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Permanent changes to permit virtual meetings and electronic communications

Corporate News - 23 October 2020

Earlier this week, the Australian Government released draft legislation to permanently allow companies to use electronic means to (a) execute documents; (b) hold director, shareholder and registered scheme member meetings; (c) circulate meeting materials to participants; and (d) keep, record and store meeting minutes. These changes follow a successful test run under the Government’s temporary changes earlier in the year in response to COVID-19.
 
Broadly, the changes ‘make permanent and expand upon’ the changes in the Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No. 3) 2020. The only additional measure is that electronic meeting minutes are now included in the suite of changes. Included in this is a requirement for minutes of electronic meetings to include any questions or comments submitted by a shareholder or member (before or during the meeting).
 
Once legislated, the reforms will apply immediately as mandatory rules which cannot be displaced or modified by a company’s constitution.
 
We will provide a further update once the results of the consultation process and legislation are finalised. In the meantime, please contact us in our Perth office on +61 8 9321 4000 or our Melbourne office on +61 3 9111 9400 if you require advice.

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