5 May 2016
Media Release - #2016060, 2016

In the role of: Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer [21 September 2015 - 18 July 2016]

Consultation on Technology Neutrality in Meetings Communications

The Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, the Hon Kelly O'Dwyer MP, today released a proposal paper entitled ‘Technology neutrality in distributing company meeting notices and materials' for public consultation.

"It is essential that the regulatory framework for calling company meetings supports innovation, facilitates good corporate governance, reduces the compliance burden on business, and is convenient for shareholders," Minister O'Dwyer said.

"Industry feedback has identified company meeting communications as one area where the current laws do not produce optimal outcomes, and instead create substantial unnecessary costs which are ultimately borne by shareholders. This includes Australians who invest their superannuation funds in the Australian share market.

"The proposal seeks to modernise the methods for companies to notify shareholders of meetings by embedding principles of technology neutrality in the communications requirements.

"Technology neutrality will enable the provision of data in more usable forms, in a timely manner, through lower cost communication channels, which will enable flexibility in the manner in which data is presented.

"This is a step towards delivery of the Government's commitment in response to the Financial System Inquiry, to amend priority areas of existing financial regulation to ensure they are technology neutral," Minister O'Dwyer said.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the proposal paper by lodging a submission online. Submissions will close on Friday, 17 June 2016.