Wool continues to sell at record levels and the current drought is sure to impinge on the national clip, putting further pressure on the supply/demand dynamic.
But there are sections of the industry intent on a “gotcha” moment with AWI chief Wally Merriman.
The problem for the few pushing for change is that Merriman has woolgrower support set in concrete.
There is love of the fact that the Merriman family breeds damn good merinos rams that impact on a large part of the nation’s clip.
He is not verbose like his critics, and his role in the industry is underpinned by involvement since the day he left school to head back to Boorowa. He loves wool, he loves sheep and has a great affection for woolgrowers.
His rapport with industry grassroots has probably never been seen before in agricultural politics.
Undeniably, Merriman has the common touch and is seen by his vast number of supporters to be a bloody good bloke.
Undeniably, Merriman has the common touch.
One of his protagonists is the Australian Woolgrowers Association, which boasts some very influential woolgrowers. But their membership would not fill a country primary school room. They claim influence, but it does not come from woolgrower hustlings. In fact, the AWGA relies on the internet to spread any message.
The other harsh critic of Merriman is WoolProducers, which in the main represents state farmer bodies.
In some regions membership is under pressure and hardly represents a voice of producers. It is evident that while it is the functions of AWI that gives them oxygen, they have decided to play the man and Merriman has become the punching bag.
At the centre of the battle is a raft of recommendations handed down by a government inquiry into the operation of AWI.
Sources close to the organisation say many of the recommendations are already in place, and others will be looked at in depth post a grower poll into wool levies.
Now, into the fracas has waded Agriculture Minister David Littleproud. He certainly is competent, but could be on thin ice if he pushes too hard.
Never forget that history shows woolgrowers are prepared to throw missiles with those they do not agree with.
Those on the nose presently are Farrer MP Sussan Ley and Victorian National Party Senator Brigid McKenzie.
Meanwhile, wool continues to sell at record levels.