​Media Release

Littleproud requests AWI make its position clear​

23 October 2018​

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has received the AWI implementation plan relating to the EY Review of AWI's performance, and has written to them in response.

"I have always been clear I expect AWI to lead and implement all 82 recommendations from the AWI report," Minister Littleproud said.

"Last Friday I received AWI's implementation plan.

"The plan is short on detail and vague about how or if it would implement all recommendations. I'm disappointed with that.

"I have written to AWI requesting this information be supplied by next Monday.

"EY made 82 recommendations and I expect AWI to implement every one of them. AWI needs to be transparent with its shareholders, the public and the government about its plans.

"Woolgrowers and the taxpayers—who provide AWI with the majority of its income—expect this.

"My letter to AWI confirms I've spoken to Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joel Fitzgibbon and we have a shared position on this: the recommendations which EY says should be implemented by the AWI board should indeed be implemented by the AWI board. Those which EY says should go to a shareholder vote should go to a shareholder vote. Recommendations which EY says should be implemented by the board should not be passed off to a shareholder vote.

"AWI needs to express support for recommendations which require shareholder endorsement and prove to woolgrowers they are serious about change, including cultural change.

"I expect AWI to provide early and regular assurance to woolgrowers about its implementation of the review's recommendations."

The government will continue to monitor progress. EY recommended a checkpoint review in 12 months.

The review into AWI's performance and governance can be found at: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/innovation/awi-performance-review.

Fast Facts

  • On 27 February 2018, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud announced an independent review into AWI to be commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
  • EY was engaged by the department in March 2018 to conduct the review.
  • The review report was released in July 2018 and made 82 recommendations.
  • The government will closely monitor AWI's progress in implementing the recommendations, with EY having recommended a checkpoint review in 12 months.
  • EY's independent review provides a roadmap for AWI to improve their governance, transparency, stakeholder engagement and strategic planning—ultimately providing woolgrowers with the best possible services.
  • EY found AWI performed well in many regards but needed to improve performance across a number of areas to address risks and embrace opportunities.