Call to keep WA wool sales

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Jenne BrammerThe West Australian
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PJ Morris wool exporter Peter Morris said it was likely a group of buyers would make an appeal to WAFarmers, after the lobby group's submission to Australian Wool Innovation's independent review of the wool-selling system.

In that controversial submission WAFarmers recommended wool selling be centralised in Melbourne, which would spell the end of the auctions held in Fremantle.

"I have read their submission and understand that graziers need to maximise their returns," Mr Morris said.

"It is also our desire as exporters to generate the best possible returns to growers so they remain within the industry."

Mr Morris said he planned, with other representatives of the wool export industry, to sit down with WAFarmers representatives to understand the group's thinking, and have the opportunity to allay any concerns.

Other representatives to meet with WAFarmers are likely to include Westcoast Wools, Fremantle Wool Trading and Swan Wool.

"We would like to hear their concerns, and would like to show them the benefits of maintaining WA as a selling centre," Mr Morris said.

"I'm sure that if WAFarmers met with a few of the wool brokers and exporters, we could show that Fremantle is a cheap and efficient centre."

This group is now in the process of finalising a date with WAFarmers, to meet and further advance its discussions.

"I am not trying to tell anyone what their view should be," Mr Morris said. "But we would like to understand how WAFarmers came up with savings and then provide information for them to assess and then see if they would still like to maintain their stance."

Mr Morris said by maintaining wool sales in WA, the State's growers benefited from an extremely competitive market.

All national buyers have representation in WA.

In addition, there are several WA exporters that promoted the State's wool, adding further competition.

"WA offers an efficient and economical way to sell wool, which provides a quick turnaround for growers as far as receipt into stall, testing and sale, as compared to having sales in the Eastern States," Mr Morris said.

In its submission to AWI, WAFarmers said its stance was based on a declining national flock and wool clip, coupled with the declining number of sale lots presented through the Fremantle selling centre.

WAFarmers said wool bales should continue to be stored at the three existing wool selling centres and could be sampled and tested.

Its submission added there was still the need for an intermediary based in WA to broker sales.

According to AWI, the objective of the Wool Selling Systems Review is to improve the returns that wool growers receive.

The review aims to determine whether the current exchange of ownership between sellers and buyers provides the best possible competition and financial returns to primary wool producers.

All submissions are available on the AWI website.

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