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Thursday, 31 May 2012
Page: 6629

Mr RIPOLL (OxleyParliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) (13:02): I thank those honourable members who have taken part in the debate on the Corporations Amendment (Proxy Voting) Bill 2012. The government's intention on the matter of chair exemption is clearly set out in the Corporations Amendment (Improving Accountability on Director and Executive Remuneration) Act 2011 and its associated intrinsic material. In addition, ASIC announced last year that relief could be sought by companies concerned about the issue. However, for the avoidance of any doubt—and that is all it was, just in case there was some doubt—and to give companies greater certainty, the amendment in this bill clarifies that the chair of an annual general meeting who is also a member of the company's key management personnel or the closely related party of such a member can vote undirected proxies in a non-binding shareholder vote on remuneration required under section 250R where the shareholder provides express authorisation for the chair to exercise that proxy, as they could under the unamended version. This is simply to make it clearer for those who may have not completely accepted what was in that legislation. The government is always happy to accommodate to make clearer any confusion that may arise out of legislation or any other piece of government regulation because from time to time there are some genuine issues where people might have a different view as to what a particular piece of legislation means even when the intent from government is absolutely clear, as was always the case with this particular bill and set of arrangements. This amendment now makes it even more abundantly clear.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Ordered that this bill be reported to the House without amendment.