Australian wool auctions continued this week in all three selling centres, with new locations for auction rooms in Melbourne and Fremantle as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The auction rooms have been moved to the showfloor and elsewhere in the selling centre complex to ensure that the Government’s social distancing rules are adhered to. The auction rooms in Sydney will change location next week. Room breaks are more frequent, and lunchbreaks have been extended. Brokers, buyer, growers and service organisations are working closely to ensure that open-cry wool auctions can continue for as long as permitted by the Australian Government and health authorities.
The industry representative organisations (NCWSBA, WoolProducers Australia, the Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors, and Wool Industries Australia), together with the industry services companies (AWTA, AWH and AWEX) and SheepProducers Australia jointly wrote to the Australian Minister for Agriculture, the Hon David Littleproud, on Monday to brief him on the importance of the wool industry being permitted to continue, from shearing through to auction and on to the ship. The good news is late last week, the Government advised the industry that wool auctions and the other sectors of the wool industry can continue as long as it adheres to the social distancing requirements and practice enhanced personal hygiene. The situation could change, of course, with further restrictions on movement and operations in the Australian community.
You can download the Media Release from the Minister for Agriculture of 27th March announcing that wool auctions and livestock auctions are able to keep operating.
In addition to the anouncement about wool auctions continuing, WoolProducers Australia, AWEX, SheepProducers Australia, the Shearing Contractors Association of Australia and the WA Shearing Industry Association has set out the recommended protocols to be taken by growers and shearers in response to COVID-19 to ensure that they abide by the Government's social distancing and enhanced personal hygiene requirements. You see download the details here.