Why doesn’t AWI support Sheep CRC extension bid

Delegates at the Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) Wool Section Conference last week urged Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) to provide material funding for the five-year extension of the current Sheep CRC.

A motion from the Wool Section Conference was passed unanimously: “Based upon the productivity record for the Wool and Sheep industry of the past program of the Sheep CRC, WAFarmers urges AWI to provide material funding for the five year extension of the current CRC”.

WAFarmers Wool Section President, Ed Rogister, said WAFarmers and its members are furious that AWI was not interested in funding the Sheep CRC Extension Bid.

“This outrage comes after WAFarmers’ members became aware that AWI was not interested in looking at what the Sheep CRC extension bid had to offer producers across Australia,” Mr Rogister said.

“WAFarmers members were presented with information on what the current Sheep CRC was providing for the sheep industry across the country at our Wool Section Conference last week.

“Sheep CRC Chief Executive Officer, James Rowe, indicated that the Sheep CRC had commitment from reputable research organisations, rural R&D corporations and industry associations together with major sheep processors and exporters.  Unfortunately, AWI was not in the fold.”

Mr Rogister said the Sheep CRC had a strong case for an extension based on its track record of delivering outcomes, its extensive engagement networks and the opportunities that can be built from the current program.

“It wasn’t until a member asked about the funding partners for the extension of the program that growers became angry that AWI was not interested in the benefits the program offered,” he said.

“Surely producers would benefit from the proposed programs which focus on improved well-being and productivity through timely response to defined risks for grazing sheep.

“WAFarmers would like to know from AWI, on what basis it is not willing to support the Sheep CRC extension bid, what consultation took place and at what level to reach this decision?” Mr Rogister concluded.

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