Council received no requests for access to documents under the Freedom o f Information Act 1982.



The Minister responsible for the Council during 1992-93 was the Honourable Simon Crean, MP.

Under the Australian Wool Industry Council Act 1991 the Minister has the power to:

(i) request the Council to prepare a report on strategic directions;

(ii) make public a Council report as he/she thinks fit;

(iii) appoint the Chairperson, Wool Council of Australia nominee, woolgrower representative and a representative of the Commonwealth;

(iv) appoint a member as Deputy Chairperson;

(v) terminate the appointment of any appointed member for misbehaviour, physical or mental incapacity, bankruptcy, undisclosed interest that could conflict with the proper performance of duties, unapproved absence, or, in the case of the Wool Council of Australia nominee, on the written request of that organisation;

(vi) terminate the appointment of the Deputy Chairperson;

(vii) grant leave of absence to the Chairperson;

(viii) appoint a deputy member for the Wool Council of Australia nominee;

(ix) cause the annual report to be presented to Parliament within fifteen sitting days of receipt.

In 1992-93 the Minister exercised powers under (iii) and (ix).