Acting for You, December 2021

Permanent modernisation of the Corporations Act 

The Commonwealth Government introduced legislation to Parliament on 20 October 2021 to enable permanent reforms on virtual and hybrid AGMs and electronic execution and sending of documents. Governance Institute has been involved in the consultation process on these measures for almost two years, providing members’ views and practical experience to help improve the drafting. On 19 November, the Senate Economics Legislation Committee recommended the Bill be passed. The Opposition indicated in the report that it will support passage provided an amendment is made to allow for a legislative review after two years. An opportunity for the Bill to be voted on was missed in the late November parliamentary sittings. The final opportunity for a vote is between 29 November and 2 December before Parliament adjourns for the year. There may be further sitting days allowing a vote to be held in the new year before the Federal Election is called. Governance Institute has met with key Parliamentary stakeholders in support of the Bill, as this is an important reform opportunity to modernise Australia’s regulatory frameworks and enhance the shareholder experience. We have conveyed members’ concerns around requiring a constitutional amendment to hold a fully virtual AGM.

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