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Wool Stocktake : AWI Annual Report 2007-08
The board of AWI The Board continued to meet regularly during 2007/08, concentrating on core functions including: – enhancing corporate governance systems, managing risk and threats to the industry and providing transparent, balanced reporting of Company operations to shareholders – building a portfolio of research, development, innovation and marketing programs and projects aimed at enhancing the long-term profitability of woolgrowers On 24 April 2008, the Board passed a resolution to increase the size of the AWI Board from seven to ten directors to bring a better balance of global business, finance, marketing and product innovation experience to the Board. The AWI Board also passed a resolution to appoint the following directors to fill the new Board positions: Mr Ken Boundy, Ms Robyn Clubb and Dr John Keniry. The AWI constitution allows for a Board of up to 10 directors. Directors may be appointed to the Board at anytime. In line with AWI’s constitution, the new directors are required to seek shareholder endorsement at the next AWI annual general meeting. Board committees A number of AWI Board committees continue to monitor and guide specific activities. These committees assist the Board to effectively implement, monitor and enforce the Corporate Governance Principles throughout the Company. At 30 June 2008, there were three Board committees: Finance and Audit Committee – chaired by Chris Abell The Committee’s main role is to: – assist the Board in managing its responsibilities relating to all financial and legal matters – ensure the Company’s financial controls are working effectively – monitor and guide the Company’s approach to corporate governance and risk management Intellectual Property and Commercialisation Committee – chaired by Chris Abell The Committee’s major role is to provide policy direction for the management of AWI’s Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio; see the schedule of IP on page 67. Remuneration and Appointments Committee – chaired by Ken Boundy The Committee sets executive remuneration, terms of employment and conditions, staffing policies and staffing levels as well as reviewing Board and management performance. Audit AWI continues to maintain a strong focus on accountability and on its internal control environment, and engages the services of three of Australia’s leading professional services firms. PricewaterhouseCoopers is engaged to conduct the external audit and report to shareholders. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu conducts a regular cycle of internal audits as part of a three year program, reporting on risk, internal controls, processes and the day-to-day management of AWI to the Finance and Audit Committee. Ernst & Young provide advice on taxation, integration and other related matters to AWI management. Government funding and research priorities The Australian Government is a major investor in the Australian wool industry by providing statutory levy collection power plus taxpayer funds. AWI is obliged to contract with the Australian Government on the use of the levy monies. This contract is called the Statutory Funding Agreement (SFA). The SFA requires AWI to allocate funds to authorised research, development, innovation and marketing activities to ensure that the projects in which AWI invests are for the benefit of Australian woolgrowers, and that projects are efficient, effective and ethical. The SFA for 2004-2007 expired on 1 July 2007. A new SFA for 2007-2010 was signed on 28 June 2007 which came into effect on 1 July 2007. The main change to the SFA was to expand it to include marketing activities as per the outcome of WoolPoll 2006. Various other changes were also made as a consequence of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry standardising certain aspects of all its SFAs with rural research and development corporations (RDCs). The new SFA is available on the AWI website www.woolinnovation.com AWI gratefully acknowledges the funds provided by the Australian Government to support the initiatives undertaken by the company for the benefit of Australian woolgrowers. AWI believes that it is using the funds in an effective way to maximize the creation and adoption of R&D and innovation along the global Merino wool supply chain. AWI takes into account the Government’s National Research Priorities (NRPs) and Rural Research and Development Priorities (RRDPs) when planning and reporting on its programs. National Research Priorities The Government’s NRPs aim to highlight areas of particular social, economic and environmental importance to Australia, and where a whole-of- government focus has the potential to improve research and broader policy outcomes. They are broadly based, thematic and multi-disciplinary in nature. The Government’s NRPs are: – Frontier Technologies for Building and Transforming Australian Industries – to stimulate the growth of world-class Australian industries using innovative technologies developed from cutting-edge research – Promoting and Maintaining Good Health – to promote good health and well being for all Australians (including strengthening Australia’s social and economic fabric) – An Environmentally Sustainable Australia – to transform the way Australia utilises its land, water, mineral and energy resources through a better understanding of human and environmental systems and the use of new technologies – Safeguarding Australia – to secure Australia (including protecting Australia from invasive diseases and pests) Further information about the NRPs is available on the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website: www.dest.gov.au Rural Research and Development Priorities In the 2007-08 Federal Budget on 8 May 2007, the Government announced revised RRDPs that are intended to make the national innovation effort more coordinated, efficient and effective, and better position Australia’s agricultural, fisheries, forestry and food industries to maintain a competitive edge in the face of economic and climatic challenges. The Government’s new RRDPs are: – Productivity and Adding Value – to improve the productivity and profitability of existing industries and support the development of viable new industries – Supply Chain and Markets – to better understand and respond to domestic and international market and consumer requirements and improve the flow of such information through the whole supply chain, including to consumers – Natural Resource Management – to support effective management of Australia’s natural resources to ensure primary industries are both economically and environmentally sustainable – Climate Variability and Climate Change – to build resilience to climate variability and adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change – Biosecurity – to protect Australia’s community, primary industries and environment from biosecurity threats – Innovation Skills (a supporting RRDP) – to improve the skills to undertake research and apply its findings – Technology (a supporting RRDP) – to promote the development of new and existing technologies Further information about the RRDPs is available on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website: www.daff.gov.au AWI 07/08 ANNUAL 61
AWI Annual Report 2008-09
Annual Report 2006-07