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Improved reporting needed on ASX corporate governance guidelines.

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Media Release

Nick Sherry Labor Senator for Tasmania Shadow Minister for Superannuation and Intergenerational Finance, Banking and Financial Services Acting Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility

20 July, 2005


Labor welcomes ASIC's generally positive report on the performance of the ASX, Senator Nick Sherry, Acting Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility said today.

Senator Sherry noted ASIC’s praise of ASX initiatives with regard to the Corporate Governance Guidelines (ASXCGG).

“ASIC's observation that the ASXCGG will have a positive impact on the disclosure practices and behaviour of market participants is particularly welcome,” said Senator Sherry.

But despite the assessment of ASIC, it is clear from research conducted earlier this year by KPMG that reporting against the guidelines requires further improvement.

“While recognition is due to companies who have reported in a considered and detailed way, there are some companies who are not reporting against individual guidelines or could improve the quality of their disclosures,” Senator Sherry said.

"The ASXCGG now form an important part of the disclosure regime for companies and improving the quality of disclosure is an essential next step for their successful implementation.

"The ASX could play a more active role in monitoring application of the guidelines and providing guidance to companies on the quality of their reporting.

"Further improvement is still expected by the market and the community, and I call on the ASX to remain focussed on supporting improved disclosure by companies.

“Regarding other areas of ASIC's report, the identified improvement areas of warrants regulation and monitoring and enforcement of listing rules, require urgent attention.

“Given that this is the second year in a row that ASIC has identified these issues, the ASX should attend to them as a matter of priority.”

For further information:

• Nathan Fabian 0412 128 486