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Thursday, 17 June 2004
Page: 24146


Senator COONAN (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer) (5:00 PM) —Obviously the rationale is that, if there are court-awarded damages, it puts beyond doubt that there can be some shareholder participation in providing that shareholders can have role in approving such a termination payment. It would be a court order; the company would have no choice as to whether it would abide by it. Subject to its solvency, of course, it would have no choice but to pay it. In those circumstances I would have thought it would be reasonably clear that shareholders would then have some difficulty in approving it. Obviously they can be informed about it, but approving it is something they would not have any material role in one way or the other if it is a court-imposed award for a certain sum.